Saturday, March 14, 2015

my saturday friday reflection: things that make me smile

Participating in blog prompts is not always an easy endeavor for me.  I tend to dislike boundaries, and will shoot myself in the foot (figuratively) to avoid being tied to any one thing.  But today is an exception.  When I saw the prompt that said to name 30 things that make me smile, I knew this post was a cinch.

I smile easily.  I've always been a grinner.  So much so that as I left for school on picture day every year, mum would tell me not to smile too big (my gums would show in a geeky kind of way when I did).  I think most years I forgot her advice as soon as I was out the door.

Smiling doesn't always show on the outside though.  I experience a lot of secret smiles, and those feel just as good as the visible smiles.  Only in times of great stress do I not smile as much.  The past few months have been like that for me.  But lately I have met some goals, made some changes in my life, and I find I am smiling more.  So today I will share a list of things that make me smile, in no particular order of importance.

1. Smiling.  No, it isn't as goofy as it sounds.  When I smile at someone, they always smile back.  And that makes me smile more.  All the way inside.  (Smiling is contagious.)
2. My grands.  They turned a middle aged woman into a Grammy.  I smile every time I think of those four goofy, funny kids.
3. Star Trek movies.  I've been watching all the original crew movies tonight and realize that some of the best one liners ever written are in those movies, and they have a knack of inserting them into the most serious scenes.  (Scotty just said "then we are dead" in the Undiscovered Country, and Spock replied "I've been dead before" in that deadpan way that makes me smile every time.  As I just did.)
4. Cartoons.  Especially cartoons with no speech, just sight gags.  My dad loved the Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote cartoons and so do I.
5. Audio books.  I have discovered the joy of having someone read a book to me in my ear.  A recent favorite that made me smile (and laugh out loud) was Craig Ferguson's Between the Bridge and the River. 
6. Social media.  That's right.  I can read something on Twitter or Facebook and find myself smiling.  Instagram and Pinterest have some great stuff for smiling about too.  A recent post on Facebook that I shared with my sisters was this:
And this leads to....
7. My sisters.  They make me smile.  No matter that we live thousands of miles apart.  I always smile when I think of them.  They are total goofballs, just like I am.
8. My kids.  Different than the grands because they were a lot of work to raise.  Thank goodness they all have my warped sense of humor (with a bit of their dad's too).
9. Stevie Wonder.  I married him because he made me smile.  Great at jokes and storytelling with an authentic southern accent, he stole my heart with a joke, and he still makes me smile.
10. Funerals.  That's right.  Some of the best jokes and stories I have heard have been at funerals.
11. Clouds.  I am a cloud watcher.  Not only do they totally relax me, taking me to another place, but I often find myself smiling.
12. My dogs. Especially Gabe.  He is a natural clown.  Caesar is softhearted and loving.  Gabe is a mauler and licker and loves to poke his nose in everything.
13. Ivy Jones, my grandcat.  At 15, her cranky personality makes Wretch and I laugh every day about some antic or behavior.  Today she was wailing at me when I got home, and when I gave her some of her treats, she sniffed them, then looked around at me with a haughty expression as if to say "you expect me to eat THIS?"  Needless to say, she got the real deal, some turkey meat.

Now I am getting into the smiling/laughing category, which still counts in my eyes.

14. Falling.  I am a chronic faller.  Years ago I plowed up the pavement in our local town with my face.  Hours later, sitting and waiting at the ER (Wretch was with me), I looked up to see her STARING at my face.  I looked down with my eyes only, and could see my top lip poking out beyond the end of my nose.  I looked back up at her, and we both burst out laughing.   
15. Steve's pacemaker.  Yep that's right.  The day he got his pacemaker put in, the kids showed up to be with me.  When we got him back in the room and we realized he was going to be ok, it was time for joking and smiling.
the brats
Steve's attempt at corpse pose.
16. People watching.  I love to watch people, and seeing how they interact often makes me smile.  Especially parents interacting with their kids.  Watching parents try to keep up with active kids gives me a big grin.  And a sigh of relief that I don't have to do that anymore.
17. Touching stories about real people.  Humans can do such evil, horrible things to each other, and it is always gratifying to see something good done by one human for another.  Today this is what moved me to smile, and tears:
18. Watching someone succeed at something for the first time makes me smile. The day Duncan looked up at me, (after his mommy's struggle to find the right medication for ADD) and told me "I'm smart Grammy" made me grin from ear to ear.  I knew he was smart all along, just trapped in his own head.
19. Meeting a new friend for the first time.  That first smile, and hug, sets a tone of love and acceptance.
20. Marmite.  Thought I'd hate it, but I love it.  Even the name makes me smile.
21. Meeting old friends again after years apart.  I ran into one of my best friends at my high school reunion a while back and we were both full of smiles for each other.  It was as though no time had passed, and we fell into the place we were years ago, totally comfortable and enjoying being with each other.
22. Painting.  I've been drawing and painting since I was a young child.  I often smile as I work on an idea.  It is the joy I feel, coming to my face.
23. Secret smiles.  An inside or private joke that only I understand, or something between me and another person that is shared with a glance and a smile.
24. Rewatching old movies that made me smile the first time I saw them, and smiling at the same moments when I watch them again.  It's like laughing at the same jokes, etc.  Causes smiles.

I'm going to end with #25, because it is the smile that I am wearing as I edit and read what I have written.  I live a blessed life.  A very blessed life.  In the midst of a world that can be so full of hate and anger, cynicism and cruelty, and sadness....I find reason to smile every day.

Think about it...what makes you smile? is good. ~cath find me @jonesbabie on Twitter

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