Choosing to Smile

As many of you are aware, the last week and a half at work have been pretty tough.  Sudden changes and lots of upheaval have caused much sadness, stress, frustration, and feelings of being overwhelmed.  I’ve basically been feeling “magenta.”

500 points if you get my reference. I just gave you a really big hint…

Despite the ickiness, I thought I was doing a pretty good job of dealing with things.  However, this past Sunday, while enjoying our weekly swim, my mom, oh so kindly, informed me otherwise:

“Yeah, so I know you’ve been kinda down lately but you gotta snap out of it.  I was reading your blog posts from last week and I could totally notice that you weren’t yourself.  Your attitude is affecting your writing.  Those posts just weren’t your best work.”

Um…thanks?  You gotta hand it to the woman, at least she’s honest with me.

But ya know what?  I’m not all that surprised.  One of my character flaws traits is that I tend to wear my emotions on my face – joy, excitement, embarrassment, sadness, anger…chagrin – it’s all right there in my eyes, the set of my mouth, the tilt of my head.  Can’t hide it.  So, I suppose it would follow that my emotions can be, literally, read in my writing as well.

Now, not to toot my own horn, but I’m a fairly adequate wordsmith.  To know that a skill I pride myself on is being adversely affected by my mood?  I’m not okay with that.

Mom’s right, I’ve gotta snap out of it.

While we can’t necessarily help what we feel – we’re sentient beings, we’re gonna get mad/be happy/freak out every once in a while – we have complete control over the face we present to the world.  Our attitude is our choice.

Heh, heh…  For those of you who know me in real life, you’ll chuckle at the hypocrisy of my above statement.

I’ve worked for years to try to better mask the physical representation of my inner self.  To be fair, in some cases wearing my heart on my sleeve is a good thing.  For instance, my family and friends…and co-workers and complete strangers…always know where they stand with me.  But, for the most part – in the office or during a poker game – it’d be better to conceal my colorful anima.

Now that I’ve been informed of the effect it has on my writing, you better believe I’m’a amp up my efforts.

Rather than play a game of “Let’s Hide What We Really Feel” – cause, hello, that’s just being fake – I shall try to literally turn my frown upside down.  There have been studies that show the simple, physical act of smiling can actually boost one’s mood.  If we pretend to feel a certain way, we may actually come to feel that way for reals.  It’s like the adult version of playing pretend.  Cool.  🙂

Ya know, I think it works.  I’m sitting here now smiling just cause I’m writing about smiling and I’m actually feelin’ pretty good.  I don’t know if “happy” is the word for it but I’m definitely feeling more pleasant than I have for a while.  I’m gonna walk around the office today with a grin on my face in the hopes that it leads to a more positive outlook cause:

Was that a better post, Mom?

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Categories: Uncategorized | 4 Comments

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4 thoughts on “Choosing to Smile

  1. I’m smiling and laughing cuz my post today kinda says the same…HB told me yesterday night I’ve been “slacking.” LoL Yes, we all need to smile more.

  2. Mom

    Much, much better — I can “see” your smile come right through your writing — good job! Now, that’s my girl!

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