How often are we encouraged or to LOL, to Laugh out Loud? How often are we told by others that they have laughed out loud? How often are we taken unwittingly by an involuntary snort of laughter, by some amusing message, moment or Facebook meme?
I realise that there are many more moments, though. Moments which might not prompt that laugh deep from the gut, but ones which bring a smile to a face which was previously frowning or simply unthinking. Those tiny moments when you spot a little dog launching herself into the air, only to land with a surprised thud, when the birds she is chasing scatter in flight; or when you see a sweet (as opposed to an extremely annoying) mis-translation or spelling mistake; or watching a man trying to not to fall over while he combines riding his bicycle with balancing a dozen squawking chickens tied by their feet to his handlebars.
Or when you are stuck in traffic and you spot a guy in the taxi next to yours who is leaning out of his window, concentrating very carefully on clipping his fingernails.
Smile out Loud 🙂
This happened to me just a few days ago, and happily my phone was handy so I could capture the moment. I realised that I was Smiling Out Loud. Not laughing, but I had a broad grin on my face. Now I can Smile Out Loud every time I look at this photo.
And when I scroll back through my images, I realise that so many are Smile Out Loud moments. Like this little frog who made me smile when we surprised each other one morning.
We are surrounded by Smiles Out Loud but I am not sure that we see many of them. So I have resolved to keep my eyes open and seek out these moments.
More than ever I need to smile.
We all do.
Smiles are free and abundant.
Smile Out Loud!
There has been a deafening silence here for too long. Silence usually, almost always, in this space is a sign of struggle and something not going well. Too often this has been related to cancery stuff.
That is not the case right now. Silence has been due to a long protracted situation which I cannot yet discuss here. But it is NOT cancer related, nor related to my health at all. The checks are very soon, but for now this has nothing to do with cancer.
While this struggle is likely to be dominant for some time, I am trying to pick up the electronic pen again and at least communicate. Trying to keep this space alive.
During these times, it has been particularly striking that my three words for the year have been enormously important. I have been ever reminded to breathe, to gaze at stars and to move forward and realise in its many senses of the word. So it was surprising to me that I have been sought out by three more words. Three words which speak specifically to this situation. Three words which sit within the main three word mantra of Breathe, Stargaze, Realise, but which recognise that I need something more focused.
Those words are:
Dignity – this reminds me that no matter how difficult things become, it is critical to maintain my own dignity and respect the dignity of others.
Contemplate – I am tempted to react and respond in a knee-jerk manner, but some changes and actions need to be thought through and considered carefully.
Beacon – a beacon is a guiding light which shows the way ahead, it shines light in very dark places and it provides hope that there is a better and lighter place ahead.
This too shall pass. And while it will take time, I have these words to guide and look after me.