Last week was rough. I was uncomfortable, my hands and feet (and whole body) would itch so badly at night that I couldn’t sleep. My nails were sore from the constant scratching. I was crabby and done being pregnant. Then I remembered that my new year’s resolution was to smile more. I wrote a post about it. I made myself accountable. I’m not sure if it was the repenting I did during Sacrament meeting, the prayers for optimism, the sudden disappearance of my itching, the chocolate cake we made on Sunday, or a combination of many things, but this week has been glorious. I might even suggest I have “the glow.” I’ve been smiling a lot and it has reaped rewards beyond my expectations.
Scotland smiling January 1, 2014 12:00AM!
When Scotland comes into my room in the morning, instead of rolling over and saying “Ah, Scotland, can’t you go play for a little while.” I look at him and smile. I can’t say my smiling is the sole cause of his absolutely angelic behavior this week, but I can only assume it’s played apart.
Interestingly, I’ve felt more myself. Initially, I thought this smiling goal might come off artificial. Rather, it’s freed me to openly express the joy and delight I find in life. I beamed at Scotland today as over and over he rode his scooter down the steep ramp at the playground. His body was tight with nerves, his face focused, but unlike last time, he never crashed. I was so proud of him and his determination to master the ramp, and so thrilled that I could freely express my admiration without saying a thing.
Shaving cream fun at Play and Learn
In the evenings, when Tom gets home from work, instead of playing the “busy wife/mother” who hardly has time to stop and give her husband a hug because she has so much to do. I’ve stopped, smiled, and expressed my true feeling- thrill at have my best friend home! It’s resulted in more laughter, and more closeness.
Now I realize it hasn’t even been a week, but this sudden change highlights a fact that can change lives. Happiness is a choice. And when we choose to feel it and show it, it comes more abundantly.
Smiling on the swings
One of my hopes for my children is that they will smile unabashedly. How can I expect such a thing if my smiles are calculating and tight?
Awkward selfie smile
As part of my resolution I spend a bit of time this week thinking about what makes me smile and surrounding myself with those things. Yes, that included chocolate cake, but it also including things like this:
Opening the door to the nursery so I can enjoy the sweet room I’ve created there. Feeling for little feet and knees and imagining what our little guy is going to look like.
Cozying up on our “new” couch to read books with Scotland or just gazing out the window at the scenery. Smiling and feeling grateful for a living room I adore.
I believe in the verse: “Men are that they might have joy” 2 Nephi 2:25. And I believe that it could also be said: Men are that they might show joy.