Choose to Smile

Imagine for a second drifting off in a hammock under the morning sun, it’s been a long all nighter at work, the rest of the day is packed with obligations and errands to run till past sun down, but you have this glorious brief moment where there is nothing that needs done except for this much needed rest. The air has a slight breeze, triggering some wind chimes in the distance, and somewhere deep inside the internal conversation goes like this…

“You can get away with this, yea there is a lot that needs done, yea your about to head out in a bit with the fam to spend the day in the mobile office handling biz, yea you only have 15 min or so till its time to mount up… But I’m DOIN IT!!!” Giving myself permission to take a much needed break, my eyes close as I feel myself drift away, circling the drain that leads to beautiful Napville, CA.

Then I hear it, the screen door closes and feet softly patter up. “Daddy, can you please help us take the firewood out of the back of our car?” and just like that papa’s nap time evaporates into thin air and blows away. POOF! I know this, because there is quite a bit of forgotten firewood in the back of our ride, and room must be made for the contents involving our errands today. This will be followed shortly thereafter with the commencement of chore-a-geddon.

My dry eyes open back up, and as I sit up I feel like a door hinge that desperately needs oil, and I hear an internal groan. A few seconds of raking my brain and thoughts back into my head and I am off to start my mission. It was then, as I whistled off, that I caught and acknowledged a random passing thought that manifested as an utter, “this is how you smile”.

Hmmm… This is how you smile… And it got me thinking, “What does this really mean?”.

Nothing about the above story gives ANY reason to celebrate, right? But is there anything about this story that IS good? What about bad, or neither… How bout it is what it is, and it isn’t good or bad unless I decided it was, just like anything else. The “is” is the that the wood needs handled, and the “isn’t” is everything else, just value I assign to it.

We can’t change the “is’s” in life

But just like we have the power to determine what IS an obstacle or an opportunity, we can also CHOOSE how we are going to be; and in THIS, we have the power to influence all the upcoming “is’s”! I can handle the wood (or any other situation in life) with a big ol’ frown and act like a grouchy old stinky crotch, not only making my present miserable, but also influencing others around me, bringing them down, thus, in turn reinfecting myself and influencing more upcoming what “is’s”…


I can choose to get up smiling (on the inside too!) and CHOOSE to enjoy the present. The cascading effect of this is profound…

For example, finishing the task cheerful, I get into the car with the family cheerful, setting the emotional tone or foundation of cheer. Cheerful present. Right away I am far ahead of the other present, convoluted with moodiness, resenting what is. Applying the law of inertia to attitude, my good cheer carries on through the consecutive moments, where I have the power to choose again. Continue this pattern, and I am having an awesome, relaxing evening with the family tonight, burning down that wood, most importantly where we are all enjoying the present moment.

I guess this is why I choose to smile…

One thought on “Choose to Smile

  1. peggysue mentioned that in ancient China plagiarism was considered an honor. It would be interesting to look at what fundamental differences were in place in their society that would allow for such a perspective of appreciation rather than fear.
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