© 2009 Marica

044 – Smile

Light up your face with gladness
Hide every trace of sadness
Although a tear may be ever so near
That’s the time you must keep on trying
Smile, what’s the use of crying?
You’ll find that life is still worthwhile
If you just smile.

— Smile, music composed by Charlie Chaplin, words written by John Turner and Geoffrey Parsons.

We were determined to have lunch together today even though neither of us had much time to spare. It was going to have to be one of those eat and run lunches that we would rather avoid but they are so much better than not seeing each other at all during the day.

I arrived at the agreed to meeting place before Lynsey. As I walked in I was greeted by the bubbly Nicci – the service with a smile queen. She is the reason we go to this cafe. We walk in, she spots us, she greets us with a big smile, she finds us a table, and she has even memorised what we want to order. It is all so effortless. Nicci manages to make us feel like we matter and we appreciate that so much.

After the usual niceties today I asked Nicci how she was.

“Great,” she replied. The huge smile on her face seemed to reinforce her response. However, I noticed something different about her today, she was more buoyant and happier than usual. The smile seemed very authentic.  It appeared to me as though Nicci was smiling from the inside out. Her eyes were sparkling and there was a spring in her step that I hadn’t seen before.

“We didn’t see you last week, we missed you” I said to her.  “Have you been on holiday?”

I assumed this must be the reason for the change – holidays do that to people, they give you a new lease on life. Only this wasn’t the reason.

“I’ve been in hospital,” she said. “I’ve had a life changing operation and I’m really great now.”

Nicci proceeded to tell me how hard it has been for her and how she has really had to force herself to smile, even when it was the last thing she wanted to do.

I was so touched by this heartfelt honesty and the fact that Nicci shared this information with me. She reminded me of how important it is to keep going and put on a brave face even when it is the last thing you want to do. I needed to receive this message today. I wasn’t feeling well and work continues to be pretty full-on.

We should never underestimate the power of a smile. Smiling is contagious. It impacts our mood. We look so much better when we smile. It is a natural drug because it stimulates the release of chemicals in our body that act as pain killers and mood enhancers. Actually smiling has a lot going for it. Let’s make a pact to try and smile more.

06. Every day you make choices.
15. Every day make a difference to yourself and others.
49. Every day is a good day.

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