I have the tendency to get down. Down about a lot of things, both personal and even things out of my control. We all make mistakes, we all see terrible things happen, we all experience loss. When these moments happen, it is hard to realize that these are snippets in life. They are inevitable parts of life that are meant to teach us lessons and learn more about ourselves and others. There is a greater journey for all of us and bumps are meant to happen. Fall down in order to stand up taller. In the moment, that is hard to accept. No one wants to see or hear of pain. No one wants to experience that fleeting feeling of failure. I certainly don’t.
What is the bigger picture? For me, the bigger picture is living life. The day to day living that builds me as a person and builds my experience in life. It is full and needs to be full of both the ups and downs. I have downs but I also have ups – that is difficult for me to remember. I get overcome by that thought of failing myself and others, of being less than perfect, and of comparing myself to what I should be. I do one thing wrong and the whole day is a bust. I have one negative thought and my mind becomes flooded with self doubt. I make ripples into waves and those waves into storms.
I am not sure why this weekend, maybe it was my various phone calls or lots of time alone, but I reflected on this thought ‘flaw’ I seem to fall victim to often. And as I was running, feeling the movement of my body, it hit me. A small smile. Yes, a simple little smile. Then I started looking around me and finding more reasons to smile. The massive dog that literally looked like a grown man. The little girl calling me pretty as she walked by. How could I not smile?
I am calling this my Little Smiles Project. Getting down can happen, but for a moment. There are times when you need to self reflect. But there is no need to soak in that pool of depression for longer than is necessary. I realized I have lots of little smiles that I can remember in moments like this. The list evolves, changes and grows daily. This list will be added to each day in a journal I will keep with me. The list will get longer because each day I will and can find the little random things that make me smile. That make me realize that the Bigger Picture is living a life worth living, not just surviving to get through the moment. So what are today’s little smiles…
- The same two old men that I run past on one of my routes who always comment on my brown eyes and fast legs.
- The dogs and their owners up at the crazy time of the morning – owners in their pj’s with dogs ready to take on the world.
- My cup of coffee each morning as I read blogs. One of my favorite times of day I look forward to.
- A mom who makes me laugh daily with our phone calls, providing me company as I walk to the metro each morning.
- A dad who will never cease to send me scratch cards at least once a month. A card I received yesterday and won nothing on, yet again.
- A dog back home with a picture that smiles back at me on my phone daily.
- Metro rides that always provide some sort of entertainment whether it be a singing bearded man or mouthing singing financial banker.
Questions: What brings you back to the moment? What are some of your little smiles?