Jar Full of Smiles: The Lost Smile

As much as we might wish it never to be so, into each life a little rain must fall … at least that is how I think about the negative/bad experiences in life. We have all have them. And for me the rain falling is usually referring to the tears running down my face. Those who know me well will tell you most of the time I am happy, despite some of the challenges I have in my life. My philosophy is that I KNOW what challenges I face, but I don’t know what challenges anyone else faces (and we all have them), and I don’t like to dwell on the negative.

Does that mean I never have an off day? Far from it. I have had those days where either current circumstances or memory attacks take me to a bad place and I feel depleted of all energy, creativity, and I’m sure I’ll never smile again.

With a background in system technology, it is natural for me to address these bad moments/days with Conditional Analysis using If-Then statements. I’ll even use an acronym for one of the “result” responses — SIUB (Suck It Up Buttercup). When I reach a point where my emotions are overwhelming me, I do tend to get “clinical” in my approach to getting myself out of feeling the way I do. So … it runs something like this:

  • Conditional Analysis – Section I — Is the situation something you have control over?
    • If yes, then move to conditional analysis section 2
    • If no, then go straight to SIUB (do not pass go, do not collect $200)
  • Conditional Analysis – Section II — Do you know what will rectify the situation?
    • If yes, then why haven’t you done it. Go directly to get off your butt and get it done. No one is going to do that for you, so take a deep breath and get ‘r done. Because once you fix what you have control over, your mood will shift.
    • If no, then you need to figure it out. Go directly to SIUB.
  • SIUB — The following are some methods that will help you deal with things over which you have no control as well as things where you know you have the control to help fix, but have no idea what to do.
    • Call your bestie — This may rather sound like a cop out, but hear me out …
      • From the jar of smiles I pulled this saying out:

        A best friend will make you laugh when you think you will never smile again.

        You should never underestimate the power of having a best friend. And if yours doesn’t do that for you, then get another one. Mine knows, sometimes before I do, that I’m getting my tail tied into a knot over something, when the thing I’m getting worked up about isn’t truly driving my anger — it is usually something I have no control over.

      • Also, who better to reach out to when you know you can’t think straight? A bestie can offer the perspective you lack.
      • And with my bestie, it doesn’t matter which one of us is upset, or how big their grievance is, at some point during that call one of us will get the other to laugh … and once laughter has been achieved, we both feel better.
    • Pros and Cons List — Groan all you want, a pros and cons list helps you see the positives and negatives of the actions you are thinking about taking.

I love pictures that bring a story to mind immediately, and this picture is one. In my head, the story goes … The girl on the left was upset over some mean things some boys said to her as she paraded down the street in her costume. She found a corner to hide in so she could cry without anyone calling her a baby. But before she got a good sobfest going, little witchy-poo found her and listened to her friend drawing the story out of her when she’d stop. As soon as the story of what had happened has been told, Witchy-Poo stands, stomps her foot on the ground, says, “Well, see about that,” and holds her hand out to the friend. They then stride toward the troublemakers, the girl on the left a little apprehensive, but definitely feeling much better that her bestie has her back. And little Witchy-Poo? She means business, you see it in the grip she’s got on her friends hands. It’s the little ones who roar like a lion you need to be afraid of. 😀 (To all my LONG time friends, we KNOW I’m the girl in the witch hat who will make those boys rue the day they messed with her friend.)

Even though this post is a little on the long side already, I’m going to hope you’re still with me because this is the most important part. While I am thankful that when I have lost my smile due to a situation/circumstance — usually out of my control — I do have a fantastic network of friends who help me find my smile, it makes me even more emphatic about being the friend who gives the smile back. THAT is the kind of friend I strive to be. And not in a superficial way, but in some meaningful way to help the person in pain. What kind of friend are you?

PS I love the featured pic of the macaque because just looking at that would cheer me up on a bad day. The goofy grin is everything.

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8 Comments on “Jar Full of Smiles: The Lost Smile”

  1. We haven’t een that close but you can always call us anytime day or night, S and H.xxx

  2. This is spot on. We all need to have that Witchy-Poo in our world, and we all need to be him/her for our friends. “Besties” are the best. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Absolutely. I have been incredibly blessed to have people who have my back when I get down, so my focus is to make sure I am that person for someone else (or multiple somebodies)

  3. This is enlightening, engaging, and entertaining all at the same time. We all have off days where that bestie has saved our tails … or kicked them. I love you for both. 😘

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