Unexpected Smiles

A couple of years ago I had a birthday. Actually I have a birthday every year, thankfully. This event was special because it was an ordinary day. I think after turning forty the thrill of birthdays isn’t as big as it used to be. The day (at least for me) tends to be just a day in which I add another number to the years I have been alive. So when my birthday came, I went to work like normal. Some of my close friends said “Happy Birthday!” when I saw them, but really it was an average day. What made it special was when I had gone back to the clinic after running some errands I was surprised with the biggest cheesecake I have ever seen. There is a place in town that make the most amazing cheesecakes and usually I just buy a slice of one of their cakes and enjoy for a couple of days because of how big the slice is. What came with this cheesecake was balloons. Big beautiful, colorful balloons. My boss had been called out of town unexpectantly and while away had arranged for a friend to bring these surprises to me. They made me bloom with an unexpected smile.

The feeling I had was like getting a letter in the mail as a kid. I absolutely loved getting letters as a kid. Usually it was from my great aunt in Nebraska, or from my great grandma in California. They were letters that talked about life, and they were addressed to me. They were a look into the world that was outside of my little world I lived in. I have saved most of those letters and from time to time I will get them out just to remember the ladies that wrote them and have a smile come across my face. It’s amazing how a simple piece of paper with words can make you feel at home and loved.

When I moved away and got married, I met people in the town we lived in. One gal in particular had the gift of giving out unexpected smiles. When her kids and mine were little they were constantly together (it helped that we worked together). She had the superpower of making people feel special. You know the kind of person I mean? The one that shows up with your favorite drink from the coffee shop, or offers to take your kids for a play date so that you can have some free time. Our job had us working with kids a lot. Since we worked with the kids we would also get to know their parents. There would be times when a kid would get sick, or get hurt and we would hear about it from the parents. By the end of that same day of hearing the news my friend would have a care package made up. She would then go out of her way to bring it to the kid’s home. She knew that power of spreading love.

Negativity has a way of coming into our lives. We can be the most positive, joyous person alive but still have to deal with negativity. We want to focus on what someone did wrong, we watch to see if someone will fail. We don’t like change usually and will look for what might go wrong because of the change. It’s a choice we have to make to look for the good, and to act on an idea of doing good. My boss didn’t have to organize a cake and balloons to show up for my birthday. Hand written letters have gone to the wayside thanks to texting and social media but that doesn’t mean they are obsolete. Our mailboxes tend to have bills and junk mail. I am not sure if someone would know what to do with a handwritten note, but my guess is they would have an unexpected smile after reading it. As for simple acts of kindness, those can cost us nothing but make us the richest people in the world. When you do something nice for someone else it doesn’t just brighten their day it will brighten yours too. We get caught up in the daily flow of our lives and don’t tend to think about what can be done to spread some happiness. Love your neighbor as yourself, the greatest commandment. Not easy but worth it. Until next time:

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