What Makes You Smile

What makes you smile?

It’s the most important question we could ask ourselves and yet we never do. When we’re sad, when we’re anxious, when we’re stressed, if we only thought to ask ourselves that. If you only think of what makes you the happiest, what truly makes you smile, I guarantee you the corners of your mouth will ever so slightly turn up, and so will your mood. Do it. Right now…… it worked, right?

One of the things that does it for me are the best memories I have with my camp friends. Summers spent in the woods with them. That one time someone made me laugh so hard I spat the milk I had just sipped all over him. I mean ALL over him. And it was, indeed, no small sip. Or the time I was so exhausted I went to get out of the golf cart a bit too soon and nearly hit my head on a stone wall. How every summer there’s a phrase we’d repeat so often you’d think we would wear it out, but we never did. This summer it was “nailed it”….. “Guys, Alex totally just wrecked herself on the golf cart.” Response: “Nailed it.”

My best friend, a friend from college, who knows me better than I know myself. Who always knows how to cheer me up. And vice-verse. Our identical, sometimes childlike sense of humor. Or the fact that car rides consist of belting out our favorite songs. That time when we watched the remake of Footloose and ended up dancing in our living room to the credits music… just cause. Or even just a Friday night on the couch. “Hey Elena, what do you wanna do tonight?” Response: “Let’s have a drink… and sing.”

And pictures of my 18 month old nephew, who, though he lives so far away, is the light of my life. He joyfully dances to ANY kind of music, though “Roar” by Katy Perry is quite obviously his favorite. When he’s eating, he will hold out every other bite of food for you (He’s a sharer). The fact that every kind of electronic device, even sometimes just his own hand, is a cell phone and he’ll hold it to his ear. And how he FREAKS OUT when he sees bubbles. He even knows what the container looks like and when he sees it he starts screaming “bahboo!! Bahbooooo!” (He won’t master the “L” for a while…)

You don’t need incredible adventures around the world, and fantastical stories about the celebrities you’ve met, or the rare sights you’ve seen, or money, or possessions, or anything like that to make you happy. You need the smallest little things that make you smile. When I’m in desperate need of one, I simply find that picture of that time that something simple yet joyful took place, I smile, and I am reminded of why life is so wonderful.

Because, in truth, nothing is more important in life than what makes you smile.

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