Smile Challenge Update

Tuesday, Jan. 30.

“Wake up sleepyhead…”  Alec Baldwin is telling me to wake up. WTF. Oh, Alexa…

“Alexa, snooze.” I mumble into my pillow.  Alexa confirms my snooze and Mr. Baldwingoes away.  I roll over and curl my lips into a growl.  I don’t want to be awake.  I want to be asleep.  Waking up is hard.  This blows. And then I remember what day it is.

 Today.  Today I will smile.image_176323  I will smile at everything.  I will not be a grumpy Gus.  I will not that ball of anxiety sitting on my chest intrude into everything.  I will tell the kids to have a brilliant day, I will be nice and civil to everyone despite wanting to kill more than a handful of people.  I chose this day on purpose and I’m going to fucking crush this challenge.

Last week, I set myself a smile challenge.  I said that I was going to take one day and smile at everything.  I chose Tuesday for my day because I knew that I would be stressed, I knew I would probably be grumpy and the reason for this is because I just moved my mom into a Memory Care facility.  Even though I’m the one that made the decision and I know it’s for the best, it’s been a roller coaster ride of emotions.

Real Estate is very similar.  You know what needs to be done, you know how to do it, you get it done and yet one thing goes wrong and everything can blow up in your face.  And a lot of times, while shit feels like it’s falling apart, you have to manage everything with a smile on your face.

So, the smile challenge.  I’m going to need chocolate for this shit.

“Good morning honey!” I try very hard not to trudge out of the bedroom and into the bathroom.  Hubby looks at me funny, he smiles when I smile at him but I know he’s secretly wondering who I am and what have I done with his wife.  While in the shower, I decided on a pick-me-up song fest and begin singing a Spice Girl’s medley.  I’m crooning “Wannabe” very badly.  I’ll blame the acoustics and say they’re horrible in the postage stamp that is our bathroom.   It doesn’t matter how horrible I was singing, though, because I had a smile on my face.  It was psyching myself up for the day.   

Externally, I may have been smiling like I’d had way too much coffee but internally I was still in the “YOU MUST ALL DIE A SLOW AND PAINFUL DEATH!” mood from h-e-double hockey sticks.

So, as I got out of the shower, I decided I needed a playlist that would make the grumpiest of grumps get off their ass and dance.  My current go-to song for getting my ass shaking is Mi Gente by J. Balvin feat. Willy William.

I honestly didn’t have much on my plate for the day.  Not much business other than phone calls.  The phone calls I made, though, were made with a conscious smile on my face.  I once heard that people can hear you smiling over the phone.  I think it’s true.  I have had conversations before where the person picked up the phone and was extremely upset or annoyed. Smiling and being friendly I think translated over the phone and the persons’ tone changed over the course of the conversation.

You can’t tell 100% if the person on the other end of the line smiled back, though.  I had to return some stuff and go sign some papers at my mom’s new facility.  So, off I went, smiling, to target.

On the way to the facility, I got stuck behind a large tractor and could not pass at all.  I felt myself beginning to scowl.  I NOTICED my scowling! I grabbed my phone, found some bouncy, happy tunes, turned them up and had a mini dance party behind the tractor until I was able to pass.  The takeaway here:  try and make the best out of an annoying situation.

When I reached the facility, there were non-smiling people everywhere.  So, I smiled at each of them.  It may have been the fact that I was dancing to tunes in my head as well, but I’ll be damned if each and every single one of them didn’t smile back.    Papers signed, I headed to Costco.   

Once there, I upped my ante. I not only smiled, but I danced and sang out loud. By this point, I was in an “I don’t give a shit what you think!” mood.  It wasn’t a mad or harsh mood, it was an “I’m having fun, I’m smiling, and I’m going to pass this shit on because it’s totally contagious.”   I am not afraid to admit that there is probably some security cam footage of me dancing like a lunatic and singing to this old guy at Costco who was just busting up laughing and did a little dance as well.

I discovered when I smiled at people and looked at them head-on, regardless if they were shuffling along or in their phones, people looked up and at me.  People smiled back, even if it was for the briefest moment.   Smiling is contagious.  There was only one person that didn’t smile at me and it was a lady who obviously was having a bad day.  If I had chocolate on me, I would have totally shared.

The most important thing I think I learned doing this challenge that was making myself smile, even though I was in a crappy mood and had this ball of anxiety in my chest, I felt better when I smiled.   Yes, the problems were still there, but I felt a little more capable of handling them.   Going forward I’m going to try and be conscious of when I’m in a bad mood and do my best not to spread negativity.  I’m going to challenge myself to wake up every morning and before I do anything, I’m going to smile.

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