That whole put-on-a-smile all day, every day thing is exhausting.
There are plenty of days when I feel like my smiles are used up before I even get out of bed.
Earlier this week, I channeled my inner Dolly Parton when someone asked my how I can stay so positive when people can be such jerks sometimes.
All I could do was quote Dolly, “I’m not happy all the time, and I wouldn’t want to be because that would make me a shallow person. But I do try to find the good in everybody.”
I’m not gonna lie. This week was a doozy. We lost a good friend to an automobile accident, learned the illness of another friend had progressed for the worse, and that we will lose our sweet uncle very soon. Students gave pitiful excuses. My children couldn’t seem to get along at all. It was a doozy.
Before I had to channel Dolly’s words of wisdom, I really was in a funk. A coworker called me out on it and so I dropped the shallow happiness quote on them.
We can’t be happy all the time.
We don’t like everyone all the time.
It is darn near impossible to find the silver lining all the time, but it is always possible to turn things around by finding one good thing in ourselves or those surrounding us.
When we allow ourselves to recognize that imperfection, sadness, goof-ups, and mean people are going to be a part of our lives, we open the door to the possibility that we can also welcome the perfection, joy, successes, and kind folks who balance us out.
We make the pool of positivity much deeper and keep the shallow end of fake happiness from filling in. So while I’d like to say this message was brought to you from Dolly Parton herself, I can’t. It comes from realizing that I didn’t want to wade into the waters of fake happiness. Her words buoyed me and I hope they will bolster you as well.
Happiness is found when we give the positive parts of life priority over those that don’t deserve our focus.
Give yourself a true chance at happiness and know that you don’t have to always have a smile on your face. You don’t always have to laugh your head off. You don’t always have to be Pollyanna, but you do always have the chance to be grateful for the times that are joyful and celebrate when great things happen to you.
By: Melanie A. Peters
P.S. Dolly Parton always brings a smile to my face (I sing “9 to 5” to help myself stumble out bed on those tough mornings.)