If you'll remember (because I vaguely recall) my top three, 2013 resolutions were as follows:
1. I resolve to smile (even when I don't feel like it) just to change the way I feel.
2. I resolve to look into peoples’ eyes when I smile, just to see what happens.
3. I resolve to pick up three pieces of random litter (per day) and throw it away. This is a gimme.
For 31 days, I’ve held steadfast to resolution number one. A longstanding theory exists citing that it takes 21 days to ingrain a NEW behavior (habit). I’m not going to delineate either a good habit or a bad habit because I remember it took all of 21 minutes to light up and smoke a cigarette when I was 18 years old; then it took 21 years to quit. In addition, I THOUGHT about smoking 21-hours-a-day: where’s my lighter? I need to buy some more! A pack in my purse and one in the house, at all times. I don’t want to buy a carton because I’ll quit tomorrow. No smoking in my car or in the house, but the lingering smell of eau-de-Marlboro was embedded everywhere – Chanel perfume or no; air freshener or an open patio; mouthwash or toothpaste.
These days, I chew sugarless gum; I don’t leave home without it. I buy it by the case (really). Admittedly, I stuff two pieces at a time in my mouth. I chomp on it for a short spell and then I dispose of it. A short while later, I begin the gum-chewing cycle again; kind of like smoking, now that I think about it AND I think about a lighting a cigarette every now and then. That thought dissipates as quickly as malodorous, second-hand smoke on a windy day, just as SOON as I take a DEEP, FULL breath of gratitude for zesty-tasting gum, which I quickly pop into my mouth. Thus, I’ve exchanged one, distasteful habit for infinitely minty sessions. I’ve a brighter, whiter smile, too.
So, what happened when I SMILED even when I didn’t really feel like it? Go ahead; try it for yourself, then YOU tell me (us). Try it when you’re frustrated; when you’re ticked off at someone or something; when you THINK about it – just smile for a minute.
The next 28 days couples Resolution Number One with Resolution Number Two: I resolve to LOOK into people’s eyes when I smile, just to see what happens. I have a pretty good idea that folks will respond in kind, but I think I’m going to photographically document the phenomenon. I’ll get back to y’all…