My glass is usually half-full. Things will get better. The sun will come out tomorrow, so on and so forth. Granted, sometimes it’s an act.
Like yesterday morning when I stood in front of my full-length mirror, poking at my bloated stomach with disgust.
“Do you have a baby in there?” my 6-year-old daughter asked nonchalantly, slurping on a Popsicle.
“No,” I responded, unable to hide my horror.
She shrugged and walked away, “Looks like it.”
Yeah, I’m aware. But it’s always nice to have confirmation from someone who won’t get a wrinkle for another 20 years. I spent the rest of my day stealing sideways glances at myself on every reflective surface. I sucked in my stomach. I beat myself up for eating leftover Easter candy. I vowed to workout twice a day (don’t worry, it’ll never happen).
But nothing made me feel better about myself until I decided to feel better about myself. I looked in the mirror and smiled at my reflection. At first it was as genuine as a politician, but somehow the simple act of smiling managed to warm my heart—and I swear to you—shrink my stomach. Usually smiling is a response to something that tickles us. Sometimes reversing the order works.
When I ran my first marathon in March, there were moments during the race when I felt very, very bad (okay, lots of moments). And so did everyone else. I know, because I could see it on their faces. Slack mouths, sad eyes, furrowed foreheads. By mile 15 we were a quiet, sullen bunch, shuffling along like shackled prisoners. Lifting our eyes from the pavement to acknowledge cheering from the sidelines would require too much. Smiling? Impossible.
Or maybe not.
Plodding forward with nothing but my thoughts and a heavy dose of lactic acid to keep me company I started to think that maybe smiling—in spite of the fact that my calves were cramping and my lower intestines were barely holding it together—couldn’t really hurt the situation, could it?
At about that moment I heard a guy call out to me over his beer from a lawn chair: “You’re almost there!” It was a stupid joke. A terrible lie. And deeply uncreative. (When you run a marathon, every third spectator yells this.) While I didn’t think I had the energy to acknowledge him, I did have an overwhelming desire to fold him up in his lawn chair.
Instead, I summoned a tiny reserve of energy tucked away in the recesses of my heart, and smiled.
He practically dropped his red Solo cup. “Hey! Mile 15 and you’re still smiling! Keep it up!”
I did keep it up. I continued to smile stupidly at every spectator sprinkled along the course. I felt a little crazy, a little deceitful—and a lot better.
The smile helped. And it seemed to help others too. They cheered harder for me. They believed in my feigned happiness. Eventually, I started to believe it too.
Sometimes the smallest gestures have the biggest impact. My legs and my spirit could barely carry me 26.2 miles—my smile had a better go of it.Read More From Blogs.
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Join Paula, Bobby and Jamie for a book signing at the Lady and Sons restaurant in Savannah from 2 to 4 pm. Only 350 tickets will be given out starting 1 hour before the book signing. No cameras permitted; a professional photographer will be on site to take your photo.
Join Paula and family for a Party at Sea to the Eastern Caribbean (San Juan, St. Thomas and St. Maarten - roundtrip from Miami) aboard the Celebrity Reflection presented by Alice Travel. Click here for more information, and please note that the Paula Deen cruise is only available by booking directly with Alice Travel. We are running out of space, so book as soon as possible!
Paula Deen is coming to Buffalo, NY to perform a live cooking show and let VIP ticket holders enjoy a delicious Southern feast with a menu created by Paula herself! Both events will be held at Samuel’s Grand Manner in Williamsville, NY which offers a refined elegance in a classically modern setting. The VIP lunch will be held at 12:00pm on February 8th and will go until approximately 2:00pm (doors will open at 11:30am). The lunch will include a hearty helping of Southern style cuisine which is personally selected by Paula, a Southern Cooking Bible cookbook, a photo op with Paula where she will also be signing autographs, a gift package, and preferred seating at that evenings cooking show! The cooking show will begin at 3:00pm on February 8th and run about 60 minutes long (doors will open at 2:15pm). Paula will be cooking up some of her favorite meals live for you at Samuel’s Grand Manor! Seating is unreserved and is “first come, first served”.
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Join Paula and family for a Party at Sea aboard Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas to Labadee, Jamaica, and Cozumel (roundtrip from Ft. Lauderdale) presented by Alice Travel. We will be having special, separate events for kids on this one with Jack Deen hosting the kids program! Click here for more information, and please note that the Paula Deen cruise is only available by booking directly with Alice Travel Book now before the prices start going up on the cruise and air!