Apparently today is World Smile Day. Who knew that was a thing? Well apparently it is, and it’s today. It takes place each year on the first Friday in October.
I never previously thought about smiling. I’m a smiler, a grinner usually. I tend to have my teeth on show. It has always come naturally and I always found it strange to see so many grumpy faces around me. When I was at primary school I remember one of my teachers telling us that if someone didn’t have a smile we should give them one of ours. I love that sentiment. It’s amazing how often a smile is reciprocated, even by the most glum looking of people.
I’ve previously written about the trip I made to Truro soon after Lentil died. I wasn’t really ready to be out and about and I’d pushed myself too hard too soon. One thing really struck me that day and it made me sad. I realised that I couldn’t smile. Not that I didn’t want to, I just couldn’t physically do it. I hadn’t ever realised before that that was possible. I was buying a birthday card, the shop assistant smiled at me and I just couldn’t make myself smile back at him. I felt awful. Someone had given me a smile and I couldn’t give them one in return.
I realised that day that nobody knows the stories of the people around them. The shop assistant probably just thought I was a grump, I would have jumped to the same conclusion had our roles been reversed. He didn’t know that I was using all of my energy standing up, completing the purchase and holding my tears back. I had nothing left for a smile, not even a weak one.
In the weeks and months that followed my smile has returned, weakly at first but gradually getting stronger. Last week my sewing teacher (I’ve started a sewing class to get me out of the house) commented on my grin so clearly it’s back. It feels more natural now and takes much less effort. I’m glad to have it back, I missed it.