Back when i was a sophomore in high school and had been selected for another year as a majorette, I decided to go to majorette camp sponsored by indiana University. What a week it was! There was so much to learn! Besides the routine themselves, we learned how to do our makeup and smile so that we could be truly entertainers and not simply go through the routines by rote. Our cabins were a good half mile walk away from the practice field and the community room. All in all being there was a physical and emotional challenge. I was thankful i did a lot of walking, but a lot of the girls didn't and would be near tears by the end of the day. All of us would be exhausted by bedtime and sleep came fast and deeply.
There was a community room where we would have our very nutritious, healthy meals. We also used the cleaned tables for our makeup lessons. The room was so large, we could also have team practices if there was rain, without having to move those tables.
There were three entry doors into the room from outdoors. Above each doorway in huge letters was the word SMILE! Next to each door was a phrase from the Nat King Cole hit of the 1950's:
"That's the time you must keep on trying
Smile, what's the use of crying?
You'll find that life is still worthwhile
If you just smile"
This was a reminder to us that no matter how bad things seemed to be for us, we needed to smile. it was much in the vein of "The show must go on". Much before the end of the week, smiling was second nature for all of us. It didn't matter if we had blisters on our feet or calluses forming on our hands, we smiled. Especially if we had physical issues and tears in our eyes from pain, those smiles were splashed across our faces and no one knew any different. of course we all knew our own aches and pains and assumed everyone else had them, too. By the end of that week, I had firmed up, applied makeup to enhance my appearance, was better in step with moves and music, and to consistently smile. I also had some new friends of the older girls from a neighboring school. Their entire squad was there and they were all juniors and seniors. I was the only other from our county and they took me under their collective wings. It was a good lesson and one to carry throughout life.
I try to emphasize "remember to smile" at the end of most of my status updates and blog entries, because i truly believe in what i learned that summer so many years ago.
No matter what you are feeling physically and even if you don't really want to, smiling - especially when returned by others - can't help but make you feel better. When i feel better and more confident, i tend to want to do more physically and to eat less. It all comes together for me. I have to be honest and say, after al these years of practice, there are times I can't do it. I cannot smile. But with each year that passes, it really does become easier to smile rather than not.
Our lives are too short to spend them in sadness and being unhappy. We have only what is now. No tomorrow is guaranteed to us. We really should make the most of it and continue on our journeys as the blessing they are while helping others feel better about themselves, being good to ourselves, making the best choices we can, and to always, always SMILE!!
For all my Spark Buds:
When skies are gray, i wish you warmth and laughter.
When something in your life seems almost unbearable, i wish you comfort.
When you feel you aren't progressing and want to give up, I wish you the ability to come to SP and find the support you need to keep going.
Peace Love Hope