Sometimes, when sleep eludes me at night, I dig through the endless pages of the interwebs trying to find things that don’t make me feel bad about not sleeping. I know I’m a grown woman who can do whatever she likes at any time of the day or night, but not sleeping often makes me feel guilt and anxiety. Writing that makes me feel a bit silly, but it’s the truth. What’s most significant about that truth, is that it’s a sad truth because I’ve had issues with sleep for as long as I can remember, so that means my body has been holding a lot of guilt and anxiety about not sleeping for a long time. Sleep is the lynchpin to good health: mental and physical, so as things go I’m not doing too well.
Sleep aside, last night I landed on a page with inspirational posters. One of them was very simple: Smile Every Day. It made perfect sense and affected me so strongly I had to create a poster of my own. At about 11:00 PM last night I grabbed my sketchbook (the one I started when I was in the hospital), a pencil, and all my coloured markers. The idea I had forced me to log on to Pinterest to find a drawing tutorial because I couldn’t figure out how to draw a mouth. Yup, I couldn’t figure out how to draw the thing I shovel food into every day and from which drool happily flows when I do finally sleep thanks to my night guard. In the end, I found an easy tutorial and I was able to draw a mouth that I think fits perfectly with the quote and my design.
This quote affected me so deeply because when I started working in sales many years ago, in the sales/customer service department of a software company; one of the things they taught us in training is that before we answer the phone we should always smile. Smiling boosts the tone in your voice and makes you sound positive when speaking to someone on the phone. Some people kept a small mirror at their desk as a reminder to put on a smile because there were days when we didn’t always feel like smiling.
Jumping to the present day, I realized when I read that poster yesterday that I haven’t been smiling every day. I’m not depressed. But my pain doesn’t’ make it easy to smile. I’m also back at home again and alone most days, which means I don’t have anyone to smile with unless someone comes to visit, or I get a phone call.
I’m glad I found that page last night. Now I have a reminder for myself to smile every day. Regardless of how much pain I might be feeling, if I’ve had very little sleep, or the sun isn’t shining; I’m going to smile every day.