Go Ahead and Smile
By Becky Osborn
Life can be a very funny thing, and often times the best approach is simply to laugh. I strongly believe that if we can learn to laugh at our follies, and find a way to chuckle in spite of the hardships we face, we would be able to finally begin experiencing the true joy that is living. I myself may not have the best life in the world, but I make the most of what I’ve got. I’ve been unemployed for over a year now, and the job market only seems to be getting worse. All my bills are past due, and next month I have to figure out some way to pay for my books for school. I’m seriously considering selling most of my possessions just to make ends meet. But none of that really matters. What matters is that I do what I can, and laugh at the rest. And when I’m laughing, people know it. I don’t try to hide my laugh, or laugh at only an appropriate level. I laugh as hard as I feel merited, and it feels great! I know that no matter what problems I may face, the end result doesn’t really matter. What matters is that I walk through my life with a smile on my face, and try my best to put a smile on every face I see.
The funny thing about life is that too often we take it far more seriously than we should. I know many people that stress about every aspect of their life if it’s not going exactly how they expected it to. But really, why worry about it? Life is chaotic, and beautiful, and it doesn’t run on any of our schedules. Yet I constantly see those who continue to struggle to keep life comfortable, which is an oxymoron. Being comfortable shouldn’t be a struggle, and also, being comfortable shouldn’t be the goal. Knowing where you want to be is not a bad thing, and trying to live an organized life isn’t bad either, it’s trying to steer life and control it that weighs down the most on people. It’s like swimming upstream, it’s hard, and it wears you down. We have to learn to let the river take us when our struggles aren’t fixing anything. Our problems are our own creations. I’m not referring to illness, or disease, or any issues that our just beyond our control, I mean most people who are constantly stressing over life. Also, all the time spent trying to change the course of something that is so natural, takes away from the time they could be spending enjoying their lives. How often do we hear the stories of a life that passed someone by because they were too busy doing something else? Life can be busy, and it can be hectic, but there is always a way to take some time out of your life and enjoy being alive. Being able to step back from the world for a moment, turning your mind off, and just simply feeling life is one of the most freeing experiences in the world, and it can be done anywhere by anyone!
All these plans we make, and the jobs we have to buy the things we think we need, are all meaningless. In the end, none of that matters. We should be teaching our children that living and loving life is just as important as responsibility. We place too high a value on the things that don’t really matter, and it’s killing our spirits. We are caging ourselves with our schedules, and all our stuff, that we aren’t able to experience the freedom that every man woman and child is inherently entitled to. You came into this world with that freedom, and society slowly starts changing your mind, it should then become your life’s purpose to reclaim that freedom. Don’t be afraid to live, because if you don’t then what’s the point of our time spent here? Conquering that fear can be done, but the regret of missing out on such a beautiful gift is a much harder feeling to overcome. Every day is a gift that should be embraced and never taken for granted. Live your life every chance you get, because you will never have these moments back. They are here and now, there is no yesterday or tomorrow, there is only today. The problem in planning our lives out is that we are planning all these tomorrows, and we forget about the importance of today. One of my favorite quotes is actually a Winnie the Pooh quote:
Pooh: What day is it?
Piglet: It’s today.
Pooh: That’s my favorite day.
As simple as it is, it really encompasses the beauty of today. Today should always be our favorite day. We should always be making the most of today, and letting tomorrow take care of itself. Tomorrow will get here, and it will pass, but what you do today is what really matters. Our lives are composed of nothing more than a constant series of todays. Today I laughed a lot, smiled even more, and spent time with people I love. What did you do today?