Do you think I have enough stuff?
Silly Science Video is BELOW.
The Silly Science of why we smile and why we should smile MORE!
Coolest of cool: I have been asked to present this in Paraguay for the members of the Operation Smile medical mission team! If you don’t know, I leave on TH 3/14/13, for 12 days of volunteering in the hospital with Operation Smile. Spontaneous Smiley has been raising funds for Operation Smile since 2009. No, I don’t secretly have any medical training. I’m going as Professional Goofball Playologist, to play with and entertain the kids while they go through screening and await their turn for surgery. My other job is Lovey-Dovey Parent Liaison helping the patients’ parents through their emotional journey.
Note posted after the trip:
Here’s a link to my blogs from the trip to Paraguay.
Here’s the link to a video of some of the kids I met on another trip with Operation Smile.
BTW, as of Dec. 2014 we have funded surgery for 33 kids! If you want to help, you can click and donate!
Silly Science Video is BELOW.
I recently went to the Atlantic Ocean with a group of women I’d just met at the training for going on an Operation Smile medical mission.
The thing that seemed to be the same for everyone, was that everyone seemed content. It was as if we’d come to share a collective experience of joy.
Maybe that’s what is so great about the beach–everyone feels at peace…it’s something about the constancy of the crashing waves. I’m not discounting the fact that surely there are people who come to the beach in states of sorrow or distress. I’m just commenting on what I noticed as the ocean’s ability to bring people together in a harmonious way.
I know that I pumped up the amount of joy I got from that hour on the beach, by dancing and jumping! There really is nothing quite so fun as ocean side frolicking! (BTW, isn’t it funny that it’s FROLIC-no K, but FROLICKING-with a K. Yes, I am that kind of language nerd.)
Go forth and frolic. You won’t be disappointed.
Ans, smile. Be happy.
In less than a week, I head out to Paraguay, with Operation Smile, to go on my first medical mission as a volunteer. What will I be doing?
• playing, dancing, blowing bubbles and doing art projects with children as they go from medical screening all the way through to their surgery and recovery.
• Overseeing American high schoolers teaching parents and children health modules.
• Assisting medical volunteers in Pre Op, the OR, Recovery and Post Op.
• Holding babies in recovery and bringing them from post op to the waiting arms of their parents.
I am bringing 2 great big suitcases filled with art supplies, toys and clothes! Click if you are able to help offset some of the costs of this adventure. I would be very grateful.
Have you ever experienced Karaoke? I don’t mean, have you ever spent an evening in a nightclub nervously oblivious to all goings on as you anticipate your turn and then oblivious again after as you replay your performance over and over so you can pick it apart.
What I’m asking is have you ever gone to a Karaoke event having already decided you won’t be singing, as in there will be no nervousness tonight? It’s really quite lovely. Not because of the silliness or because of voices so good they surprise you or so bad you cringe, but because you get to witness the incredible love from the audience to their friends.
Last night we went to Beatles Karaoke. Early in the evening two women took the stage. One I’d seen several times before, she, a well known Bay Area comedian looked at ease. Her friend looked terrified. It became clear that the one who was visibly shaking was there to sing for the first time and the veteran was there for moral support.
As she began, her voice was barely audible, despite the microphone. Her friend stood behind her and gently sang along helping her know when to come in, when to wait out the instrumental. It was done with such loving tenderness, had it been a movie I would have rolled my eyes and thought the actresses were over acting, the screen writer was corny, and the direction cloyish in the extreme. Instead it was perhaps the truest demonstration of love I have ever seen.
I looked around at all the other people in the room experiencing this moment. Most of them were as blown away as I. There were cheeks lined with tears, hands clasped to hearts and faces mirroring every movement from the stage.
I feel such incredible luck to have been a witness. I know I will never forget the look of love between those two friends. I know I will forever use this memory as a yardstick for what love can be.
Smile. Be happy.
1. Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.
2. You know you’re in love when you can’t fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams.
3. We are all a little weird and life’s a little weird, and when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall in mutual weirdness and call it love.
4. Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no alive who is You-er than You.
5. Why fit in when you were born to stand out?
6. Be who you are and say what you feel,
because those who mind don’t matter,
and those who matter don’t mind.
7. A person’s a person no matter how small.
8. Today I shall behave as if this is the day I will be remembered.
9. Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple.
10. If things start happening, don’t worry, don’t stew, just go right along and you’ll start happening too.
11. Only you can control your future.
12. You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you known what you know. And YOU are the one who’ll decide where to go.
13. I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells. Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living.
14. You’re off to Great Places!
Your mountain is waiting,
So . . . get on your way!
And will you succeed?
Yes, you will, indeed!
(98 and ¾ percent guaranteed).
KID, YOU’LL MOVE MOUNTAINS!
In closing, I believe we should all follow the advice of Dr. Seuss to:
15. Think and wonder, wonder and think.
I have an old quilt that I bought years ago at the Oakland Museum’s White Elephant sale. In 1907, Ma Lutz, aged 77, made this beautiful quilt that now hangs on the wall of our living room. I know this is so, because that’s what she stitched into the fabric. Cool, huh?
People have frequently told me I should take it down, it’s going to fade. What? I should keep it in the closet? Will it fade so that I can’t see it at all? Because if it’s in the closet, I’m sure I can’t see it at all. Yes, it will fade over the years but I will have enjoyed having it to look at every day.
When my sweet Grandma Ruth died, I was asked if there was anything of hers that I would like. I took some dishes and some bed sheets. I was chided for letting the kids use these dishes. But, my kids grew up loving the pattern on those dishes just as much as I did. They slept between the sheets I remembered from overnights at Grandma’s. Over the years the sheets have gotten worn and torn and the dishes are all broken, but one. Do I wish they were still here? Sure. Am I sorry we used them? Not even a tiny bit.
Is there a Smiley Lady metaphor there? Sure. Putting things away because they are too precious to use makes them have no value, if value is measured by enjoyment. It’s like thinking something is too good, has to be saved for a special event. When the special day comes, will it even be remembered? What if the special day never comes? Or when it comes, will the life you’ve lived has changed your desire for the object?
Here’s spilling wine on your favorite blouse, leaving your best ever umbrella on the bus, using stemware for chocolate milk and enjoying the gifts from our past as we live in the now.
Smile. Be Happy.
*Don’t know the totally great word pshaw, ask an old person. I’ve said it before: those old people are very handy (and they have a lot of cool words we shouldn’t let die out).
O.M.G. & L.O.L.. I’m such a dork. I had to Google R.O.T.F.L..
You can C.M.D. ’cause I’m S.A.N.S..
Smile. Be Happy.
P.S.: I just made up those last two.
C.M.D.=Call Me Dopey
S.A.N.S.=Such a Nerd Sometimes
(I like that it is sans as in sans cool)
I don’t have a Smiley that fits this entry so, what the heck, here’s the cute little Spontaneous Smiley Logo.
Spammily noun (spam–uh-lee)
An email about, and of interest to, only your family…but, which you send to all the contacts in your email address book.
‘Tis the season to let go of all judgment. Wait, it’s always that season.
Ok, starting over:
‘Tis the season to embrace the realities of gift giving and let go of all judgment.
1) Never be upset if someone re-gifts a gift you gave. So what if you got it wrong, people’s tastes are impossible to ever really intuit. Plus doesn’t it show they think enough of you to know you won’t be hurt if they pass the gift along. Jeez, don’t you want to be off the big old guilt trip hook if you re-gift something you received but know you won’t use? Here’s just about the coolest Re-Gifting paper and cards ever, via the truly great brainpickings.org.
2) What if re-gifting lost all its stigma? I’d be so thankful. Keeping track of who knows which gift came from which person, so that I re-gift without being caught is a big pain in the butt. My memory is too far gone to keep track of another thing and I know I’d never be organized enough to keep a list.
3) Another big pro, in the pro and con of this debate, is that regifting is way less trouble than returning a gift to a store when you weren’t the one to
purchase it. Total hassle/time suck/hoop jumping thru nightmare! Even if you do get the reward of some cash in your hand it’s often not worth it. Note about that cash: If it’s less, than you anticipated are you going to feel sad that that’s all they spent? Or if it’s more, are you going to worry that they now think you’re cheap because the gift you gave them was worth less? Both dumb worries, but the brain does go places we’d rather it didn’t. Just saying the cost of that gift is always better left unknown!
4) What about giving someone something you already own? What if the person receiving it knows that fact? I think we call that sharing and I’m 100% sure that’s a way of interacting with people that should be encouraged. I had a friend who’d comment more than once about really liking a painting I had hanging in my dining room. It was her 50th birthday and I was stumped thinking of a gift. Then it hit me. Why not give her something I was sure she’d like? I wrapped that painting with my heart full of the joy of giving. I was surprised when I later learned from a mutual friend that the birthday girl had been offended by the “used” gift and hurt that I clearly didn’t valued her enough to take the time to go shop for her gift…I was sad that she didn’t realize that by giving it to her I was giving up something I treasured. My gift was more about love than as it was about the duty of bringing a gift to the party.
5) Then there’s giving used items simply because the coolest stuff is definitely not found at a mall! I love the treasures of Thrift Stores. It’s there that something unique calls out the name of a friend, “Notice me. Notice me. I’d be perfect for Beth!!” Nobody should ever be offended that a gift was once loved (or not) by someone else.
6) And, don’t even get me started on used books. Books are meant to be read and shared, not read and put up to collect dust. It’s called Read-cycling. I just about never read a book more than once.
Books go straight from my bedside table to the box in the trunk of my car filled with stuff to drop at the Thrift Store. That is unless, some aspect of the book made me think of a friend. Then the book gets a post-it with their name and is dropped into the gift box in the basement (ok, so maybe, I am a little bit of an anal organizer) to be ready for the next gift giving occasion.
7) I’m old. I pretty much have all the stuff I need. When it’s one of those times when you think I need a gift, I probably don’t. Just show up with enthusiasm and love and that will fill my heart! Really, gift giving shouldn’t be a duty. It always cracked me up that kids only give birthday gifts if they attend the birthday party. So what? If your kid barfs in the car on the way to the party, you turn around for home and keep the gift? Yep, pretty much that’s what happens. Sounds like that kind of giving has little to do with real giving and everything to do with duty. Gift and duty are not synonyms.
How did we get so twisted up about giving? I say lose the rules, abolish obligation, give when it feels right, and not when it doesn’t and positively never keep track of who gives what with ideas of ranking value.
Enough preaching!! LOL!
Smile. Be happy.