You Make Me Smill


I very nearly wrote “I read an article” but the truth is “I read a headline”.

I’m not saying I only read headlines, but sometimes, I only read headlines.

Anyway, this headline claimed that being grateful for three things a day can improve your live.

Honestly, I didn’t feel the need to read the article as it clearly stated the purpose and the benefit right there in the headline.

I don’t know if it works or not, or if there is any science behind the idea, because I didn’t read the article, and I didn’t think the practice would hurt anything. I can’t imagine anything bad stemming from being grateful for three things each day.

It just so happens, three of our grandchildren visited this weekend. They arrived on the day I read the headline. So, it was super easy to start my quest to improve my life through feeling grateful for three things every day.

I battled a cluster migraine at work all day and I knew the grand kids would be there when I got home. I couldn’t wait to see them, but the headache was kicking my ass.

Turns out I didn’t need to worry.

The headache eased up a little, and the grand kids were very pleasant and not even a little loud. Mostly. They drew pictures for me so that I could take them to work. They are amazing.

Layla, the 6 year old, drew one and wrote  “You make me smill”. You guys, I teared up a little.

These might be the most important and beautiful pieces of art ever created. I might be overstating and I’m sure arguments could be made for many artists through the centuries, but I don’t know. These pictures are amazing.

I asked my grand kids to draw something that would make me smile when I looked at it. Something happy.

Layla immediately came up with “fox”. I thought about it and she was completely right. Who isn’t happy to see a fox? I mean, other than a chicken.

Emma, the oldest, ran with that and she drew a fox for me. Emma is 12 now and an accomplished ice skater. She carries herself with a quiet grace way beyond her years.

James, who is 9, decided that a Pokemon picture was happy. He is also right.

His picture will remind me that I never ever ever ever ever ever ever ever have to watch another Pokemon episode. And that makes me super happy.

James has eyes that look like upside down half moons and they always sparkle. Not even kidding.

Their visit was short, but satisfying. I am grateful for the time we got to spend with them.

Tomorrow will be a new year.

I find new year’s resolutions to be silly because January 1st only holds significance because we made it up.

We’re all just progressing through time. The days and the months and the time are human constructs. It’s like why do we put importance on starting things on specific days? For instance, we always seem to start eating healthy on a Monday. Why not Wednesday? Or Sunday? They’re just days.

But I really digress.

All that being said, I am down with a New Year’s resolution this year. A twitter friend, @BCosatt has this resolution: I only make one resolution every year. And every year it is the same one. I resolve to be the best me I can be.

I am pretty sure that is best resolution ever. If we all resolved to be the best us we can be, how many problems would be solved? I mean, who knows? But I am positive it would make a material difference.

I hope everyone who celebrates has a wonderful near year. Don’t drink and drive. I hope everyone who doesn’t celebrate has an equally wonderful day.

I am grateful for all of you. You make me smill.


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  • As a marker New year has some significance to me. A little. Live through New Years Ever fist. Please.

    I’m thinking that 2019. might be the start of the best years of my life. It could happen. I’m older, not old. Everything functions as designed thank you very much. Lol. TMI. Lol. Sue me.

    I feel great too. Solid. Comfortable. It has so little to do with anyone around here. I could tell you when and when it all turned against me and my efforts to change it to ton no avail. I’ve cried for days, over months, unnoticed over here, and on my bed, in my spot where people, leave me the fuck alone. Fucking survived it. So far.

    Waiting, waiting, waiting for my best friend. She won’t let me down. No. It’s a long, great, story that’s no one’s business but mine and hers.

    Where am I going with that? No clue.

    I hope that you and Randy have a New freaking Year that sucks much less than any previous years. Really. I do. I have few online contacts that I have any kind of a little history with. You’re one. I’d grab a dude by the throat and throw him up against a wall for you to explain things to him while I had his attention. Punk probably wouldn’t listen. Lol.

    I like you. Have a great 2019.

    • Thank you so much for this! I promise, I will never ask you to rough someone up. haha.

      I truly hope, more than anything, that this is a good year for you. Randy and I have had some super rough starts to the year…I hope this is a good one for us as well. Peace to you my friend.

  • Hey there, sister across the pond. Here’s to a healthy, happy 2019, wealthy would be good too, but I’d settle for the first two. I have to work tonight, but I’ll be toasting the new year at midnight! Have one or two for me 🙂

  • You’ve made me smill when nothing else could. I thank you for that. 2019 is not starting off well, as I now have only 3 months left to find someplace to live that’s affordable. No pressure.

    Hope you and Randy, the kitties and Duke all have a remarkable New Year, with laughter, health and joy.

  • Yes, appreciating the good things is important. I don’t do it every day, but when I’m down or annoyed, I try to think of something in my life that’s really good.
    Here’s yesterday’s best thing. We are visiting our two grandkids (6 and 4) right now. When they opened their presents (I knitted the 6 year old some stripy socks and the 4 year old a fox hat) it set off a little happiness explosion in my heart. She hugged her socks and hurried to put them on, and he wore his hat the rest of the day.

  • awww heck, I have a baby walrus on my blog today and was pretty sure I would win the prize for cutest, but I wasn’t expecting that big-eyed foxyfloof! All three are adorable but that one’s just so sweet. Thanks for the “smill”, and have a very happy New Year!

  • ps – the only New Year’s resolution I ever kept was the one to not make any more New Year’s resolutions. I make resolutions at other times of the year, when something seems achievable and I get myself to go for it; some of ’em pan out, some of ’em don’t, but the New Year’s ones were always fake ones and somehow more about what I thought other (better?) people would think I should do than what I genuinely wanted for myself. Finally realized that one year and resolved to knock it the eff off.

    I like yours, though, that’s solid.

    Again, happy happy New Year!

  • Those pictures all make me smill too–thank you so much for sharing them, and with those pictures you’ll always have at least three things a day to be grateful for. Sometimes all it takes is a headline–that’s the kind of simple but deeply profound wisdom that makes life worth it.

  • A recent article I actually did read talked about the connection between gratitude and mental health, and more importantly, brain health. So there does seem to be real-world evidence and fMRI data and shit to back up the idea.
    It just seems like common sense to me: the more things you get to like, the more you win, and gratitude flows from that naturally, most of the time, anyway.
    I have to agree with Harry (I seem to do that a lot) about the eyes on Emma’s fox.
    Happy 2019, guys.
    May this year kick even more Republican ass than last year did.
    We’re in for a fight, but that’s always the case, and our odds seem to be improving now, and that does make me smile, even when things in my immediate vicinity are in a sucking contest with one another…
    And your writing is always a bright spot in whichever arbitrary chunk of time you care to assign it to.

  • You are very good at making me smill, Michelle! I’d be happy to resolve to be the best me, today, tomorrow, and forever and ever, amen!

    I love the pictures. I’ve gotten pics of all my nieces and nephews wearing their gear I crocheted for them all for Christmas, and they make me smill, too!

    Now I’m making Easter baskets. It’ll be good.

  • You make me smill too. And for that I am grateful. I love that your grandchildren draw you pictures. To me there is nothing sweeter – I’ve saved all of mine.
    Happy New Year and may peace find you. May it find all of us.

  • You make me smill too.

    Thank you for being you.

    I hope you have the best 2019. The start we have to the year is the best – spending time with the kids has been fucking fantastic – I wish we could spend more time with them. Fingers crossed one day they will live close to us.

    Looking forward to more great writings from you this year.

    Love from Australia via Chicago xox

  • Love the resolution. – my nephew’s resolution made me laugh tho:

    I will try not to be a c#unt!

    My resolution is just to cuddle the heck out of my new and first grandchild! Mission well on the way to being accomplished.

  • So much love for this post. Being the best you/me is a perfect resolution. I started asking myself “what would my best self do?” In certain situations, and it’s made a difference. Now I need the bracelet to remind me!

    Read David Sedaris’ story about his “adopted” fox “Carol.” It definitely gave me a smill.

By Michelle

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