Finding the Opportunity to Smile Awhile

wrinkles go where smiles have been quote_opt

Last week I participated in the local JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation) walk to cure, walking with family as Team Dan the Man  in memory of my brother who died in 2006 due to complications of type 1/juvenile diabetes.

It was a beautiful day where we raised money for a great cause, but when the bagpipes began to play at the start of the walk, I started to cry.

All around me were cheerleaders, balloons, and a whole lot of festivity, and for just a moment that atmosphere clashed with missing my brother. Suddenly I felt out of place, on the flip side, as if my loss and sadness didn’t belong.

JDRF walk to cure Richmond_opt


Of course that wasn’t true. I’d lost not only my smile, but my perspective. So, I looked again at the cheerleaders, the balloons, and at the kids running around…and I remembered what powered that festivity: hope.

I was a part of creating hope for other families.

And…I found my purpose, my optimism, my smile again.

So it took some effort, some perspective. Yeah, as much as I love to smile and laugh, sometimes I have to work at it.

 coleen laughs resize_opt


And then other times, smiling can be oh so easy.

 Like getting an email from one of the associate producers from The Ellen Show to let me know they would be using a couple of my YouTube videos for their Smile Awhile challenge.

Smiles powered by giddiness!

Or, something as simple as ducks.
Once they realized I had a bag of bread, these ducks managed to find me at every turn around the lake.

It’s awesome when you get to smile for a while.

Tell me, what’s making you smile this week?

Happy Monday!

Coleen xo






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