Smilin’ For What

“If you have only one smile in you, give it to the people you love. Don’t be surly at home, then go out in the street and start grinning ‘Good morning’ at total strangers.”

Maya Angelou

I used to give my smiles away much more freely and willingly when I was a child. Compliments on it were constant. People loved to see it, so I gave them what they wanted. What they expected, whether they deserved it or not. As I aged my smile was flashed much more selectively. You had to work hard to earn a genuine one from me.

Today I smile because I’m happy with myself, at peace with my situations and content with my space. Being thankful and grateful for everything. Understanding the lessons and blessings in “good” and “bad” situations. The act of smiling actually has the ability to activate neurotransmitter and neuropeptide release. In other words, we can fake a smile and fool our body into thinking we’re in a better mood than we are, which in turn helps us feel better (fake it till you make it).

Right now, I don’t have to fake anything in that regard. These kittens that I rescued have been a source of smiles, laughs and love. I can’t help but smile, even when I’m fussing about the sneak attack of my feet as I walk through the hallway. Things you hear us (animal scientists, biologists, animal lovers) say about therapeutic affects animals/pets have on mental health conditions (stress, anxiety, depression) are true.

*May is designated as National Pet Month to celebrate the symbiotic relationship between people and their pets.

In the midst of a pandemic, complete with possible food shortages and resource scarcity, decreased employment and homeschooling, I found four new reasons to smile…

…and a month later, just when I thought my heart would explode with feline love, another kitten emerged from my shed.

Somehow, she was not detected during the kitten rescue 6 weeks ago. Not somehow, animals are resilient and have amazing instinctual abilities. My children left the shed open and I guess she thought she would make a run for it (past my dog who patrols the yard). Everything about the birth, retrieval, fostering, them surviving and thriving is a miracle. I couldn’t be happier for them to all be reunited and alive; I’m just as honored to have been chosen to be their human mother.

Their biological mother lost her life protecting them and hid them where she thought or knew they would be safe. I take my duties as caregiver extremely serious. My skills and talents of animal intensive care and my ability to administer TLC (Thumper Loving Care) have served them well. Soon, some of them will be going to new homes and I know I’ll be sad to see them leave…but for now I’m smiling.

Now, when you see my smile…

It is organic, intentional and purposeful.

I’m expressing admiration, adoration, pride, pleasure and/or love.

I’m recalling a joyous and memorable event, feeling or thought.

I’m being my true, fabulous, shining self.

I’m doing what I love.

It’s the only outlet left to allow the overflow of joy within me to show itself.

I challenge you to find 3 reasons to smile each day; morning, noon and night.

  1. My son was born today!
  2. The kittens are so cute when they’re sleep!
  3. I’m Thumper!

See, not difficult at all!!!

Take a minute, be still, look around or close your eyes and look inside . What’s the first thing that comes to mind?..be thankful for it and smile.

Love Yours

Lately, I’ve been trying doing a lot of thinking. I Decided not to post last week because I was was going through a little something. With Mother’s Day approaching on the 10th, I felt a wave of sadness come over me. I lost my mom five years ago February 2, 2015 and lost my grandma March 2, 2018. True heart break.

Thinking of the relationship I had with both my mom and grandma makes me feel warmth in my heart. My mom was pretty strict, but would give me just about anything I wanted. I remember going shopping with my mom and asking her to buy me this and that. When she would say NO, I’d get a little upset and for some reason she would feel bad and get me what I asked. CAN YOU SAY SPOILED!!!! Over the years I learned to be grateful of the things I was blessed with and not to get upset over the things I didn’t have. When I was in high school, my mom always made sure I had at least $40 a week for the ala cart line. She knew I didn’t care for the food in the regular line! And she was not going to see me go hungry that’s for sure. Man how lucky was I to have this woman in my life…

My grandma was literally my best friend- we had a bond that was unmatched. I could tell a joke and she would be right there laughing saying “girl get out my face acting crazy” or “go way from here” Yes “GO WAY” lol. She taught me so much. Taught me the importance of knowing how to cook for myself, cleaning, gardening, keeping it classy, being humble, and so much more.

Two of the strongest Queens raised a young Black Queen… Raised a young lady who is creative, nurturing, optimistic, and God fearing. For that, I thank them. I love them. I miss them. Although they aren’t with me physically, our relationship remains SOLID.

Love yours until the end of time.

Chavon💛