Whoe. You look so tired.

I have a kind of intense look on my face sometimes, I am terrible at hiding my facial expressions. I wear my heart on my sleeve. I’m a very real person. I get lost in my thoughts.  I have a tired and somewhat grumpy look.

Last year, over and over, a lot of people mentioned how tired I looked.

On an average day,  wake up is 5am, bed at 12am.  My job involved a lot of standing and no small amount of frustration.

I looked tired because I was actually tired.

I was tired but Inot unhappy.    In fact, each night I made sure to count my blessings, to be thankful.  I tried not to complain too much.  In the car and before drifting off to sleep I reminded myself how lucky I was, that whatever the situation, my wife, kids, friend experiences were priceless,  people had it far worse.  I did a lot of soul-searching.  I am very happy on the inside, very content in most areas. I wanted to smile more or just look less tired.  Why couldn’t I just smile through everything?

One day, my neighbor said ” Whoa. You look so tired. Are you all right?”

I finally got so tired of feeling tired and so tired of looking tired. At home at work, everywhere.

I’ m not perfect at it but I just started smiling more.  Simple as that.  Walking taller, humming a happy tune.

I was always good at making people smile saying kind words and wishing people well.   I do it all with a smile now, it lifts me up, makes me happy and it makes other people at ease and happy too.

People strike up conversations with me on the subway more often.  I make people laugh even more and I feel great that I’m burdening people less with my tired looks and best of all I feel ready to help unburden others more.

A lot of people want to make big changes and bold moves. That can be like having just $400 and spending it all on a 1st class ticket thinking it will get you from New York to L.A. – You’ll fly first class but that money will only get you as far as Chicago.  If you bought an economy ticket you could have made it to your destination.

Even small changes can be difficult but you’ll find that they’ll take you further than you expected.   Big changes grow out of many, many small ones.

I hope that’s something to smile about.

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