smile“Grandma, are you ALWAYS smiling?” my nine-year-old Grandtoy asked as we entered the grocery store.

For a moment I was dumbfounded by a mixture of “Yay! I did it!”, surprise that somebody noticed, and relief that it was somebody I love, precisely the people I smile for.

It started a few years ago as my mirror gradually revealed what we all dread: the signs of aging. I tsked in regret over the roadmap of wrinkles etched on my face.

Then I realized that they almost disappeared when I smiled. Of course, I resolved to smile more.

As you all know from years of failed New Year’s resolutions, resolving and doing are two very different countries.

I decided to smile whenever I saw my reflection in a mirror, window, or screen.

I set up my iPad near my computer. I could see my reflection in it and I would smile as I conducted my telephone interviews. They say people can hear you smile on the phone. I believe that to be true. My clients and I seemed to have better conversations when I smiled.

I video record as many of my speeches and presentations as I can. Then I watch them to improve my presence. I pay attention to my smiling. I am often taken aback to discover I smile far less often than I think I do.

When I am with people, I remind myself to smile. It’s easy for me to present my serious/concerned face, which I’ve been told can be a bit scary. After all, that IS when the wrinkles are more prominent!

Through all that smiling I accidently discovered that when I smile I can hear better! (That revelation came to me while using my phone earphones.) The position of my ear canal must adjust slightly, opening to allow in more sound. This is another reason to smile when I’m with people: it helps me listen better, which is a gift I can give them.

So when my little sweetie asked me if I always smile, I celebrated that my efforts are paying off, with a smile.

That means I am more beautiful, ergo more approachable and that feels good.

In fact, that makes me smile.


“Smile and the world smiles with you, cry and you cry alone.”― Stanley Gordon West, Growing an Inch

“Smile, what’s the use of crying? You’ll find that life is still worthwhile If you just smile”. From song, Smile composed by Charlie Chaplin et al

The Easter Bunny Has Been Outed! (Santa too.)

easterbunnyThis Easter my Grandtoys (grandchildren) reached a milestone.

A bit of sleuthing by my eight-year-old granddaughter, J____ revealed Mommy is the Easter Bunny.

It seems the receipt for the candy Mommy bought caused some curiosity, especially when she snatched it from J____’s hand and forbade her to read it.

The night before Easter my daughter had wondered out loud to her friends how long she must keep up the pretense of the Easter Bunny, since her kids are eight and eleven, long past when most kids’ faith has been altered.

When the bunny was out of the bag, she was worried about the repercussions on the fragile psyche of her kids. J___ simply said, “You’ve been going to all this trouble for us? Thank you, Mommy!” Hug.

No tears. No anguish. Just raw appreciation for the efforts Mommy made to bring fun and joy to her children.

“I guess this means you’re Santa too.”



No drama there, either.

My nephew was seven when his sister was born. My sister, his mom warned him when he figured out the truth. “You will not spoil your sister’s fun. As long as you comply, Santa will leave you gifts too.” Worked like a charm!

Magic and make-believe are vital components of a great childhood. But things change. We grow up. We must face the realities of life. We have to put away childish games and thoughts.

Does that mean we abandon magic? Absolutely not!

As adults we get to MAKE magic. We stretch our budgets to give gifts, which we often give anonymously or on behalf of a make-believe being. We pretend to be someone else simply to bring a smile to a child’s face. As adults we have the power to bring magic into the lives of people around us. We get to be angels.

If you’ve ever seen the shining eyes of a child who has been touched by magic, you know how precious it is.

While receiving magic is wonderful, the true joy is in giving magic. Ask any grandparent.


PS: What do you call a rabbit whose field is anesthesiology?

The Ether Bunny!