Smile and the world smiles with you

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Nobody remembers the specifics of my entrance into the world, much like they don’t recall how I got my nickname, but they do remember that I was abundantly happy at an age when babies do nothing more than cry and sleep.  I was not the baby who would play strange and scream if a stranger picked me up, there was no colic, no fuss, just smiles.  My mother used to wake me up at 11:00 at night just so she could play with me because I was such a happy toddler.   Her friends thought she was certifiable until she invited them over to prove a point.  I became a real hit at parties!

smiling-baby-with-toys

(not actually me, but the resemblance is uncanny)

I am fortunate to have carried that disposition with me throughout my life.  I am rarely in a bad mood.  And although my mother doesn’t come over at 11:00 pm to play with me anymore, I wake up in the morning, smiling and just, happy.

I am the person in the room that will make a ridiculous statement so I can make even one person smile.  On the curling ice, I’m the comedian who invented full-contact curling. I don’t use it very often, but the thought of me turning into a Defensive Tackle on the ice amuses people and makes the game more fun.  One of my teammates told me he didn’t think I have an angry bone in my body.  (He hasn’t seen me dealing with an aggressive hotel guest hell-bent on proving they are right, when, against the premise of the rules of customer service, I vehemently disagree.)

I am lucky that I am able to find the joy in the small things in my life.  Music lifts my spirit – when I am alone, I sing like I’m on stage, I dance in my kitchen just because it’s fun and I am content to just feel light and joyous.  Even writing this post, I am smiling because I am still able to not dwell on the negative and appreciate the precious things in my life.

Smile and the world really does smile with you.

Plan B

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With the inescapable approach of winter, I have recently begun Curling again and I am really enjoying being back on the ice with a group of challenging competitors as well as amusing team mates.

Although I have been watching considerably more Curling on television (and hope to, once again, be at the live Skins game at Casino Rama), I admittedly have not acquired as much of their skill set as I had originally anticipated.  The theory of Osmosis apparently does not lend itself to learning a sport.  For having not been on the ice for 6 months, I will tell you that I am not disappointed with my level of proficiency and I can only improve from here.

With every sport, as with every aspect in life, the best laid plans do not always come to fruition.  Although my skip may call a shot that he or she believes wholeheartedly that I can make with my eyes closed, that is not always the case.  My resulting shot becomes something I affectionately refer to as “Plan B”.   It may not be the brilliant guard shot, or the double take-out that was required, but was still somewhat effective and it enables our team to look ahead to the next shot.

Every situation in life should have a Plan B.  It can make what could be a torturous event into something far less stressful.  A seamless transition into a Plan B can make the path that was originally carved much less tenuous if it takes a sudden detour. The common saying in battle is that the best defence is a good offence – and a good offence is having a backup plan.  It doesn’t even have to be a fully conscious plan, but heading into battle with foresight and the ability to react quickly and analytically will help create a diversion rather than having to throw your hands up in the air in surrender.

I am fortunate that I received that analytic ability from my father.  Life has not always been picture perfect, and has certainly thrown its share of curve balls our way, but through his guidance I have developed that ability to not dwell on the immediate situation. I don’t allow myself to wallow in the reaction of self-pity, but instead, I spring into action.  I move on to the next phase without even batting an eye, creating or following through on my Plan B.  Too many moments are spent agonizing about what has just happened instead of taking that recent experience and turning it into the potential of what can happen next.

Be prepared to handle what life throws at you, but also be willing to delineate to the road less travelled.  Having a Plan B allows you to not dwell on the past, but instead gives you the courage to step boldly into the future.