Trying To Keep The Smiles Alive






What do all these words have in common?

They are all words that have creeped into my vocabulary since the beginning of the pandemic, but have found their way into my brain more frequently over the past couple of weeks.

Anyone else? Or am I in the minority on this?

Did anyone else feel like this past weekend was not really the 4th of July? I don’t know about you, but there was just something missing that didn’t feel the same as years past when I got to witness the fireworks bursting in the sky around me.

As we continue to move through 2020…which by the way is now at the halfway point…it saddens me greatly that the people of this country continue to get more and more polarized. No matter what political affiliation you identify with, what religious background you come from, whom you love in your life, the color of your skin, or social status and amount of money you have access to, it seems that we keep getting further away from working together to find common ground and work toward solutions for the issues that face us both now in the present and also the future.

There are days when I think that this is all a dream and that if I open my eyes, and click my heels three times, it will all be normal again. If I could travel down the Yellow Brick Road, through the haunted forest, defeat the Wicked Witch of The West (which fun fact still scares me at 32) to see the great and powerful Oz, I would ask him to take us back to the days where we were free from a pandemic. I would ask for the days where it seemed like we were more open to loving others and displaying kindness through random acts on the daily.

For someone whom is nicknamed Mr. Sunshine, the current times and state of the world can be difficult. There are moments where I want to shut down completely, scream, cry, and take the optimism attitude and kick it as far away as possible.

I’m tested and challenged on the daily with these above feelings.

And these days, it is not uncommon for me to be asked the questions of “how do you stay so optimistic and positive” or “how do you keep a smile on your face?”

While I will be the first to admit that some days recently have been incredibly hard to keep that smile alive, there are a few, simple secrets that I will share with you now on how I personally keep the sunshine alive and the laughter flowing.

Are you ready? Do you have your morning beverage sidekick with you?

Well, read on!

#1: Betty White Is My Spirit Animal

About three and a half years ago, Katie Couric interviewed my spirit animal, Betty White in regards to the current state of the Country. It is a piece of material that I still find relevant today and I would encourage you to stop reading my blog for just two minutes and watch the below clip. You can pick up reading my blog on the other side…

If, after watching this clip, you can’t figure out why Betty White is my spirit animal, then I might ask you to get your noggin checked out…just kidding…kind of…sort of…not really.

Are you guilty of saying “I hate this” and “I hate that?” Those of you who know me and read my “About Me” section on this blog know that I do my best to not say “I hate” and always try to replace it with “I dislike very much.” As you go about your daily lives, I would like to challenge you to be a LOVER and not a HATER. Show LOVE by sharing a smile with a stranger on the street. Show LOVE by sending a note of appreciation to someone in your life. Show LOVE by seeking to understand someone else’s view point about a controversial topic by truly listening without judgment and open ears.

#2: Ellen DeGeneres And Playing Speak Out

I’m not sure if any of you have ever played this game, but it is super fun…unless you have sensitive gums…because then it can really hurt…like a lot. But it brings out so many laughs and we all know that laughter IS the best medicine. The below clip is one that I watch when I need a good chuckle, so I hope you can find that same level of laughter as well.

#3: 22 Musicals In 12 Minutes

We all know that I love Broadway musicals and knowing all of my artist friends and arts community are going through some of the toughest times of their lives makes me deeply saddened. This clip is one that gives me hope and really displays how creative some of my favorite celebrities can be with just a few props. And it makes me beam from ear to ear!

#4: You Will Be Found

This clip came out about 3 months ago when the pandemic started and to this day, it still fills me up with hope that we will come out of this stronger and that we are NEVER alone no matter how alone we might feel. Don’t ever forget to reach out when you need that extra support during the toughest times because there will always be someone in this world to wrap you in warmth when the world feels cold.

#5: The Golden Girls

This is a no brainer. But like, DUH! Ending each night with an episode, two, or three with my girls always helps me reset to a place of laughter and happiness. Picture it: The World. 2020. Quarantine lockdown. (You will only understand this reference if you are a true fan). If you’ve never watched an episode of these girls, now is your time to do it. They will not disappoint. I promise. And if they do disappoint, then we can’t be friends…JUST KIDDING…kind of…sort of…not really.

#6: Firework

This is again a no brainer for anyone who knows me. This is and will always be MY JAM. It never ceases to make me feel immediately better. I don’t care how cheesy the lyrics are. There is just something about belting this song to myself in the car or hearing it ring in my ears during a workout or run that makes me feel empowered.

There is no doubt that the world is a scary place and continues to become even more scary and violent with each passing day.

I can only hope that we will be able to continue moving forward together as a Country to share love, kindness, and work toward solutions to the very tough issues that face our World.

It can be hard somedays to live our the Mr. Sunshine persona that is very near and dear to my heart.

But I will always be here attempting to keep the smiles alive with some positive energy.

So, take the leap of faith and rejuvenate with me in experiencing some of the above entities I’ve shared with you to be the cockeyed optimist…just like Betty White described in her interview with Katie Couric.

The world needs our light. It needs our sunshine. It needs our love. It needs our kindness.

Sprinkle sunshine always,