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There's Always An Opportunity to Smile


Here's a fun story for you. At the time of this writing, it's approaching midnight on Friday. I'm sitting at the desk inside my room at a Holiday Inn mere miles from our apartment.

I'm still sweating, and there's a small paper cup of lukewarm water about ten inches from my notebook.

Earlier today, I noticed a strange noise, a slight rattling. As it turns out, the noise was coming from our HVAC. Sure it was strange, but it's also a 22 year-old air system. Things happen.

Later I noticed a different sound, a dripping. I checked out the AC again and everything looked fine. I couldn't see that the water was coming from inside the unit itself.

Half an hour later, I knew I must've missed something. I looked again, and what I originally thought was insulation was actually an inch think layer of ice surrounding all visible pipe.

At this point, I'm excited. And by "excited," I mean greatly disheveled.

I put in a maintenance request. It's a little after 6pm. Nothing. The hours trod on. Nothing still.

I leave the AC off, because when it's on, nothing happens except rattling. The heat begins to climb. Nearly six hours and all imaginative cooling innovation later, we call it.

We've got to get out of this apartment, full of moist air and swollen joints. There goes $100+ for our best chance at a decent night's sleep and maintaining routine. But we're not really looking at the situation like that.

Is this a good thing that happened? Nope. And now we're worried about the cat! Well, half of us are. But this is an adventure.

It's an excuse to do something different and fun. It's an opportunity to smile. Getting bent out of shape when less than great things happen isn't going to do anyone any good at all. But smiles are contagious.

Smiles exude goodness. There's always an opportunity to smile. Why wouldn't you want to take advantage of that?

You've always got a choice. You're always in control of the actions you take. Why not choose the positive option?

One of the best influences of this mindset for me, aside from my dad, has been my wife's family. Collectively, they've gone through an immense amount of hardship over the last year or so.

Were the same things to happen directly to me, I don't know that I could bare them, much less label them as "blessings" and "celebrations."

Losing loved ones and moving thousands of miles away are no joke! Yet they always approach whatever happens from that one positive angle.

At times, you just want to see them do the sensible thing and get angry. Be upset, let's see you stumble! But no. They take everything as part of a larger, necessary plan. They live this concept that there's always an opportunity to smile. It's beautiful.

The HVAC goes out, we're miserable, and the maintenance team we depend on is nowhere to be found. Getting upset's perfectly reasonable! But why not instead laugh about the adventure?

Hotel rooms have this association with novelty, which we as people tend to crave. Why not enjoy that? There's always an opportunity to smile.

I'm sure there's something either going on with you, or that will happen to you, that gives you ample reason to be upset.

I can't just tell you to be happy and expect you to do it. But those are opportunities to smile, turn the other cheek, and look on the bright side. That's far more fun!

Choosing to smile when you could get upset is what makes all the difference between a lifetime of happiness and a pit of endless frustration. Why wouldn't you choose happiness?