What do woodpeckers, smiles and Ellen have in common? The way you feel after you've seen them.
Thursday is the day I set aside a few hours to visit with my senior friend. The onset of cold weather made her arthritic hands ache so she wasn't in the best of moods. We sat at her dining room table and chatted for awhile. I helped her fill out some medical forms and with each question she told me a little more about herself. I noticed that as she talked, her mood lightened. We laughed as she shared stories about her father and brothers. Quite out of the blue she asked me to stand by while she tried to get on her exercise bike. Huh? This from the woman who could only shuffle across the room an hour ago?
Let me just say that this 92 year old woman could give a non-doping, non-drugging Lance Armstrong a run for his money. I got winded just watching her. Eight miles later she felt better physically and emotionally.
"I guess I was just feeling sorry for myself," she said. "If I could, I'd kick myself in the butt."
Damn, I thought, nothing like being shamed into exercise by a little old lady.
I don't think my friend was the only one who felt better after my visit. I was also smiling more. I ran into the grocery store for a few things. The check out lady said she could tell I was having a good day. I wonder, did I feel better because she smiled at me? Or did she feel better because I smiled at her? Either way I (re)noticed there is amazing power in a smile.
When I got home I watched Ellen. I love Ellen. I noticed how good I felt watching her make a gigantic change in someone's life. Then I thought about my friend, and realized it doesn't have to be a $50K gift to make someone feel better. Maybe all you really have to do is smile at a person or encourage them to get back on the bike and start pedaling.
What have you noticed lately?