How many times has your child come home from school with a special drawing they made just for you, or a carefully written note in their sweet little hand-writing? Doesn’t it just melt your heart? You display it on the fridge for a while, and then…what do you do with it? You can’t bear to throw away that precious artwork, or their proclamation of love for you!! And why would you want to?
Put it in your Smile File!
Sound silly? Well, it’s not. It’s so simple, and it’s really just a way to organize those mementos that mean something to you. But it’s so much more than that!! It’s a place you can go to and collectively see all the little things that make you smile!
What’s in my Smile File? I’ll tell you. I have been painting and decorating for my customers for many, many years. I’m proud to say that the people I have worked for have been pretty happy with the work my team and I have done, and it’s not uncommon for them to write me a little note telling me so after I complete a job. Those notes are their personal sentiments about how happy they are with their home, and that gives me great pleasure. This is what makes me happy!! I love making other people feel like their home is their special place, their haven from the world, and when they tell me I succeeded, I am so ecstatic! So I put those notes in my Smile File, and sometimes when I need inspiration, or just a kick in the butt, I pull out the Smile File and read. Over the years, my file has expanded greatly, with more and more customers who become friends, friends who become customers, and heartfelt notes of gratitude from these people who become a part of my life.
My Smile File isn’t just about my customers though. I have lots more in there than that! I have two daughters who are the lights of my life. Every little handmade card, every little hand-drawn picture that meant something special is tucked into my Smile File. Now that my girls are 29 and 22, I don’t get those little childhood goodies that I used to, so when I’m feeling nostalgic, or missing them, I pull out the Smile File and walk down memory lane, remembering their little faces as they presented me with their masterpieces. It not only makes me smile, it warms my heart, and makes me feel close to them when they’re far away. My oldest daughter, Summer, is married with her own home, and my youngest, Abby, lives out in Los Angeles. So visiting my Smile File gives me great pleasure when I need a “hug.” One of the little things that makes me smile is the drawing Abby made when she was 10, of a store that I owned with two of my friends. Looking at it, and hearing her say “When I grow up, I want to be just like you, Mommy,” takes me back to a special time in my life.
My friend told me she has a Smile File, too, she calls it her “Keeper File.” She’s tucked away the same little hand-made cards from her four children, carefully keeping the same folds that their little child-hands made, and reading them whenever she feels down, or missing them. She said it gives her a “boost, like a little hug; a reminder of how much I mean to them, and how very much they’ll always mean to me!” I can relate to that!
Your Smile File can be anything you want it to be. Whatever makes you feel good just looking at it or reading it, is a good thing to add. Perhaps it’s something special because it’s an old photo of your great-grandparents, a card from someone who has passed-on, a pressed flower from your daughter’s wedding, or your own wedding. Maybe your Smile File holds recipes from your mom, postcards from a special vacation, ticket stubs from a movie or play, or even a scrawled note on napkin from a dinner-date that held meaning for you. You decide what you want to keep; what makes you happy.
I cherish my Smile File. I can’t tell you how many times I have pulled it out to just browse through it. It holds for me, memories and feelings from my life. It holds emotions that rise to the surface each time I visit it. It reminds me of people I have met throughout my life, who I was able to help in some way, and who have touched my life in ways they don’t even know. My file is a treasure of happiness that waits patiently for me to add to it, and I do. It is a constantly expanding collection of all the good things that life brings; the little things that matter, that to some may go un-noticed, but to me, are the very thing that makes my life rewarding. Yours will be, too. Go and create your special Smile File. Happiness is waiting for you to visit!
TamiLoves…saving the little treasures that make me smile.