Smile and the world smiles with you

Sharon - Columbia, Maryland
Entered on February 10, 2009
Age Group: 50 - 65
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I believe in whistling in the bathroom. I started this little habit when the locks on the stalls at work didn’t keep the doors closed, and I wanted to make sure people knew someone was in there. It didn’t work too well, but I started getting compliments on my musical ability and good humor. It seemed like an easy way to brighten up everyone’s day, so I kept it up even after they fixed those doors. Now I hum, sing and whistle whenever I’m in a public restroom, and when I come out, people are smiling. I dance in the elevator, snap my fingers, announce the floors (“4th floor, ladies’ lingerie!”), and thank everyone for joining me. I greet people on the train platform at 5:30 in the morning. We all laugh. It makes fellow conspirators out of strangers.

Folks say, “You’re always in such a good mood!” Well, listen closely, because I may be singing the blues. But even when I am, I’m lifting my own spirits as I replace sullen thoughts with a creative little jazz riff.

Occasionally my own worries and problems take over my thoughts, and I forget about music altogether. That’s when someone will say “Hey, Sharon, I haven’t heard you singing lately.” And I realize that I have a duty to my fans, and, more important, to myself. Because if I haven’t been singing, I probably haven’t been smiling much, either. I need to let those worries simmer on the back burner while I indulge myself in the tune of the moment. Broadway, rock, big band, or blues, it never fails to perk me up. Guess what, the problems are still there! But I’m better able to face them. It’s a fact that making music is good for your body and mind, and I prove it to myself every day.

Life isn’t just about being silly, but I believe that there are many ways that even the least of us can have a positive effect on those around us. You have a choice: give in to unhappy thoughts and let the weight of the world crush you, or lose yourself in a bit of fun, in spontaneous music and rhythm and dance. I have made many people smile, and if that’s how I can help change the world for the better, then I’ve done my part. There are the unfortunate few who grumble when they hear my impromptu music-making, but I carry on. Maybe they’ll learn to love it. If not, oh well. I tried! I plan to keep up the music and dancing for a long time. I get to have my little performance, and if I’m lucky, you and I will both leave smiling. Pass it on!