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The Smiles of Summer

It’s Friday, and everyone deserves some joy today.

MLB: Oakland Athletics at Seattle Mariners
dance to the music even if no one else can hear it
Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

One of my favorite quotes comes from the incomparable Maya Angelou, and I thought about it this morning as I woke up. “If you have only one smile in you, give it to the people you love. Don't be surly at home, then go out in the street and start grinning at total strangers.” I like to think most days, I have more than one smile in me. Sometimes it's just not there, though, and I'm sure each of you can relate. Perhaps today is a good day for you, and I hope that this can be a continuation of that happiness for you. Perhaps today is a struggle, and you have come to find a smile. As luck would have it, the Mariners had a few extra that we can share today, tomorrow, next week, and all the way until April 3rd.

All it takes is something small, sometimes, like getting that first taste of success...

...Or anticipating your first taste of success. Pro tip: put on some neon sunglasses, and really feel yourself. It’s hard to feel gloomy when you’re wearing neon sunglasses.

Maybe you nailed an important presentation at work, or finally learned to fold a fitted sheet. All of these things should be celebrated.

If you have a crew that appreciates your sense of humor, that is a gift, and you should not take it for granted.

But even just having one best friend you can goof around with is pretty special.

A rare smile, or a smile that emerges after a long period of struggle, can be the best kind of smile.

Sometimes the best you can muster is kind of a smirk, and that’s okay too.

Happiness is increased when you share it with friends.

“If you see someone without a smile, give them one of yours.” (Chin-chucking not recommended unless you know the person well.)

Life can feel like a lonely struggle, especially when you make mistakes. Surround yourself with happy, forgiving people and let their energy buoy you up.

Don’t be shy about asking for a hug when you need one...

...Nor offering one if you think someone else could use it.

Remember, even if things feel cold and unpleasant momentarily...

MLB: Chicago White Sox at Seattle Mariners Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

...Brighter, warmer days are ahead.