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It's a renewable source of things we all just seem to love: life's little joys, charmed moments, and everyday epiphanies that strike a chord.
SPEL's also a happiness-enhancing strategy, a continual reminder to notice & relish ordinary, everyday experiences. (And luscious details matter.)
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Live Life Well
Let’s get started with a before & after:
The Day You Got Your Braces Off
Before: my ca-ra-zee niece Shelby being comforted by her bracket-less soul-sister, Jessie
After: no, no just kidding.
The Nuptial Journey
(Reflections on 30 years of marriage)
Laugh Lines are Sexy
How to Stop Saying Yes When You Mean No
The Dalai Palma
After: a smoothed-toothed stunner!
When Nature Pulls a Fast One
Story time: I was 14, and I had fangs.
What’s a girl to do with a mouth too small to accommodate a full set of ivories? (The only occasion Small Mouth was ever used to describe me, but I digress.) With or without my consent, the plan was to involve the extraction of four teeth & the application of metal-wired braces. Apparently my teeth were too wayward for the cool, clear kind my friends with mere overbites were flaunting.
First came cementing the brackets onto my poor choppers, which incidentally were anchored by bone into my jaw creating the need for bone remodeling—a process which loosens & realigns the teeth while new bone grows in to support them. Lovely.
Enter the arch wire whose brute force in the form of monthly tightening placed steady, unrelenting pressure on the brackets. Though encouraged to chew vigorously on something substantial afterwards as a way to hurry the pain along, it begged me to search instead for sustenance through a straw.
And when that same said arch wire went rogue— & it did so regularly— it was cheeks like raw hamburger for me. And that, my friends, was the easy part.
Allow me to explain. Since at the time I was a freshman at a private all-girls high school (how I ended up there is a tale for another time), any chance for interaction with the opposite sex was of a premium. So when the annual, formal social gala with our brother school came along, it was a really BIG deal.
In typical high school fashion, junior boy (Cooper) awkwardly asks freshman girl (me) to the fancy dance & freshman girl awkwardly accepts. It’s important to note here that this exchange took place weeks before the aforementioned offending hardware was cemented to my teeth.
And NO, I did NOT mention to my first date to a fancy-schmancy dance that I would be sporting stainless steel train tracks when he showed up in a limo toting a corsage.
Instead I buried all brace-face thoughts deeply into my subconscious. In the manner of small children who don’t stop begging for attention until they get it, the potentially traumatizing scenario forced its way back into my slumbering consciousness in the form of a recurring, vivid Technicolor nightmare— the kind that linger on in exact detail even after waking.
Here’s how it went down as best as I can remember: Boy shows up. Girl reluctantly smiles. Boy sprints away so fast it causes sonic booms. Oh, the subtlety of the subconscious!
So, how did it actually play out in real life? Well, neither my first real date nor I ever mentioned the elephant in my mouth and other than all-too-frequent absences to inspect for food bits stuck in my tinsel teeth, the night went off without a hitch.
So finally, let’s get to YOU & that celebratory day you got your braces off.
It happened something like this: As you drove home on the big day, you stared admiringly at yourself in the visor mirror ready to flash a Cheshire cat grin at anyone who even remotely looked your way.
Inside you waved buh-bye to rainbow-colored rubber bands & monthly visits to the Purveyor of Torture’s office, so long to water picks & slipping dental floss under your wires & good riddance to arch-wire enemy #1.
Hul-lo to recklessly eating corn on the cob for dinner & candy apples for dessert & obsessively running your tongue over the surface of your smooth front teeth.
And of course, sporting that million-dollar smile of yours for a lifetime.
The take-away: Love a kid with braces today.
A Mulligan (Life's Second Chances)
The Kindness of a Stranger
Making Uncertainty an Ally
Lovin' the Town You're With
Being Part of Someone's First
THE STORY OF A
"An Amazing Life Story..."
Words that Live On
Cindy O'Krepki , Freelance Writer
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Get your happiness on here:
It's Happy in Here (TM) (Series) | How to Be Happy: 22 Tips to Everyday Bliss by Cindy O'Krepki
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