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I smiled all weekend just watching my dog play in the snow for the very first time. When the snow started falling from the sky, Jackson was oblivious. He was chewing on a bone and had no idea that a coat of white snow was gathering on his back. At one point, the snow started to come down harder and he stopped chewing and looked up into the sky as if to say, “What is going on here?” He stayed out for a little while and then he came inside for a few hours. When he went back out and saw the ground covered in about an inch of white stuff, he didn’t know what to do. He started looking for his bone again. When he finally found it, he pounced on it, threw it in the air, buried it in the snow, ran around in a big circle and tried to find his bone again. He must have repeated this routine for an hour or so. As the snow got deeper, Jackson got more excited and overzealous. The best part of the day was when he ran in a circle all the way around the house and when he got to the driveway, he slipped and slid all the way across it. Then, he jumped up and started his routine all over again without skipping a beat. My husband and I laughed out loud.

Watching his reactions made me realize that there is something to be said for simplicity. I didn’t have to go out of my way and overexert myself, nor did I have to spend a lot of money to be happy. Simply watching my dog experience the snow in New England for the very first time made me laugh and smile. If you don’t have pets, children or even family and/or friends that make you laugh, you can always go online and search for funny animals, bloopers, “America’s Funniest Videos” or old TV shows that made you laugh and smile as a child. Sometimes this is the best medicine when you’re in a bad mood, feeling overwhelmed or just can’t find your smile. Watching these things can help boost your state of mind; thus, making life more manageable. When I am in a funk, I either spend time with Jackson, recall happy moments from the past or watch funny videos on “You Tube.” Laughing and smiling are simple and they help me maintain balance in my life by strengthening my spirit. Give it a try sometime and see how it helps you too.

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