The smiles of 2016

I have to admit that by the end of 2016 I had failed miserably and did something I told myself repeatedly not to do. I got sucked into a social media vacuum and started to believe what I was reading. Everywhere I looked, people were lamenting about how crappy 2016 was, how they couldn’t wait for it to be over, and how 2017 had to be better.

There were times when I even started to participate in the mob mentality on Facebook in which hating on 2016 became not only acceptable but encouraged.

img_20160423_215549_01But then I snapped out of it. I realized that 2016 had its challenges, but surely there had to be good things that happened, things that made me smile. And, thanks to a great search function on Google Photos, I was quickly and easily able to prove my hypothesis to be correct.

I typed in “smile” and “2016” in the search bar on Google Photos and, voila! There they were. Me and my family members smiling in pictures from throughout the year. I decided to put representative shots into an album to share here. If you click on the photos at that link, you’ll see captions that describe what they’re about. Or just look at all the smiles. I bet you can’t help smiling yourself eventually. (See revelation below about smiles being infectious.)

I thought that finding a couple of photos from each month would help make my point. There were many months where I had to be very discriminating and keep it to just two pictures for just two events, even though there were many to choose from.

This post is a reminder to myself, mostly, but I figured others might as well learn from my revelations.

First, take a look back each year at all the great things that happened. Look at your own smiles, because they are infectious.

Second, don’t get sucked into the mob mentality on Facebook and other social media sites. Just because “everyone is doing it,” doesn’t mean you have to. (I’m sure my mom, may she rest in peace, would appreciate that I am finally listening to her.)

Third, treasure what you have in terms of family, experiences and time. If you make the most of those, all the negative stuff gets put into perspective and you can simply let it drift away on a river of smiles.

So farewell, 2016. Maybe you weren’t that bad after all.

And 2017, let’s go. I am looking forward to the adventures and smiles you can offer. I can’t wait to take advantage of them!

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