David and I celebrated my birthday this week by going out for brunch. That used to be a fairly regular event in our lives, but not so recently. This was the first time we had eaten INSIDE a Saskatoon restaurant in over 15 months. Thank you Covid!
While we waited for our food to arrive, a fellow diner stopped by our table as his small party exited the restaurant. The young fellow (maybe 30ish) had been breakfasting across the way with his lady and their brand-new baby.
The fellow told us he’d noticed us through the windows, making our way along the river to the restaurant – walking hand in hand, chatting, and looking very happy.
He went on to say that seeing the two of us touched him. He hoped that he and his wife would be just as happy together as time went on; and he laughed when I told him we’d had almost 50 years of practice. How thoughtful he was to make an opportunity to share his thoughts with us. (more…)
PAUSE GEM #47 – Go For The Grin & Art 150.4
July 19, 2017
Editor’s Note: As they have for the last couple of years, your summer Pause messages will feature the ‘Best of Pause. These GEMS are readers’ favorite messages from earlier years. Whether you are a long time subscriber, or new to our list, I hope you enjoy them all. After Labor Day, your Pause messages will once again feature all new info and resources.
P.S.– Also, be sure to scan right to the end of this message. You’ll want to be sure to catch the details on my Canada 150 Summer Art Project and the unique Provinces of Canada paintings on offer each week. This week – Manitoba.
REFLECTION & ACTION: Here’s something I’ve been observing for some time now. When I am out and about in public places – shopping the markets, gathering at festivals or theaters, or simply walking down the street – I’m looking at peoples’ faces and noticing their expressions. Do they appear happy, sad, indifferent, concerned? What emotion do they present to the world without even knowing they’re communicating?
I made a point of watching expressions on my last visit to Disneyworld. You would think if there’s any place on earth where you might expect to see smile after smile, and one set of sparkling eyes after another, it would be there. However, that was far from the case.
Sure, people cracked their smiles for the camera, but if you just watched the expressions on the faces as folks ambled down the streets of the Magic Kingdom, smiles were running at about 5% of the population. Even half hearted expressions of contentment were only running in the 25% range. The rest of the expressions ranged somewhere between numbly neutral and tersely tense.
Take a look for yourself. See what you notice on the faces of those you pass as you go about your business today.
Even more importantly, pause to check your own reflection in the mirror or a window. What do others see when they meet you on the street or pass you in the hall?
There is no reliable evidence to prove the old saying that it takes more muscles to frown than smile. However, there is research that shows people do respond in kind to the facial expressions they encounter.
So what would it take to raise the smile quotient and lighten the mood in your corner of this world of ours? (more…)
PAUSE – 16.28 – How To Loosen Up & Lighten Up
November 16, 2016
I wrote this message on November 14 in honor of ‘Loosen Up, Lighten Up Day’. (Thanks to my perennially good humored friend, Michael Kerr, for bringing these special days to our attention.)
A number of recent events (your list here…) might have prompted you to do just the opposite – to tighten up, flip out, or tilt to the dark side.
What if we could find a few ways to loosen our grip and lighten our mood? Well, here’s a handful of starter actions to lead you down that road: (more…)
Pause – 15.07 – Will You Leave Them Smiling?
March 18, 2015
So many of our everyday exchanges are predictable, dull and matter of fact.
What if we made it our business to add a bit more warmth or life to our conversations?
A smile. A compliment. A light hearted remark. A genuine expression of concern.
Each effort on our part could make a huge difference to someone else.
What could you do or say that might leave someone smiling today?
What will you do?
And who are those people with the goofy grins on their faces as you walk out the door?
One of the reasons that I write these weekly Pause messages is that I know they bring a touch of sanity to an overwhelming world.
Many of you tell me how much you value Pause as a breath of fresh air in the middle of your week.
I’m eager to extend the impact of Pause, and would appreciate your help in growing the list of subscribers. (more…)
July 8, 2011
So…the next time I complain about how much work it is to maintain the backyard garden (and I’m sure there will be a next time) can you remind me of a few things?
Like how relaxing it is to eat a cold salad for lunch in the shade of the umbrella with the sound of the water bubbling over the fountain on the deck and the robins splashing in the pondside stream.
Like how beautiful the orange and blue pansies appear – faces to the noon day sun – just begging to be admired.
Like how tasty are the tiny Tumbler Tomato snacks – temptingly ripe for the picking as I make my way down the deck and out into the yard.
Help me remember, will you?
Euro Oddity Series – #5
May 19, 2011
Here are a few signs that gave us pause.
London Shop Sign.
Is it really non stop service if it’s only available 12 hours a day?
London Shop Sign: INKINO – I Never Knew I Needed One.
Gotta be a gadget shop?!
Provencal Winery Sign & Clock above the wine tasting bar.
Look closely at the time.
If you’re confused, maybe you’ve tested a few too many bottles!
Ready For Life
September 13, 2010
We met Jorge on Labor Day weekend as we strolled through the Old Strathcona Farmers Market in Edmonton. As you can see from his photo, Jorge stands out from the crowd.
When I complemented him on his haberdashery finery, he explained his reason for being dressed so well so early on a Saturday morning. You see, at 85 years old, Jorge is looking for a wife. And, in case, the opportunity arises, he wants to be prepared for the wedding. Now, that is what I call being ready for life!
Jorge told us he arrived in Canada from Bulgaria when he was five years old, and spent many years performing as a magician. He certainly worked his magic on us that morning, leaving us with smiles on our faces, and warmth in our hearts.
Good luck Jorge. I hope your search for a mate turns out well! I’m sure she’s out there somewhere!
PS – Here’s a sketch of the Old Strathcona Farmers’ Market that I did from our hotel room earlier in the day.
If you’re ever in the Whyte Avenue vicinity on a Saturday morning, it’s worth taking the time to drop in – especially this time of year when the produce is tumbling out of the gardens and into the market.
August 31, 2010
Ask and ye shall receive. Through the month of August I invited Pause readers to send along pics of their favorite smiles and grins. What a fabulous collection arrived on my desktop – bringing me smile after smile as I opened each message and clicked on the pics.
I’ve put together a compilation to share with you and the world. Hope you enjoy these Sunny Smiles. Share the link with others who just might need a lift and a laugh!