You know how as a kid you were always told if you pulled a face and the wind changed direction, your face would be stuck like that forever? I read something recently that pointed out it really may be true. Seriously.
Rosie Little’s Cautionary Tales for Girls, a book I would thoroughly recommend, pointed out that although your face may not stick in its new position immediately, if you pull the same face, day after day, week after week, year after year, you may find that your face does take on that expression permanently.
The two examples given were, firstly, the woman who’s spent her life indulging herself in moral indignation, tightening her lips against things she doesn’t approve of. When she’s old, she’ll be the one with a puckered, tight, mouth.
The second example was of a monk, who’s spent years in a life of contemplation, pondering the beauty of nature and the essential goodness of humanity. He is the one who will end up with an expression of deep serenity.
It was a good reminder for me. Sometimes I am so stuck in my role of the fun police, I feel I could possibly go a whole day without smiling. Let alone laughing. Such a shame. I can actually feel my lips pulling down at the corners sometimes. And if I do that year after year, I will end up the sad looking old lady with the permanently frowning face.
So if you see me this week and I am grinning like a maniac, you’ll know I’m just trying to make sure my final expression ends up a happy one.
Because, in the words of Rosie Little, “Oh that wind is out there all right. It just takes a few years to change you.”