There’s an elderly gentleman I often see when I’m at the health club. We chatted a bit one day while we were on side-by-side treadmills, so now we’re old friends – meaning we smile and say hello whenever we see each other.

When I greeted him the other morning and answered his “How are you today?” with “Fine, thanks. And you?” he responded enthusiastically that he was doing great. Then he added, “In fact, I’m fantastic! If I were any better, I wouldn’t be able to stand it!”

I laughed, and the smile on my face lasted the rest of my workout.

This encounter reminded me of another friend, one who’s always bubbly and upbeat. Whenever you ask her how she is, she says, “I’m great, grand, glorious, and tee–rrific!” I’ve heard her respond this way to restaurant servers, hotel receptionists, good friends, and casual acquaintances. It always brings a smile to their lips, and to mine, too.

I like being around people like this, and the attitude they express – especially since there is so much going on in the world that makes me forget to smile. From natural disasters like floods, fires, and hurricanes, to unnatural and manmade disasters like mass shootings and government standoffs, I often find myself focusing on the gloom and doom that seems to be everywhere these days.

My friend – the great, grand, and glorious one – told me she doesn’t always actually feel that way, although most of the time she does. But even when she doesn’t, saying it out loud, and with gusto, helps her get there.

I don’t know whether I can train myself to always have a bright and enthusiastic response whenever someone greets me with the simple and standard opening of “Hi. How are you?” But I’m going to try. Because just the act of saying I feel grand, fantastic, or terrific – or any other wonderful word I can think of – can help get me into that frame of mind if I’m not already there. I’m sure it will also put a smile on my face and, hopefully, will do the same for the person who asked me the question.

So – How are you today?

September 20, 2019
©Betty Liedtke, 2019

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