Almost every day, I pick up coffee before heading into work. And during this time, I never speak until asked about my choice in delicious caffeinated beverage. I'm not a morning person, and I never will be. In fact, I'm a miserable and frightening creature before 9 am. This is why I've chosen to keep my business open until all hours of the night, even though my neighbors probably think I'm giving some "extras" along with my acupuncture sessions. I'm at my best during the late hours of the day. Since I'm such a crankbag in the morning, I tend to hide from humanity until I can put my best face forward. This means no eye contact or communicating unless I have to. I'm not rude if someone speaks to me, but I will go out of my way to stay out of sight in the early hours. If I could, I would wear a veil until 9 am.

This morning, I decided to try something novel in the spirit of the holidays. I decided to try eye contact and a smile during my morning coffee run, just for the hell of it. Just to see what would happen.

I didn't want to be creepy or annoying, so I limited myself to three seconds of eye contact and one quick smile. And the results? One woman returned my smile. Her husband (or boyfriend maybe) saw her smiling at me, and started smiling himself. I smiled at the cashier and he looked slightly less morose. As I was leaving the coffee shop, I held the door and smiled at the man coming in. My smile was met with a "Thanks! What a pretty smile." Which made me smile more.

It was one of those things that is so damn simple and easy to do; it takes virtually no effort at all to simply look at someone instead of turning your gaze inward. It takes no effort to hoist your lips up at the corners for a second or two. Yet I left the coffee shop today feeling lighter and my day was brightened just a bit...and I could feel this brightness spreading to those around me, as well. If I keep this up, my mornings just might become bearable!