When it hurts to smile …

This past Thursday I had gum surgery (my gums are failing at their one job … thanks, genetics!), and while I’m not really in much pain, it does hurt to smile.

For anyone who knows me, can you imagine what it must be like if it hurts to smile?

So over the past week, if I saw you and gave you only a lukewarm smirk, I apologize for that. The story you told or the warm hello you gave would have normally received an ear-to-ear grin!

Having trouble smiling has given me a new perspective on all of the things I wish I could have smiled at. Even though this list might bring me a bit of physical discomfort, I’m going to use my written words here to express things I’ve wanted to smile about over the past few days.

  • Childhood memories. I used my post-gum-surgery recovery time as an opportunity to begin cleaning out my childhood bedroom at my parents’ house, and boy did I come across many smile-worthy mementos. I found birthday cards from friends, positive comments from teachers on school essays, old books that I loved reading, and approximately 30 journals with 2-5 entries in each. A trip down memory lane.
  • Visiting my old stomping grounds. On Sunday I attended a memorial service for an elementary school teacher at Solomon Schechter Day School, and it was such a meaningful experience to see former teachers and hear the songs from my school days.
  • Conversations with friends, family, and co-workers. Sorry I couldn’t make my face properly react to your stories, but as always, I do enjoy talking with you!
  • Our wedding video. We got to see an early draft of our wedding video, and I loved reliving that amazing day. But, oww, my mouth hurt after watching it!
  • Tutoring. Since the surgery, I have tutored seven different Bar/Bat Mitzvah students. I didn’t think it was necessary to tell them the gory details of my surgery, but hopefully they believed me when I verbally said “Great job!” but my facial expression said, “I think you’re a terrible student” (not true, of course!!).

I look forward to getting my smile back in the next few days. Until then, forgive me while I express my happiness via thumbs up and positive language. And hmm … since people only speak in emoji these days, maybe I should just print some big versions of the textable symbols to express my mood.

Thanks, everyone!

smile

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