Monday 16 May 2022

May 2022 #TBCSmiles 93 Months...

I've promised my family I won't work weekends, and while we are having to move we don't really have the time, so the #TBCSmiles have been relegated to today. That doesn't mean they are less important, in fact if anything they are more important - especially this month. 

We just had Mental Health Awareness Week, and it's no coincidence that it's placed here in the year. This month we've had the least smiles that we've had in 5 years, and while I'd love to be surprised by that, I'm not. It's been a lot harder for us to make smiles, and it's required more effort for just about everyone. 

4 of my boys in the dark, sitting in the glow of a bonfire

Spring in the UK is often cold, disappointingly not-so-sunny, and everyone is tired. Really we need to work less hours through Winter and sleep more, and then we'd be ready to face the world. Instead we are all a bit gloomy and really waiting for Summer to kick in and brighten everything up. On top this year we have the war in Ukraine, the ongoing COVID infections which really haven't gone away, the residual tiredness that most of us feel after catching COVID, the fuel bills flying through the roof and food prices going up. The comfort we've felt for the past 30 years is slipping away, and it's only now we realise just what we had to lose.

It can be hard to see a way past this, even though we can be darned sure it will all sort itself out in the end, and 'the worst' won't happen in almost all cases. The 'stiff upper lip' is softening, and doing most things seem like an extravagance when you are worrying about bills. There is still joy to be found though, and it's everywhere if we can take the time to look for it. 

Get outdoors. Not only is it good for avoiding viruses, fresh air is food for the soul - and it's free, and you don't have to heat the house while you're out. 

Cook, craft, draw, be creative. Make something. Use up those bits and pieces at the back of the cupboard and make something you can be proud of - or make something okay that you can improve on next time. Blow the cobwebs away from your brain. We spend all of our time following rules and doing things by the book, being creative allows us to express ourselves, think outside the box, and make it just how we like it. 

Do something for yourself. Especially if you have caring responsibilities, it can be easy to cater to other people's whims and desires without considering our own. Do something you want to do - just for you. A bath, a walk, a movie, read a book, bake a cake, make a massive pasta salad. Something YOU want to do. It doesn't have to cost anything, but time for yourself. 

Talk to someone. It's easy to become introverted and cocoon yourself into a shell, but life slips past you and you have nothing to remember with a grin. You might find the other person needed someone to talk to as well. 

Make someone smile. I love making people smile, and I don't care if I know them or not. Smiles are contagious, they pay forward really well. One smile can become many, and the mood of an entire workplace or community can benefit, from just 1 smile. 

Talking of smiles, here are 9 of the biggest and brightest (and clearest when you put them into a collage) from the last month. I know some of these took massive effort to achieve - and they are all worth it. 

Anyone is welcome to join in and share, just tag any photo on Instagram that has a smile with #tbcsmiles. It is lovely we had so many grown ups this month - proving you can do, and you can do it with style... (obviously brunette hair is currently the fashion... )

TBCSmiles May 2022 collage of 9 photos of your smiles. Each photo coincidentally contains a grown adult woman smiling

Those gorgeous belters were shared by the following Instagrammers, and I don't think we've ever had so many photographers in their own pictures! 

GoingOnAnAdventreBlog / ClaireyHarpo / SuperBusyMum
SuburbanMum / TheMumDiaries / MrsAmyLFox
PaigWallbankxo / TobyGoesBananas / OurLittleEscapades

My family did make smiles too, we really did, and I collect them up to remind me we are winning. Bonfires are a common weekend event at the moment... getting some outdoor time and making the most of the lighter evenings, clearing out the paperwork of the last 15 years, and just spending time chatting... 

Collage of 8 photos of my family smiling - messing about on the sofa, with a proud bake, with the kitten, and bonfires in the garden


  1. Beautiful smiles as always and wise words from a wonderful lady. Sending big hugs to you all xxx

    1. Hugs very gladly accepted - thank you. I hope you and yours are all doing well - and I'm very flattered by the comment. I try :D xx


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