Tuesday 28th June 2022

Word of Year Revisited. 49/51. #LifeThisWeek. 129/2021.

Word of Year Revisited. 49/51. #LifeThisWeek. 129/2021.

Before going on, it was my husband’s words, on a birthday card envelope that reminded me to smile.

I then considered he was right …(I should tell him as he thinks I rarely admit he is right)….I also know that my upper prosthesis makes my smile the nicest one I have ever had. For those who may be new here, I had all of my upper mouth and part of my top lip removed in July 2017 when cancer was found. The whole story is here.

From my post in January 2021 about the word of the year.

Why “SMILE”?

  • A smile is a valuable form of communication and connection.
  • I know for some people smiles can be hard to manage depending on the time and circumstances and not everyone is a ‘smiler’. That is what makes the world go round, we are all different.
  • I too do not like being told “smile!!”. Umm. No, unless I have the emotions that warrant a smile, I may be able to slightly fake it but truly I prefer the genuine smile.
  • I know there are many more muscles used in the face to frown and far fewer to smile and that can be a suggestion as a mood lifter.
  • In fact, the old adage of ‘fake it till you make it’ can work as a psychological tool at times. Try it.

How Did Smile ‘as a word of the year’ Help Me?

  • I know it made me ‘smile’ when I thought about the word, and knowing I needed to act it. And as it says above, it works!
  • Nevertheless, there were non-smiling times in 2021 because things turned tough, and lockdown was not something I enjoyed 100% every day!
  • However, not smiling did not help at all, so it was within my best interests not only to FIND reasons to smile but for my health’s sake…and that of the man I live with…it was better to smile, than frown…most of the time!
  • It made me find small things to be grateful for and to reminisce about happier and fun times with grandkids to bring that smile back
  • I know getting out into nature, and doing a selfie or 4 reminded me to smile and be grateful to be vaccinated for Covid19 and well.

My Mouth Looks Better with a Smile.

  • It really does.
  • At rest, my mouth shows the rigours and remains of the loss of so much of my top lip and that the area has receded.
  • However, it can hurt a bit to smile because it is stretching the mouth that was reconstructed over the years 2017 into 2018.


Did I Always Smile? 

Mostly, but there are, for reasons of me not liking how I looked then, fewer photos. What a shame, because now I realise I was trying to hide what I felt ashamed of…my size and my smile. My teeth, before the bridge was added were uneven. Now, I say to myself that “I” need to let go of those old stories. I did what I could as I lived a very challenging and full life of work, career, study, care and commitment.

How Did My Smile Come Back?

Surgeries x 4, T I M E in between, careful work by my prosthodontist (right) over many, many long hours for me ‘in the chair’ at Westmead Oral Sciences…and an upper prosthesis of teeth that IS my smile now, some 14 months post first big surgery aged 67.

And My Smile Is From Mum! 

It’s the saying in our family that Mum could turn on a smile. And she did. However, she was not always happy but looked like it when the cameras where out. Seriously though, Mum had all her teeth (as does Dad still)…I got the rotten teeth gene there. And she smiled. Here’s a compilation from the photo collage I made for Dad that he has in his Unit.

Mum’s smile for me….72 years ago.

Some Familiar Smiles

…and yes, some are more like my Mum’s but ALL are smiles from those I love….

Happy Birthday Mum…born 6 December 1924. You’d have joined Dad as a 97 year old today…the day I post this but you are not, and to be honest, you’d have found very old age…hard yards. Love this photo- from a family dinner celebration. 

Noreen’s Smile



Did you have a word of the year too?

I am not sure about next year.

As per usual I will wait….

Thanks for reading and commenting today.


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  1. Denyse, it is 5am Monday and thank you for putting a smile on my face. Starting with the beautiful card from Mr B and then looking at your lovely smile. Isn’t it funny how we view ourselves? You didn’t like your smile before your bridge and yet when I look at photos of you at any age, your smile is shining. A lovely tribute to your Mum. So many things for us to make us smile in life, we just have to focus on them, don’t we? A great WOTY. Mine was SELF and I feel I would grade myself 8/10 in living up to my Word for 2021. Thanks for #lifethisweek and have a lovely week. Keep Smiling!

    • Thank you so much Sue for your very kind and thoughtful words.

      I am my own worst critic…I think most of us are….and I need to be quieter with my self-criticism. I am learning!!

      Excellent score for you from you too.

      Hope the week ahead goes well. Unsure about weather these days!

      Take care (and yes to smiling…I promise)


  2. What a great choice for your word of the year and a great way to show off your beautiful smile! Lovely tribute to your mum too, happy heavenly birthday to her. I know it’s psychological but I defyfeel better when I turn my frown upside down!

    • Thank you Sammie, you can always make me smile when I read your kind words and thought-filled comments.

      I am glad to have been able to add my Mum into the days’s post…quite the co-incidence as they say.

      Take care,


  3. What a lovely recap on your WOTY Denyse! I love your honesty about your smile and how you’ve felt over the years. I am one, like your mum, who can turn on a smile at any moment and my family tease me mercilessly about it. I call it my superpower though :). Your smile is lovely and I don’t think I’ve ever seen a smile I don’t like. Your photos and reminiscences are fabulous to see – a great word of the year for you! Thanks again for having us over for your link up, I’ve shared my monthly Bold post today.

    • Thanks so much Debbie, yes you and my Mum could light up a town I reckon.

      Mum had a tough life being quite deaf but her way of connecting by smiling and doing her best to hear and communicate is testament to her courage and adaptability.

      I like your kind words about my smile. It’s been hard fought to get this one!

      Look forward to reading your Bold update.

      Take care

  4. Thank you Denyse for sharing your smiles and WOTY recap. A lovely tribute to your Mum too. Every day I think of something that makes me smile. I’m grateful to have many things that made me smile this year. Have a wonderful week!

  5. Your post has made me smile Denyse. I always love youR smiley photos but I had forgotten smile was your word of the year. You definitely wore your word well during the year. I’m not a smiley person at all.I find it extremely difficult to smile at the camera which is why you don’t see photos of me on the blog. Once again I love all your photos

    • Thank you so much Jennifer.

      Yes I am much more of a smiler than ever and partly because my reconstructed mouth is more comfy in smile mode.

      I am a bit sad about your inability to smile for the camera….hope nothing happened to make you feel this way.

      Take care,


  6. Nice to see all these beautiful smiles on a Monday morning. Have a happy rest of the week!

  7. Hi Denyse – your new smile is lovely and even more special for all that you went through to get it. I noticed as my teeth got duller and more worn down that I was smiling less and being more self conscious. After having my front teeth lightened and bonded I got my smile back again – not a shiny white 20 year old smile, but a nice midlife smile that helps me say “cheese” again. Loved seeing all your smiley happy photos and the pics of your mum – especially looking at you as a baby. xx

    • Thank you Leanne.

      Interesting to note what you found yourself doing as your teeth aged (sorry!) but you found that you could change it and did so.

      Yes to keeping the smile happening and sharing the pics too.

      Take care,


  8. I did have a WOTY but I sort of forgot about it 1/2 way through the year. It was embrace but I think I did a pretty good job embracing life and last minute fun regardless.

    • You are not the only one to ‘forget’ your word of the year Joanne.

      I’ve had a couple where they no longer fitted their purpose so moved on!!

      I reckon you did well too!

      Take care,


  9. Your Mum had a lovely smile – as do you. I lost focus of my word of the year – Imagine – in the midst of some heavy day job stuff. I’ve already decided on my word of next year – but you’ll need to wait until the big reveal…

    • Oh Jo, how I get ‘losing interest in the word’….I too have had that happen.

      Thanks for the smile compliments.

      Sorry the day job continues to be ‘the not fun one’.

      I am still not sure IF I will even have a word. I will await yours with interest!

      Take care,


  10. What alovely word of the year. I didn’t realise (or more likely forgot). Why do you think some people aren’t natural smilers (I’m one of them). Is it just the way their face falls or is it more ppsychological make up? I need to think about this more….good post. Love all the smiling pictures!

    • I am not a huge embracer of word of the year but for a while it helped me focus at time.
      I do have the word sitting near me and fortunately for me, smiling does come relatively easy. And in the last 4+ years I have had many more reasons to smile.

      I asked B (not a natural smiler for photos) about not smiling much and he tells me, things have to be interesting and humorous for his smile to appear, and he “can’t just put one on” as I can most times.

      So, again, we are allllll different!

      Thanks for your kind words.

      Take care,


  11. I didn’t have a word of the year, but completely understand why you chose ‘smile’ as yours Denyse and it’s the perfect choice for you. And I have to say in almost every picture you post you ARE smiling. And that’s contagious for those of us who come across them and may not be smiling at the time.

    • Oh Deb, thank you.

      Yes, I had not taken into account the contagious aspects of smiling.

      I tend to do that to babies or toddlers…not all do it back. They have heightened levels of caution.

      I am not sure IF I will have a word for next year so will see what that brings when I get to blog in 2022.

      Take care,


  12. Such a glorious word choice for someone who whatever life has thrown at her has never lost her smile. Right from birth through the years ‘til now you have been blesses with many family smiles as well keep you company.
    Forget the trucking…keep on smiling Denyse

    • Love that, Cathy, OK…smiling all the way.

      I must add, that when my reconstructed mouth is at rest there is barely any upper lip as it lost a lot to cancer, so it’s better for me AND my mouth, to keep on smiling!!

      Take care,

      and your kind words are balm!!


  13. what a great word for you to have. I have done WOTY – some years they really click for me and others not so much. 2021 was a not-so-much year. I choose Courage… thinking I would push myself to do some of those things I keep putting off doing….things that are on my action plan or to-do list seemingly forever. And most are still on the to-do list! I’m not sure of a WOTY for 2022…. will see how my end of the year review and 2022 planning goes. I do like seeing others WOTY choices and the “why” behind them!

    • Thanks for sharing this Pat. I too am unsure of a word in 2022. It’s been a help at time to remind myself about the ‘why’ of smile for me: gratitude and love.

      I think, that this year your word could have been MOVE as you have not only done this but “moved” towards doing so much to begin feeling part of your new community!

      Take care,