Some may know them as smile lines. Other, more pessimistic folks may refer to them as wrinkles. Regardless, as I sit here scrolling through the wonderful collage of photos we took throughout our weekend at Long Beach Lodge Resort, I’m suddenly very aware of the laugh lines gracing my face in each and every image.
Chasing my kids in the sand. Playing board games in front of the fireplace. Soaking in the hot tub after a long day exploring. Photo after photo, my face is covered in the same expression: bright eyes, wide smile, and long, beautiful laugh lines.
After a blessed life of many laughs and smiles, I’ve always known my laugh lines were there. But our special getaway to Long Beach Lodge was the first time I’ve really stopped to notice them. And you know what?
I’ve never felt so rich in my entire life…
Unfortunately, I imagine many women go to great lengths to cover up or disguise their laugh lines. But I am here to tell you that you should do the opposite. Laugh lines are not something you cover up with a powder or erase with an expensive cream. They are a badge of honour that you wear with pride. A feature that tells the world that you live for those special moments and adventures. That you are constantly brave enough to take that step beyond your comfort zone, and really start living.
In my case, each laugh line represents a conscious choice to invest in quality time and amazing adventures with my family. In a world that lives in a perpetual state of “busy,” laugh lines are a true mark of prioritization. A sign that you have deliberately made time for the people and experiences in your life that matter the most.
In essence, laugh lines are the truest sign of wealth one can have.
What exactly creates a laugh line? It’s probably not what you think. Take our Long Beach Lodge trip, for example. As I continue to look back on our adventure, I’m realizing more and more that the essence of what made it so special was not so much where we went or what we saw, but the little moments that came in-between:
The anticipation levels noticeably rising in the car as we approached our destination.
The moment we first opened the door on arrival and saw our home away from home for the next few days.
The adrenaline of running towards the beach after catching the first glimpse of cresting waves.
The look in my son’s eyes as he got up on a surfboard for the very first time. A look that only comes from conquering a new skill, and a look that immediately told me that I have created a built-in “adventure buddy” for life.
The joy of letting the kids set the adventure schedule, and seeing them run and laugh, dive in the surf, play hangman in the sand, forget about TV and their electronic devices, and express true love for each other and their family.
Taking a family hike on a rustic boardwalk that led us to the most incredible point. The shared silence, admiration, and awe as we collectively took in a panoramic view of the mighty Pacific waves crashing into the shoreline, and the realization that our entire family was creating a shared memory in that exact moment.
The moment I reconnected with my husband after the kids went to bed, taking an extended soak in the hot tub while talking about the incredible journeys we’ve shared, and the many great ones to come.
And finally, after a day spent doing nothing more than playing and running around the beach, having my daughter look at me and say: “…today was one of the best days of my life.”
Laugh lines are forged in these special moments.
It’s not about any one thing. It’s not about fancy accommodations or expensive excursions. No matter how rich you may be, laugh lines are the one thing that cannot be bought. They must be earned.
But it will take effort.
Laugh lines come from taking deliberate action. From blocking off the precious time on your calendar, so that no matter how busy life may get, you are never too busy to skip out on these experiences. To build these bonds with your family. To have your moments.
Of all the incredible firsts I experienced in Tofino at the Long Beach Lodge, I am most excited about my first real encounter with my laugh lines. Because now I know that the true measure of success in my life is just a photograph away. All I need to do is look for the lines…