when i was putting on my makeup this morning, i saw it.

a thin, crescent-shaped line in between my eyebrows.

maybe it’s just a smudge, a tiny smear of eyebrow pencil that went astray, i thought.

i took my thumb and swiped the groove. upon contact, the pressure seemed to smooth it out. but the second my finger left my face, there it was again.

i hadn’t noticed it before.

i started making faces in the mirror to figure out how it got there. smile, no. eyebrows up, no. eyebrows down, no. happy, no. surprised, no. worried…WHOA.

you know the look. the one you get when you’re stressed out, frustrated, frantic or upset. over time, furrowed eyebrows had slowly and subtly forged a wrinkle in my forehead.

they say that with age comes wisdom…but the truth is what also comes is heaviness, gravitas, the weight of responsibilities, deadlines, care-taking and future-making.

i was reminded recently how important it is to take the load off, steal moments to let go, to find time in the daily grind to laugh, to love—to be, in a word, light.

no matter where i am or what i’m doing, whenever i see a balloon, i smile. i get this visceral reaction: happiness. surely it’s tied up in memories from childhood, but beyond that, it’s the lightness, the optimism, the purity of feeling when you’re not weighed down by life.

it’s sad that we have to use the word “steal” for something so basic, as essential as oxygen to our sense of balance and well-being. but ironically, it’s hard work to not work, to not spin, to not move from chore to chore and task to never-ending task. and laughter and light tend to fall to the bottom of our most pressing agendas.

whether it’s date night or girls’ night, you need to make time for those moments of lightness: where cares fall away and there’s just you—giddy, laughing, singing bad songs, telling old stories, being stupid, silly, and squarely in the moment. those times will sustain you, smooth over the lines, heal your heart, and make you feel truly alive in the living.