#WQWWC – Writers Quote Wednesday Writing Challenge – “Happiness”

So, it’s that time again! Time to get your quote selected so you can come up with a creative story, poem, or whatever else you would like to share about your quote. Remember we have a week so there is no great hurry! Take your time and just have fun!

Ronovan is in charge this week and he chose the theme of:

“HAPPINESS”

Please make sure to link to Ronovan’s post HERE. He explains how to follow the challenge and gives us a link-back to last week’s post so you can see how creative everyone else was. In addition, Ronovan and I share your posts on social media for added exposure! Thanks for joining us.

I hope you will find the time to visit the blogs who participated last week for the theme of rebirth. This is a great way to meet some new bloggers and to read some amazing writing!

Here’s who joined us last week:

Lady Lee Manila

Two on a Rant

A Cooking Pot & Twisted Tales

Ellen Best 24

Shining Seeds

Method Two Madness

Annette Rochelle Aben

Kyrosmagica

LCW Allingham

I Manking Blog

The Writer Next Door

Zen & Pi

The Dragon’s Lair

Postcards from a Pigeon

Jade M Wong

Ronovan Writes

New 2 Writing

Judy E Martin

Meanings & Musings

Here is my contribution for this week on the theme of “happiness.”

Gina and Faberge loved organizing the Silver Falls Children’s Group. They had joined a few years ago and now spent their summers entertaining kids of all ages. Interacting with the kids made both of the girls happy!

Each year the two girls, as team leaders, picked a theme for the summer. Last year it was zombies. The kids loved dressing up and playing like the end of the world had finally come upon them all. All gory and bloody, the kids practiced every day to be the best zombies ever. They got so good that by the end of the summer, they were able to reenact the dancing scene from Michael Jackson’s album, Thriller. Their parents shrieked in delight at their performances during the end of summer bash.

This year the theme for the summer was fairy magic. Faberge stressed to the kids that if they truly believed in fairies, magical events could occur. Of course, many of the kids said they were too old to believe in fairies and magic. Even Gina seemed to have a hard time with this theme.

“Fairies! Magic! Are you kidding me, Faberge?” asked Gina the first day of group. “How are we going to pull this off?” The kids clustered around the two girls listening with their mouths wide open.

Faberge laughed. “Trust me. And besides, are you telling me that you don’t believe in fairies and magic?”

Gina stared at Faberge with a strange look on her face. “You are serious, aren’t you?” she asked, standing with her hands on her hips.

“Of course, I am! Didn’t I tell you the story about my Russian grandmother?”

“No. I don’t think so, at least I don’t remember you telling me about her.” The kids grew quiet and waited for Faberge to begin her grandmother’s story.

“Well,” began Faberge, “My grandmother told me that as a young woman, she never smiled or laughed. My great-grandfather said that he knew how to fix this situation. He decided that whoever could make her smile would be the man who could marry her. Men lined up for miles around and tried to make my grandmother smile, but none was able to.”

“In the heart of town,” Faberge continued, “was an honest but unattractive man who worked hard for his master. When the end of the year came, the master decided to reward the man. He placed a sack of money before the man and encouraged him to take as much as he wanted. This honest man felt funny about taking the money so he politely took only one coin.”

“On his way back from seeing the master, the man decided to get a drink at the well. Unfortunately, he dropped his coin into the well. During the next two years, the same exact thing happened. By the third year, the man drank at the well but this time, he did not lose his coin. Amazingly, the two coins from the past two years floated up to the top. When the man reached down to retrieve the coins he saw a reflection in the well of a tiny fairy smiling and sprinkling fairy dust on his head.” The kids clustered around Faberge and listened in awe as she continued her story. Gina rolled her eyes.

“The unattractive man felt such good fortune and happiness from the coins returning to him that he set off to see the world. When a mouse asked him for a handout, the man gave him one of his coins. The same thing happened with a beetle and a catfish. All three times the man helped the needy animals.”

Faberge smiled at the kids and continued, “In his wanderings, the unattractive man came across my grandmother. She just stared at him. The man was so surprised that such a beautiful woman was looking at him that he fell into the mud. Suddenly, the mouse, the beetle, and the catfish came to help get him out of the mud. My grandmother laughed so hard at their antics. There was mud everywhere. The man and the animals laughed until they cried.”

“When my great-grandfather heard my grandmother laugh, he asked who had been able to make her happy. Grandmother pointed out the man. It was then she noticed that the man was not unattractive at all. He had been transformed into a handsome man. Of course, this was my grandfather,” said Faberge, neatly patting her hair in place. A couple of the girls nearest to Gina stared at each other, their mouths gaping open, eyes round with wonder.

“Grandmother always said that grandfather’s goodness and willingness to make people happy is why the fairy blessed him and made him so handsome!”

Gina belted out a belly laugh that made the kids in the group laugh right along with her. “Your family is nuts!” she said shaking her head.

“Ah, but the story did make you happy, didn’t it?” smirked Faberge. “Never underestimate the power of fairies and magic!” Faberge winked at the kids as they shrieked with joy!

The next day, Gina and Faberge showed up dressed as fairies. The kids were so excited and happy to see the colorful costumes that they chose Faberge’s grandmother’s story as their summer performance for the Silver Falls Children’s Group end of summer bash. It was the highest rated performance of the season. Faberge said of course it was! It all happened because of fairy magic.

~*~

It must be said that I borrowed and adapted this old tale from one my own grandmother told me years ago. I did find the story and you can read it here.

The countdown is on to National Fairy Day, June 24th, 2016.
Watch silverthreading.com for a special tea party post that will
have you all believing in fairies!

READ MORE ON SILVER’S MONTHLY FAIRY WHISPERS

Exciting reads from across the web plus a few creations of my own. Written, just for you, with fairy love, each month. Just fly over to my sign up page and enter your email. ❤

Mindful Monday – The Path to Happiness


Welcome to Mindful Monday! Each week I try to examine new or sometimes old things about myself. I have found that being mindful encompasses the act of being watchful, aware, wary, heedful, alert, careful, or attentive, in whatever area in my life I feel it applies to, as I attempt to live in the present.

Image Credit: LifeHack.org

Happiness is like an elusive butterfly, always flying just out of our reach, landing on our shoulder the next minute, giving us a glimpse of the joy that blinds us with its beauty. What is happiness? How do we get it?

Happiness is defined as how satisfied you feel about your life, and how good you feel each day. To me, happiness is a choice I try to make each day. This is a mindful choice, not just some random thought that pops up into my head as I drink my coffee each morning. Nope, it is something that I decide all on my own.

There are some days though, I just can’t go there. Usually, this means that I am overwhelmed, tired, or stressed! The days I wake up on the wrong side of the bed are the days that I wonder about happiness the most. How can I be unhappy? I just woke up and nothing has even occurred in my life to provoke my not being happy.

Much of our happiness is gleaned from our thoughts and actions. I find it interesting that we humans tend to get used to our life circumstances after a while. It turns out that circumstances do not play as large a role in defining our own happiness after all. Happiness is a skill that we can hone to fit into our life if we just take the time to practice it.

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Image Credit: Time.com

Whenever I find myself questioning my own happiness is when I start to think about all the people and things that make me feel grateful for where I am at this stage of my life. That is when I realize that my happiness is in my own hands. I discovered that when I change my outlook on the world my thoughts become empowering and calming. I become motivated and productive. I am happy!

Image Credit: Pixabay Free Images

Do you want to find out more about happiness? Check out hapify.com and learn about the science behind happiness.

Last week I talked about removing the like button from my blog. I tried it. It did not make me happy or anyone else happy. Guess what? I changed my outlook and the like button is back and here to stay. When I made that first decision to remove the like button, it was based on my needs, not anyone else’s needs. Once I read all of the wonderful comments for and against the like button, I realized that it was not about me. It was about my readers. You are important to me. You are who I write for. The like button is back and I feel much happier about the decision.

Would you like to share your mindfulness journey with others? If you are interested in sharing your goals or aspirations, I want to highlight your journey here on Silver Threading. Send me an email at silverthreading@gmail.com and I will be happy to feature you on a guest post. This is our journey into mindfulness. The more we share and learn from each other, the better our journey becomes.

Remember, this is not a challenge.  This is an offering of support.  If you would like to join in with your own Mindful Monday goals you can do so in the comments, or on a separate post of your own making.  If you want to link back to my post, please feel free to do so, however, it is not necessary.  My main aim here is to give and get support to become more mindful of the things I take for granted in my life.

Do you have any mindful goals this week?

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How Do YOU Define Happiness? – #BeWoW

Ron, from Ronovan Writes asks us to be wonderful on Wednesdays. Is being wonderful the same as being happy? Happiness is an interesting word. This one word has the ability to influence multitudes of people all over the world. What does happiness mean to you? I know everyone will have a different answer.


One day I realized that happiness was relative to my well being, and how content I felt at the time. It was a great awakening for me to find out that I controlled the key to my own happiness.

After I retired, I could not figure out what I wanted to do. I finally had all the time to do the things I wanted to do, even though I had no idea how to begin. I felt lost.

I figured out that I had to let some things go that weighed me down. Once I undertook the journey to change my attitude, I soared. I became a different person.


I began a list of all the things that made me happy. I love to garden, crochet, spend time with my family and dogs, read, write, write poetry, cook… my list went on and on! Little by little, I tried new things. I reached out to different people and learned about new cultures. I began to spend more time with myself and I liked me!

I also found out that I liked to be happy and optimistic. The best part was that my happiness spilled over into my life in amazing ways. I began to write and that fulfilled me, because I simply wanted to be happy. Everyone around me felt my happiness and became happier too.

This Wednesday, tell me what makes you happy!


Thanks for popping by for a shot of positive!  Have it with your coffee and you will smile all day!


 


Be Wonderful on Wednesday

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I am sending positive vibes throughout the universe today and everyday!  Join Ronovan Writes and his Be Wow Network to spread the power of being positive!

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(Image credit Heather A. Stillufsen Facebook Page)

Did you know that being positive is a choice?  It is something that you can choose to do with your life everyday.  All you have to do is say that you are choosing to have a positive day.  That’s it.  No strings attached.  Easier said than done?  Maybe so, however people who have a positive outlook on their life live longer and have more fulfilled lives.  Positive thinking will help you manage the stress in your life.

The Mayo Clinic article, “Positive Thinking: Stop negative Self-Talk to Reduce Stress,” says that positive thinking begins with talking to yourself and understanding that the choices you make play a part in your outlook, whether positive or negative.  In addition, the article shares:

“Researchers continue to explore the effects of positive thinking and optimism on health. Health benefits that positive thinking may provide include:

  • Increased life span
  • Lower rates of depression
  • Lower levels of distress
  • Greater resistance to the common cold
  • Better psychological and physical well-being
  • Reduced risk of death from cardiovascular disease
  • Better coping skills during hardships and times of stress

It’s unclear why people who engage in positive thinking experience these health benefits. One theory is that having a positive outlook enables you to cope better with stressful situations, which reduces the harmful health effects of stress on your body. It’s also thought that positive and optimistic people tend to live healthier lifestyles — they get more physical activity, follow a healthier diet, and don’t smoke or drink alcohol in excess.”

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Make the choice today to become more positive!  If we do it, maybe it will catch on and spread to all other parts of the world.  Bottom line, it can’t hurt to try!

Thanks for popping by for a shot of positive!  Have it with your coffee and you will smile all day!

Silver Threading signature

#Be WoW–On Being Positive

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Are all of these cold, dark winter days getting you down? Join my friend Ron, of Ronovan Writes in his new challenge Be Wonderful Wednesdays where we share the wonder of the world!

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This was the sight that greeted me this morning in my creative room.  These three plants were almost dead a few months back.  I repotted them and placed them on the filing cabinet in front of the window to make the most of the sunlight that streams into this wonderful space.

Currently, it is raining hard!  I can hear the pounding rains.  Thunder booms and lightening slices across the sky outside my window.  This is great news because it means that spring is headed our way.  Soon there will be an end to the dark days of winter.

That is the power of positive thinking…

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Look for the good things in your life.  What makes you happy today?

Silver Threading

SoCS–“In” -spiration

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Linda’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt this week was all about using the prefix “in,” any way we thought possible.  Inspiration came to my mind first… then infidel.  Crazy word combination so I am going with inspiration!

There are many types of inspiration:  holiday, writing, reading, clothes, decorating, etc.  I just want to concentrate on the act of inspiration and how to stay inspired.

Staying inspired

(Image Credit: Pinterest: Butter Nutrition.com)

Inspiration is something that you must cultivate and grow if you want it to work for you.  Yes, we all have flashes of inspiration, although some people do not have a creative streak in them, and find inspiration a difficult craft.  The whole idea is to find ways to feed your creativity which then leads you to become inspired to do whatever you want to do.

I go to Pinterest often to find inspiration.  If you have not checked out what they have to offer you should.  Type in inspiration and be prepared to be taken on a wild ride of inspiration bliss!

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Thanks for listening to me ramble today.  I am a bit under the weather, even though I look forward to seeing you all again!

Silver Threading

Have I Become Invisible?

NanoPoblano

I recently read an article entitled, “5 Reasons to Enjoy Being an Old, Invisible Woman,” by Kristine Holmgren, dated November 17, 2014; featured on Next Avenue, a PBS website.

I got a good laugh at the title of the article and then it got me to thinking – hard. Just because I am an older woman with silver hair have I become invisible?

Sometimes people do look at me differently, like the guy in the pharmacy last week who told me he has no idea what color his wife’s hair really is. Why he said this I have no idea other than to draw reference to the color of my own hair. This had nothing to do with the prescription he was filling, so I am not sure how to take that – barb or compliment?

This author goes on to say that on her 50th birthday something earth shattering happened to her. She felt like she grew old and invisible. Suddenly, people ignored her and they quit responding to her. She even lost the attention of men! Holy crap that is serious!

However, Kristine Holmgren goes on to say that age has advantages while living in the shadows with an invisibility cloak draped around her shoulders. I tend to agree, because frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn what most people think of me anymore. I feel like Popeye, “I yam’s who I yam’s!”

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(Image Credit: Etsy)

These are my top five reasons why I enjoy being older:

1. People ask my advice now.

When I was younger, most people did not think I had enough experience at life to voice an opinion. Little did they know that I had already had enough excitement in my life while being married twice, raising five kids, and going to college in between all of the chaos life brings. Now that I am older everybody wants to know what I think. “The older I get, the less I know,” is usually my answer.

2. I now have the freedom to be myself and wear what I choose.

Young women today have unbelievable standards to live up to. Everyone judges each other on the way they raise their children, the clothes they wear, and how youthful they look.

On the television show, “Modern Family,” I had to chuckle at how the women are always beautiful, wearing full makeup, hair and nails done, all while they are cleaning their homes or cooking a Thanksgiving turkey. Hollywood is such a fantasy.  No wonder women have image issues.

In comparison, I am sitting here in my nightshirt and bathrobe drinking coffee and writing this blog post. No makeup, no fancy clothes. Judge me if you want, but I feel good. I am not out to impress anyone. My normal clothes in the summer are a tank top and shorts, while in the winter I wear yoga pants and a tank top, with maybe a sweater. Comfort becomes a priority when you get older. Embrace this and take advantage of it.

3. I can say what I think.

When I was younger I had to learn to get along in the working world. Most of the time, women tend to hold themselves back and not say what they think for fear of being judged. I know I did that. Part of this is because of male and female perceptions of women working that still tend to bog us down. It is better than it was when I was young, but those damaging perceptions still hang around today. Give yourselves a break. Husbands and wives have to work now to survive and raise their families. Don’t add any more pressure than what is already there.

So, as you can see I say what I think now that I am older. No longer do I get eye-daggers thrown at me. Instead, I find that most people respect my honesty and appreciate that I (tastefully) said what was on my mind. That is a great feeling. Try it.

4. I have not lost my “personal mojo.”

Unlike the author, Kristine Holmgren, I do not feel like I have lost the attention of the opposite sex or anyone for that matter. Our female aura is uniquely and personally ours. If you choose to portray yourself as an old woman – that will come through to others and that is how you will be viewed. I choose to be seen as a nice person with experience. It is not all about your looks. It is how you carry yourself and how you speak. I listen to other people too. Respect toward others is vital to how other people view you.

5. I spend my time doing the things I love.

I have a huge list of things that I love: Spending time with my husband, kids, and grand kids, blogging, reading, writing, gardening, crocheting, walking in nature, playing with my dogs, drinking tea, drinking wine, etc.

You get where I am going with this. The best part about getting older is finding the time to do all the things you wanted to do when you were younger, but instead put off because of all the other obligations you had in life.

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Embrace life. Look for the good in people and learn to be grateful for the little things. Do what makes you feel happy. Learn to find peace with becoming older. It is not as bad as it sounds.

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Thanks for visiting today.  I sure enjoyed seeing all of you!

Silver Threading

Aging Gracefully in A Young World

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I named my blog Silver Threading for a couple of reasons, the first being that I have silver hair, which  I like to think represents my wisdom.  In fact, I love my hair because it is a liberation of sorts for me to not have to prove myself anymore.  I am at the point in my life that I am finally comfortable with who I have become. I refuse to color my hair because I want the world to see the real me.  No pretense, and no bull!

Apparently, my liberation has spread through my neighborhood.  Two of my neighbors, who are older than me, have recently decided to join the “silver threading” club.  Both of these ladies have decided to quit using hair color and let their silver and greys all hang out!  How liberating is that?

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(Image Credit: Facebook)

The usual perception of age is that if you are young, you want to be older.  If you are older, you long for your youth.  Frankly, I am happy with my age right now.  I have enough wisdom to keep myself out of trouble yet, I still yearn to try new things.  I take care of my body, watch the foods I eat, exercise, and try to do all the things that you should for my age.  I like to think that I am aging gracefully.

I think I was blessed with the right amount of “age genes” so that I am able to not look my age.  My daughters have inherited this favored gene also.  All three of us are mistaken for our ages quite frequently.  My Prussian genes actually gave me something other than big hips!

However, that is the problem with age today.  How you look influences everyone else’s perception of age.  If you look older, many times you are lumped into a category where people believe you will behave in a certain way.  For example, if you have grey hair it is believed that you belong to the Baby Boomer generation and are technology-challenged.  That is a total misconception on the part of younger people today.  Not all Baby Boomers are challenged when it comes to technology.  I’m not and I know there are many of us out there who embrace technology and all that goes along with it.

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(Image Credit: Facebook)

I have never understood why age is such a big deal.  It is not something that you can change.  You can change your looks so that you do not look to be a certain age, but in the end, you are most certainly still that age.  I feel like it is just a bunch of smoke and mirrors and in the end it does not really matter.

I never wanted to look like that woman who is trying to look young so she wears clothes that are inappropriate for her age.  You know the kind I mean…

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So, I have decided that I am happy with the age I am today.  I worked hard to gain all of this wisdom.  I was not taken seriously in the working world until I was at least 40 years old!  Only then, was I comfortable to say what I thought.  I also found that I was comfortable with my knowledge and skill set within my field.  It took a long time to get there though.

I believe women improve with age.  We are truly like a fine wine, not ripe until our time.  Embrace whatever age you are right now.  Be happy in your skin!

Leave it to me to bring the subject back to wine!  Cheers!

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(Image Credit: Fine Wine.com)

Thanks for the great visit.  I sure enjoy seeing all of you!

Silver Threading

An Attitude of Gratitude

Gratitude Sunday

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I scanned this page from the November 2014 edition of the “Oprah Magazine,” p. 129, because it illustrates how to cultivate an attitude of gratitude that fits everyone.  I knew Colline, and her Gratitude Project were on to something when I found her blog, and Oprah backs up her findings.

What am I grateful for this week?  I am grateful for peace and quiet.  Now don’t get me wrong, I love all the commotion of the holidays just as much as everyone else.  However, I do love the peace that ensues after Halloween to the week just before Thanksgiving.  It is a time to reflect and plan and figure out what you need for the holidays.

My husband and I are Buddhist so we do not celebrate Christmas.  We did when our kids and grand kids were home with us.  Now it is just the two of us, along with Sugar and Spice, of course.  There is not much planning for us for the holidays anymore.  I had to learn to enjoy the peace and quiet and to appreciate it for what it is – our time together to do what we want to do.

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We have a grand Thanksgiving planned.  Thai food!  Spring rolls, panang, and  cow-pot (Thai fried rice).  There is no reason that we have to follow a traditional Thanksgiving meal, so we decided to be different.  We are really looking forward to the meal because I do not make spring rolls often, so this will be a real treat.

What are you thankful for this week?

Thanks for popping in to see what I am up to today.  I will see you soon,

Silver Threading

SoCS–Past Recollections

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Welcome to Stream of Consciousness Saturday!  Our prompt for this week from Linda, A Life in Progress, is “memory.”

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Memories come to me like snatches of old black and white movies replaying in my mind.  Interestingly, when I visit some of those memories from long ago, I find the edges are hazy and no longer as clear; as compared to when I was living through the event.  Time seems to shadow those memories distorting and changing the feelings inside my heart.  Happiness and pain merge into foggy greyness.  Passions cool to simmer in the ancient history of my soul.

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Thanks for visiting with me today.  I am so glad you stopped by,

Silver Threading