Who Can Resist Minions?

Because they make me smile and they’re one of my bestie’s favorite things to make her smile… How could I not include Minions in my holiday music?

There should always be time for silliness and fun, especially during this time of year. What silliness makes you smile?

Bringing Back The Christmas Joy By Giving

Got some not so great news about a friend today, so if I’m not my normal chipper self, I apologize. I’m still waiting to hear what will happen. Unfortunately it seems like several people I care about are struggling today…some with cancer, some with career, some with other various wounds and injuries.

Remember how lucky you are to have your families…because there are people out there who have no one. Hold them close…and let them know, especially this time of year when things can get overwhelming and bleak…just how much they matter to you. Whether you think they know or not…remind them.  It’s important.

::Deep Breath::

Ok, now let me try to shake off this melancholy. You are all gonna help me do it.

Viveka– my Swedish pal who loves all things tied to passions…music, photos, people and writing…honored me with my third Blog Of The Year award!

Blog of the Year Award 3 star jpeg

What could cheer a blue girl up more than giving her friends gifts?  So, without further ado, the rules, then…my Christmas Gifts to some very deserving people who’ve found ways since I started my blog in August to lighten my days. (Also, there are those friends of mine who would rather NOT receive an award…if I know…I will respect your wishes and honor you later…in other ways.)

1 Select the blog(s) you think deserve the ‘Blog of the Year 2012’ Award.
2 Write a blog post and tell us about the blog(s) you have chosen – there’s no minimum or maximum number of blogs required – and ‘present’ them with their award.
3 Please include a link back to this page http://thethoughtpalette.co.uk/our-awards/blog-of-the-year-2012-award/ – and include these ‘rules’ in your post (please don’t alter the rules or the badges!).
4 Let the blog(s) you have chosen know that you have given them this award and share the ‘rules’ with them.
5 You can now also join our Facebook group – click ‘like’ on this page ‘Blog of the Year 2012’ Award Facebook group and then you can share your blog with an even wider audience.
6 As a winner of the award – please add a link back to the blog that presented you with the award – and then proudly display the award on your blog and sidebar … and start collecting stars…!

Jennifer from Quirk’n It – who finds such lovely images from behind her lens.

Amadiex from The Closet Artist – who is finally finding ways to make time for her art work in the midst of her busy job at the hospital. (Ya’ll know how I feel about people who follow their dreams…)

Benjamin from Evolutions Of Art – A wonderful artist suffering from new onset Parkinson’s and with an appreciation for beautiful music.

Olivia OBryon – An awesome teacher with interesting stories…including one that proves…bad boys always have a plan.

Ramblings From A Mum – A new friend who made me realize…there are so many more gadgets that my house could use…

Organised Clutter – Whose idea of a “Literary Fantasy Dinner Party” still has me thinking about who’d be on my guest list…

Cowboys And Crossbones – Who really knows how to party…and is in Nashville, a place I’d love to visit sometime.

Sydney Aaliyah – One of the first people I met on here who also shows that the art of giving is not dead.

Every one of you is deserving of this award. If you haven’t been included yet, don’t despair…I have 3 more of the Blog Of The Year awards to go and I’m trying to pace myself.

I hope in some small way…knowing you are appreciated and recognized makes your day just a little….maybe brings a smile to your face.  The world could use more smiles.

Strength In Smiles

This evening I’m steeped in fatigue and rocking a migraine, but still felt this burning need to write.

Earlier today I was paid one of the nicest compliments.  This older gentleman at church walked up to me and said, “You know, I really enjoy when I’m participating in the service because while I’m sitting up front I get to see you smile.  I just wanted you to know that you have the prettiest smile that just lights up a room and brings joy to everyone who sees it.  Thanks.  You made my day.”

The truth is, I’m always smiling.  It’s a big part of who I am.  It’s how I share my passion for life with the world (well, besides the writing and the singing), and it’s one of the ways I try to contribute to making the world a better place.  My mom and sister are the same way.

Somehow I think my mom, who was a devout Catholic in her youth, probably took her lesson about smiling from Mother Teresa who said:

“Every time you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing.”

Personally, it was George Bernard Shaw who resonated with me with his quote:

“Better keep yourself clean and bright; you are the window through which you must see the world.”

This implies that everything is a choice, most especially your outlook on the world.  And I truly believe that.  It’s not always easy to find something to smile about or to be grateful for, especially if you’re reflecting inward.  But often, if you’re shifting your vision outward to the rest of the world, there’s always something.

The thing about smiles is that most of the time they can give you the greatest joy…and they’re contageous.  But there’s a different kind of smile, too.  Have you ever seen a smile and wished you could look away because it broke your heart?  All you saw when you looked into that face was bravery and pain? A person tenaciously holding on to this strong, hidden inner core, but in their eyes was everything that let you know everything was NOT alright?

Today I saw that, too.  A couple from church had lost their son, but they came to be with their church family and gain comfort.  They smiled, but boy was there heartache in that smile.  I felt it in my soul.

I admire and respect that kind of pure stubbornness and iron will that allows a person to smile through their own heartache and pain.  The thing is, these people don’t have to say a word…you still get a strong sense of their grief. So for all those who are heartbroken and struggling to hold on to their smiles…here are a few songs for you to remind you that your smile matters to someone… And to hang on.