what does a woman need to be happy?

Write Happy Poetry This Month! Simple Ideas For Any Writer, Any Age

It’s National Poetry Month! Einstein and I disagree slightly about what a man or woman needs to be happy – what would your ‘happy’ poem sound like? This is a fun, simple type of poetry to write and share with your students; just imagine the possibilities! They could adopt different points of view, write as characters from a novel. Have them create hand-drawn images, or search and add digital images based on poem keywords to add a visual element. Combine poems into categories, write group poems…the possibilities are huge!

Please share your/your class poems in the comments, or send me an image of how they turned out! Feel free to use this post as a starting point.

Einstein said:

Happy

A table, a chair,
a bowl of fruit and a violin;
what else does a man need
to be happy?

what does a woman need to be happy?

In honor of National Poetry Month, I thought we should flip his ideas a bit:

mamawolfe’s version:

A bench, a book
big snowy mountains and coffee with cream;
what else does a woman need
to be happy?

~mamawolfe

happy

Check out my other poetry ideas here, and please share your results! I’ve also got some awesome poetry hyperdocs – let me know in the comments if you’re interested in them!

Jennifer Wolfe

Jennifer Wolfe, a writer-teacher-mom, is dedicated to finding the extraordinary in the ordinary moments of life by thinking deeply, loving fiercely, and teaching audaciously. Jennifer is a Google Certified Educator, Hyperdoc fanatic, and a voracious reader. Read her stories on her blog, mamawolfe, and grab free copies of her teaching and parenting resources.

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Happiness Hacks For August 2017: Bring More Gratitude Into Your Life

August! An exciting, anxious month for many of us and sadly, ending with weather disasters from west to east…with friends losing their homes, their hopes, their happiness, it’s all the more reason to take a minute and read my Happiness Hacks for August 2017 Bring More Gratitude Into Your Life.

This month, I’ve had some great moments traveling, setting up my classroom, visiting with old friends and starting year 27 of teaching middle school. Along the way, I found happiness and gratitude!

Happiness Hacks for August 2017 Bring More Gratitude Into Your Life

A Little Bit of Reading Time:

The summer months are my best times for plowing through my stacks of books to be read – and I made a good dent in August. Two of my favorites were by Dani Shapiro – her memoirs Devotion and Hourglass. Wow – I couldn’t get enough of either one, finding myself wanting to shout out loud, “Hey, me too!” on nearly every page. Reviews to come.

A surprise read was Garth Stein’s The Art of Racing In The Rain – it was one of those books I heard about when it first published but never got around to picking up a copy. Boy, am I glad I did – such an interesting narrative technique, and if you’re a dog lover/owner, it’s a must read.

In one sitting I read Garth Callaghan’s Napkin Notes – a sweet memoir about a dad, his daughter, and cancer.

I’m ending the month in the middle of Louise Erdrich’s The Round House – another title that’s been hanging around my shelf for awhile.

I also wrote a review about one of my favorites, Ann Patchett’s State of Wonder. Have you read it?

What are your recommended reads right now?

Happiness Hacks August 2017: Bring More Gratitude Into Your Life

Something Yummy:

Shishito peppers. I spent four days in San Diego for an AVID conference, and my aunties introduced me to the Blind Lady Ale House and their tasty appetizer of fresh shishito peppers. Have you tried them? They’re my new obsession – simple to prepare by sauteeing in a bit of olive oil, add a bit of pink Himalayan salt and munch away! I’ve found them in bags at Trader Joe’s and Safeway – they’re not spicy, just full of flavor. Yum!

Listen Up:

Podcasts keep me company at home while I cook and wash the dishes, in the garden when I water, on my bike when I ride to school and anywhere I walk the dog. I’m constantly looking for something new and different – last month I spent quite a bit of time listening to “The Ten Minute Teacher” (super cool teaching ideas in a fast podcast format), NPR’s “Up First” (it helps to condense the daily news and avoid overwhelm) and balanced it off with the always-inspirational “Dr. Wayne W. Dyer Podcast”.

Do you have any podcasts you’d recommend?

Happy At Home:

Sharpies. I  LOVE them. Not just because I’m a teacher (although I do have a pretty awesome special collection in my classroom) but because they are so USEFUL! Some of my favorite Sharpie hacks include:

  • labeling sheets with the correct size (no more guesswork!)
  • writing on electronic plugs to identify what they go with
  • labeling plastic bags in the freezer
  • writing on clothing tags to match to the owner
  • making signs to organize bins

If you want to get REALLY creative, check out these amazing Sharpie projects from Happiness At Home’s blog.

Treat Yourself:

Pedicures. Manicures – I love them both. I don’t care if I go by myself or with a friend, I just love sitting back in the massage chair, feeling the warm sudsy water relax my tired feet and an amazing scrub and soften, followed up with a fun polish color – it just makes me smile, and for me, it’s worth the price to have a bit of pampering every few months!

What do you treat yourself to?

I hope these Happiness Hacks for August 2017 bring more gratitude into your life. Please be sure to leave your happiness hacks in the comments – I’d love to share your tips for living an ordinary, extraordinary life.

~Jennifer

Do you have to intentionally make yourself happier? Some people, like me, need ‘happiness hacks’ to remind themselves every day of what a blessing it is to be alive each day – what great fortune we have to be living for one more extraordinary, ordinary moment.

Years ago I started a gratitude journal – just a daily addition to my morning pages that documented the ordinary things that I was grateful for – simple things that made me happy.

During this time I read Gretchen Rubin‘s book, The Happiness Project – Gretchen’s writing and podcasts inspired me to create what I hope are monthly lists of ‘happiness hacks’ – small, simple acts or moments in life that bring me happiness and maybe they’ll rub off on you, too. You can read my essay inspired by Gretchen’s other book, Happier At Home here. 

In June 2017 I started with my first set of ‘happiness hacks’, and loved the responses I received on the post and on social media. Turns out, you do things to make yourselves happy, too. 

You can read my “happiness hacks” posts below:

Happiness Hacks: July 2017 To Bring More Gratitude Into Your Life

Jennifer Wolfe

Jennifer Wolfe, a writer-teacher-mom, is dedicated to finding the extraordinary in the ordinary moments of life by thinking deeply, loving fiercely, and teaching audaciously. Jennifer is a Google Certified Educator, Hyperdoc fanatic, and a voracious reader. Read her stories on her blog, mamawolfe, and grab free copies of her teaching and parenting resources.

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Introverts, Surround Yourself With Love

Introverts, Surround Yourself With Love 

To be honest, I’m a classic introvert. On any magazine – er, online – quiz, I score shockingly high in everything introverted. I regroup best when I’m alone. I’m most often found at home, or wandering around alone in bookstores or libraries. I love long walks alone or with one other person. I delight in finding secluded, out of the way places to hang out. I enjoy being around people, in small doses, as long as I can retreat and recharge afterward. I don’t mind staying home on a Friday night, parked in my comfy chair with a great novel and the fan gently blowing to block out any distractions.

This can present definite problems -especially when I have to teach. Or parent. Or go outside.

Introverts unite!
Most days, I’m happy just hanging out with my book. Introverts unite!

As a teacher, I often feel like an introvert in an extroverted job, exhausted by the sheer volume of people and interactions and decisions I need to make within a day.

As a mom, especially when my children were young, I found it nearly impossible to get that precious time to myself that was so crucial to my ability to feel like I could make it through the day intact.

As a writer, introversion suits me just fine. Words, language, silent communication – they all slip neatly into my day, offering the energy I need to not only make sense of the world but to make sense of me.

Thankfully, I’ve learned a few tricks to help me survive in a world that has always seemed pretty overwhelming. I’ve learned how to make small talk (I hate it, but it helps to have a few things to say to avoid people thinking I’m rude when really I’m just shy). I’ve learned to lock my door during my lunch hour to give me at least fifteen minutes of uninterrupted solitude – transitions are hard for introverts. I’ve learned to name my personality type, and to my great surprise, I’ve found that many of the people I interact with each day are introverts, too.

Introverts, Surround Yourself With Love
Surrounding myself with love

One of the most important pieces to surviving as an introvert in an extroverted world has been thinking carefully about social interactions and choosing carefully what I really want to do versus what I feel like I should do – and deciding who the people are that I most want to interact with. Introverts, surround yourself with love.

 

Being an introvert means that social situations involving large numbers of people are particularly problematic. I simply don’t like them, and I’ve decided that I have the power to choose – and most of the times, I go with my gut. I choose to surround myself with people who make me feel good, people who aren’t toxic, people who are thinkers and curious and like to walk through the world showing kindness.

Particularly in times like this, when the media is coming at us from every angle with meanness and hateful words and actions against others…it’s more than I can take. It’s more than anyone should have to see and hear and take in. Too much toxicity, too many unhealthy images and words battling to get inside our psyches.

Introverts, Surround Yourself With Love

Introverts are particularly susceptible to ‘people’ energy, requiring us to think deeply about those people we surround ourselves with. Even though it might not seem like much, when we take a few moments to think about who we are around and how they are making us feel, we introverts (and really, all of us) can take our power back. Just think for a minute how you spend your day, what kind of people make you feel loved and fulfilled and happy. If you consciously choose to surround yourself with love, imagine how infectious that could be. And imagine what would happen if we taught our children to do the same.
Who or what are you surrounding yourself with?

Jennifer Wolfe

Jennifer Wolfe, a writer-teacher-mom, is dedicated to finding the extraordinary in the ordinary moments of life by thinking deeply, loving fiercely, and teaching audaciously. Jennifer is a Google Certified Educator, Hyperdoc fanatic, and a voracious reader. Read her stories on her blog, mamawolfe, and grab free copies of her teaching and parenting resources.

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In Our Most Ordinary Days

In our most ordinary days we have moments of happiness, moments of comfort and enjoyment, moments of seeing something that pleased us, something that touched us, moments of contacting the tenderness of our hearts. We can take joy in that.
ordinary days
in our most ordinary days
I find that it’s essential during the day to actually note when I feel happiness or when something positive happens, and to begin to cherish those moments as precious. Gradually we can begin to cherish the preciousness of our whole life just as it is, with its ups and downs, its failures and successes, its roughness and smoothness.

~ Pema Chodron

I celebrate the extraordinary in the ordinary, the touching of my feet to the floor every morning, the opportunity to watch my children and my students smile and grow every single day. The moments of happiness, even in times of grief, and what is essential to focus on.

That’s where I am in this moment – striving to remember the deliciousness of that first sip of coffee in the morning, the surprise April showers pattering outside my window, the joy of my teenage son waking on his own – early, even – and the solid curl of loyal, black doggie fur pressed against my lap as I write.

As we watch the world struggle to agree, as we mourn the loss of musicians who have made us feel joy in the smallest of moments and the lowest of times, as we yearn for simplicity and understanding, please cherish the ordinary moments of happiness right in front of you.

That’s where we start.

Jennifer Wolfe

Jennifer Wolfe, a writer-teacher-mom, is dedicated to finding the extraordinary in the ordinary moments of life by thinking deeply, loving fiercely, and teaching audaciously. Jennifer is a Google Certified Educator, Hyperdoc fanatic, and a voracious reader. Read her stories on her blog, mamawolfe, and grab free copies of her teaching and parenting resources.

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The Conditions For Our Happiness 

conditions for our happiness

“We believe that happiness is possible only in the future. That is why the practice “I have arrived” is very important. The realization that we have already arrived, that we don’t have to travel any further, that we are already here, can give us peace and joy. The conditions for our happiness are already sufficient. We only need to allow ourselves to be in the present moment, and we will be able to touch them. “

~Quote from “your true home: the everyday wisdom” by thich nhat hanh

I share this quote today with deep gratitude to my sweet friend Jennifer for gifting me this inspirational book. It fills my mind each day with energy and the reminder to work diligently to be here, now.

Please share where you find the conditions for your happiness every day ~ your energy will help us all to enjoy the extraordinary in the ordinary.

 

Jennifer Wolfe

Jennifer Wolfe, a writer-teacher-mom, is dedicated to finding the extraordinary in the ordinary moments of life by thinking deeply, loving fiercely, and teaching audaciously. Jennifer is a Google Certified Educator, Hyperdoc fanatic, and a voracious reader. Read her stories on her blog, mamawolfe, and grab free copies of her teaching and parenting resources.

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