Monday Gets to the End of 52 Weeks…Wow!

Wow!  Wow!  Wow!  I can hardly believe I have been sitting down each Monday for 52 weeks to post here!  It is amazing to me that I have found so much to write about….especially since I didn’t really know much about writing in the first place.  I thought you had to have a journalism degree or maybe a master degree in something to be able to come up with things that people might be interested in reading.  After the first week, I really didn’t think I could continue here.  Quite honestly, by the time the second Monday rolled around, I was kicking myself for making the commitment.  What was I thinking!!  For the first few weeks my brain would resist the effort to create the post and I would spend hours and hours trying to just get 5-600 words down on paper…..writing and re-writing and often deleting everything and starting over.  After the first month, not only did the words start coming easier; but I was really looking forward to the process….an addiction was formed and I often had to delete stuff because it was way too much to include.

What have I learned from this 52-week process?  Lots!  I’ve learned that I can do a lot more things than I ever thought I could.  I’ve learned that the people around me, in my every day life, have taught me a lot about myself and have given me new appreciation and respect for the most simple of daily encounters.  I have gained new heroes in the most unexpected places!!  And new friends all over the world…..many that I will never meet….but some that I hope I have the opportunity to meet face to face some day.  I have realized that we all need to hear the words “You Matter” and feel that we are making a difference in some way.  My goal was a simple one…make a difference in someone’s life each Monday.  What I didn’t expect is to find how much it was making a difference in MY life each Monday!!

You all have encouraged and inspired me to continue my goal of 52 weeks and have brightened my Monday’s with your sweet comments and sharing of your loving feelings.   I couldn’t have done it without your help and support.  I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for the difference you have made in my life.

So where do we go from here?  Big Question.  This weekly blog post has made me question and contemplate “What else can I accomplish?”  I have a few things in mind; but not certain what the exact choice will be yet.  My bucket list seems to be growing.   I’m going to take a little break from my Monday posting and decide what I want to do next.  I will post to this Blog site what the new one might be.  I hope you will join me on the new journey.  If you haven’t already done so, please sign up with your email here on this site; so you will get an email with the unveiling of where I will be next.  I would love for all you to continue along my path of discovery.

 I hope the spirit of JustStartWithMonday will continue in your life and that you continue to believe that YOU MATTER.

I hope you have realized just how simple it is to make a difference in someone else’s life.

It’s important to open your heart to new possibilities in making that continue to happen.

I’ll be back soon.

I hope today is a special Monday for you.

I know it is for me!!

Smiles,

Nancy

Monday Gets Postponed

I’m not ready for Monday; so I would like to just postpone it.  That’s right!!  Let’s start tomorrow or maybe the next day.  You know….stop the clocks.  Gone Fishin’!  Anyone want to join me?!!

How many times do you hear someone say…”If I had just one more day…”  We always think we would be better at something or more prepared or feel more rested or just have a better start….if we just had a little more time!  I do it all the time.  I call them the “Should’ve, Would’ve, Could’ve ‘s”  We all think we are just on the edge of a breakthrough or look for something to, at least, use as an excuse for why we don’t do better.  I’ve been doing it all day.  I have a huge project that is due tomorrow; but my usual combination of poor planning and procrastination has got me in a ‘dash for the finish line’ for tomorrow’s project.  I have all the valid excuses (or so I keep telling myself) of why I have put myself in this place.  You know what REALLY annoys me??  This is not the first time….nor it will it probably be the last time!  Why do I do this to myself??

Maybe I like the thrill of the last minute rush, or maybe I AGAIN didn’t plan wisely or maybe even, I set myself up to fail sometimes.  Honestly, right now, I’m thinking I’m just plain stupid!

OK….we realistically can’t postpone Monday….and even though it didn’t get off to a great start, perhaps it can end on a high note.  Nose to the grindstone.  Let’s get those projects finished.  I am the little red engine…I think I can, I think I can, I think I can!! 

How about you?  Got any of these hot fires to put out around your house?  I’ve started at the top of my priority list.  Today I will tackle my list and get my project finished.

By the end of the day, I will probably be exhausted.  But, sometimes there is a good type of exhausted feeling…..the feeling of accomplishment and getting things done.

At the end of the day, Pat yourself on the back.

But, don’t linger on your laurels for too long.

Tomorrow is a new day and I’m sure you have lots you need to get marked off your list.  Start each day with an attitude of doing your very best and not wasting precious time in front of a TV or maybe your computer or any of the multiple possibilities of not staying on track to be the best you can be.

Your friends on Facebook will understand.  In fact, how about posting to your timeline, the list you want to get accomplished this week.  I dare you to make the declaration….and follow through with gusto.

Sorry I couldn’t really postpone Monday for you.

You might find out, however, it’s going to turn out to be a great day.

Smiles,

Nancy

Monday Gets Writer’s Block

I think I have writer’s block today….Wikipedia defines it as “a condition, primarily associated with writing as a profession” (hmmmm…questionable though because this really isn’t my profession), “in which an author loses the ability to produce new work”.  It goes on to indicate “the degree this “disease” can escalate to “some ‘blocked’ writers have been unable to work for years and some have even abandoned their careers.”  Can you imagine just not been able to write anything that made half-way sense for YEARS??

It seems I’m in good company though….F. Scott Fitzgerald struggled with the affliction as did the amazing Charles M. Schulz.  Maybe I should just ‘go with this’ and just consider myself among the famous writers.  You know…kind of like a prestigious club member.

The scientific theory is that “under stress, a human brain will shift control from the cerebral cortex to the limbic system.  The limbic system is associated with the instinctual processes, such as fight or flight response.  Because the person is primarily thinking in instinctual (learned) behaviors, creative processes are hindered.”  Guess that makes sense.  Guess scientists don’t consider that a person is really tired….or maybe just lazy sometimes.

I think it’s funny how we have all the perfect words put together to say sometimes.  We rehearse them over and over before we’re ready to present them on our “chosen life stage”…..and then when the moment arrives….all those perfectly rehearsed words are just lost in space somewhere.  We all have this super brain that is capable to doing so much more than what we use it for in our daily lives….but most really don’t.  In fact, some people seem like they leave theirs at home sometimes.  My Dad use to say that some people just use that container where the brain is for a place to hang their hat!  I’m sure you’ve met a few people like that, huh?

Did you know that the statement we only use 10% of our brain is a myth?  If it were true, then surgeons could remove more than half our brain and nothing would be affected….not the case….something is ALWAYS affected…speech, walking, talking.  What is true, however,  is that most of us only reach the potential of 10% of our brain capacity.  That’s right….we all have the potential of becoming great inventors or scientist or even great writers or whatever we might want to pursue.  If we want to do that….we have to push ourselves…and our brain to work harder, longer, with more accuracy every single day.  I always bought into the myth of 10% brainpower, but now I’m thinking that I’ve just been wasting time.  Like now….in the same time that I’m “declaring” that I have writer’s block, I could have written the first few pages of a best-selling novel.  Right?!!

What masterpiece will you create today by using ALL YOUR brain?!!

You could be a famous painter or maybe you could discover a cure for some of the horrible diseases that one of your friends or family are suffering with right now.

A brand new symphony would be nice.  Or maybe a new Broadway play.

Whatever “masterpiece” you have in mind, don’t be afraid to, at least, TRY to start to create it. Everyone has SOMETHING that they have said at some point that they “wish” they could do.

How will you ever know if you can do something, if you don’t at least try to do it?!!

Start now….start today.  It’s Monday….a good day to begin.

Well, guess I better get busy.  I’ve got a masterpiece to produce.

Smiles,

Nancy

Monday Gets A New Job

I start a new job today.  I’m a bit excited.  I’m looking forward to meeting new people and experiencing new happenings.  I wish I had documented each time I started a new job and all the thoughts, emotions, and questions that seem to surface.  I think starting a new job kind of reminds me of when I was younger and the thrill and uncertainties that go with starting each new school year.  I have a lot of the same questions….will I make some nice friends? will I have the knowledge to do well with each “test”? what should I wear the first day?…..and even do I need to pack my lunch? and hope I don’t don’t get lost on the first day (thank you google map).

Isn’t it funny how life kind of parallels itself?  We think something is a brand new experience but yet there always something there that is familiar that helps us get through the difficult or uncertain moments…nothing much is really brand new to us.  I sure wish I would have remembered that at times in the past when I was overwhelmed with nervousness and anxiety about beginning a new task.  I guess there is always the new people to meet and get to know……but that is also often the best part.

I hope I will have some new experiences to write about too.  This is my 49th post and my commitment was for 52 weeks.  Perhaps, time to shift gears and write about something different.  I’ve been thinking about a few things on my bucket list….I still want to write a book or screenplay….maybe this is a good place to try it out.  Do You have any suggestions?  I wonder if there is some kind of Blog Game?  I would write a line and then another person would write the next line and so on.  That would be fun.  Sure would make for interesting reading I bet and make writing a lot more fun….no one person would have the pressure or burden of writing the whole post.

Well, got to go pack my lunch and get ready for work.

Hope you have a good day at work today too.

I think it’s going to be a great day!

I love new adventures and learning new stuff, so I’m very excited.

Wish me luck.  See you next Monday.

Smiles, Nancy

Monday Gets A Ghost Writer

CoverHi!  My name is Tramp.  You’ve heard a little bit about me in my Master’s (I call her Mom) post here.  I am her forever, loyal sidekick and love spending time hanging out with her.  My Mom is a bit under the weather today, so I thought I would help her out and take over her Blog post for the day.  She is sleeping now so got to hurry and get this finished.  She probably wouldn’t like knowing that I put my dirty paws on her computer.  Let me tell you a little about myself.

I was born in the deep South and was known to many as Blackie from what I’m told.  I don’t really remember much beyond that as I was just a young pup when I came to live with my Mom in Florida.  I had been at a shelter for several months and despite the great care I got there, I was a bit lonely, scared and confused.  Well, one day a nice lady by the name of Sandi picked me up and took me to her house to give me a nice bath.  She told me I was going to meet someone who had another dog and she thought they might want to give me a new home.  I was very excited, but a little nervous too.  We went to a park and waited for my possible new owners to arrive.  Sure enough, right on time, they arrived.  Well, out of the car stepped this most beautiful yellow lab named Lady.  She was such a pretty thing and so full of life and smiles.  From what I got from the pieces of conversation was that Lady wasn’t always friendly to other pets and her master wanted us to meet and see how we got along.  Well, I was sure on my best behavior and Lady seemed to be pretty nice.  She did mention quietly under her breathe to me that she was “Queen Bee” and I should be super aware of that.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

So Sandi and this possible new owner talked for a bit while Lady and I got to know each other a little better.  They finished talking and Sandi told me to come with her to get back in the car.  I was so disappointed.  But….as my ears sagged a bit, this nice lady interrupted her and said “No, No….I want to take him with me today.  I just needed to make sure they would get along okay!”  Well….can you imagine my excitement?!!!  Today was MY best day ever.  Sandi was a bit surprised but very thrilled too.   This new owner had even brought me my very own collar and leash and had a crate ready in the car with a nice clean blanket in it.  I thought I was dreaming!!!

On our ride home, I think I slept like I hadn’t slept in months.  I was going to a new home and felt certain they would take good care of me.  My new Mom took me inside my new home and then showed me this GREAT yard where I could play and run.  I was sooooo excited.  I was Home!!  She showed me where I would be sleeping (right next to Lady) and then she gave me a big bowl of food.  Yums!  Biscuits too!  I was so tired after all the excitement of the day that I just kept falling asleep.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I guess by now, you realize how I got my name….Lady and the Tramp just seemed to be the right fit.

Many adventures have happened over the past eight years.  Lady and I spent many hours together wandering around our yard and laying in the sun and digging holes.  Lady was quite successful at begging for biscuits and I always got one too.   My sweet Lady was eight years old when I arrived; and sadly, she went onto doggie heaven a few years back.  My Mom and I moved to Tennessee for a while, but neither one of us liked the cold and snow.  So Mom packed us up and across country we went to live in Southern California.  I really like the sunshine and warm weather but best of all I get to have a second master….my best buddy Joey.  I squeal and run around every time he comes in the door.  He makes me happy!

I do lots of neat things here in California….I sunbatheIMG00343-20120818-1138, and garden IMG_0263and go for long walks.

My Mom takes me to this nice spa where I get great and relaxing baths too. IMG_0224 I am really a very lucky pup!! Which brings me to why I wanted to do this Blog post today.

My Mom writes this post each week to make people aware of things you can do to make a difference in other’s lives.

I wanted to have my turn too and let you know you can sure help out other pets like me and give them a good home just like I got.

I just can’t imagine where I might be if I had not been adopted by my Mom and Lady.  It makes me sad to think of all the poor cats and dogs that are alone in shelters and may never find someone that will love them and take good care of them.

 Are you maybe thinking of getting a new pet?  Why not check out some of the shelters in your town?

I’m sure you will find someone just as special as me…..okay, so I have gotten a little pompous in my older years.  It’s only because my Mom tells me every day how much she loves me and how handsome a fellow I am!!  DSCN0646

When she hugs me, I always hug back because I really appreciate how loyal she has been to taking good care of me.

I’m sure there’s a sweet cat or dog waiting to give you hugs and kisses too.

Give them a chance.

I’m sure you will get back much more than you could ever imagine.

I hope you enjoyed my post and I sure hope you will give another pup like me a chance some time soon.

I’ve got to go check on my Mom.

Smiles,

IMG00286-20120617-1729

Tramp

Monday Gets A Birthday Celebration

I had the wonderful experience of celebrating my son’s birthday in a special kind of way this year.  He had taken an amazing trip to parts of Europe and I flew to NYC to meet him on his return trip.  We spent the evening celebrating his special day with family.  It is so nice to celebrate a birthday with people all around that love you.

The next day we took a little ‘walk down memory lane’ and visited special places in his early life.  We went to the hospital where he was born, visited the tiny little carriage house where we lived until he was about six months old, went to his elementary school and even went to get a pizza from a special restaurant that we had always loved.

Some things had changed drastically, but some things were almost exactly the same.  And some things for me were exactly the same….but for my son (who had experienced them at a very young age) found them shockingly different.  His memory of a house way down the lane was actually just a few hundred feet across the street.  A hill that he had remembered to be almost insurmountable as he learned to ride his bike was actually just a small hump in the road.

Isn’t it funny how our brain takes a picture of something that we think will never change?  We live with that memory for a long time and would swear that we knew every little detail of the image.  But….then we see it years later and it is so awkward and different from the memory we had been recalling over and over.  It makes me want to take a picture of every thing I see, so that I can keep referring to it and keeping the vision accurate in my mind.

I think it is different with people we love and care about though.  We spend time with someone and somehow we connect to more of what is inside them rather than what is on the surface.  We may not see them for a very long time; but yet when we do reunite, it seems like nothing has changed and we have somehow been close to them the whole time.  We still laugh at the same silly things and remember many insignificant events and know every detail of its happening.  After a while, we don’t even register that this person’s face is sometimes drawn with lines of age or their hair is far from the original color of their youth.  We just ‘see’ the person we remembered long ago.   Isn’t it interesting how our heart “captures” pictures that our brain doesn’t seem to be able to recall?!!

There are lots of happenings that I don’t remember about my son’s early years, but yet I can recall with great detail the first moment of seeing his face.  I can remember his sweet smell and the feel of his pudgy body.   I can remember sitting alone with him the first night in the hospital nursery and rocking him quietly as he slept.  I can remember feeling the fear that I wouldn’t be a good enough Mom or the overwhelming quantity of things that I needed to learn in order to take good care of him.  I can also remember the joy and love I felt for this tiny little being and how I promised him that night that I would always do my very best to protect him and teach him and help him grow.  Yes, my heart captured a very clear picture that first birthday night…..the sweet love of my life was born!

I hope you have a few of these joyful recalls in your life.

Take some time to just sit and let your mind return to some of those heartfelt moments……there is no better medicine!

When you let yourself ‘re-live’ some of those special times in your life,

it feels like you are floating on clouds and there is nothing that is wrong or negative in this world.

And be sure to create some new memories too.

Don’t let yourself get caught up in all the details of an event, but rather just focus on the people that you are with at the moment.

Be sure to let your heart take a snapshot!

In fact….do it today.

It’s Monday….a good day to start.

Smiles,

Nancy

Monday Gets Organized

pileI know it is hard to tell from this pile of garbage…..but I have really been busy getting organized this week.  I feel like I have been hoarding so many unnecessary pieces of garbage.  Some of them, I am still not certain why I kept them in the first place.  If it was a memorable experience, it must not have been too impressive because no details of the event remain in my mind!

I am cleaning out closets and files and cabinets and things I have stashed–all with the certain feeling they would be used one day soon.  Well, it just didn’t happen….so time to let them go.   This pile went to the recycling bin and bags of clothes and books and other no longer necessary objects went to Goodwill.

I’m not sure why I have kept so much junk.  I moved to California with just a small U-Haul trailer and somehow it seems that everything was like a compressed sponge and has swollen to 3 or 4 times its original size.stuffed house

Why do you think we feel we need to hang onto our junk?  Is it a childhood thing? or just a normal human thing?  And it seems we have such big plans for the things we do save….fix the broken leg on an old couch or refinish an old desk (even though it has never fit in any house where we have lived) or maybe write a book from old research papers from college we have saved?!!  Or maybe we  just continue trying to pretend all the stuff doesn’t exist so we don’t have to deal with it.

Well….today’s the day to start fresh and clean out that clutter in your life….and your garage, apartment, house or wherever you have stashed all that stuff!  Don’t even think of the current state of the disaster…rather visualize what it will look like when you are all finished.  Go pick up a bunch of boxes and containers to help with the process.  Label a few “donation”, a couple are for keepers and a few ‘to be determined’ are allowed.  Start early in the day and keep snacks and beverages handy so you will keep focused on the task.

Here’s some visuals for you to get started….

Before Organizing

Before Organizing

After Organizing

After Organizing

Before organizing

Before organizing

Okay…..so this is a little bit of an exaggeration but sometimes that’s just what we need to really see the true picture of something that we need to deal with……and deal with it in a positive way!

After Organizing

After Organizing

So while you’re going through all your things…ask yourself questions….like….do I really need this now?  or maybe picture another person or family using the items that need them more than you?  if you think you do, in fact, need something…..be sure to ask yourself ‘will I use this in the next year?’  If not, then there is a really good chance that you won’t use it in the next 3-5 years!  And, if it’s like some of my things….I hadn’t used them in the previous 2 or 3 years either!!

I read that if you’re really having trouble letting go of something that you should take a picture of it.  That way, you’ll still have something tangible to “hold onto” but without all the clutter.  I’ve never tried that but let me know if it works for you.  Be sure to take a picture of all the stuff you are donating too…..great tax deduction and much more valid if you have a picture of things.

So, where are you going to start?

Maybe even start with your car!

You’ll need it to haul away all the things you are getting rid of so better make space and be able to load everything up as you are sorting.  Once it’s packed in your car, it’s hard to change your mind…..especially when you start seeing areas that are already showing signs of being neat and sorted.

I’ve got to get back to my piles here.

I want to make 2013 the best it can be and be ready for whatever wonderful adventure might come along.

Oh yeah!  Sometimes, you find amazing treasures amongst all the clutter….hope that motivates you to get started!!  Wonder what you will find?!!

Smiles and Happy Monday,

Nancy