Monday Gets To be A Good Listener

A blank page in front of you is so daunting……….

You think of all the words you know and somehow you can’t fit them together to make a single sentence.  Is it that we have TOO much to say?!!  Or…nothing at all.   I started feeling like the Scarecrow from the Wizard of Oz without a brain as I sat here trying to decide what topic Monday would bring.

As I was scratching my head with “nary a thought”, my sweet dog, Tramp, came and laid his head on my lap and I realized how, with only a vocabulary of 25 or so words, he was amazingly able to communicate very clearly.  He is a friend who tells me he loves me without speaking a word.  Perhaps, that is what us two-legged creatures  have lost.  The ability to be gentle in our communication and show others how we feel….without texts or emails or photoshop-ed pictures or a video on YouTube!!

I remember watching my parents, who were married for 55 years before one of them passed.  They would look at each other in a way that you knew without a shadow of a doubt that they loved each other, and their hearts would be together forever.  No words…..just loving looks and smiles.  No fancy gifts….but rather daily demonstrations that they cared about the other.  “Giving and Taking” was an ever revolving cycle that passed from one to the other.  They did it with such ease and loving energy.   You felt if you stood between them that you might be zapped by an invisible ray of love that would emit like an old sci-fi flick might demonstrate with lightning bolts.

I need to practice that kind of demonstration of caring more often.  We all get so anxious to “tell our own stories” that we forget to listen to what others have to say.  And thereby, really showing them that we care about the special person that they are and what they have to share.  It seems Good Listeners are hard to find.  OK….here’s your Monday challenge.

 Monday Gets to be a Good Listener.

When someone is talking to you today…..don’t think about your own stories or moments that you have experienced that match theirs.  Instead….just listen and comment about them.  Let them know, at that very moment, that you care only about them and what they have to say 100%.  Think this sounds easy??!!  Good Luck!  You’re human and you will find your tongue is hurting by the end of the day from biting it to keep from muttering your own exciting tale.  However…what you will find is that you don’t walk away feeling you only got part of their story.  Instead, you will leave knowing them a little better and they will feel that they are very important and that they matter to you.  And….that’s really what it’s all about, right?  If we could live today and every day like that, the world would be a much better place.

So….at day’s end, maybe stop to reflect how you feel.

I hope you feel you have made someone’s day a little brighter just by listening.

Didn’t cost you a dime either!

I hope that you realize that You Matter too.

Your unselfishness and humbleness are gifts that you can share any day…not just Monday.

Make Monday special……just like you!

 Smiles,

Nancy

Monday Gets Historical

Have you realized that as you are cruising around during each day that you are passing buildings or trees or houses or structures that are filled with history…some are 50+ years old, some 100+ years old….some even more advanced in age.  Don’t you wish they could talk?  I decided to share with a few that I came across today.  They are all part of history and should be given the respect they deserve to have survived so long.

This sign indicates this road area was part of the Route 66 trail (now known as Santa Monica Blvd in Los Angeles).  Route 66 served as a major path for those who migrated west, especially during the Dust Bowl of the 1930s, and it supported the economies of the communities through which the road passed. People doing business along the route became prosperous due to the growing popularity of the highway.  Next to the sign is an old neon sign that has its own history for the early 60s, a well-known donut stop in L.A.

Here’s the gates of the studio area that is today known as The Lot.  The studios were built in 1920 and in 1928 they were known as the Pickford-Fairbanks Studios where classics like The Thief of Bagdad and Robin Hood were filmed.  In 1933, Lucille Ball played a slave girl in her first movie, Roman Scandals.  Since that time it has had actors like Marilyn Monroe, Clark Gable, Frank Sinatra, Marlon Brando, Laurence Olivier, Eddie Murphy, Bruce Springsteen, Tom Hanks, Sandra Bullock and many others stroll thru these gates to create the Hollywood magic of movies, TV and sound recordings.  Sadly, a big section of this amazing walk in history is now just a pile of dirt as it makes room for space to build more technologically-updated space and creates a venue for the next generation of talent of Hollywood.

Can’t come to Hollywood without visiting the infamous Pink’s Hot Dogs.  A landmark on LaBrea since 1939 when it was just a large wheeled push cart and hot dogs sold for 10 cents.  It has changed a bit since the beginning days—hot dogs are now $3.45; but still in the same place and still draws crowds every day.  You can go by here at 10 in the morning or 10 at night and there is ALWAYS a line waiting to partake of their scrumptious hot dogs!

A favorite of mine is the old Charlie Chaplin Studios built around 1917 when the area was nothing but acres and acres of orange groves.  “The Little Tramp” kept his movie crew busy over the next two decades creating classics like Modern Times, City Lights and The Great Dictator.  Now, the lot is the home of another mark in history—Jim Henson Productions, which gave us the beloved Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy and the other Muppets.

What an amazing conglomerate of many interesting and groundbreaking moments in history.  As we look back, we wonder what life must have been like in this area in the early 1900s.  Hundreds of orange trees growing everywhere.  Some of the eucalyptus trees in this area look like they are even hundreds of years old.  Amazing times for sure!  Difficult times too! There are a lot of bungalows around these historical landmarks that were built by the studios to house the actors.  Some of the places have nice patios in the back that were once areas where they kept a few horses for the actors to ride to the studios.  How different in a town that now boasts it has more cars registered in the county than people.

It’s important to stop and appreciate these relics that are around us.  I’m sure you have your own historical places in the town where you live. We need to take care of these special places and show them the respect they deserve for withstanding many “battles” in their lifetime.

 So Monday Gets Historical.

Take time to appreciate the old structures and their beauty.

Many amazing craftsman’s art is being preserved for future generations to appreciate and experience.

Look at nature’s creations too that continue to reach to the sky.

Within walking distance, I am sure you can find many treasures.

So take a walk.  See the beauty.   Experience days gone by.  And along the way take time to remember your own history and the “good ole days”

Hope it’s a history-appreciation Monday for you.

Smiles,

Nancy

Monday gets Thankful for the Memories

When I was walking my dog, Tramp, yesterday, I realized something interesting about myself.  By writing this Blog each week, it makes me stop to reflect about my life and makes me more appreciative of where I am in my journey today.  I know the many thoughts cross my mind daily; but writing them down adds value and nourishment to their existence and gives them a feeling of abundance.

I have always been one to appreciate small things; but somehow, every little thing I encounter now, seems so much more important.  I wonder what would happen if we allowed school-aged children to have a time in their daily lessons to reflect about their day.   No grade to be given or even any kind of judgment or revealing to others….just a moment to acknowledge their difficulties or happiness for the day.  I bet we would have a society of much more well-balanced individuals.

Do you take time to write your thoughts in a journal?  Probably everyone had a diary at some point in their lives.  I wish I had done more of it.  There are things when I was younger that I have just vague memories of that I would like to recall more details.  Wouldn’t it be nice if everyone kept journals?  If my Grandmother had kept a journal, I would love to be able to read it now.  She lived to be 96 and told tales of her life of leaving Virginia in a covered wagon to move to Tennessee.  What an adventure!   What a great treasure it would have been to have something like that to pass onto other generations! Hmmmmm….well, I didn’t take a covered wagon; but I did cross the country to move to California.  Guess that counts for a bit of adventure too…And I have pictures to go along with the documenting of the journey.

Perhaps, you should consider starting the habit of taking notes of your daily life.  Maybe it will help you realize how many good things come your way.  Or perhaps, it will be something that you can read ten years from now and recall some really special moments.  Or maybe, your children or your grandchildren will read it some day and “get to know you” a little better.  I bet iPhones even have an App for the process!   Whatever you do, don’t let the precious moments get lost.

Let’s see what can we call this Monday??

I know…let’s call it

Monday Gets Thankful for the Memories

Hope you take the time to reflect on some of the special times that have happened in your life.  Maybe call someone that you haven’t talked to in ‘many moons’ to reminisce about some good memories.

It’s another wonderful Monday….Make it a good memory!!

Smiles, Nancy

Monday Gets Neighbor-ly

I love where I live.  Just a small little 1920s bungalow, with lots of charm.  Hmmmm…..funny word….”charm”.  It can mean anything from a cute little Spanish Hacienda to an old building that should have been demolished years before.  My “charming” place is somewhere in between.  It works for me and makes me feel it is home when I walk in the door.  I wonder what is the key to making a place ‘home sweet home’.  Is it the looks, the smell, the furnishings or maybe even the people that are your neighbors?  I love my neighbors too….we are quite an eclectic bunch.  The thing in old buildings is that their walls are quite thin and lack insulation for keeping the weather conditions out; but also allow a lot of your neighbor’s daily life to seep through the walls.  Instead of neighbors, we are more like roommates at times.   The daily sounds and smells drift in and out of the cardboard thin walls that hardly act like barriers.  Freshly brewed coffee for the early riser becomes the wake up call for another.  Whizzing sound of the vegan making a morning smoothie is the annoying sound for a late night-er who only arrived home a few hours before.  We all exist in our own worlds but with these intertwined sounds and smells floating in and out.  We have friends and family who get added to the mix.  We all consider this home.

MONDAY GETS NEIGHBOR-LY

 I wish I could introduce you to each of my neighbors and tell you some of their stories; but not sure that doesn’t violate some kind of privacy act.  There are so many rules and regulations now that it makes one afraid to even share our own stories for fear of being accused of some kind of intimate crime.  Too many secrets some times I think.  It makes us afraid to open up and share who we really are.  We become very protective and guarded….how can a community every grow and thrive if we are constantly monitoring what words we allow to be shared?  Maybe that’s why I like where my home is now.  Some of the barriers are brought down but still allowing a feeling of safety in our ‘charming’ little community.  We may not agree or even approve of what another is doing; but we co-exist quite nicely and are available for others when needed.

Hope you like your home too.  I really hope that you feel safe and happy in it too; and you enjoy your neighbors.  Home is really the most important place we will ever visit.  Without that feeling of “home”, there becomes a huge void in our lives.  Be thankful for your space as there are thousands of people who are not so lucky.

On this Monday,  look around your house and realize the comfort that it provides.  It may be designed exactly what you dreamed it would be or it may be ‘a work in progress’.  It may be pristine clean or piled high with clutter….no matter what is its condition…it is still Home!  Be sure to say ‘hello’ to your neighbor and ask how they are doing. We are sometimes absorbed in our own world and forget that someone else may be experiencing a time of need. We sometimes forget to even smile or even look at them when we are passing each other as we enter our abodes.

Today is Monday

You have another great opportunity to make someone’s day a little better.

Smile and say “Hello Neighbor!!”

It will make their day brighter….and yours too!

Smiles,

Nancy