Monday Gets A Parenthood Degree

I recently went to a celebration for friends who were celebrating the amazing fact that they are going to be parents soon.  Their baby is due right after the first of 2013 and they had a get-together with friends to commemorate the soon to be happening.  It is so exciting and an amazing event for this couple.  They are two awesome individuals, who I think will, for certain, be super parents.

Hmmmm……What does that mean?  Super Parents.  There is no test or exam for this certification and no one has a manual to hand over to you.  The ‘homework’ takes years to complete and “success” is sometimes questionable.  Rewards are many…but the number of trials and tribulations far out weigh the number of bonus points gained.  You sometimes get thanks for your efforts….and sometimes not.  You find yourself constantly questioning your expertise and struggle to keep your head above water….and often, only one step ahead of a toddler’s IQ or a 13-year-old-going-on-21, who is certain they hold all the wisdom in the world.  And, so why do so many pursue this degree called Parenthood?  Let’s discuss….

 Monday Gets A Parenthood Degree

I still remember all the excitement and enthusiasm leading to the birth of my son.  So many things to do in order to be ready for the big day.  And, for nine months, you are always the star of the moment.   And then….that big day arrives and the reality sets in.  OMG!!  What the heck do I do now??!!  For me, the terror of knowing that I had to care for this tiny little prize….and not break it, consumed my thoughts constantly.  One wrong turn or move and I might harm this precious child.   I tell my son now that he was kind of my “lab guinea pig”.  He always laughs, but somehow I will never be able to convey to him what a novice parent I really was. All I know is that he’s a lucky boy to still be all in one piece!!   I would continuously read everything I possibly could to try to find the magic instructions to be the best parent possible.

Well, long story short……He did survive and so did I.  And, did I pass the test and get my Parenthood Degree?  Yes, I did….but some days it was questionable.  What I did learn along the way was there are really only a few rules to learn.  The only thing that matters is that you love your child with all your heart and tell them that you do every single day.  It’s really getting back to what I tell all of you….You Matter!  That really is all the child needs most of the time outside of the necessities of food, clothing and shelter.  If you truly feel that love in your heart and you are able to convey that to your child, then I really think everything else will fall into place.  For those that have experienced this love for a child, you know that overwhelming gush of starry-eyed elation that I am talking about, right?  For those of you who have not, I truly hope you have the experience one day. It is like none other!!  There are no words to describe the depth of love that I feel for my child.  Being his parent makes me complete and gives me a strength that could move mountains if needed.  It is a love that will not die or fade and it grows stronger every day.

So I am proud of my Parenthood Degree…..more than anything else I have accomplished in my life.  And, for my friends who are about to step into that precious “cap and gown” moment, I feel your joy and excitement.  My happiness for you is bubbling over.  But most of all, I am happy for this yet born child.  He will have two “super” parents who will love him more than he could ever imagine.  He will know from Day One that he is special and that he matters every single day.

So, do you have a Parenthood Degree?

Take the opportunity today to tell your own son or daughter how much you love them.  Tell them how proud you are to be their parent too.  They need to hear it.

Joining the ranks of Parenthood comes in all forms you know? If you don’t have children of your own, there are many kids of all ages who would love to know that someone cares about them…..to have someone to assure them that they’re going to be all right.  To hear those words “I love you” are priceless.

 So make today special for your child….or some child’s life who really needs to feel that comforting circle of love.

I guarantee you the special feeling that comes back to you will be filled with much joy.

  Oops!  I gotta go….my son just called and he’s on his way over.

I can’t wait to give him a big hug!

Boy!  Do I ever love my Parenthood career!!

You Matter.

Smiles, Nancy

Monday Gets A Bucket List

I was recently posting on a fellow blogger’s post Y and Z ~~ or the end of another challenge http://onthehomefrontandbeyond.wordpress.com/   I was congratulating her on her initiative to challenge herself to writing a book.  I made the comment that I have always wanted to do that in my life…..Just one of those casual, off-hand comments that you sometimes make in friendly replies.  Her response:  “why not I ask with all seriousness.”

It kind of sparked something in me that made me realize that unless we continuously challenge ourselves in our lives, we never really grow much.  It IS very important to make that Bucket List, otherwise, we will never push ourselves to new heights and new adventures.  We often fall into a rut that keeps us on the same path and doing things that we not only have become comfortable in our own skins doing, but also in what others have grown accustomed to for us as well.  So today, I’m doing it….

Monday Gets A Bucket List

Should I start big???  I would love to try sky diving….but I did promise my son that I will wait until I am well into my 80s to attempt that…..I’ll put that near the end of my list.  I’ll definitely put the book writing on my list.  I would love to write a screenplay too.  Oh heck!  Why don’t I just plan to write an epic novel that turns into an epic screenplay while I’m at it!!  Think Big Bucket, right?  I think I would like to re-visit the South of France too.  I had a wonderful experience there a few years back and would love to return some day.  I have a really good friend who retired recently and decided she wanted to learn to paint….and she did!  I would love to know that every day of my life was filled with time to do some kind of art…painting, pottery or maybe photography.  The three P’s sound good to me.  And speaking of retiring, I think it would be great to have a little camper/RV type vehicle that would allow me to pack up minimal belongings and take off to travel the good ole USA with my ole dog, Tramp.

Home Sweet Home

Just stopping along the way to visit friends and seeing the beauty of this country. The national and state park services have part time/temporary jobs that you can do at various places.  They provide some housing and meals and give you a decent salary too.  Maybe just work a season and then move on to somewhere else.  I could combine the art with the experience too.  Okay….I’m ready to start packing!

So really, the bucket list is about dreams too.  And, if we believe that dreams come true, then  the next few years are already planned for me.  I’m looking forward to the adventure.

So what’s on your bucket list?  What kind of dream would you like to come true?  I know you’re probably sick of my list suggestions by now, but this is a really important one!

Sit down, close your eyes and dream big!!

Write your bucket list….and then commit to making it happen.

I NEVER thought I would be blogging…..but just a little challenge from others and it happened! And the best part is that I not only did I never envision myself sharing my writing with others, I NEVER thought I would love it so much.  Amazing what happens when we challenge ourselves a bit.

Well, I better get busy….Epics take a bit of work.

Chapter One…..

Smiles, Nancy

Monday Gets Confident

I have been recently evaluating my work related skill level and trying to assess how many things I can attach the word “Proficient” in my Resume.   It is a funny word to me as I think it has many boundaries that are defined personally by each person who uses it.  Defined by Webster, it means well advanced in an art, occupation, or branch of knowledge.  Synonyms include: accomplished, ace, adept, complete, crackerjack, educated, experienced, expert, good, great, master, practiced, professed, skilled, versed…..which kind of adds to more confusion of how to determine the measurement of someone’s skills that has included the word.  It seems if I say I am proficient in typing that I could be anywhere from just a good typist to a master typist….pretty big gap I think.

What I realized in trying to determine my own skill level as well as determine its meaning is that when it is used, it is really about someone trying to feel and project confidence about what they do.  Let’s talk about what we can do to feel “Proficient” in all the things we do and also helps others feel the same.

Monday Gets Confident

I think our confidence level rules so many things about us.  Our feelings can be elevated to new heights of accomplishment or we can sink to such pits that we don’t feel we are competent at anything.  Sometimes, it even fluctuates in a matter of moments.  We can be feeling really good about a job we completed at work; and suddenly, a co-worker or manager comes in and points out all the negative points and our confidence goes flying out the window!  Words are powerful tools and can sometimes be harmful.  I guess it is one of those human nature things that we sometimes open our mouths without thinking through what we allow to pour out.  I know that constructive criticism is needed at times, but it is important to give an unbiased judgment by indicating all the good stuff too.  It will go a long way in helping a person feel really great about what they contributed to the task at hand.  It also encourages us to make improvements and increase our level of “Proficiency”.

This not only applies in the workplace, but also in our personal lives as well.  Children need lots of guidance in their lives to do things correctly; but they also need to know that they are not doing everything wrong.  Spouses, friends, even our parents need that little bit of applause from time to time for daily routine tasks that might become mundane and also resented if they are not from time to time given at least a few moments of appreciation.

When was the last time you told your child how beautiful they were or maybe how proud you were of them that they could now make their own breakfast or even that you liked the friends they had chosen?  Does your mate make coffee every morning and you stagger to the kitchen to get your caffeine jolt without even acknowledging how delicious it might taste or that it helps you start each day a lot easier?  What about when you go to the grocery store, do you thank the person who bags your groceries?  Many people every day make our lives a little easier and we just become so accustomed to the tasks being done for us that we forget to even thank them.  Wouldn’t it be nice to boost their confidence level and let them know how “proficient” they are at what they do.  It only takes a moment and so little effort to do that!!

Are you ready to make a difference today?

Here’s what you do.

Each person that you come in contact, take a moment to find something about them that you can bestow some praise on them.

It doesn’t have to be anything profound…..and EVERYONE has a special thing about them that deserves some applause.

You will know that you have completed your mission when you see a smile come to their face.  You might even notice a slight change in their posture as the feeling of confidence straightens their spine.

And Hey! Don’t stop with Monday, do it tomorrow and the next day and every day of the rest of your life.

How better to help people during a time of a struggling economy where we are feeling we have somehow done something horrible to be in such difficult times.  We can blame it on the Republicans or the Democrats….whichever party preference you might lean…..but it doesn’t mean we can’t do something to make some changes.

Have a great day!

Let me know what your tally of smiles was today.

Here’s one to start you off.

Thank you for reading my Blog.  It puts a smile on my face every time someone leaves a comment or decides to be added to the list of followers.  I truly appreciate your support.  You Matter!…..and I Matter too!!

Smiles, Nancy

Monday Gets Reflective

Have you looked in the mirror lately?  I don’t mean to see if your outfit makes you look fat or not, whether you have anything green between your teeth or perhaps, how handsome you “think” you look.  I mean REALLY looked to see who you are.  Try it….look in the mirror and say out loud “Who am I?”  It’s a little bit eerie, as while you hope for a positive answer, you are also afraid that the reply might be just the opposite.  If you stand there for more than 20 seconds, you start feeling that you want to look away.  I’m not sure if it is just a normal reaction or if you start believing the person in the reflection is starting to become real.  That they might actually start talking and tell you the truth….sometimes, not what you want to hear.  Today, let’s talk about what we see……

Monday Gets Reflective

Do you sincerely like the person that you see in the mirror?  Are you the person you see in the mirror??  Some people seem to think of themselves in a very different way than others see and experience them.  “Ego, narcissism, selfish, self-centered” are all words that come to mind.  I’m sure there’s at least one of those on your list of friends.  Sometimes, the most intelligent and talented people have a “self” about them that makes us not want to deal with them on a personal level.  I always wonder if they realize the annoyance to others that they provide?!!

If you like the person you see, then you get a gold star  because you have learned your life lessons well and you are standing proud.  You may not have always felt that way; but it is so nice to reach a point in life that you can feel certain that you are on the right path.  I remember when my son was younger that people would ask me what I thought he would be when he grew up.  My answer was always “All I want is for him is to feel secure and happy.  I want him to feel confident about himself.”  I think some were expecting me to say something like a doctor, lawyer, rocket scientist, a successful business man or maybe even the president.  But, I never thought of those as dreams or gifts I wanted to project on my child.  Instead, I just wanted him to like the person he was and feel good about himself.  If he had that, then everything else would fall into place.

I think it must be so very difficult to see a different reflection.  I think everyone has experienced it at some time in their lives.  Some, however, never see any picture of ‘self’ that they ever enjoy experiencing.  Their gazing is that of a dark and frightened world.  Sadly, they are often not always the cause of the mirror image.  So many, many children and young adults in this world are never given a boost in their lives to help them grow into flourishing, self-assured adults.  When they become adults, they struggle to make changes to adjust their feelings.  Luckily, there are success stories.  Unfortunately, however, there are also dreadful failures too.  They may even succeed in life on the surface; but they are never without their “masks” and few, if any, people really know what they are experiencing in the deepest part of their soul.

I wish I could “fix” the whole world and every person in it.  I wish everyone could feel great happiness and abounding joy.  I wish everyone could look in the mirror today and like the person they see.  But, yet again, I have discovered that Santa still hasn’t delivered a magic wand!!  I’m not sure of the delay on his part….maybe next year.  Until my SanEx delivery arrives, I think there are some possibilities to make a difference in this regard.  Here’s what I would like you to do today…..

Everyone needs a boost from time to time…..no matter what kind of reflection is in the mirror.  As you go through the day, be very conscious of the people you are interacting with.  Listen…..really listen…..to what they are saying.  Don’t make judgments or give them pre-conceived labels.  Who knows what THEY may have seen in the mirror this morning!!  Instead, compliment them, encourage them, show them that you really care.  Make them feel you are standing up and applauding what they are saying.  You may be just be the inspiration they needed to change a bad path in their current direction of travels.

So, what did you see in the mirror today?

No matter the reflection, you can always change things to make a difference……in your life and in someone else’s life….if you want to, that is…It’s your choice!

What I wish for you is Monday becomes a reflection of Tuesday and Tuesday reflects Wednesday…..and so on and so on!!

By doing so, you have single-handedly changed the world.  It just takes ONE individual to make a difference….will you be counted as one of them today?!!  I’m counting on the answer from you to be “YES”

You Matter!….I’m applauding you LOUDLY today!

Smiles,

Nancy