Monday Gets A New Lesson

Today, I was reminded of a lesson that I was taught early in my life that at the time seemed like just a big pain in my neck…. but turned into one of the best things that ever happened to me.

Monday Gets a New Lesson

My parents, particularly my Dad, would NEVER let me get away with just doing a job with half effort.  If I was going to do something, I had to do the best job I could.  One time, I took on this project to refinish an old desk.  I think I was 12 or so.  I started my project and after about 5 minutes was really “over” completing this grand idea, so pretty much just slapped the rest of the paint on.  My Dad was watching from a distance and if I recall correctly, even let me walk away from it while the paint was drying.  A few hours later, on my return to retrieve my project, my Dad (in his very quiet manner, with one eyebrow raised) informed me that the job was not finished.  He further proceeded to let me know that I needed to re-sand the whole desk and apply another layer of varnish.  I huffed a bit, of course, but (that raised-eyebrow scowl always scared me a bit), again sanded the desk and “slapped” the second coat of varnish on.  Again…he let me walk away for the desk to dry.  And….AGAIN upon my return, he gave me the same directions!!  More huffing and puffing on my part!

So….I am now a bit embarrassed to admit that this went on for the rest of the day and into the next.  As the project progressed (or di-gressed—whichever way you want to look at it), I stopped even get any words out of him, he would simply look at me and nod his head in a negative manner and walk back to his own project with no further words.

Well…..Thankfully!!….I finally “GOT IT”.  If I was ever going to be free to get on with my life (there’s so many important things happening in a 12 year old’s life, you know), I was going to have to resort to doing the job correctly…..and so I did.

FINALLY, I knew I was finished…..With the last try, my Dad just looked at me……and smiled…..and said “Good Job”!!

Well, that desk is still going strong….now, almost 50 years later.  Through the years NOTHING could permeate its surface with all the multiple layers of varnish….and I always felt a sense of pride when I looked at it.

So…..when I’m somewhere working whether it might be sitting at a desk job typing or washing my car or helping out someone else.  I think of this wonderful lesson I was taught early in life….If you’re going to do something, do it right and do the best job you can!  Not just because you might have to “do it again”, but rather because, in the end,  you can feel a great sense of pride about yourself and about the mission you have accomplished.

I wish everyone felt the same way about tackling projects.  It seems there are so many who just do a “slapped on” job.  Unfortunately, they will never feel that sense of accomplishment or pride about what they do.  Maybe that’s what is so wrong in this world.  Many people just don’t want to make that effort.  Very sad!

So everyone reading today….here’s your challenge.

No matter what you do…whether it is cleaning your house, washing

your car, wrapping presents, cooking dinner, digging a ditch or any

other kind of task you take on…..do the very best job you can

possibly do.  Then….Stand back and admire your work

and feel the sense of pride that spreads through

your whole body!!

And know that….You’ve just made a difference and the world is

a better place because of your efforts!

My Dad will be so proud of you.

He’s an Angel in Heaven now, so I’m sure he will be watching.

You Matter!

Smiles,

Nancy

Monday Gets Supportive of Thanksgiving Day

Thanksgiving was first observed by the Pilgrims after they had survived a very difficult winter after landing in this country at a time when it was too late in the season and too cold to plant crops.  By the following fall season, their crops were bountiful and they celebrated with a huge feast.

What happened to that joyful celebration?  It seems there is more advertisement about Black Friday than there is Turkey Day (or Tofurky Day if your Vegan).  Granted we have not endured such a struggle as the poor Pilgrims; but we have endured a struggle of times in our economy and why not take time to do a little celebrating.  And even better….take time to give thanks!

Monday Gets Supportive of Thanksgiving Day

What are you thankful for?  It’s Happy List Time Again!!  That’s right.  Sit down and stop your crazy world just for a moment to make a list of all the things that you feel you can be thankful for in this world.  Everyone should really have a minimum of 50 things on their list and most should easily top a couple hundred.  That’s right!!  I said a couple hundred things to be thankful for today.  What’s wrong with you?  Are you blind?  Look around you and open your eyes to all the beauty and wonderful things around you.

There are places where there is fighting going on continuously, day in and day out,  and places where people are hungry and suffering, and other places where the very best one will every experience is a small little one room shack with dirt floors.  How can we not feel thankful?!!  How can we not think of stopping this crazy world for just ONE day to sit with friends and family and take the moment to appreciate all our blessings.

I know everyone likes a good bargain, but does the infamous Black Friday have to become such a focus for this week.  It really should just be one of those “maybe I’ll see what the stores have to offer” experience rather than a huge circled day on the calendar.  I’ve worked retail during that time and it is a real zoo.  Some people have fun and they are there with friends or family having a good time after sharing a big family meal together.  However, many are rude, angry, and will stop at nothing to get the items they have decided they deserve for this holiday shopping extravaganza.  They can turn a table of freshly stacked clothes into an unruly, twisted mesh of fabric in less than 10 seconds!  Sometimes, it seemed they really didn’t even have a thought of purchasing from the stack, but just couldn’t help themselves in tackling the pile with their violent outbreak.  And look out if the store happens to run out of an item!!  I think some would lie down in front of the door until you had the item personally delivered to them and it better be there in 5 seconds max.  I’d like to think that most are just out trying to save a little money or get a head start on their Christmas list, but at least you could be nice to other people while you’re doing it.

So what are you thankful for?

And are you going to enjoy this Thursday with some of your family or maybe some really great friends?

Before you dive into your feast and stuff yourself until you feel you are going to explode, how about you just take a moment for everyone around the table to express a few things that they feel are blessings in their lives.

It doesn’t have to be anything dramatic or sensational….some times it’s the little things that leave us feeling the most thankful and joyful.

Be sure to not let the moment pass to let someone know how much they matter to you too.  Thanksgiving is a good time to show your appreciation for the special ones in your life who have helped you along the way.

I feel very blessed this year to be spending the day with my sweet son.  I’m looking forward to catching up on a few weeks of missed time.

I want you all to know that You Matter.  You can make a difference in this world by just appreciating the beautiful people and things around you.

So Happy Thanksgiving to all of you.

I hope Thursday is a very special day for you.  Make it happen!

Smiles,

Nancy

Monday Gets Political—or Not

There are so many things happening in our country that seem to tax one’s political side to the max.  The Presidential Election!  Wow!  There’s a lot to take into consideration.  It would be great if we had two really outstanding candidates; but unfortunately, it just seems we are voting for the lesser of two evils.  I know that just “raised the hair on the back of your neck” for some; but I just think everyone is trying to rationalize and stretch the positive points.

What happened to the truth in politics….or was that ever a possibility?   Why does everyone have to skirt the issues?  Why can’t they just ‘say it like it is’?!!

MONDAY GETS POLITICAL….or NOT

Don’t you think it would be wonderful to have someone stand up in front of the nation and say….”Hey, I’m not perfect and I don’t have all the answers, but I am going to try my very best to get the job done.  I’ve got a great team behind me and if I don’t know something, you can be assured my staff is going to work to find all the details to inform me about the issue so I can make the very best decision.”  And…then actually do that!!  Instead…they skirt the issues, lie when they feel it might slip by and rarely just say “I don’t know!”

There’s so much diversity in all areas in our country right now.  There are people who will fight to the end to honor and protect our country….and there are those who find it appropriate to picket a funeral of a family who have just lost a son or husband fighting for our nation.  There is complete destruction on the East Coast from Hurricane Sandy and then there are areas that seem almost immune to anything except blue skies and balmy breezes today.  Gas prices dropping by at least a dollar a gallon in California….and little gas available in New York/New Jersey.  But, everyone, no matter what their circumstances, is looking for some balance, some certainty, some kept promises…..some hope.  Wouldn’t it be great if tomorrow’s election provided that?!!

Some people that read this Blog aren’t from the United States.  I wonder what they think about all the debates that have gone on between the candidates.  I wonder if it seems very appropriate and common or rather sounds like a bunch of whining kids who are trying to get their way!!

I guess it could always be worse.  We could have no freedom, no choices, no right to vote.  We could be living in war zones and fearing for our lives every moment of the day.  I just think we sometimes take what we have for granted and some take advantage of the freedoms we are given.

So for this new reign of the elected officials of our country….whomever it might be….

I wish for some forward movement of resolving some of the issues of healthcare and national debt and unemployment and an overall struggling nation.

I wish for the citizens of this country to be able to feel they are being represented and supported by candidates who are sincere in their efforts and follow through on all their promises.

I wish the candidates that are elected are true to their word and can see the struggles of many and fight to make changes, so some of the suffering can end.

And….I wish for this Monday to indeed be the start of something new and exciting.  Wouldn’t it be nice to get back that American spirit and everyone be able to feel proud to be an American.  I think we have lost a little of that.

So remember to vote tomorrow

and choose your candidates wisely.

Let’s hope brighter days and good times are just around the corner.

Onward and Forward!

Smiles,  Nancy

Monday Gets Technically Overloaded

Wherever you turn, the world of technology is continuing to challenge every individual.  It’s no longer about how many TVs you have in a household, but rather how many high-tech devices do you have…cell phone, ipad, computer, gps, security cameras, devices that allow you to turn your oven or your lights on while at work, curtains that open with a touch of a button…….and the list goes on.  They all come with earphones, remotes or some kind of Bluetooth peripheral and many with complex control centers that you need a team of tech people to program for you.  Plus, another crew that is constantly updating the software that is needed to run all these devices.  Then…..all these devices have to be “sync-ed” so you are “in the know” at all times wherever you are…home, work, in your car or on a flight to another state or country.

I, personally, am on overload!!!

Monday Gets Technically Overloaded

I think it’s great that we live in a country that allows us to have so many options and that many of these devices are affordable for the average.  It’s great that the technology strives  to try to make our lives easier and more connected….but are they really?!!  It’s getting harder and harder to remember the “days” before we had all these modern conveniences.  In fact, our ‘must have’ lifeline a/k/a the cell phone wasn’t readily available just 15 or 16 years ago.  Seems like without one was like living in the Dark Ages.

Sometimes though, I think we need to shut some of this stuff off and just “rough it”…..maybe it’s not necessary to text your friend who is across the room at a party.  Maybe you could walk around the block without texting or calling all your friends just to keep yourself entertained.  Or perhaps, you actually turn your phone completely off sometimes to enjoy a sunset or listen to some relaxing music.

With everything there has to be a balance and I think we’ve lost that a bit.  Yes, it’s nice to be so in touch with everyone, but how about ‘being in touch’ with the person that is sitting right in front of you!  Some days, I’m ready to say I just can’t take another technical challenge!!  I want it to be okay to say “I don’t know how to sync my phone to my ipad to my computer to my home to my office to my calendar, to my……”  I feel like I want that brainpower back to focus on more important things.

So that’s my frustration today.

I want to get back in balance.  I want to know that it is okay to be “out of touch” some days.

I want to listen to my friends while they’re talking….without interruptions.  And I want them to know that I am interested in what they have to say and what they are doing and feeling.  All with No distractions, no in/out texting, no bells and whistles of multiple tunes going off every few minutes.

I sure hope I can do that……it’s harder than it sounds.

I hope you find a little balance in the technical world today too.

I hope you discover new things about yourself, your friends and the world around you.

Today, I hope you are a bit old-fashioned and enjoy NOT being connected at all times.

Good Luck!

Smiles,

Nancy

Monday Gets on the Scale

OK….I have a question.  If you have a driver’s license that lists your weight and height, are they accurate?  If not, are they off by 10%, 20%, Yikes! 30% or more???  If so, join the club.  Supposedly, most women lie about their weight and men lie about their height.  Not all states require the weight part, but I wonder why we have such an important document that we feel the need to avoid the truth?!!  Do you think that when other people look at our license that they check the weight or height and then snicker to themselves?  Obviously, it’s not important to DMV because I’ve never had to “weigh in” for them.  Have you?  Oh the horror, right?!!

What I find interesting about the weight part is that we know we need to lose weight, but feel the need to avoid dealing with it even when it comes to being a responsible and honest, license-carrying citizen.  I wonder if we had to weigh in at the DMV when we renewed our license if we would even avoid renewing it….kind of like we do when we need to go to the doctor.  How many of you have tried to make great effort to lose a pound or more the week or two before your doctor’s appointment?  I’m raising my hand because I’ve sure been there.  I even try to find the very lightest weight clothing sometimes….no heavy jeans or boots are on my body when I step on that scale!!  Let’s get honest…..

Monday Gets on the Scale

I went through years of professing my weight (the one of my choosing) to DMV or anyone else that asked, knowing that it was a huge exaggeration.  I knew I needed to lose weight and get healthy, but I continued to live in the fiction world.  Why did I wait so long to do anything about it??  I still can’t answer that question.   I guess we all have to “hit that wall” that makes us “look in the mirror” to make changes in our lives.  I am very thankful that I found info about the Paleo lifestyle this year.  I can say honestly that I am finally at the weight that I have proclaimed for years and less than I have weighed in at least 15 years or more.  What ‘clicked’ I wonder?  What makes us throw those bad habits out the window?

It is really intriguing to me to see someone seem to change, literally, overnight.  They do all the things that are wrong for them and then suddenly, one day, all the “lessons” they have been given miraculously make sense.  I wonder if it is something cosmic-like…..if all the stars are aligned in a certain manner and we “receive” information…that info suddenly will get absorbed??!!   Any scientist out there that can answer that question?  I have a bunch of other issues to work on too, so maybe I could start planning for that cosmic-alignment moment now.

What would you like to change about yourself?

How close are you to your DMV weight?

And, yes, what do you have on your “list” that you have not ever checked off?

I wonder what is going to have to happen in your life to get you to “look in the mirror” and see the reality.

Are you ready to change?

Well, whatever you would like to happen, be sure to stop saying:  “Oh, I could never give that up”, or “I just don’t have time” or even “I’ll work on that next year.”

How about changing your mantra to “I Matter” or “I care about myself” or even “I love myself”.  It is amazing to me to talk to people who are not able to say this to themselves…..AND they don’t know that others care about them either.

So today…..I’m saying it for you.  I’m going to tell you the truth because I care.

YOU MATTER…..YOU ARE A GOOD PERSON…..YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE BY BEING THE BEST PERSON YOU CAN BE!!

Did you hear me???!!

Are you ready to start?  Repeat after me….

I Matter.  I Matter.  I Matter.

Now, take the next step and make changes.  What do you see in the mirror?

Pretend the planets are in alignment and you can

do anything you want to do…..starting today…now!!

You can do it.

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 A New Hero

There is a lady who lives in my neighborhood that really inspires me.  She is an older lady….maybe in her 70s who is one of the strongest, most determined ladies that I have ever seen.  I say “seen” because I have not officially “met” her and I’m not even certain she can speak English and I only know her from seeing her as I pass by.  She is afflicted with some type of peripheral neuropathy that prevents her from walking faster than baby steps with very stiff leg strides.  But yet, I see her every day out walking and carrying her bags of groceries or goods recently purchased.  I know from the bag labels that she has walked at least 4 or 5 long blocks to the retail stop….there and back.  Time and time again, I have asked if I could help her carry her load to her final destination.  And…each time, she waves me off with annoyance it seems that I have even suggested that she might need any assistance.

I find myself feeling helpless and annoyed all at the same time.  I want to help her make her day a little easier and let her know that someone cares about her….but she refuses to allow it!  But then, when I take my needs  and wants out of the equation, I realize how strong she really is and maybe I am the weak one.

Monday Gets A New Hero

My lady Hero is like a determined soldier who probably knows as long as she keeps doing these things for herself that she will continue to function.  Her determination is her strength and in many ways, she is stronger than I am.  What appears to be stubbornness and aloofness is really power and others should perhaps fear her capabilities.  I swear I think she could climb a mountain if she wanted to accomplish it.

We all get so comfortable in our high-tech conveniences that make our lives easier.  We think that it is giving us more power; but it is, in fact, making us weaker.  Everything has to be built bigger and faster and with more gadgets.  I miss my old-fashion Schwinn that didn’t come equipped with any kind of multiple gears to change.  A bell was, however,  a must because I thought I was going so fast that I needed to alert others that I was coming down the road!  Awww! the good ole days, right?

Today….think about what gives you strength and the ability to get things done.  It’s not that new iPhone or iPad or the new software or that car with all the fancy gadgets.   Maybe we need to realize that the really strong people in this world are the people like my lady friend…..not the ones that just spent 3 hours at the gym.  They survive because they are focused on their goals and don’t let anyone get in their way.  They are not afraid to go it alone and rely on their own strength to get them where they want to be…..even if it is baby steps at a time.   Just because someone could make things easier for them, doesn’t mean they will choose that option.  Their focus is to survive and they are doing a great job for sure!

Who’s your hero?  What gives you strength?

Do you expect others to always help you out?

Maybe try to get through today and do everything without asking a single person to help you out……You do it All!  Think you’ll feel good about yourself at the end of the day?  I sure hope so.

We all need to dig deep inside the core of our being to find the ability to push ourselves to be the very best we can be.  It’s there!  You just have to believe You Can Do It!!

So go climb that mountain.  I hope you make it to the top!

See you there.

Smiles,

Nancy