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 Challenged to ‘Pay It Forward’

I have received many, many really sweet messages here on WordPress from bloggers who appreciated hearing even just a few little sincere words about their thought-provoking or interesting posts.  It makes me realize more and more how important it is to take the time out of each day to express what one often feels but doesn’t always take the time to express to others.  We rush through our day trying to check off things on our own lists; but don’t take the moment to think how important it is to realize we need to look beyond ourselves.  So today…….

Monday Gets Challenged to ‘Pay It Forward’

How many times have you been in an elevator with other people and find yourself looking at the ground?  Or maybe walking out of your house and don’t acknowledge your neighbor coming out at the same time?  Did you ever think that someone that is right there in front of you might need a sincere smile or a ‘how are you doing?’  Perhaps, a neighbor or friend has done something really nice for you and you keep thinking you will also do something nice for them.  But…what happens?  It keeps getting pushed further and further down on the priority list.  Soon, it is so low that you’re now embarrassed that you have not done something to return the favor.  Ever walked past someone on the street who is ‘down and out’ and you try to erase them from not only your view; but also from your mind?  The attitude of not acknowledging that they exist helps us to not feel guilty that we might have a much better life than some others.  We seem to “choose” who we want to share with and are not good at ‘on the spot’ giving.

The ironic truth is that when we do, in fact, take the time to help others, we feel so great about our deed.  It makes us feel, in a small but effective way, we have made a difference in someone else’s life.  We may even ‘swear’ that it’s going to become a habit and we’ll continue on our path of goodness for a long time.  But….something often gets in the way of continuing on this path; and we yet again, find ourselves back in our little cocoon.   We forget quickly how awesome it felt to not just think of ourselves and to give back.

So….this Monday’s request is going to be a very enjoyable moment for you.  I promise you will feel especially good at the end of the day….and so will others!  With all the social media outlets, voice mail, text messages and even here on WordPress, this task should be a fairly simple one for you.  I challenge you to “Pay It Forward”.  Make a list of five people that you know that deserves to hear some kind words from you.  Send them some kind of message or better yet give them a call or tell them in person.  Tell them how much you appreciate them and how they have made a difference during difficult moments in your life.  Your mind is already working, right?  I bet you already have number 1 and 2 ready to add to your list.

After you have accomplished this and if you feel you’ve just gotten warmed up, make another list of five people that you can do something special for them.  It doesn’t have to be a spectacular moment.  Just something simple will work just fine!  Maybe you have some extra fruit that you just bought and you could offer part of it to your neighbor.  Maybe someone at work has a huge project to complete and you could offer to help or pick up lunch for them while they are so bogged down.  How about walking someone’s dog for them that has not been feeling very good?  Maybe even give the ole pooch a nice brushing before you return them.  It’s not about the huge drama of the task, it’s about the simple spirit of giving.

Today is YOUR day to help Monday Get Challenged to ‘Pay It Forward’!!!!

You are going to go to bed tonight with a smile on your face knowing that you have made a difference in this, sometimes, crazy and hectic world.

And…..here’s high hopes that you wake up tomorrow wanting to continue with your recent good feeling and start Tuesday with the same plan.

A fellow blogger told me that it takes 21 days to change a habit…..Can you IMAGINE what this world would be like if everyone took the 21 day challenge to ‘Pay It Forward’ !!!!

Are you ready to be a part of that possibility?!!

I’d love to hear what was on your list….or maybe how you’re feeling at the end of today.

Oh yeah….don’t forget your four-legged friends too.  Pets give lots of love and don’t ask much in return.

I’ve made MY list…….I’ve got to get busy.

You Matter!

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

Monday Gets Bee-U-Ti-Ful

Thought I would take a walk and get inspired to write my Blog post for this week.  Flowers and shrubs and trees are blooming everywhere here.  Hummingbirds are swarming and appear to have trouble deciding just which flower to dine at today.  Wish I could have gotten a picture of one; but they are much too quick for my amateur photography skills.

I find it very interesting how, when we are going through our daily routine,  we often don’t take the time to observe what is happening right in front of our face!  Our eyes “see” what is in front of us; but somehow it just doesn’t register with the rest of our being.  I wonder if we just get ‘hardened’ to the daily mundane or if we actually have to train ourselves to really “see” with more than our eyes.  I know when I was strolling around I started feeling very excited about what I might anticipate finding around the corner.  I have gone on the same walk and saw many of the things I saw today; but somehow the appreciation of them didn’t quite equal the excitement of the experience today.  What beauty there is in the most simple, ‘plain jane’ plants, trees, rocks and even the grass!!

The color palette alone of everything I saw today could fill the largest box of Crayola crayons.  As I strolled along, I felt like there should be a large orchestra with a rising crescendo following along with me.  I felt like singing….but restrained myself….my dog, Tramp looked at me strangely when I started humming to myself.

Maybe this is how our lives get so out of sync.  We forget to find the joy in our daily lives.  We sometimes consider our lives boring and mundane; but they’re really not!  We are exposed to so many beautiful and extraordinary things each day.  Hmmmm….I wonder if a person who makes their living as a landscape photographer ever gets tired of marveling in their subjects??!!

Another thing I realized is that because I was planning to share these photos with you, my enthusiasm seemed to increase with each photo I took.

        

Perhaps, that’s the key to having a happier and more satisfied life…..maybe we need to always remember to share our experiences with others in order to enhance our own individual experiences.  As Winnie the Pooh would say, “It’s so much more friendly with two.”  Isn’t that interesting?!!….Even though my dog, Tramp, annoys the heck out of me on our walks because he pulls too much and he often forgets the most basic leash commands (I know ‘Train the Trainer’ some of you are saying), I still enjoy my walks more when he is with me.  Guess Pooh was right.

I have to share with you just a few pictures of where my stroll ended today.  Our garden on the patio seems to be growing by leaps and bounds…..I think it happened overnight!  A little bit of SoCal rain and…..Poof!….Magic!!

Wow!  I can hardly wait for all these plants to start bearing fruit.  Yums!!  Thank you California Sunshine!

So…my Monday has been quite enlightened and filled with beauty and color.  Hope you find something today that allows your eyes to “see” everything you encounter and to marvel in its beauty.  Thought I would share a little wisdom from one of my favorite story tellers….

“What day is it?” asked Pooh.

“It’s today!” squeaked Piglet.

“My Favorite Day!” said Pooh.

Today is Monday….My Favorite Day too!

Monday Gets Bee-U-Ti-Ful!

Hope yours is too.

Smiles,

Nancy

Monday Gets Honest

A co-worker was quite surprised this week when I told her it was really difficult for me to commit to writing this Blog each week.  I am so busy with work and just the every-day routine that I am having trouble squeezing it into my schedule.  Last week, there was some kind of technical issues going on with this site.  When I would hit ‘save draft’, it would completely delete my entire post!!  I would have to start from scratch (by the third time, I got smart and copied it somewhere else; so I wouldn’t have to COMPLETELY re-write it AGAIN) and repost it.  This all added to the already time-consuming task.  All of these difficulties made me question why was I adding to the stress in my life by making this weekly commitment; and very honestly, I have had to push myself each week not to give up on it.  I started a list of pros and cons (yes, I have lists everywhere) and for a while I sat and looked at a piece of paper that just had in the “pros” column that ‘I liked when the post was all completed and posted for the week’.  I liked the finish product; but couldn’t come up with any other reasons doing it prior to that final moment of publishing.

It’s supposed to be about the journey along the way…not the finish line, right?  I think I lost sight of what was the finish line and was feeling each week was a hurdle that was the end of the journey……

I'm finished!!

Regroup….Rewind….ReThink.

I started this Blog because I wanted to make a difference.  I wanted to use my weekly happenings to encourage others to make a difference too….in themselves and everyone and everything around them.  I wanted to let you know that You Matter; and what you do is important.   I thought if I could share some of my stories that it would inspire you to do things a little different each day.   I wanted you to realize that if you would “Just Start With Monday” to do something that would make a difference that the days following could be even better and good things would come from your efforts.

I’m not a writer.  I’m not even a very good story-teller.  I took a Creative Writing course in college; but I didn’t do very well in the class….so what was I thinking when I took on this huge weekly commitment with so little knowledge or expertise behind it??!!  Should I just stop with Week 6?  Hmmm. 6 out of 52 is not so good, huh?  I’m not usually a quitter; but 52 weeks from now seems like a long way away from today.  What should I do?

Well, here is what I’ve decided.  I still want to do things to make a difference; but if I make this seem like such a difficult task, why IN THE WORLD would you want to do the same.    I think goodness and kindness and wanting to show you care is a natural part of everyone.  I just need to focus on that important fact and everything else will fall into place.

You won’t find a Pulitzer Prize writer when you read my Blog each week.  You’ll just find an individual who struggles just like you do to sometimes get through Mondays too.  But, you will also find an individual who is committed to fulfilling a commitment and a purpose.  I want to make not only Mondays a good day of the week; but soon Tuesday thru Sunday will be just as important and fulfilling for each of us.

So, you and I are in this together.  We are going to help each other do good things.  I hope my weekly stories will inspire you to try new things and push yourself to accomplish many good things.  I’d love it if you would share your stories too.  That’s what it’s about, right?  Just start with one individual to make a difference and they will inspire others to do the same!  And the whole point is that you don’t need to be GOOD at anything….you just have to do GOOD things!  “Do Good for Dummies” will probably never be published because it just isn’t necessary.  We ALL are capable of easily accomplishing good things.

So here’s a big cheer for MONDAY!!

Go Monday!

I think it is the most important day of the week.

Hope I have your support to help make it special.

Go Monday!   Go Monday!   Go Monday!

Smiles,

Nancy