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 Put on Trial

The news has been exploding with some monumental legal cases ending with the verdicts of “Guilty”.  The victims in some of these cases are such innocent human beings and are subjected to such abuse by not only the crime itself, but by the media that drags every little detail into a sometimes very skewed exposure of what they believe to be the facts.

Sometimes innocent people are blamed and even punished for a crime that they didn’t even commit. They are “punished” over and over and made to feel they are the guilty ones.  I wish we could exercise our freedom of speech in a much more respectful and protective way.

I wonder how many people have been blamed for a wrong doing when they were, in fact, the victim?!!  We are sometimes quick to judge a situation without knowing all the facts or truly seeing the whole picture.  We create the “story” and fill in the details with hearsay evidence that makes perfect sense at the time.  What happened to our democratic rights that say we are innocent until proven guilty?

In fact, speaking of “Guilty”, how the heck did poor “Monday” get such a bad rep?!!  Years of persecution just because it is the first day of the week.   And is it really the guilty one or actually the victim?  I’d like to present its case to you today…..

Monday Gets Put on Trial.

Fact #1:  Monday’s story began around the 12th century and means Moon Day.  Greeks and Romans considered the Moon a God to worship.  So, nothing wrong with its beginnings….in fact, a sacred beginning that should deserve some respect on those grounds alone.

Fact #2:  Monday has become known as the first day of the week.  However, most calendars show the beginning of the week on either Saturday or Sunday.  So, in fact, Monday is actually the second or third day of the week.  Did someone forget how to count?  Monday is NOT number one.

Fact #3:  Monday is the first day of the work week.  That is a fact….but only for some people.  I know there are many businesses that are closed on Monday (probably out of respect for Monday), some work weekends and have Monday and Tuesday off and some people work seven days a week and it would be difficult to determine what is their “first” day of work.  So, true that it is the first day for some, it doesn’t apply to everyone; so think Monday shouldn’t bear the whole burden of being the ONLY first day of the work week.  Tuesday and Wednesday are witnesses that should accept some of the responsibility for their contribution and stop remaining silent.

Fact #4:  Blue Monday title comes from the 3rd Monday in January being known as the most depressing day of the year.  It is a time that we have those post-partum realization pains of Christmas excitement being over, the credit card bills start arriving with testaments to our holiday overspending and often the weather is pretty crummy in most parts of the country.  But even the mathematical formula that was created to prove this pseudoscience by Cliff Arnall falls short of proven this theory.  One of those crimes that made poor Monday suffer yet again as an innocent victim.

Fact #5:  Diet or exercise programs are often started on Monday.  We eat like a bunch of piglets and laz around on the weekend prior to our goal setting day and choose Monday to start our new plan…..probably because we are so sick from over-indulging that we have no other choice.  Someone, in this case Monday, has to step in and put the brakes on our out of control behavior.  Hero in my book.

So there you have it.  For centuries, Poor Monday has been an innocent victim of abuse.  Over and over, taking the punishment from many without ever getting some kind of break from its persecution.  Well, I’m here to protect the poor sweet thing.  I am a witness in its behalf who is standing up proud to align myself with what I think we should hail as a hero.

Headline reads:  Monday Gets Put on Trial….but found innocent of all charges!!

Here’s to you, Monday!!

You’re a brave individual and a good friend to me.

I will make you proud by trying to do my best to make Monday known as the best day of the week!  I will make a difference.

Do I have any followers out there?  Anyone want to join my crusade to “free” Monday from years of neglect and wrongdoing?

Let’s make a difference and turn a victim into a hero.

You Matter, Monday!

Smiles,

Nancy

Monday Gets A Fresh Start

Today is Monday and if you let it…… it could just be the very best day of your week.

It can be the day you started a new diet (it seems to always be that day for me) or a new job or moved to a new apartment (excitement could be in the air).  Perhaps, it is the day you decided to clean out all the many years of clutter you have in your place (parting with all those boxes that have been taped up since you lived in two or three residences prior).  Perhaps, your office desk could use a little help….how many pens and highlighters do you REALLY need? And, shouldn’t you finally file all those loose papers in the bottom of your desk drawer?  Let’s make today a day of new beginnings……..

Monday Gets a Fresh Start

When we really, wholeheartedly commit to making a change in our lives, we shouldn’t think of it being just another chore or drudgery, but rather an opportunity to ultimately transform our lives for the better.  It can sometimes be an experience like getting ready to embark on a long trip to a place we’ve never been before or perhaps, one we haven’t visited in a long time.  We are a little anxious and may even consider not going; but we force ourselves to continue because we know ‘once we get there,’ it will be great.   That’s how you should think of making a difference in your life and making it a better place to be for yourself.

Perhaps, you thought of “visiting” this place several times; but something always got in the way and you didn’t quite make it to your final destination.  So this time, let’s start small and have a good “itinerary” so we don’t get lost.  If you want to start a new diet, start by just eliminating one of the bad things from your daily intake and replace it with one that is exceptionally good for you.  Then, next Monday do the same thing.  Before you know it, you will be feeling so much better that you look forward to each Monday and the positive changes you need to make.  Food should be something that nourishes our body…..not something that does a demolition job on our organs.

If the clutter in your life is dragging you down, start with just one box, one drawer, one anything!!    I know it doesn’t sound like much; but if you tackle one every Monday; and you start with today, that’s 30 containers you will have de-cluttered by the time 2013 rolls around!!  I think you will be surprised by how much stress it reduces too.  Perhaps, you might even consider donating some of that discarded stuff.   IMAGINE that!!  You de-cluttered, de-stressed AND you made a difference!

Maybe at your office, you decide to come up with one small idea every Monday that might make a difference at your workplace.  Maybe this week, you’ll start with cleaning up your own office workspace area and next week, you’ll organize the kitchen area.  Maybe you’ll think of a way to save some money for your office.  Perhaps, recycling all the cans and bottles from the kitchen or have a board to post coupons for everyone to share.  What changes can you make in the supplies that you use that might save some money?  How much paper do you waste in just one week?  All of these things will be appreciated by your employer, and it’s always fun to create a team of your fellow work mates to be a part of the process AND the success.

What makes us stumble in all the tasks that we swear we will start on Monday?  Is that just a human trait or has it just become a bad  and lazy habit for each of us?  Do we set ourselves up to begin something with great enthusiasm on the outside….but the inside is ready to sabotage the very first step?  I wish I could answer that question because I often suffer greatly in some of the “beginnings” that I plan to start for myself.

 But…..not today!!  Make some changes…make a difference….in yourself and the world around you.

So…..what are YOU going to change today??!!  Anyone have suggestions of how to help others succeed?  I am cheering for you.  Hope you will “cheer” for me too.

But….most importantly……Know from the start that YOU MATTER!  I’m sure you can make some new and exciting changes happen.

Hope you have a great Monday!

Make it the best one yet!…It could become a wonderful and enjoyable habit for you!

Smiles,

                                                                 Nancy

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