Monday Gets to the End of 52 Weeks…Wow!

Wow!  Wow!  Wow!  I can hardly believe I have been sitting down each Monday for 52 weeks to post here!  It is amazing to me that I have found so much to write about….especially since I didn’t really know much about writing in the first place.  I thought you had to have a journalism degree or maybe a master degree in something to be able to come up with things that people might be interested in reading.  After the first week, I really didn’t think I could continue here.  Quite honestly, by the time the second Monday rolled around, I was kicking myself for making the commitment.  What was I thinking!!  For the first few weeks my brain would resist the effort to create the post and I would spend hours and hours trying to just get 5-600 words down on paper…..writing and re-writing and often deleting everything and starting over.  After the first month, not only did the words start coming easier; but I was really looking forward to the process….an addiction was formed and I often had to delete stuff because it was way too much to include.

What have I learned from this 52-week process?  Lots!  I’ve learned that I can do a lot more things than I ever thought I could.  I’ve learned that the people around me, in my every day life, have taught me a lot about myself and have given me new appreciation and respect for the most simple of daily encounters.  I have gained new heroes in the most unexpected places!!  And new friends all over the world…..many that I will never meet….but some that I hope I have the opportunity to meet face to face some day.  I have realized that we all need to hear the words “You Matter” and feel that we are making a difference in some way.  My goal was a simple one…make a difference in someone’s life each Monday.  What I didn’t expect is to find how much it was making a difference in MY life each Monday!!

You all have encouraged and inspired me to continue my goal of 52 weeks and have brightened my Monday’s with your sweet comments and sharing of your loving feelings.   I couldn’t have done it without your help and support.  I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for the difference you have made in my life.

So where do we go from here?  Big Question.  This weekly blog post has made me question and contemplate “What else can I accomplish?”  I have a few things in mind; but not certain what the exact choice will be yet.  My bucket list seems to be growing.   I’m going to take a little break from my Monday posting and decide what I want to do next.  I will post to this Blog site what the new one might be.  I hope you will join me on the new journey.  If you haven’t already done so, please sign up with your email here on this site; so you will get an email with the unveiling of where I will be next.  I would love for all you to continue along my path of discovery.

 I hope the spirit of JustStartWithMonday will continue in your life and that you continue to believe that YOU MATTER.

I hope you have realized just how simple it is to make a difference in someone else’s life.

It’s important to open your heart to new possibilities in making that continue to happen.

I’ll be back soon.

I hope today is a special Monday for you.

I know it is for me!!

Smiles,

Nancy

Monday Gets Team Spirit

I was working today helping out friends who have a new start-up company.  There were about 7 or 8 of us and we were packing boxes to ship out tomorrow.  We have been working on these for a few days and today was the finale.  Some of us had never met before and some were familiar faces.  During the course of production, we had all gravitated to the task that we seemed to be the most efficient.  We fell into a synchronization that made the production seem like it was automated.  No conveyor belts or fancy machines…..only people working together for a common end-goal.

It was interesting to feel the support and camaraderie of all working together to do our best and support the person on each side of you.  When one got behind, another would come over to help catch up and then move back in place when the “machine” was running smoothly again.  It was team spirit and I realize now that it was great feeling to be a part of it today.  Someone commented that it felt like we were little elves packing up for Santa’s big delivery.

elves

I grew up in a neighborhood that this was a common happening….not just a rare event like today.  Even though I was very young, I clearly remember how nice it felt to be a part of a group of people who sincerely cared about each other and were always available to lend a hand.  It really didn’t matter how difficult the task, there was always someone with just the right expertise to be the leader and others did their part to fill the gaps and take on the part that seemed to fit their own level of knowledge and skills.   I have old pictures of my parents and their friends and it seemed they were always having a good time too.

I think everyone likes that feeling of having support and help along the way.  Sometimes, it seems easier to just do things alone; but there is that spirit of teamwork that we miss out on.  We all like gratification from time to time and somehow standing up and clapping for our accomplishments alone just isn’t the same!  High-fiving the “air” just doesn’t give us the same splash of praise as a friend or co-worker might do for us.

Perhaps, there’s someone in your neighborhood or a friend you know that could use a little help.  Or maybe you have a project that you have been putting off because starting it by yourself just doesn’t seem like much fun.

Why not suggest to others that  working together on these projects might be something to try out for a change.

Maybe someone in your group of friends can be the leader and others can add their own expertise to the task.

Maybe even someone could offer to cook on the grill or “whip up” a yummy meal to enjoy while you’re “merrily working along together”

Doesn’t that sound like fun?….Rather than drudgery that you perceived the task at hand to be?

Maybe it’s something as dramatic as adding on a room to a house or something as simple as re-painting a wall or planting a few new trees in your yard.  Maybe you’re an expert at both or maybe you don’t have a clue where to even start.

Well, pool your talents and I’m sure not only will the job be more fun; but it will also probably be done better and faster.

Come on, Team!team_spirit

Ready to get started?!!

Let’s help each other.

Let’s have fun.

Ready! Set! Go!

Let’s get the job done…..together!

Smiles,

Nancy

Monday Gets A Brand-New Year

Well, it’s 2013!  Wow!  Wonder what the year will bring for us all??!!  Health, wealth, adventure, problems, failure…..yes, they are all possibilities.  But, we do have choices…..and we can choose the path that will be the best for us.

My blogger friend JoyLevel recently posted how we tend to experience the energy (negative or positive) of the emotions we project.  Something to be said about putting a smile on your face even when times are tough!  My dog Tramp always makes me laugh during the day for something entertaining he might do.  Maybe he has learned that he will get a nice hug for his silly antics!  He projects positive energy….and I give it back.  Good trade!

Another fellow blogger Onthehomefrontandbeyond is searching for the “Bliss” in life.  It’s really funny to hear some of the places she “is finding it.”  I think we all need to realize that it’s the small things that really count and simple moments can be the most memorable.

My good friend, Matt Emerzian, spoke at the TedX conference in San Diego and he is always one to offer some inspiring words.  His main message is to let everyone know ‘You Matter‘, but he also reminds us too that “It’s Not All About Us”.  I think the people who experience the most joy in life are examples of this.  The things that they do “lift us” because we recognize that it is being offered in the most unselfish way.

Stutley Tales often reminds me that there are blessings from above and no matter what struggles we have, we can gain strength by looking to the heavens for guidance.  She is a nice example of that and I would love it if she lived in my neighborhood, so I could visit with her regularly.  Despite some very difficult struggles, she always finds the beauty in the most simple happenings.

Paleolithic MD has changed my health so drastically in the last year that I feel he has given me back 20 years of my life.  I am now convinced that living to be a 100 can definitely be on my bucket list.  If I had loads of money, I would make him my primary physician and fly to Louisiana for checkups.

I wonder what this year has in store for me?  Traveling perhaps?  New Job?  Checking off things on my Bucket List?   I started this Blog with a 52-week commitment.  I’m not sure what I will do past that goal line. This is Blog Post #43!!  My posts have had over 3400 views and been viewed by people in 63 countries!   I have amazed myself that I made it past the first Monday.  In the beginning, it was really difficult.  I really thought it was beyond my expertise level.   I would spend hours writing and then in one click delete most of it because it just wasn’t working for me….Just a bunch of words that went nowhere.  It was a real chore; and if I didn’t start working on it mid week, I knew I wouldn’t make the Monday deadline.  But, because I made the commitment to myself and others, I knew I had to continue….despite the sometimes thoughts that it was the craziest decision I had ever made!  Well, somewhere along the way, something changed.  Not only did it get easier, but I started looking forward to working on each Monday’s post.  It became more a part of me and the realization that I could make just one person’s day a little brighter by sending them smiles or saying those simple words….You Matter!….was so motivating…..AND became a special inspiration to me!!  I never thought in my attempt to motivate others….that I would be, in fact, the one that benefited from it too.

So….whatever it is you would like to accomplish this year….make the commitment!

It might be a bit tough at first, but I am sure along the way the same magical change will happen for you too.

Keep focusing on the fact that when you make positive changes for yourself….you also make a positive difference for others around you!

And no matter what is the end results,

Always remember……“You Matter”

Happy 2013

Hope it is a super, super year.

smileSmiles,  Nancy

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 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 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 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