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

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Monday Gets Postponed

I’m not ready for Monday; so I would like to just postpone it.  That’s right!!  Let’s start tomorrow or maybe the next day.  You know….stop the clocks.  Gone Fishin’!  Anyone want to join me?!!

How many times do you hear someone say…”If I had just one more day…”  We always think we would be better at something or more prepared or feel more rested or just have a better start….if we just had a little more time!  I do it all the time.  I call them the “Should’ve, Would’ve, Could’ve ‘s”  We all think we are just on the edge of a breakthrough or look for something to, at least, use as an excuse for why we don’t do better.  I’ve been doing it all day.  I have a huge project that is due tomorrow; but my usual combination of poor planning and procrastination has got me in a ‘dash for the finish line’ for tomorrow’s project.  I have all the valid excuses (or so I keep telling myself) of why I have put myself in this place.  You know what REALLY annoys me??  This is not the first time….nor it will it probably be the last time!  Why do I do this to myself??

Maybe I like the thrill of the last minute rush, or maybe I AGAIN didn’t plan wisely or maybe even, I set myself up to fail sometimes.  Honestly, right now, I’m thinking I’m just plain stupid!

OK….we realistically can’t postpone Monday….and even though it didn’t get off to a great start, perhaps it can end on a high note.  Nose to the grindstone.  Let’s get those projects finished.  I am the little red engine…I think I can, I think I can, I think I can!! 

How about you?  Got any of these hot fires to put out around your house?  I’ve started at the top of my priority list.  Today I will tackle my list and get my project finished.

By the end of the day, I will probably be exhausted.  But, sometimes there is a good type of exhausted feeling…..the feeling of accomplishment and getting things done.

At the end of the day, Pat yourself on the back.

But, don’t linger on your laurels for too long.

Tomorrow is a new day and I’m sure you have lots you need to get marked off your list.  Start each day with an attitude of doing your very best and not wasting precious time in front of a TV or maybe your computer or any of the multiple possibilities of not staying on track to be the best you can be.

Your friends on Facebook will understand.  In fact, how about posting to your timeline, the list you want to get accomplished this week.  I dare you to make the declaration….and follow through with gusto.

Sorry I couldn’t really postpone Monday for you.

You might find out, however, it’s going to turn out to be a great day.

Smiles,

Nancy

Monday Gets A Birthday Celebration

I had the wonderful experience of celebrating my son’s birthday in a special kind of way this year.  He had taken an amazing trip to parts of Europe and I flew to NYC to meet him on his return trip.  We spent the evening celebrating his special day with family.  It is so nice to celebrate a birthday with people all around that love you.

The next day we took a little ‘walk down memory lane’ and visited special places in his early life.  We went to the hospital where he was born, visited the tiny little carriage house where we lived until he was about six months old, went to his elementary school and even went to get a pizza from a special restaurant that we had always loved.

Some things had changed drastically, but some things were almost exactly the same.  And some things for me were exactly the same….but for my son (who had experienced them at a very young age) found them shockingly different.  His memory of a house way down the lane was actually just a few hundred feet across the street.  A hill that he had remembered to be almost insurmountable as he learned to ride his bike was actually just a small hump in the road.

Isn’t it funny how our brain takes a picture of something that we think will never change?  We live with that memory for a long time and would swear that we knew every little detail of the image.  But….then we see it years later and it is so awkward and different from the memory we had been recalling over and over.  It makes me want to take a picture of every thing I see, so that I can keep referring to it and keeping the vision accurate in my mind.

I think it is different with people we love and care about though.  We spend time with someone and somehow we connect to more of what is inside them rather than what is on the surface.  We may not see them for a very long time; but yet when we do reunite, it seems like nothing has changed and we have somehow been close to them the whole time.  We still laugh at the same silly things and remember many insignificant events and know every detail of its happening.  After a while, we don’t even register that this person’s face is sometimes drawn with lines of age or their hair is far from the original color of their youth.  We just ‘see’ the person we remembered long ago.   Isn’t it interesting how our heart “captures” pictures that our brain doesn’t seem to be able to recall?!!

There are lots of happenings that I don’t remember about my son’s early years, but yet I can recall with great detail the first moment of seeing his face.  I can remember his sweet smell and the feel of his pudgy body.   I can remember sitting alone with him the first night in the hospital nursery and rocking him quietly as he slept.  I can remember feeling the fear that I wouldn’t be a good enough Mom or the overwhelming quantity of things that I needed to learn in order to take good care of him.  I can also remember the joy and love I felt for this tiny little being and how I promised him that night that I would always do my very best to protect him and teach him and help him grow.  Yes, my heart captured a very clear picture that first birthday night…..the sweet love of my life was born!

I hope you have a few of these joyful recalls in your life.

Take some time to just sit and let your mind return to some of those heartfelt moments……there is no better medicine!

When you let yourself ‘re-live’ some of those special times in your life,

it feels like you are floating on clouds and there is nothing that is wrong or negative in this world.

And be sure to create some new memories too.

Don’t let yourself get caught up in all the details of an event, but rather just focus on the people that you are with at the moment.

Be sure to let your heart take a snapshot!

In fact….do it today.

It’s Monday….a good day to start.

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 In the Christmas Spirit

Went out to do a little last minute shopping today and despite the craziness, actually, got a bit embraced by the Christmas Spirit.  Caught myself singing along to the Christmas music playing….probably much to the dismay of the people next to me.  Every one was hustling around to pick up those last minute gifts….it’s those ‘grab off the table as you pass thru the door’ ones or the ones that are always near the cashier that somehow you think at the moment that it is the perfect gift…..for someone.

As I was standing in line, I was thinking that’s what we sometimes do in everyday life too.  We get in a rush and just “grab” for things and don’t really take time to think about what’s going to happen further down the road.  We don’t even consider what we’re doing and whether it is the right thing for not just ourselves, but those that are closest to us that might be affected.  We barrel ahead and don’t slow down to look at what we are trying to accomplish or how it will affect everyone.   I guess we don’t slow down for fear, we might be on the wrong path and have to do twice as much to get back on the right one….or admit wrongdoing to those that we might have “stepped on” as we were rushing along.

That’s what I like about Christmastime.  It forces me to slow down a bit and just enjoy the moment and reflect on what has happened throughout the year.  It’s not about fancy gifts or big displays of holiday food piled high on the table.  Rather, it’s just about soaking up the magical moments of the holiday.  The most simple happening can bring tears to your eyes and joy to your heart.  Unpacking an old Christmas ornament from days gone by can make you feel like you are experiencing that moment all over again.  I love the thought of believing in Santa and keeping his whimsical spirit alive.  We all like that thought, right?!! Christmas is a time to unbind the restrictions of age and find the child within.

If you are spending time with family tomorrow, I hope you take time to really enjoy the joy and love that surrounds you.  There may be some tired, grumpy ones in the bunch, but you can still love them and give them a big hug and tell them how much they mean to you.  That’s right!  Tell them “You Matter to me!”  Bet they smile.

If you are away from your family this year, I’m sure you can find friends or someone that could use a little holiday cheer and would enjoy soaking up the Christmas spirit along with you.

 Share the joy, share the love, share yourself.

Be in the moment and embrace the magic of Christmas.

It only comes once a year…..Don’t “rush” through the moment.

All my friends who have posted here and read my Blog throughout this past year have given me the joy of a big smile each time I’ve read your comments.

This has been a wonderful gift.

Thank you for caring.

Merry Christmas to You All!

Smiles,

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