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 A New Job

I start a new job today.  I’m a bit excited.  I’m looking forward to meeting new people and experiencing new happenings.  I wish I had documented each time I started a new job and all the thoughts, emotions, and questions that seem to surface.  I think starting a new job kind of reminds me of when I was younger and the thrill and uncertainties that go with starting each new school year.  I have a lot of the same questions….will I make some nice friends? will I have the knowledge to do well with each “test”? what should I wear the first day?…..and even do I need to pack my lunch? and hope I don’t don’t get lost on the first day (thank you google map).

Isn’t it funny how life kind of parallels itself?  We think something is a brand new experience but yet there always something there that is familiar that helps us get through the difficult or uncertain moments…nothing much is really brand new to us.  I sure wish I would have remembered that at times in the past when I was overwhelmed with nervousness and anxiety about beginning a new task.  I guess there is always the new people to meet and get to know……but that is also often the best part.

I hope I will have some new experiences to write about too.  This is my 49th post and my commitment was for 52 weeks.  Perhaps, time to shift gears and write about something different.  I’ve been thinking about a few things on my bucket list….I still want to write a book or screenplay….maybe this is a good place to try it out.  Do You have any suggestions?  I wonder if there is some kind of Blog Game?  I would write a line and then another person would write the next line and so on.  That would be fun.  Sure would make for interesting reading I bet and make writing a lot more fun….no one person would have the pressure or burden of writing the whole post.

Well, got to go pack my lunch and get ready for work.

Hope you have a good day at work today too.

I think it’s going to be a great day!

I love new adventures and learning new stuff, so I’m very excited.

Wish me luck.  See you next Monday.

Smiles, Nancy

Monday Gets A Ghost Writer

CoverHi!  My name is Tramp.  You’ve heard a little bit about me in my Master’s (I call her Mom) post here.  I am her forever, loyal sidekick and love spending time hanging out with her.  My Mom is a bit under the weather today, so I thought I would help her out and take over her Blog post for the day.  She is sleeping now so got to hurry and get this finished.  She probably wouldn’t like knowing that I put my dirty paws on her computer.  Let me tell you a little about myself.

I was born in the deep South and was known to many as Blackie from what I’m told.  I don’t really remember much beyond that as I was just a young pup when I came to live with my Mom in Florida.  I had been at a shelter for several months and despite the great care I got there, I was a bit lonely, scared and confused.  Well, one day a nice lady by the name of Sandi picked me up and took me to her house to give me a nice bath.  She told me I was going to meet someone who had another dog and she thought they might want to give me a new home.  I was very excited, but a little nervous too.  We went to a park and waited for my possible new owners to arrive.  Sure enough, right on time, they arrived.  Well, out of the car stepped this most beautiful yellow lab named Lady.  She was such a pretty thing and so full of life and smiles.  From what I got from the pieces of conversation was that Lady wasn’t always friendly to other pets and her master wanted us to meet and see how we got along.  Well, I was sure on my best behavior and Lady seemed to be pretty nice.  She did mention quietly under her breathe to me that she was “Queen Bee” and I should be super aware of that.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

So Sandi and this possible new owner talked for a bit while Lady and I got to know each other a little better.  They finished talking and Sandi told me to come with her to get back in the car.  I was so disappointed.  But….as my ears sagged a bit, this nice lady interrupted her and said “No, No….I want to take him with me today.  I just needed to make sure they would get along okay!”  Well….can you imagine my excitement?!!!  Today was MY best day ever.  Sandi was a bit surprised but very thrilled too.   This new owner had even brought me my very own collar and leash and had a crate ready in the car with a nice clean blanket in it.  I thought I was dreaming!!!

On our ride home, I think I slept like I hadn’t slept in months.  I was going to a new home and felt certain they would take good care of me.  My new Mom took me inside my new home and then showed me this GREAT yard where I could play and run.  I was sooooo excited.  I was Home!!  She showed me where I would be sleeping (right next to Lady) and then she gave me a big bowl of food.  Yums!  Biscuits too!  I was so tired after all the excitement of the day that I just kept falling asleep.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I guess by now, you realize how I got my name….Lady and the Tramp just seemed to be the right fit.

Many adventures have happened over the past eight years.  Lady and I spent many hours together wandering around our yard and laying in the sun and digging holes.  Lady was quite successful at begging for biscuits and I always got one too.   My sweet Lady was eight years old when I arrived; and sadly, she went onto doggie heaven a few years back.  My Mom and I moved to Tennessee for a while, but neither one of us liked the cold and snow.  So Mom packed us up and across country we went to live in Southern California.  I really like the sunshine and warm weather but best of all I get to have a second master….my best buddy Joey.  I squeal and run around every time he comes in the door.  He makes me happy!

I do lots of neat things here in California….I sunbatheIMG00343-20120818-1138, and garden IMG_0263and go for long walks.

My Mom takes me to this nice spa where I get great and relaxing baths too. IMG_0224 I am really a very lucky pup!! Which brings me to why I wanted to do this Blog post today.

My Mom writes this post each week to make people aware of things you can do to make a difference in other’s lives.

I wanted to have my turn too and let you know you can sure help out other pets like me and give them a good home just like I got.

I just can’t imagine where I might be if I had not been adopted by my Mom and Lady.  It makes me sad to think of all the poor cats and dogs that are alone in shelters and may never find someone that will love them and take good care of them.

 Are you maybe thinking of getting a new pet?  Why not check out some of the shelters in your town?

I’m sure you will find someone just as special as me…..okay, so I have gotten a little pompous in my older years.  It’s only because my Mom tells me every day how much she loves me and how handsome a fellow I am!!  DSCN0646

When she hugs me, I always hug back because I really appreciate how loyal she has been to taking good care of me.

I’m sure there’s a sweet cat or dog waiting to give you hugs and kisses too.

Give them a chance.

I’m sure you will get back much more than you could ever imagine.

I hope you enjoyed my post and I sure hope you will give another pup like me a chance some time soon.

I’ve got to go check on my Mom.

Smiles,

IMG00286-20120617-1729

Tramp

Monday Gets Organized

pileI know it is hard to tell from this pile of garbage…..but I have really been busy getting organized this week.  I feel like I have been hoarding so many unnecessary pieces of garbage.  Some of them, I am still not certain why I kept them in the first place.  If it was a memorable experience, it must not have been too impressive because no details of the event remain in my mind!

I am cleaning out closets and files and cabinets and things I have stashed–all with the certain feeling they would be used one day soon.  Well, it just didn’t happen….so time to let them go.   This pile went to the recycling bin and bags of clothes and books and other no longer necessary objects went to Goodwill.

I’m not sure why I have kept so much junk.  I moved to California with just a small U-Haul trailer and somehow it seems that everything was like a compressed sponge and has swollen to 3 or 4 times its original size.stuffed house

Why do you think we feel we need to hang onto our junk?  Is it a childhood thing? or just a normal human thing?  And it seems we have such big plans for the things we do save….fix the broken leg on an old couch or refinish an old desk (even though it has never fit in any house where we have lived) or maybe write a book from old research papers from college we have saved?!!  Or maybe we  just continue trying to pretend all the stuff doesn’t exist so we don’t have to deal with it.

Well….today’s the day to start fresh and clean out that clutter in your life….and your garage, apartment, house or wherever you have stashed all that stuff!  Don’t even think of the current state of the disaster…rather visualize what it will look like when you are all finished.  Go pick up a bunch of boxes and containers to help with the process.  Label a few “donation”, a couple are for keepers and a few ‘to be determined’ are allowed.  Start early in the day and keep snacks and beverages handy so you will keep focused on the task.

Here’s some visuals for you to get started….

Before Organizing

Before Organizing

After Organizing

After Organizing

Before organizing

Before organizing

Okay…..so this is a little bit of an exaggeration but sometimes that’s just what we need to really see the true picture of something that we need to deal with……and deal with it in a positive way!

After Organizing

After Organizing

So while you’re going through all your things…ask yourself questions….like….do I really need this now?  or maybe picture another person or family using the items that need them more than you?  if you think you do, in fact, need something…..be sure to ask yourself ‘will I use this in the next year?’  If not, then there is a really good chance that you won’t use it in the next 3-5 years!  And, if it’s like some of my things….I hadn’t used them in the previous 2 or 3 years either!!

I read that if you’re really having trouble letting go of something that you should take a picture of it.  That way, you’ll still have something tangible to “hold onto” but without all the clutter.  I’ve never tried that but let me know if it works for you.  Be sure to take a picture of all the stuff you are donating too…..great tax deduction and much more valid if you have a picture of things.

So, where are you going to start?

Maybe even start with your car!

You’ll need it to haul away all the things you are getting rid of so better make space and be able to load everything up as you are sorting.  Once it’s packed in your car, it’s hard to change your mind…..especially when you start seeing areas that are already showing signs of being neat and sorted.

I’ve got to get back to my piles here.

I want to make 2013 the best it can be and be ready for whatever wonderful adventure might come along.

Oh yeah!  Sometimes, you find amazing treasures amongst all the clutter….hope that motivates you to get started!!  Wonder what you will find?!!

Smiles and Happy Monday,

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 Thankful for Special Friends

As we grow older, we realize that friends we have met in our life become very precious to us.  In many ways, they define the person we are and let us know what our life reflection is really about.  We can hide our identity from every day acquaintances, but our friends can see right through our walls…..and miraculously, they even like what they see!   They make us feel good about ourselves and make us forget any negativity that we might have built up into a road-blocking disability.  They energize us and applaud us for the simplest of things.  They make us laugh over silly occurrences.

Monday Gets Thankful for Special Friends

I recently spent a few days with some really special friends who gave me just such an experience.  They lifted me up and gave me the feeling that no matter what…… I will always have a place that makes me feel special and loved.  It’s almost like they became a large mirror that I was allowed to look into but only see the beauty of my existence.  They are not family, but it sure feels like we could be.  Secretly and without acknowledgement, we adopt each other to solidify our forever togetherness.

I am very thankful for the fact that some of the friends we meet will always be a part of our life…no matter how much time passes between the visits we have…….we are always able to pick up where we left off and continue to allow the love to grow and become more and more special.  In fact, they kind of seem like angels here on earth that continue to watch over us and make sure when we stumble that they are by our side to pick us up, brush us off and send us back into the game.

Sometimes, I wish we could all move through life at the same pace, so that we never had to leave our friends.  I guess, however, a relationship could become kind of boring if we all had the same story to tell every single day.  So….until “we meet again”, we allow our hearts to silently communicate each day to stay connected.

How about you?  Do you have a friend or two….or maybe even several…that allows you to be exactly who you are?  No barriers, no false pretense….just good ole fashioned togetherness.  How lucky we are!

And, have you told these special friends just how much they mean to you?  Don’t let another moment pass….reach out and let them know how special they are and how much they matter to you.  Consider yourself lucky that they are in your life.  I think “friends” are gifts we are given to reward us for getting thru some of the daily struggles that we have to overcome.

friends_forever-1933

And to all my dear friends everywhere….

just want to let you know how special you are to me.

My life is so much better because you are a part of it.

Thank you for your gift of friendship.

It is a true blessing to me.

You All Matter to me.

Smiles,

Nancy