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 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 Patriotic

Today is the observance of Veterans Day.  A day to show honor and respect and appreciation for those who have served in the armed forces protecting our good ole     US of A!!!  Veterans Day also marks the anniversary of the signing of the Armistice that ended World War I. (Major hostilities of World War I were formally ended at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918 with the German signing of the Armistice.)

We are lucky to live in a country with so many freedoms and so many choices.  On the heels of the presidential election, it seems even more pronounced in its symbolism of freedom.  Some may not be happy with the current presidential candidate…but you did have the freedom to vote and make your own personal choice.

 Monday Gets Patriotic

Happy Veterans Day, Dear Neighbors

There are ways to remind others to be proud of their American homeland.  My little walkway of flags was a small showing of that.  I just wanted to give a subtle reminder for us to stop to think how lucky we are to have a flag that represents such amazing possibilities of what we are able to aspire to be.  Each and every one of us can decide what goals we want to meet and then have a plethora of opportunities to make all those dreams come true.

Sometimes we might feel we have not been given a fair deal (particularly, any Romney voters right now); but also with freedom we must learn compromise and understanding.  We can’t all have our own way at every possible moment.  What doesn’t seem fair to some becomes huge victories and opportunities to do good things for others.  The key is to stay united and find ways to work together for the good of all.  “Division of troops” is not good in the military forces and it’s not good in government….Period!!

I would like to also take a moment to honor the men and women who have given their lives in battle for this country.  I can’t imagine what it must be like to lose a family member while they are fighting on other lands to protect our freedom here.

God Bless America!

The United States seems to make great effort to build tributes to those that have lost their lives in combat; but it is such a small token for the huge price that is paid.

Vietnam Memorial Wall–Washington, D.C.

So today, take the time to thank those that you know that are serving our country now or have served in previous times.

Shake their hand, salute them or maybe just give them a big hug.

 Let them know that you are proud of them and appreciate their dedication and hard work.

Maybe knock on the door of a wife or mother that is struggling to fill the void of the loss of the head of their household while they are in some other country and who has been gone for months now.  Give them a little boost in their day…..they are also “serving” our country by their unselfish support of our troops.

Stand tall…Stand proud.

We are Americans and we are very lucky to live in this country.

Don’t take your freedoms lightly AND don’t abuse them either…..many Americans have

given their lives to keep us safe and free!  Show your honor and respect for them.

I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America!

You Matter America!

Smiles, Nancy….born in the USA

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 Technically Overloaded

Wherever you turn, the world of technology is continuing to challenge every individual.  It’s no longer about how many TVs you have in a household, but rather how many high-tech devices do you have…cell phone, ipad, computer, gps, security cameras, devices that allow you to turn your oven or your lights on while at work, curtains that open with a touch of a button…….and the list goes on.  They all come with earphones, remotes or some kind of Bluetooth peripheral and many with complex control centers that you need a team of tech people to program for you.  Plus, another crew that is constantly updating the software that is needed to run all these devices.  Then…..all these devices have to be “sync-ed” so you are “in the know” at all times wherever you are…home, work, in your car or on a flight to another state or country.

I, personally, am on overload!!!

Monday Gets Technically Overloaded

I think it’s great that we live in a country that allows us to have so many options and that many of these devices are affordable for the average.  It’s great that the technology strives  to try to make our lives easier and more connected….but are they really?!!  It’s getting harder and harder to remember the “days” before we had all these modern conveniences.  In fact, our ‘must have’ lifeline a/k/a the cell phone wasn’t readily available just 15 or 16 years ago.  Seems like without one was like living in the Dark Ages.

Sometimes though, I think we need to shut some of this stuff off and just “rough it”…..maybe it’s not necessary to text your friend who is across the room at a party.  Maybe you could walk around the block without texting or calling all your friends just to keep yourself entertained.  Or perhaps, you actually turn your phone completely off sometimes to enjoy a sunset or listen to some relaxing music.

With everything there has to be a balance and I think we’ve lost that a bit.  Yes, it’s nice to be so in touch with everyone, but how about ‘being in touch’ with the person that is sitting right in front of you!  Some days, I’m ready to say I just can’t take another technical challenge!!  I want it to be okay to say “I don’t know how to sync my phone to my ipad to my computer to my home to my office to my calendar, to my……”  I feel like I want that brainpower back to focus on more important things.

So that’s my frustration today.

I want to get back in balance.  I want to know that it is okay to be “out of touch” some days.

I want to listen to my friends while they’re talking….without interruptions.  And I want them to know that I am interested in what they have to say and what they are doing and feeling.  All with No distractions, no in/out texting, no bells and whistles of multiple tunes going off every few minutes.

I sure hope I can do that……it’s harder than it sounds.

I hope you find a little balance in the technical world today too.

I hope you discover new things about yourself, your friends and the world around you.

Today, I hope you are a bit old-fashioned and enjoy NOT being connected at all times.

Good Luck!

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 Bucket List

I was recently posting on a fellow blogger’s post Y and Z ~~ or the end of another challenge http://onthehomefrontandbeyond.wordpress.com/   I was congratulating her on her initiative to challenge herself to writing a book.  I made the comment that I have always wanted to do that in my life…..Just one of those casual, off-hand comments that you sometimes make in friendly replies.  Her response:  “why not I ask with all seriousness.”

It kind of sparked something in me that made me realize that unless we continuously challenge ourselves in our lives, we never really grow much.  It IS very important to make that Bucket List, otherwise, we will never push ourselves to new heights and new adventures.  We often fall into a rut that keeps us on the same path and doing things that we not only have become comfortable in our own skins doing, but also in what others have grown accustomed to for us as well.  So today, I’m doing it….

Monday Gets A Bucket List

Should I start big???  I would love to try sky diving….but I did promise my son that I will wait until I am well into my 80s to attempt that…..I’ll put that near the end of my list.  I’ll definitely put the book writing on my list.  I would love to write a screenplay too.  Oh heck!  Why don’t I just plan to write an epic novel that turns into an epic screenplay while I’m at it!!  Think Big Bucket, right?  I think I would like to re-visit the South of France too.  I had a wonderful experience there a few years back and would love to return some day.  I have a really good friend who retired recently and decided she wanted to learn to paint….and she did!  I would love to know that every day of my life was filled with time to do some kind of art…painting, pottery or maybe photography.  The three P’s sound good to me.  And speaking of retiring, I think it would be great to have a little camper/RV type vehicle that would allow me to pack up minimal belongings and take off to travel the good ole USA with my ole dog, Tramp.

Home Sweet Home

Just stopping along the way to visit friends and seeing the beauty of this country. The national and state park services have part time/temporary jobs that you can do at various places.  They provide some housing and meals and give you a decent salary too.  Maybe just work a season and then move on to somewhere else.  I could combine the art with the experience too.  Okay….I’m ready to start packing!

So really, the bucket list is about dreams too.  And, if we believe that dreams come true, then  the next few years are already planned for me.  I’m looking forward to the adventure.

So what’s on your bucket list?  What kind of dream would you like to come true?  I know you’re probably sick of my list suggestions by now, but this is a really important one!

Sit down, close your eyes and dream big!!

Write your bucket list….and then commit to making it happen.

I NEVER thought I would be blogging…..but just a little challenge from others and it happened! And the best part is that I not only did I never envision myself sharing my writing with others, I NEVER thought I would love it so much.  Amazing what happens when we challenge ourselves a bit.

Well, I better get busy….Epics take a bit of work.

Chapter One…..

Smiles, Nancy