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

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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 Break

Sometimes, a person just needs to sit back and relax and take a break.  Tramp and I are taking time to ‘smell the roses’ with special friends and family this week; but wanted to let all my blogger friends know that I am thinking about you today.

Hope your day is special too.

 You Matter!

 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

Monday Gets Taken Away by Calgon

“Calgon Take Me Away”  is an old commercial slogan that has been “on the air” and repeated over and over since the early 1980s and it still rings true today for me!  I’m Ready for a little R&R!!  How about you?  I’m not sure just having a bathtub filled with bubbles is going to do it for me.  I’m just a bit tired today and need something special to happen.

I can’t imagine what it might be like for some of you who have several kids or maybe you’re juggling a couple of jobs AND a single parent. Add furry, four-legged pets to the equation and your chore list just doubled.  Having older parents who you care for can also add to a drain on your energy.  Maintaining a house you creates a constant list of things to do.  And just cooking three meals a day and other mundane daily chores can create multiple hours of things we need to day EVERY DAY!  No wonder we’re tired.  We need a break!

We push ourselves beyond a normal limit sometimes.  We don’t take time for ourselves to rest.  We keep saying we’re going to take a break, but fail to “put ourselves on the calendar” and schedule it.  We keep doing for others and neglect our own needs.  We say we’ll do it next week…next month…..and THEN Holy Cow!  It’s already next year!!  Yikes!  What happens to the time?!

Are you ready?  I’m giving you a “get out of jail free” card today.  Admit it….you need a break.  So today……

MONDAY GETS TAKEN AWAY BY CALGON

We have to take care of ourselves, if nothing else, so we can keep taking care of others.  We always seem to put ourselves last in line for nurturing and allowing ourselves to feel that “We Matter”.  It seems easy to do nice things for others, but we can’t seem to stop the process of being last on the list.  If we would start taking care of “Me”, then we could likely do a lot more for others.  Would that motivate you to take the time to be taken away by Calgon today?

Okay.  Here’s the fun part….if you could do anything you wanted to do today, what would it be?  Maybe stay in bed ALL day.  Or perhaps, read a book you started months ago.  What about having a super duper spa day?!!  Wow!  What an amazing thought!  Maybe just find a nice shady spot, bring a picnic lunch and stare into space for several hours would be a relaxing day for you.  I think I would like to go somewhere to look at the water.  I love the smell of the ocean breeze and the sound of the waves hitting the shoreline.  Maybe I’ll stop for a nice icy smoothie afterwards and then take a long afternoon nap.  That sure sounds like a relaxing day.

I don’t want to hold you up any longer…..you’ve got some planning to do.  If you can’t make today a Calgon kind of day, then at least take the time today to make plans for what you will do within the next week.

Make it something fun and just about you.

Remember to whisper to yourself throughout the day….

I Matter!  I Matter!  I Matter!

If we don’t take care of ourselves, then we limit

ourselves every day in what we can accomplish.

Make today a super, super day

Got to run…..the ocean breeze is calling my name.

Smiles,

Nancy

Monday Gets Thankful

I woke up this morning and before I could completely get my eyes opened, I found myself feeling very thankful for a lot of things in my life.  I stretched my arms out and immediately felt my sweet old lab, Tramp.

My “view” this morning.

He is there for me always no matter what kind of day I am having….Blessing #1 of the day.  The longer I laid in bed, the longer my list of gratefulness grew!  The irony here is that I have been struggling a bit in my work-a-day world and feeling a bit defeated at times.  I felt like doors had been closing for me and I was in a “woe is me” state of mind (Hmmm..sounds like a song perhaps). But yet, this morning, I found myself counting my blessings.  So let me share with you a bit……

Monday Gets Thankful

 I have to wonder if just “changing my attitude” made the difference.  Last night, I had to “sit myself down” and give myself a good talking to about my attitude.  What I realized was how much energy I was wasting feeling defeated and how it really wasn’t helping my situation.  It sure isn’t a way to win friends or move you forward if all you do is complain about your situation and problems.  Although I have to say, that part of the reason for changing my attitude had to do with some of the extremely kind and caring messages and words that I received from my friends and family.  Many offers of kindness have been sent my way.  How lucky I am to have sweet angels all around me who are “holding me up” when I need the extra boost…..many Blessings for sure!!

I have the sweetest son in the whole world who always boost my spirit by believing in me and making me feel that I can accomplish whatever I set my mind to.  He always believes I can “win the race” with flying colors.

I Can Do It!!

He does have a way of bringing out the stubborn-ness in me to prove that I can do something!!   Although…when I mentioned that I would like to try skydiving recently, he was not too supportive!!?!! Blessing! Blessing! Blessing! Tenfold!

As you know from my post last week, I have taking great strides in improving my health by following a Paleo lifestyle.  This diet plan may not be for everyone, but it sure is working for me….2 more pounds lighter this week.  I just can’t imagine having adversities in my life and dealing with health issues that would add to the struggles right now….in that regard, another scoop of Blessings for me!  I wonder if Ben & Jerry have thought of creating a flavor called “Blessings”.  I doubt if I could stop with just one scoop.

So, before I “lay it on too thick”, here is what I really wanted to share.  Life is a struggle for everyone….no matter what their situation might be.  But what we need to do is just count our blessings and keep saying to ourselves….“I Matter”  If we just believe in ourselves, then we can accomplish great things.  What it really is all about is “Love”….loving ourselves….and we all know “Love can move Mountains!  Right?  I have a few friends out there who are struggling right along with me right now, so here is a personal wish for you…..I love you and I believe in you and “You Matter” to me…So go Move a Mountain!!

So, what mountain do you want to move today?!!

Life getting you down too and sending you a bunch of struggles to deal with that are feeling like burdens and too much to handle sometimes?!!

Count your Blessings, my dear friends and fellow bloggers.  That’s right….make that darn list and realize all the good things that you have to be thankful for today.  You might be surprised like I was to find out just how long your list might stretch.

I’d like to give you a little “kick start”….I’m letting you know that “YOU MATTER”.

Did you hear me?…..YOU MATTER!

Make your list, count your blessings, change your attitude and before the day ends…Make sure that you tell someone else YOU MATTER too!

By making a difference in someone else’s life, you will be surprised to find how much of a difference you can make in your own life too!

Have a great Monday! Be Thankful for the moment and the day!

You Matter!

Smiles,  Nancy

Monday Gets Bogged Down

Okay….last week, Monday Got Lazy and now it seems I am ‘bogged down’ in so many things to do that my head is spinning and my List is a mile long.  I guess I should admit, however, there might have been another day or so along the way this week that I felt I needed to pull out my lazy card!!…..Oh the price we pay sometimes for doing things that seem to come so natural and easy!!

Wouldn’t it be nice if we could just post our lists on a community bulletin board somewhere and have help in completing the tasks that we are not very good at being able to complete.  Kind of a barter system….you do the laundry and I’ll fold it and put it away.  I’ll do the dishes….if you’ll do the cooking today.  Guess that’s the way it use to be when multiple generations lived together all in the same house.  Of course, I’m sure Woody Allen would be able to create a pretty authentic picture of what the real scene might be when that happens!  Be careful what you ask for, right?  Let’s address the issue….

Monday Gets Bogged Down

I wonder how some people are able to get so much accomplished in a very short time without procrastinating along the way.  I can’t even make a list without running off the edge of the paper and continuing to add to it before I even get a few items checked off AND actually losing the list several times before it’s completed.  I know I’m not considered to be a lazy person and most people think I’m above average in the organizational skill set.  Perhaps, I need to learn to delegate…….Hmmmm. Just asked Tramp to take out the trash and he looked at me and ran to the kitchen.  I was sure he was headed to get the garbage, but instead he just checked his food bowl to see if there were any scraps or extra dog biscuits!!  Guess I need to rethink this delegating thing….Choose your Delegate wisely, right?

I think this happens not only in just daily grind stuff, but just in life in general.  Even the fun stuff gets either over-completed OR gets pushed to the bottom of the list.  Life needs to be a balance, right?  Unfortunately, I think we often struggle to determine where the line gets drawn.  So, how do we get out of the ‘mess’ we’re in right now.  Let’s figure this out, so that perhaps we can work on this phenomenon together.

Are you in this space too?  Too much to do and too little time to do it.  What happened along the way?  For me, I think it is a cross between procrastination and distractions.  I might start cleaning the kitchen, but then take out the garbage and find myself out picking tomatoes off my plants in my garden.  Next thing I know, I am researching a good recipe to make with the tomatoes which leads somehow unexplainable to restaurants that I might want to dine at soon.  By the time I re-enter the kitchen, hours have passed, the kitchen is only half completed AND now I’m hungry (from ooo-ing over the recipes I’ve discovered) and struggle to find a clean spot to make some lunch.

Is anyone relating here??!!!  Please tell me that I’m not alone or unique in this horrible syndrome!!   Do you think there are any research studies going that I can join to find my cause and cure?  Perhaps, there might be a support group that will help me feel there is hope.

 Help!  Help!  Help!

Well, this is the point in my Blog post that I usual offer some suggestions or support to get beyond the current issue…..I’ve got nothing!!    Here’s what I thought I would do.  After you read this, post in the comment section at the top of the post, a description of a recent situation of your Bogged Down-itis.  Don’t be shy.  Even life’s problems can make us smile sometimes. Let’s see who could qualify for King/Queen of Bogged Down Monday.

Hopefully, what we’ll find is that we’re really not alone in this world and when we feel we are the ONLY human being dealing with something difficult, that we just need to open our eyes and look around us.

When life seems the most difficult, I’m sure there is always someone dealing with a worst situation.

And maybe too…..that we’ll understand that we need to reach out to others in time of need and get the support we need and offer the same to them.  We really don’t have to carry the whole burden alone.  Sometimes, the opportunity to make a difference is right in front of our face.

Have a Great Monday.

Make it a great day.  Reach out to others.

You Matter!

Smiles,

Nancy