Kindly smiling and caring…

Just checking in quickly with a little bit of Monday Motivation πŸ˜‰

It’s one of those ‘ripple effect’ kind of things… it will leave you, and the recipient, both smiling πŸ˜‰

This image popped up in my Facebook memories as something I shared a year ago. Not only is it a worthy re-share, but also a great reminder for me πŸ™‚

Heading out the door, determined to do the above as I make my way through the day. Except the touch part. People are not very receptive to a random stranger touching them πŸ˜›

Have a fantastic week, everyone! ❀

Just a tip…

There was a lot of buzz surrounding a ‘new and cool’ place that was coming to our town. Cool… mostly because Summer is coming and it’s an ice cream shoppe! πŸ˜› (My daughter eats it whatever the weather, though! πŸ˜‰ )

The biggest attraction was ‘rolled fried ice cream’ – we’ve never had that here so it was a whole new taste test coming our way!

I bypassed the opening, knowing that it would be crazy busy, and finally took the girls (my daughter and her friend) after school one Friday, two weeks after they had opened. And let me tell you, it was the best ‘all five senses’ experience I think anyone of us had had in a very long time!
The dΓ©cor had an almost vintage feel – turquoises and pinks – I found myself smiling as I thought, ‘Frenchy, from the movie Grease, should be here!’ (Or even ALL the Pink Ladies πŸ˜‰ )
I kid you not… the place smelled like candy floss! Not a sickening sweet smell…. but a bit like Goldilocks and the Three Bears…. ”Juuuuuuuuuust right!” πŸ˜›
Our taste treats did NOT disappoint in anyway! We were given extra spoons, so that we could each taste the other ones choice – and we all made mental notes to ‘have that one’ next time πŸ˜‰

But what stood out the most for me? Which sense was made the happiest? HEARING!

There was background music, yes. But at a volume that could only just be heard. It could have been louder – I really like my music πŸ˜‰ But in this case, louder would have drowned out the energy coming off of the staff.
(Yes, I have told management, and given them a great review πŸ˜‰ )
There are four staff members (and a manager) … and watching and hearing their interaction with us, other customers, each other? I smiled and laughed so much that my cheeks were sore by the time we got back to my car!

I am not sharing all of this with you to try and convince you that you need ice cream… but maybe you do? πŸ˜›

We were waiting for our order, and my soul was busy soaking it all up πŸ˜‰ while my eyes tried to notice every little detail, when I saw the small jar….

A small glass jar, no fancy ribbon or decoration on it to make you notice it. A small glass jar, sitting on the top of the display of brightly coloured bubbles and Boba, for their special tea’s. A small glass jar, placed between the beautifully branded cups and serviettes. A small glass jar, with a little label on it that read ”TIPS”. A small glass jar that was EMPTY, at three o’clock in the afternoon, when they had been open (and busy) since 9am.

And I felt so sad.

I plucked the last note from my purse, stepped forward, and dropped it in. That cheerful vibe went up a notch, as they all clapped their hands and gave me a thumbs up. One guy even looked up at the ceiling and shouted ‘thank you, God’. The manager smiled, and came to tell me, ”That’s their first tip!”, and I replied, ”For today?” My heart hurt when he said, ”No. Since we’ve opened!”

If I had had more money, I would have added it to that jar!

But here is the truly amazing part!

A customer came in a minute later, placed their order, paid – and noticed the note in the jar (because people seldom miss seeing money, am I right? πŸ˜› )… so instead of putting their change in their purse, they threw it in the jar. Somebody else was waiting to be served, and they paid by card… but dug a note out of their wallet to throw into that jar!

THERE WAS A RIPPLE EFFECT!

Because that’s how it goes! πŸ˜‰

So with a new week looming….

Please can we help the old lady across the street, or help the old man carry those heavy packages? Please can we pay for the coffee of the person behind us, or buy an ice cream for the little girl pulling on her mommy’s hand but mommy clearly doesn’t have enough?
Someone will see…. and maybe they will do the same for someone else!

Let’s get a ripple kindness going! All over the world! Every day!

It might make you smile so much that we can have sore cheeks together… despite the distance between us πŸ˜‰

(P.S. Management has now decorated that glass jar πŸ˜‰ )

Lost Monday

I saw the above image on Facebook this morning. I have seen these words before… and they always make me smile.

I smiled this morning too, but only after a grimace had first found my face πŸ˜›

Because this seems to be my Monday Mood today, ha ha! And I suppose that whether or not that is a good thing depends on attitude and personality type, in a lot of ways!

For me? It means that this Monday morning has me feeling a bit lost…. not even coffee has given me direction! πŸ˜›
My brain seems to be in a questioning phase, ”What are you doing? How are you going to do that? Why? How? What?” etc etc etc. And there is not a particular thought that relates to those questions either. It’s sort of an ‘all over the place’ thing – one question about the future, then a question about my daughter and school, then another that jumps to something dog related.

It’s a truly Messy Monday Mind for Meg πŸ˜›

And I just laughed out loud πŸ˜› (I feel the need to point out here that I DO always laugh at myself πŸ˜› )

But here’s something I know… this is ‘but a moment’. I have felt this way before, and no doubt I will feel this way again. It may last all day, or even all week… but the moment will pass.
And while the moment is probably important, and the questions are worthy of pondering even if the answers have themselves been lost in space, my attitude will make a difference – lost, or not.

So even in this moment, I will choose to pay attention to other things on this Monday too – because I know from personal experience that even when I feel lost, something magnificent can still happen.
(The last time I got lost, a butterfly found my shoulder… and since I happen to have such a great love for butterflies, it was a truly magnificent happening for me that day!)

So I am heading out to take on Monday… choosing to celebrate that thorns have roses πŸ˜‰

If you find me, PLEASE ask me to wait πŸ˜‰

Gratitude Journal Prompts

A couple of weeks ago, I was chatting to a lady (I’ll call her Patty) who told me, ”Oh, how I wish I could write!”

There is nothing physically wrong with her that limits her ability to do so…. it’s just that it’s not a passion for her, and she says that she continuously stares at blank pages, not knowing where to start! So I queried the ‘blank pages’ part.

Her explanation made me smile, because I already had the answer, sort of πŸ˜‰

Patty said that she had been battling depression for the past year. It started shortly after she lost her husband. Every day had just been so hard! She started seeing a professional about six months ago, and things had started improving for her. Then, about a month ago, her sister in law came for a visit. It was a good visit… but then Patty had to say goodbye. The departure stirred up some deep hurt…

Patty received a text message that evening from her sister in law : If you haven’t already found it, there’s a gift for you on my bed πŸ˜‰

A tear fell down her cheek as she told me, ”She had written me the most beautiful note, and inside the prettily wrapped package was the most exquisite ‘Gratitude Journal’- my favourite colours, decorated with splashes of glitter! You know how much I love glitter! I opened up the journal, hoping there would be words already there, but the pages were all blank, except the To and From page where she had penned : Write something every day. It will help. But what do I even write? It’s not like I am not grateful, I just feel silly writing on a page that I’m grateful for the rain today, and nothing else.”

So here’s a little message for today :

On the hard days? The days when your heart is hurting and you feel a bit lost? It really IS okay to JUST be grateful for the rain ❀

On the other days, when the sun has broken through the clouds and you feel like you can focus a little more? Perhaps these little prompts (I found this picture a few months ago and had it saved on my phone πŸ˜‰ ) will help you to write a bit more…

Remember that a ‘grateful heart is a magnet for miracles’ πŸ˜‰

Here’s hoping you all have a miraculously beautiful weekend πŸ˜‰ ❀

Do nothing

I saw this image this morning on Facebook, and knew I had to share it!

The world was loud enough BEFORE the pandemic. The extra noise created by Covid and vaccines and and and has become so overwhelming for so many!

When I saw this picture, I smiled because that is me next to that tree, except I am a grownup (apparently) and a woman πŸ˜›

This image is also how I feel when I am next to my 30 kilogram male rescue dog, and the little 6 kilogram rescue dog is cuddled up next to him πŸ˜‰

So this is a friendly reminder that sometimes the something we need to do is absolutely nothing.

Don’t scroll on social media, don’t read your texts or even respond (in fact, switch that cellphone off πŸ˜› ), don’t even turn on your television/computer/laptop.

Just be.

Switch off, and do absolutely nothing. Even if just for ten minutes a day!

They say that making a conscious effort to do this every day not only leads to a calmer and more peaceful ‘you’ but it can also make your brain work better and increase your efficiency!

For me? It’s about my love for trees and my ‘furbabies’ πŸ˜› Seriously though, I don’t know about you, but with all the noise, I sure do love some peace!

Have a great weekend, everyone πŸ˜‰

IMHO

I heard something said the other day that is definitely worth sharing. And although I will share it, it won’t be in this post πŸ˜›

Instead, this post is to address ‘an issue’ of sorts. And hopefully make you laugh a bit along the way πŸ˜‰

IMHO

You know what that acronym means, right? Well… I didn’t!
I was only told its meaning a couple of years ago, when in desperation I finally asked what it meant. (I still don’t know why I didn’t just google it!!!)

I had a friend who used the acronym often… but it was always at the ‘end’ of something she said, and so it made no difference to me that I didn’t know what she meant. Until the day I asked for advice via text, and she replied, ”IMHO?”
It was time for me to ‘fess up!
My text read : ”I know you’re going to tell me I am backwards…. but what does IMHO mean, please?”

She CALLED me to reply… but she couldn’t even say ‘hello’, she was laughing so much! And every time I think of that day, I laugh too…at myself! When she finally choked out the definition, I shook my head in wonder that I had not figured that out!

IN MY HUMBLE OPINION! Of course! (Come to think of it now, she never did give me the advice I had asked for. Hmmmm. πŸ˜› )

Except these days there seems to be more of the opinion, and less of the humble. Especially on social media. And it’s become quite a sad state of affairs. If I did grab a bowl of popcorn every time a ‘Facebook fight’ occurred as instructed by a popular meme, I’d never eat anything other than popcorn! πŸ˜› (And that’s in community groups…not even personal pages! SMH! – I know what that means, but in case you don’t : SHAKING MY HEAD πŸ˜‰ )

I’ve been blogging for about 15 years now. Not always on WordPress though. For the most part, the blogging world has been rather safe….
there seems to be a general knowledge AND RESPECT (because let’s face it, it really does come down to respecting our differences, even on social media) for the fact that if you are a ‘personal blogger’ then the things on your blog posts are pretty much, well, personal.

But after seeing some keyboard warriors at work this morning on a community post, making things personal and pretty much trying to ruin each others reputation, I decided to type this blog post as a form of what my blog means : ‘nopassingfancy in Meg’s mind’. I may even start adding a link to it at the end of some of my posts πŸ˜›

When I research things and add them here, I give credit (unless the author is unknown). And at those times, clearly it isn’t MY opinion. Depending on the post, and what I say about whatever I quote, I either agree or disagree with that research.
However, a LOT of what I write is OPINION based.
And EXPERIENCE based – but it’s based on MY personal experience…

And the aftermath? The things I do, or share, or my opinion of the occurrences?
Well… it’s ALL ABOUT ME πŸ˜›

I cannot stress enough : we are all different. This means that everything : how we respond to things, how we feel about things, what we think about things etc. will also be different.
By no means do I share things as a ‘foolproof plan for YOUR life/to heal YOUR hurt/to help YOU move forward’.
I do know, from personal experience πŸ˜› though, that reading about the ways of others can sometimes put me back on the path, or help me change my mindset, or inspire and encourage me. And so that is why I share.

I respect that what works for me might not work for you. I respect that not everyone shares my faith, or has the same opinions as me. I really do. And guess what? I still value you stopping by and reading, and commenting. You still have worth in my eyes. Even if you don’t agree with me.

You have your opinion, and I have mine. RESPECT says we can co-exist in the blogosphere πŸ˜‰ (It would work on Facebook too if people remembered the word! πŸ˜› )

And no… no one has been mean to me on here πŸ˜‰ (Not lately, anyway)

I just thought I would put it out there, as a little reminder : I’m not selling you anything that is guaranteed to work. I’m giving you ideas based on what has worked FOR ME. (And sharing all my spectacular failures along the way πŸ˜› )

I’m glad you’re here. I’m encouraged, and incredibly grateful, that you take time out to read my words – my mishaps and my motivations that keep ME going.

Hopefully I bring a little sunshine to your days πŸ˜‰

The world needs love. Especially now. Part of that love is to just respect the fact that we all have our own thoughts and opinions. (Well, that’s MY opinion anyway πŸ˜› ) Let’s get out there and be kind, even to those who don’t agree with us.

And if you think what I have said is wrong, you might be right. Who knows?!?!
You matter to me anyway, and I am glad you stopped by my blog and took the time to read ❀

Battery light

A couple of months ago, my bathroom scale stopped working. I was thrilled. My teenage daughter, not so much πŸ˜›

My son asked if that meant we had to buy a new one, or is a bathroom scale battery operated? I replied with a hasty, ”battery, will get later”, because I was on my way out the door.

A few hours later, I returned home with two packs of batteries, AA and AAA. I opened up the back compartment and realised that neither one would work. It needed one of those 2032 flat batteries. I’d never owned anything before that used those types of batteries, so it was new to me. I didn’t recall ever seeing one like that either. Yes, you can laugh at me and ask, ”You’re HOW old?” Well, clearly not too old to learn something new πŸ˜›

The following morning, I took the flat little battery ‘coin’ to the shop with me, and was surprised to see a whole section of different brands, right next to the batteries I usually buy! Note to self : be more observant! πŸ˜›
Armed with a matching flat, I returned home and hey presto, our scale worked again! Much to my disgust πŸ˜›

Why the battery story? I read something this morning that I felt I simply had to share with you. So the anecdote was your introduction πŸ˜‰

I identified so much with the first part of the little story I read this morning because I have a torch/flashlight that is busy dimming. It needs new batteries. And thanks to my bathroom scale disaster, I still have some in my drawer πŸ˜‰
The story I read goes like this (no idea who to credit because there was no name attached to it) :

When a torch/flashlight grows dim or quits working, do you just throw it away? Of course not! You change the batteries!
When a person messes up or finds themselves in a dark place, should we just cast them aside? Of course not! We should help them change their batteries!

Some need AA – attention and affection. Some need AAA – attention, affection and acceptance. Some need C – compassion. Some need D – direction.

And if they still don’t seem to shine, sometimes we just need to sit with them quietly and share OUR light with them!

(I understand that there are some cases with circumstances where none of the above apply. BUT in all cases, the above is needed, whether it changes things or not!)

Here’s to being kind! To accepting and acknowledging others! To showing compassion! To sharing our light!

Closer to beauty

Photo credit : cafepress.com

When I was ten years old, my brother had a sign like this stuck on his bedroom door. And every time he saw me glance at it, he’d be sure to tell me, ”You aren’t one of us”. At that time in my life, surrounded by a lot of rejection and painful circumstances, it hurt… and it was one of those hurts that I carried with me into my adult life.
It’s only now that I can laugh at it when I think about it, because I realise that his intention was to be funny, and not to add more pain to my life. It’s just his sense of humour!

This same brother (I have two who are much older than me, and he is the younger of the two) gave me something else to carry into my adult life, which has actually been quite valuable.

Between the ages of 17 and 19, this brother spent a lot of his spare time with his music blaring, and either a Scrabble board, or a large puzzle on a board, on his bed. The love for Scrabble was thanks to our grandparents, and he and I were the only two in our extended family who grew to love it so much that we’d play against ourselves for hours! Would you believe, we never played a game together, even though we lived in the same house!
But that’s not what I wanted to tell you about…. I wanted to tell you about his puzzle!

He had a beautiful puzzle, a seemingly deserted island, with two palm trees and a hammock; blue seas and a sunlit sky. When he had finished building it on his large piece of firm cardboard, he grabbed his glue, and patiently (I think it’s one of the few time I remember him being patient πŸ˜› ) stuck the individual pieces to the card. But he left one off! Right in the middle of the puzzle! And then in the space at the bottom of the sheet, he wrote these words :

Even paradise isn’t perfect!

I saw it stuck up on his wall a few days later, and commented, ”Well, that’s just dumb. You left a piece off. It’s ruined!”
I will never forget his reply!

”Nothing, and no one, is perfect. And if you think something is ruined just because it isn’t perfect, you’ll be miserable!”

I’ll admit that I have not always applied those words! But here’s what I have learnt along the way :

Yes, it is good to have expectations of things and people; to know limits and forge forward. But when we are pushed to the limit, or our expectations are not met, it is important to focus on acceptance, instead of disappointment.

Wait, what? Are you saying I am not allowed to be disappointed?

Nope! Not at all!

Feeling is equally as important as doing. In fact, it’s usually how we feel that determines what we do next.

In small moments of disappointment, it is easy for me to ‘get over it and move on’. When disappointments are great, it’s a lot harder! And sometimes take a lot longer to ‘get over’. When the tears roll down my cheeks and I feel every bit of that disappointment weighing heavy on me both physically and emotionally, I let myself feel it. I don’t even question it. I just go with it. Sometimes it even makes me angry enough to scream into my pillow πŸ˜› And my thoughts are sometimes not even very pleasant either!

But I don’t stay there.

After a few minutes, I tell myself, ”Well, girl, even paradise isn’t perfect. Stop expecting everything else to be!”
And sometimes it’s a temporary fix, that just helps me get through the rest of that day! Some things are so overwhelming that they rear their ugly heads over and over, at the most inconvenient times!
So I become a shampoo bottle! Lather (let myself feel it), rinse (remind myself about the reality of imperfection) and repeat if desired (the next time it comes along)! πŸ˜‰

When I think of that puzzle now, even though there was a piece missing, I could still see the hammock, the palm trees, the blue sea, the sunlit sky. It was no longer a perfectly finished puzzle, but it still had incredible beauty and elicited a feeling of peace and relaxation.

So here’s hoping that in your week ahead, even though it might be slightly disrupted and less than perfect, you will still be able to see some of the beauty and feel some of the peace! ❀

Fabulous Fun

Things have just been way too serious since this pandemic started! The stress of it all is affecting everyone, even those who will tell you that it’s not.
It IS possible to be ‘okay’ – have an inner peace and joy – but still feel the stress. No one is entirely immune.

But as with everything else in life, our attitudes play a big role in how okay we stay despite the circumstances.

I don’t know if you have ever experienced it, but I’ll share this anyway….
I had four days in a row (my son has just reminded me that they weren’t quite in a row, but spanned 7 days instead… it probably just felt like in a row πŸ˜› ) where something went wrong on each day : my car needs repairs again, my microwave decided it was retiring, my vacuum cleaner finally gave up, and my daughter’s school bag decided to be like my bank account – broke πŸ˜›
Each day, I did a great job of dealing with these things. I took them in my stride, didn’t get too upset, had a great attitude towards them.

Last night they hit me all at once. It was like this sudden hard downpour that came out of nowhere, and I just felt so darn sorry for myself! Ha ha! It was short lived, and probably mostly from frustration and exhaustion because yesterday was a busy day, but it happened.

And I went with it. I had my ‘good cry’, and then blew my nose and washed my face. I grabbed myself a ‘comfort snack’ from the kitchen and climbed into bed. I forced myself to dwell on all I have to be grateful for – to not allow my brain to ‘go there’/ think about the minor ‘disasters’.

When my teenage daughter came through to put her phone on charge because it was time for her to go to bed, and sighed out loud, ”I’m so glad it’s Friday tomorrow”, I smiled.
In my head, I told myself this : ”You are going to make it not only a fabulous Friday, but a fun one too. No matter what, you have to laugh, silly girl!”

I’ve been up and about for three hours, and so far so good πŸ˜› (And I’ve even left the house! πŸ˜› )

So I thought I’d share two bits of Friday fun with you πŸ˜‰

This was my Facebook post – not intended to offend anyone, but I think it’s pretty darn funny… (no idea who to credit for the image, as it was in my memories as a re-share from five years ago)

And then I saw another image on Facebook (again, no idea who to credit) that I will be sharing with my kids (and you) because….
Sometimes my children will ask me to do something for them – something they are quite capable of doing for themselves – and I’ll be busy with something else and usually tell them, ”I’m not your maid or your servant. I’m busy.” It’s never said in a malicious way though – my tone is always a little bit like ‘feigning shock’. The response is usually said in a teasing tone, ”Awww, but you’re my mom. It’s your job. The best job in the world, right?”
Most times, they end up doing it themselves because they know their request was ridiculous (Mommy, please bring me glass of water; Mommy, please pass me my phone, I’m too lazy to get up; Moooooom…. please come here….. now that you’re here can you please pass me xyz).
Sometimes I humour them, because it really isn’t inconvenient, and they do little things for me as well, that I am perfectly capable of doing for myself too! πŸ˜‰
So I saw this image this morning, and it is SO applicable to one of the things that go with ‘my job’:

I’m off to see what other fabulous and fun things I can find to do on this Friday! And who else I can share it with! Because being kind to others and brightening their day has a very positive effect on us too!

Let’s get out there and be the light πŸ˜‰ Happy Friday, and weekend, everyone! ❀

Believe this

I was reading something this morning, and as usual there was a portion of the text which had me thinking about something different, and so off I went to my dear friend Google, and ended up at the picture above.

Of late, difficult situations seem to abound – and not just for me!
There are so many things going wrong and so many tragedies around here, and not just through losing people to Covid.

People are changing, as things are changing. Their hearts and attitudes are changing – and not always for the better. And it can be really hard to see/experience.
I keep thinking of the saying/concept : You are only responsible for YOU – your choices, your attitude! You can’t take responsibility for them, or allow them to affect you!
And yet, when it happens in ‘close proximity’, it can be tough to remember that – to not take things personally or be hurt by what is said or done.
Especially when you have a soft heart!

And so it becomes one of those things in life where I think that maybe we should train our brains and then operate from a place of ‘what we know, not what we feel’. So we’re still allowed to feel (because bottling up emotions is never good for anyone!), but we can’t allow those feelings to affect our lives in a way that stops us in our tracks, or prevents us from being the person we were created to be. Well, that’s what I think for me anyway πŸ˜›

I have grown into ( and I am still growing) and become the woman I am for a reason. Maybe even for such a time as this.
I know who I am – and in the words of a dear friend : it works for me!
Who I am is not only of benefit to some in so many ways (even though it irritates others a lot πŸ˜› ), but it is also of great benefit to me, because in times of great loss and fear, I still have peace and joy, and am able to continue on with encouraging and assisting others.

It is NOT EASY to be in difficult situations.
But today’s exercise for my brain training is to CHOOSE to continue to believe that somewhere in these difficult situations there truly is something of value – and to recognise all that I have that is valuable to be grateful for!

Gone Looking! πŸ˜‰