JESPAH   173,993
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JESPAH's Recent Blog Entries

Here in My Quotation Marks

Saturday, January 02, 2010

www.youtube.com/watch?v=k8aN0
zB8Qf8


Guess what? www.examiner.com/x-34454-Boston-Extr
eme-Weight-Loss-Examiner~y2010m1d2-Res
olved-to-treat-yourself-better


Yep, that's me. And they're gonna pay me.

Holy cow, I'm a professional author.

Thank you ALL for your amazing support. More articles to follow!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KENNYWHEELS 1/6/2010 10:03PM

    Hey jespah. that is incredible. You have always had awesome blogs. congrats on the New job. way to go
kenny

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LESS_IS_MO 1/3/2010 9:27AM

    Congratulations! And you look fabulous in the pic. Hottie!

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MARCHMAID 1/3/2010 8:50AM

    This journey really has been a life changer for you hasn't it? Out of work, but not I see. : )

emoticon

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PALOMINOGIRL3 1/3/2010 2:34AM

    Way to go! That is awesome! emoticon

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MALCONTENTION 1/2/2010 4:41PM

    AWESOME!

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JLITT62 1/2/2010 4:20PM

    OMG, this is so totally awesome! I am so proud of you.

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LAB-LOVER 1/2/2010 3:45PM

    This is so awesome! I'm like a proud parent! How soon before you mention Sparkpeople? Can you?
A great big New Year's hug!
-LL

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BAMAGIRL58 1/2/2010 2:35PM

    I used your words - Treat Myself Better - in my blog but I did credit you. I had been saying "take care of myself" but your motto hits the nail right on the head.
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EMMASMART 1/2/2010 2:13PM

    I favorited that I hope it helps.

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FIT_TERI 1/2/2010 1:20PM

    Wow, this is awesome!! Congratulations!! What a way to start out the new year. I am very happy for you!
emoticon

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SWEETZMIX 1/2/2010 12:57PM

    Well I always knew you were famous!

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GEE-KNEE 1/2/2010 12:07PM

    That's so cool. Your blogs are always very well written and entertaining, so now more people get to enjoy your thoughts. Good for you. Congratulations. How exciting.



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CAROLISCIOUS 1/2/2010 11:22AM

    Oh, this is wonderful! I am so excited for you!

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TELERIE 1/2/2010 11:15AM

    Wow! Great news!! This is just awesome, Janet! You're getting paid for writing! I'm so happy for you! I already subscribed and I can proudly say I knew you when...! emoticon
Hugs, Marit

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MISSROCKABILLY 1/2/2010 10:59AM

    Congratulations!! Great article!

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MS.ELENI 1/2/2010 10:50AM

    How did you end up in a Tampa Bay Area thing. I live in the Tampa Bay area.Actually real near but Tarpon Springsis often included.
Will you be writing articles on a regular basis?

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SMWALKER1210 1/2/2010 10:40AM

    I NEED TO TREAT MYSELF BETTER. I'M TO BUSY BEATING MY SELF UP. GOOD FOR YOU SHIRLEY

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2009 Year in Review/2010 Goals

Monday, December 28, 2009


Okay, so I ramble a bit. But where else are ya gonna see so many tee shirts and bibs?

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CAROLISCIOUS 1/2/2010 11:19AM

    I so glad I finally got to hear the whole thing. I had started it a few days ago, but had to interrupt it and plan to come back later. I feel like I know you so much better now. Congrats on all you have accomplished. You are a ROCK STAR!! On TV! WooHoo!!

I loved what you said at the end. "If you make pie, I'm not going to eat it, and you can't make me!"
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PONYFARMER 1/1/2010 8:48PM

    I am so inspired by your races and now I want to do one. I will have to train and see if I even can do it, because of my horrible knees.

I also wanted to say thanks for the vlog on Alli, I did start using it but lost nothing, ya know why? Well cuz I was not moving by body. So now I am and I am seeing some results. Have to tell you I was so worried about the side affects that I considered getting those adult diapers to wear to school. But NOTHING happened ever, not even on a day that I binged. I did get a bit softer in that dept but that is all. Not sure why but I am oh, so grateful.

Thanks for your honest and open vlogs, they help me and I am sure they help a lot of other people.

Please vlog after you recover. I am so thinking I will have to do the same thing and again, I am a bit scared.

I will be praying for you for a speedy recovery.

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TRACYZABELLE 1/1/2010 4:20PM

    Happy, healthy, slimmer New year to you! Looking forward to supporting you in 2010!

TracyZ emoticon emoticon emoticon

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ZEBEBEE 1/1/2010 11:25AM

    Congratulations! It has be great to watch you through your journey. A true inspiration. Have a wonderful 2010. I'm looking forward to more blogs!

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BAMAGIRL58 12/28/2009 9:08PM

    I really loved this. It was amazing to hear all your progress - over 150# lost so far is outstanding. I will be thinking about you on January 15th and BTW - it is so NOT cheating. You worked for it - you are there, it is just extra skin. I imagine that it will boost your confidence and that is a valuable thing. It goes along with your original goal - "Treat Yourself Better". If we could all remember that motto - Treat Yourself Better - it could make this effort easier. We are so worth it!

Thanks for sharing and inspiring!
Hugs, Nancy
P.S. Good luck on that job search.

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TRENTDREAMER 12/28/2009 9:08PM

    Congrats on your progress weight, measurements, and races/times! You've done really well. Best of fortune on the surgery, races and job search.

Happy New Year!!

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MS.ELENI 12/28/2009 2:07PM

    You have had a fantastic year and are such an inspiration to all of us.

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SWEETZMIX 12/28/2009 11:02AM

    I totally want to vlog (need some type of recording device) so I can ramble hehe

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MARCHMAID 12/28/2009 10:49AM

    Yes, you do ramble a bit, but what the heck, you've accomplished miracles! Next blog should just be you crowing and singing zippidy do dah!

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THECITYMOUSE 12/28/2009 10:28AM

    Love the video blog....damn, this was BEAST. I felt like you were sitting in front of me telling me about your accomplishments and all about your journey. I loved this!!!! You are a superstar!!!!



emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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LAB-LOVER 12/28/2009 8:30AM

    Look forward to seeing ya at some of those 2010 5Ks! Here's to new PRs in 2010!

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Eyes that Shine Burning Red

Monday, December 21, 2009

www.youtube.com/watch?v=N9i2fqxSjTI

It's the Solstice, the darkest, longest night of the year. After this, the days will get longer. But it will be harder to see as it will be stormy. We've had the first major snowstorm of the Winter and two days ago it wasn't even Winter. But it's still a foot of snow on the ground.

Why the song? It seems a tad incongruous, except when you realize that Winston Churchill referred to depression as The Black Dog.

And so I am trying to shut my door to the beast.

It is not some cuddly Poodle or Lab. It's a beast. And I don't want it this year.

My main effort has been in trying to get outside. While I have a small all-spectrum light, I'd rather be outside. This has meant walking/jogging when the streets have been all right, and yesterday it was an hour and a half (this was accomplished in two shifts) of snow shoveling. I'll go to the gym today and then tomorrow there will be more shoveling. Even though it's cold, even though it's a chore, I'd just rather be outside and exerting myself.

There's a topic here on Spark, and it's one of those major ones, and it asks how people can get up and out there in the bad weather. Well, the answer is, you just do it. If you had to go to a doctor's appointment, or catch a train, you'd get up and you'd go. You'd put on a sweater or grab an umbrella or boots or whatever. It would be less than perfectly pleasant but you would still perform the task. So why is it so difficult for so many to just get up and do it if the skies are less than perfectly sunny? And, in particular, for people who are going to a gym anyway, what is it about the weather that leads to such a -- let's face it -- LAME excuse for not moving the squishy parts and making them less, well, squishy?

It is depression, and I suspect that depression and obesity are bastard step-twins. You eat because you feel unworthy and unlovable. You lay in bed with the covers over your head and mourn the fact that you can't exercise, all while, miraculously, surprise surprise, NOT exercising. You look at yourself in the mirror, or on a scale, and think you're a failure. So you're unlovable and unworthy and so you grab the ice cream and get into bed and think about how no one understands you and how awful it is and oh poor you and look the weather stinks and those grey skies are an omen, they are telling you that you'll never get there, you'll never get it right, and it's all for naught and we're all going to that great vale of tears anyway so why not have another piece of pie?

Or you can smack the black dog with a newspaper on its nasty snout. Get up anyway. Put away the ice cream (and not by cramming it into your mouth). Go out and walk, or shovel, or get in your car and go to a gym or a mall and get yourself moving that way. And drink water instead of an ice cream soda and look at yourself in the mirror or on the scale and say, hey, I may not be perfect but that doesn't mean I'm not worthy. It doesn't mean that no one can or will ever love me. People have before, and they will again, and they might even -- they probably even -- do right now. And I'm not going to let them down. I'm going to get out and do it, and make better choices and treat myself the way I want to be treated by others.

And maybe those red-shining eyes will be beacons in the darkness for someone else, and you can lead them out of that cave as well. And one day you'll look up, and that grey stuff will be gone. Because, you see, the paradox of Winter is that it starts off dark and dreary but even under the dark and drear it is getting better. There are tiny shoots under there, just waiting for a combination of sun and rain and temperature. There is light up there, too, above the clouds. And when the clouds part and the ground begins to thaw, you'll see it, too, and the beast will be tamed. And you, yes, YOU, will have done the taming.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GEINAHG0757 1/3/2010 11:56AM

    I wandered here from another post and found your words at just the right time...

This is an excellent blog. As one who also fights "The Black Dog", I loved the idea of smacking it on the snout with a rolled up newspaper! Fortunately for me, my corner of the world is much further south and outside is doable most of the time.

Good wishes on your continued successful journey and for as much sunshine as possible!



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CAROLISCIOUS 12/27/2009 7:56PM

    Thanks for the motivation. I don't have to deal with even close to what you northerners have to go through with winter...yet I still whine. I'll shut up now and just DO it!

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JOHAL52 12/23/2009 9:49AM

    Loved your blog! One thing that helps me to get my exercise in is reminding myself that exercise is a natural anti-depressant. I have several of those bouncy Leslie Sansone DVDs and I plug one in and say "well, I'll do ten minutes and that will be something" and I, depending on my mood, alternately grouch to Leslie and her "chat" or laugh. Somehow ten minutes becomes twenty, thirty and then forty five. And afterward I feel a whole lot better. I still take anti-depressants and probably will for the rest of my life but Leslie has helped me for the past 7 years lose the weight and firm the flesh.

This is not an ad for Leslie Sansone--I know there are lots of good exercise DVDs out there. If you're interested, check out your local library. Borrowing is a lot cheaper if you don't know if you'll like it.



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SWEETZMIX 12/22/2009 9:49AM

    hmmm for me I don't like the cold. lol I rather be toasty instead of OK. I HATE being cold, that is why I avoid outside as much as I can.

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MALCONTENTION 12/21/2009 9:24PM

    I know your unemployment doesn't help with depression. I've been dealing with some nasty mood/depression issues myself in the past few months. And recently I've been feeling better. It's hard to isolate why, but I think it's possible it's because I've added a couple of supplements to my diet--iron (I'm anemic) and fish oil/Omega 3s (DHA specifically). I'm inclined to think they've made a difference for me, and thought you might look into whether there's any chance they could work for you. And no, I'm not trying to sell you anything as part of a pyramid scheme!!! emoticon emoticon

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4A-HEALTHY-BMI 12/21/2009 2:01PM

    Was feeling kind of oogey and down last week, but today I'm 0.5 lbs away from a "healthy" BMI, so that poor beastie with the red eyes seems to have crept away to hide in a corner for a while.

And I'm not complaining! LOL

I don't think depression and obesity are step twins, but full-on monozygotic conjoined twins who have ESP, telepathy, and can fly. With bat wings.

Just sayin'

emoticon

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MS.ELENI 12/21/2009 10:37AM

    Great blog emoticon

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MARCHMAID 12/21/2009 9:16AM

    OK OK OK already. Were you speaking to me????? I'm outta here to get my sunshine!

Thanks for the pep talk--just in the nick of time!

emoticon emoticon

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CAPECODDIN 12/21/2009 8:57AM

    Great post! I had that fight yesterday with myself about getting out of bed.. but we had no power for a short time.. and I couldn't resist the warm down quilt.. they say november is the darkest most depressing month.. it sure felt like it...

I am so glad we made it over the Hump.. longer sunny days are ahead.. life is good...
cynthia

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JLITT62 12/21/2009 8:31AM

    What a wonderful blog! Thank you.

I look forward to this day simply because I know that the days will now get longer. Even tho I know that it will take a while to feel those effects, just the simple knowledge that they're getting longer warms my heart.

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LIV2RIDE 12/21/2009 8:22AM

    Very well said! Enjoy the outdoors today. emoticon

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QUEENOTHEFOREST 12/21/2009 7:53AM

    I'm putting your "bastard step twins" line on my fridge and on my Spark collage on my desk top.
You nailed it.

While tonight is the longest night of the year, tomorrow the sun will start to wait around a little longer and it will be better every day. We made it.

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Giddy Up Jingle Horse, Pick Up Your Feet

Monday, December 14, 2009

www.youtube.com/watch?v=n50r-EwCuLw
www.youtube.com/watch?v=hRzyOSAJg94
www.youtube.com/watch?v=K164MKTMLVw

The first song is because yesterday I ran the Somerville Jingle Bell Run 5K. And then the second one always seems to go with the first. But, oops, it's Chanukah. Hence song #3.

Here are the results of the race:
www.coolrunning.com/results/09/ma/De
c13_Marath_set1.shtml


I came in as #4174. This was my second-best time ever, even though I was hot (note to self: Three layers, bad. Two layers, good) and felt like I'd eaten too much dried fruit before starting.

I had a blast, and the thing about this run is it must be what it's like to run on Halloween. Costumes EVERYWHERE. And I mean, everywhere. There were, to be sure, simple ones like striped socks, or antlers on the head, or candy cane barrettes, or little skater skirts over running tights.

Pshaw. There were HARD CORE costumes.

Like what, you ask?

Oh, there was the dude dressed as a Christmas tree, with gifts on his feet. I kept wondering if he was going to trip on them (these were empty boxes on top of his sneakers). Full Polar Bear outfits. A guy on what I believe were stilts. Elves, of course. Angels, too.

And, ho ho ho ....

Yeah, Santa.

Sure, there were Santas. But this one?

Omigod.

Santa, with a fake sleigh on each side of his hips, and, of course, a harness. Whaddaya put in the harness if you're Santa? Why, eight reindeer of course. The reindeer were eight other guys, all with fake reindeer heads on.

But wait, there's more!

This Santa plus sleigh plus reindeer had two elfin girls clearing the way ahead of him and a kid dressed as Rudolph up front (not in the harness). And he had bumper stickers on the back of his sleigh. One said, "How's my driving? Call 1-800-Go-Santa" and the other one said, "I brake for reindeer".

They were caroling, although I did hear Santa say at one point that things were going a tad fast for him.

So I wished Santa a Happy Chanukah.

This is my sixth and last 5K race of the year. I'll take some time off next year to recover from surgery, plus I don't want to run in ice competitively. But I want to do at least eight next year. And those times in the 40 minute range? I would like to get past them. I've only done that once this year.

But I have nothing to complain about in terms of times. For my first 5K, I took over an hour, and ran at an 18 minute-mile pace. But after that, I got into the 14 minute-mile pace and then 13 (like yesterday). My fastest pace was in November, a smokin' (for me) 12:19-mile pace. Going under 13 minutes for each mile guarantees that I'm out of the 40s. Hence that is a goal for next year.

In the meantime, I'm going to continue walking and running as much as I can (I have little things to put on my sneakers to give me more traction in the snow, plus I've still got a gym membership, which I'll hold onto as long as I can) and keep working on speed, endurance, jogging uphill and the final kick. Everything is a lesson and a goal, and I never knew that until this year when it came to running, so I am grateful that that perspective has crawled into my head.

Oh and I'm also going to enjoy my finisher medal/bottle opener. 3.bp.blogspot.com/_1qKg9LbFQlU/Su-xV
l-HlcI/AAAAAAAACPI/qtLKbCt-uq4/s320/JB
medal2009_353x600.jpg

You can't open bottles with an Olympic medal.

Onwards to next year and more great fun.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TELERIE 12/16/2009 5:33PM

    "Everything is a lesson and a goal, and I never knew that until this year when it came to running, so I am grateful that that perspective has crawled into my head." I hear you! It's so true. Such a great feeling to know that we have running and run/walking in our lives ...
Congratulations on your last race of 2009 and I'm aiming for a 10K in 2010 (and a couple of 5K's)

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ETAGGEL 12/15/2009 4:46PM

    sounds like you had a lot of fun! great when people participate in these events


Phyllis

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LAB-LOVER 12/15/2009 6:46AM

    You know it is SO demoralizing to be passed by Frosty the Snowman, like I was standing still. At least, I beat Santa and his inflatable reindeer!

Great to see you again and keep up that running! I'm just waiting for first light to get out the door today. It's the only time I can fit it in today!

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EMMASMART 12/14/2009 11:11PM

    You are still my hero... this qualifies as several quirks..


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MS.ELENI 12/14/2009 10:22PM

    Congrats on running the 5k. There is nothing you can't do. emoticon

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CAROLISCIOUS 12/14/2009 9:47PM

    That race sounds like a blast. How do they run in all that garb? I hope to do more runs next year, but just for fun and calories burning. I don't have any aspirations to get faster and faster. I just like to burn buttloads of calories!!!

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QUEENOTHEFOREST 12/14/2009 8:23PM

    Well my friend. It sounds like you had a very good year. And they will just get better the way you are going. Congrats

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BAMAGIRL58 12/14/2009 6:24PM

    Sounds like the definition of a Fun Run - I would be happy to just drag my butt out there and finish - can't imagine dressing up like that. Especially like the Santa, Sleigh and 8 tiny? reindeer. WTG You!

emoticon emoticon emoticon
Hugs, Nancy

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FURBALLDTH 12/14/2009 2:07PM

    Nice job running. Can't say that I blame you for avoiding winter racing. Thanks for the music. Don't remember that dreidel song. We learned The Dreidel Song in 2nd grade. Dreide, dreidel ,dreidel made it out of clay....... I always liked Brenda Lee's voice. So powerful for 4'9". She's still married to her childhood sweetheart. She must tour quite a bit...lol. Have a great week. emoticon

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JLITT62 12/14/2009 1:50PM

    I really admire all you people willing to run in the cold & the snow! My first outside run was right before the first snow hit, and unless we get a major thaw at some point, I think it'll be my last outside run for a while. But that's ok -- I WILL get back out there again.

You're doing such a great job, and you're inspiring me. Thanks for sharing!

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BSTAKINGACTION 12/14/2009 1:34PM

    LOL! This was great. Wish I could've been there to see the whole North Pole at the race. Sounds like you've got a great plan set. Congrats! And thanks for sharing. HAPPY HOLIDAYS! emoticon

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ADAMM9 12/14/2009 1:24PM

    Awesome work! Glad you had such a great time. Sounds like the costumes were a blast. I love it when people get creative for these popular 5k events.

Keep up the great work!

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SWEETZMIX 12/14/2009 1:14PM

    JANET!! You are rocking these 5K's before I know it, you will be running a marathon!!

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I'm Swimming in a Circle

Monday, December 07, 2009

www.youtube.com/watch?v=Al9WmowJ3bQ&
feature=fvw


After such an enormous blog entry last week, I'm afraid this one is going to be shorter.

I am swimming in a circle. Part of this is because I ended up with a cold after last weekend's frenzied rush. And another part is because I'm just floundering with my job search. I have -- let's just say -- been doing other things. Fun things. Spark. Facebook. Managing my site.

Avoiding looking for work.

Oh yeah.

That's not good.

Today I met with my employment counselor. He said I was making good progress, and I have to agree, but I also have to say, wait a second, I can be doing more. And I should be.

But I am in avoidance mode because I'm still not really that settled on what I want to do. Hence he gave me a few assignments. And one of them (I actually asked to do this) is the Myers-Briggs self-assessment.

Hence I'd better go and take it.

I need to straighten out my swim lane and make some real progress on this front.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

4A-HEALTHY-BMI 12/9/2009 3:26PM

    I always get ISTJ when I do those assessments, for my professional working style.

But how I feel about my music and other personal pursuits is more INFP.

I have no idea if I'm doing the "right" thing, or not.

I think it's funny (and probably makes sense) that most of us are "I". We ARE all communicating via computer with each other right now, rather than gadding about with people IRL. LOL

Comment edited on: 12/9/2009 3:26:44 PM

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EMMASMART 12/9/2009 1:25AM

    I'm INFJ except 1/2 of the time I test ENFJ. Finally found out that there are Ambiverts... (both, neither) so I'd actually be ANFJ.

I suspect you will come out like me. Because we have stuff in common.



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BAMAGIRL58 12/8/2009 10:17PM

    I think I was INTJ - I still have a copy of it somewhere so I should pull it out for kicks & grins. Nobody could believe I was introverted since the title is misleading - but I am. It does give some interesting insights and maybe it will help your employment counselor help you.

I like your analogy to swimming. If you swim in a straight line you will certainly get there faster. Hope your cold is getting better!
emoticon
Nancy

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LAB-LOVER 12/8/2009 7:08AM

    Oopps... gotta stay away from those mayoral duties!
I just took a different test called DiSC -- you can find it on managertools.com. Very interesting results. Still trying to think about what it all means!
See you Sunday? Should we meet somewhere? We won't find each other if we don't have a plan cuz there are a zillion people there!

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CAROLISCIOUS 12/7/2009 10:48PM

    Hope you feel better..no china pattern shopping until your MB is done. I am INSJ...I think.

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VEEJAY3 12/7/2009 8:35PM

    Myers Briggs! I'm an ENFP.
I LOVE taking personality tests. And quizzes of all sorts. Tell me what you are when you get your "results."

And it's hard to put into high gear with a job search right now. Most businesses don't get serious about hiring until after the holidays anyway -- right? So this is the perfect time to think. Think.

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MS.ELENI 12/7/2009 8:13PM

    You need to take time to take a breath and decide what you want to do.

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MARCHMAID 12/7/2009 7:30PM

    I dunno. Swimming in a circle for a little while is comforting and restful. You deserve a little lag time. Still, it won't do to loaf too long and if you're feeling you can and should do more, well, I've seen you demonstrate that you are a can do person par excellence!

Best to the emoticon

Comment edited on: 12/7/2009 7:30:51 PM

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FIT_TERI 12/7/2009 6:02PM

    I hope you kick your cold!! emoticon

I think the counselor's advice is good. I took the Myers-Briggs assessment more than 10 years ago, but I doubt I've changed very much. Due to my own job dissatisfaction, I recently looked at some sites that told you what types of careers were good for different M-B types. Let's just say I'm in the wrong job. I hope you find the exercise helpful.

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ONLYTEMPORARY 12/7/2009 5:29PM

    emoticon a cup of chicken soup to get you going.

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TELERIE 12/7/2009 5:22PM

    emoticon pretend that this is chicken soup and feel better soon!
Take the steps you need to take towards finding work - it's always good to avoid procrastination (says a master procrastinator!) Hope this week hold lots of happiness for you! Hugs, Marit

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GEE-KNEE 12/7/2009 4:42PM

    It's probably good to gather your thoughts and figure out what you want before jumping into another position.

Hope you feel better soon.

Best,
Jeannie

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QUEENOTHEFOREST 12/7/2009 4:40PM

    This little complication is exactly what you need. Myers Briggs is excellent. If you got into another job without looking at what you want out of a career it would be too danged bad. Not to nag (well ok I am a nag) this is precious time and you have important work to do, hard as it is. No FB or games till you have started your career exercises.
Love
Your nosy buddy

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SWEETZMIX 12/7/2009 3:42PM

    Sorry to hear you are sick. It just makes things worse b/c you are not up for much. You know what Janet, you seem pretty together to me. We are always harder on ourselves. Do the stuff he asked you to do. Keep looking, keep networking and get some fresh air!

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