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This Is The Control Tower, Can You Read Me?

Thursday, June 28, 2012

I’d been in a foul mood all week and it wasn’t getting better. Starting today our temperatures are supposed to be in the triple digits. We had planned to attend a three day blue grass festival starting this evening and now are plans are in a state of flux. That makes me angry!!!!Does that rant make me feel better; hardly? I was investing in something I had absolutely no control over – the weather. Like everyone else in my neighborhood I took every opportunity to blame the woes of the world on something so inanimate it couldn’t even defend itself.

I sat down and pulled out my frayed and dog eared legal pad to make a list of all the things I THOUGHT I could control but couldn’t. It was pretty long. It’s the proverbial flight of fancy. I asked myself how much time I devoted to things I had no control over. It was a lot more time than I had imagined. I started another list, the things in my life I could control. If I stopped stressing out over stuff like the weather maybe, just maybe, I could attack the real issues in my life, the beliefs that are barriers to my success. But, ah-ha, they have faces and names and OMG they can fight back and they require moderate to severe introspection and the dirty and nasty H word --- Honesty. There are three things I know I can control

1. I deserve to be successful.
Please note I am not entitled to be successful. My success depends on my perception of myself. Nothing about my age, my gender, my education, my race or sexual orientation has a hoot to do with my success. I can stand here all day and go toe-to-toe with you about people I know who looked at those things as being challenges to their success, not obstacles or reasons to give up. No one, parent, partners, friends or employers are going to believe in your value until you believe in it. What can I control? I can start with the perception I have of myself. No one owes me anything, except me. I owe myself the honor and dignity of believing I deserve.

2. I am worth all the effort I put into myself.
I have a nephew who runs in marathon races. He told me that just about anyone can run the first twenty three miles of a marathon if they train correctly. He went on to say that it is the last three miles or so that require maximum effort. How often do I reach the point in my development whether it’s personal or professional and pull back in fear or anxiety? How often do excuses abound? Excuses like “lack of time,” “bad weather,” not enough support.” What excuses do I use to not push those mental last three miles?

Don’t believe me? Here’s a challenge. The next time you walk into a bookstore notice how many books have been published on self-help and on dieting. Next time you clean out your spam folder notice how many “miracle weight loss” e-mails you receive. How often do we gravitate towards the quick fixes in lieu of the positive and often painful effort required to assure long lasting success?

3. You are who you hang around with.
Years ago a boss of mine gave, me a pearl of wisdom I’ve not forgotten. “There are two types of people in this world, People that make things happen and people that let things happen!”

There is nothing wrong with imitating positive, successful and healthy behavior. We are largely a “monkey see, monkey do” society. Imitating and mirroring positive behavior in another person only raises us to their level of excellence and performance. Who do you associate with and why do you associate with them? Coaching and mentoring professions are growing rapidly because we are identifying with people who practice positive behaviors that can help us reach our life goals. You can apply them to any aspect of your life. I use them with my coaching clients and now, I’ve found the magic of applying them to myself as I weed out the worries and cares I have no control over. It’s a lifelong practice, but if I eliminate worrying about the things I can’t control, I should have plenty of time.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

EGALITAIRE 7/6/2012 10:14AM

    Wishing other people were different, or did things differently is one of areas that is an unproductive use of my time. From stressing about little things like the garbage person missing when dumping the can and leaving garbage on the street to wanting to reform my kids behaviours.

Wouldn't it be useful to sit down and do a comprehensive inventory of all the things we can't control but try to anyway.

Comment edited on: 7/6/2012 10:15:03 AM

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LYNMEINDERS 7/2/2012 5:37AM

    Calling the control tower....
ready to start making changes....thankyou

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    The empowerment is ours!

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    Very encouraging words and you nailed it. We all have to keep doing a self-perspective on ourselves so we can keep ourselves in check. I'm glad you brought it out here for all of us to share.

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LIVINGFREE19 6/30/2012 3:51PM

    I love these situations when you have to 'come clean'.
We should always do a 'checkup' from time to time to keep things headed in the right direction! LOL!

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BOBBIENORTHERN1 6/30/2012 3:40PM

  This is life and the only thing that we can control is ourself.

So, I will myself to be filled with joy and smiles and laughter and happiness for being me and strong and healthy and a good sound mind.

It makes such a difference not to lose control over one's emotions.

Just roll with the punches and stay strong and smile and laugh and enjoy what we do have which is a whole lot more than many people I can think of.

Life is so much fun and a huge adventure of figuring out ways to get around the obstacles that one thinks he does not have control over, just rest and relax in the love of Jesus and His grace.

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NASFKAB 6/29/2012 8:45AM

  great thanks

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ZURDTA- 6/29/2012 7:21AM


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WORKINGSTIFF 6/28/2012 8:29PM

    And add this: we spend time on that which is important to us. Be it watching TV, eating too much, playing with the grandkids, or complaining.

Our actions tell us what we value and tell others what we value.

Food for tasty!

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VONBLACKBIRD 6/28/2012 6:51PM

    We too are in that heat wave and expect it to remain this way for the rest of the summer and it is so much earlier this year..It makes us all crabby..but I'm taking heed and realize I can't change it and that I can change the way I act and I'm choosing to be happy no matter what...even if I have to go out and sit under the sprinkler..I will enjoy life!!!

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DEARTOMYHEART 6/28/2012 4:13PM

  Each day is such a beautiful gift. Why is it so hard for us to let go of worry and things we have no control over. John, I hope the rest of the week goes better for you. We must remember the blessings. The US is having a heat wave!!!! This to shell pass.. emoticon emoticon emoticon

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    I have a hefty list of things I wish I could control and the weather is way up there on it but after weeks like I've had lately I am happy just to be in control of my bladder and bowels. LOL. Anything else is just icing on the cake.

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STEADFASTNSEE 6/28/2012 3:16PM

  Number 3 is SO true. According to the Scriptures "Bad associations spoils useful habits" Oh and I did try yesterday's experiment for the 24 hours. I need to KEEP trying! emoticon emoticon

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SILLYHP1953 6/28/2012 2:46PM

    One of the most fun weekends of my life was spent at a bluegrass festival in a camper with two of my girlfriends. After the concerts were over all the musicians sat around their campfires and picked and grinned most of the night. We just walked around the campground and found little parties going on about every 5th or 6th camper.

The Serenity Prayer is one of my favorites, it helps me remember what I can and cannot change. I have it taped up across the top of my computer monitor at work.

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    A great reminder that the ONLY person we have any control over is ourselves!!! We make all the decisions and choices about our own life - so can't bit** and whine about the results - and consequences.
You are who you hang with, is one of my favorite life lessons that I have tried to pass on to my son especially during his teen years - thankfully he has always made great choices in this area.

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GIRANIMAL 6/28/2012 1:09PM

    Thanks for this somewhat painful but oh-so-useful reminder. It's hard for control freaks (like me) to come to terms with this!

For most of my life I have spent far too much of my time worrying over things (and especially other people!) that I can't control, and then marvel at how little time I have left for me. I've been working on disassociating myself for some time now, but as we are all too aware, old habits are awfully freakin' hard to break most of the time! emoticon

God grant me the serenity...


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IDEBORAH 6/28/2012 12:58PM

    I'm glad I found you. I am enjoying your blogs. I think you have identified the missing ingredient: honesty. I honestly wish I could control, well everything, but I need to focus on my own life and making healthy choices.

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KLEONIKI 6/28/2012 12:01PM

    This struggle is so common and well known ..
maybe the difference lies in the "beyond the words area"
i know i must not only ACCEPT the uncontrollable
not only define it well and put my frustration into words but also
INVENT new controllable approaches always new ,
always fresh and ready to RESTART.
Running those last 3 miles as if you had just began your race.
Thank you for the motivational and supporting words, dear friend.

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BAMAJAM 6/28/2012 12:01PM

  Heat waves are hitting our country--- but here is a sobering thought!

Our brave troops in the war zones have battled during extreme hardship.

My brave nephew was one of these warriors. He told of HEAT, 130 degrees, with sand blowing everywhere....

John, we can all be thankful to be able to sip a lemonade when it's 105 in the U.S.---- God bless America, and make us grateful for YOUR blessings, Lord.

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SIMPLY-VICKI 6/28/2012 11:52AM

  Isn't it funny how often we complain about things beyond our control?
I try to remember to remember the Golden Rule:
God grant me the strength to accept the things I can not change and the wisdom to know the difference. ( I think the wording is a little different but the meaning is the same) emoticon

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SANDRALEET 6/28/2012 11:38AM

    We think we earned deserve A good life God builds up the devil destroys We only think we control things.

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I Don't Complain THAT MUCH!!! (Do I?)

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

I hung the phone up and smiled that smug little smile I have when I believe I am superior, not just to those around me, but to the entire universe. A friend had issued a challenge. He asked me to go an entire day, twenty four hours, without complaining about anything. I couldn’t whine about how hot it was outside, the neighbor’s dog, co-workers, children or friends…… Just go twenty four hours without complaining about anything. Turn all those negatives into positive possibilities!!! No problem, not for an amazing guy like me!!!I had some errands to run. I told Joan how wonderful she looked today, how great supper was last night and bounded out the door. “Gosh, I’m on fire!!! There is no stopping me now.”

I unlocked the car and saw the seat had been pulled forward. Our son Tim had used the car and he likes to sit up further than I do. I pushed the little lever to move it back and muttered something to the effect of “You think the little so and so could have put things back the way they were. I got stuff to do!!!” The little voice, which I abhor at moments like this, said “Let’s see, you lasted all of what, three minutes?” (I hate that little voice.) “That one didn’t count. I wasn’t ready.” I started the engine and moved away from the curb only to travel about twenty five yards to a stop sign. In front of me was an elderly neighbor who was taking her time before proceeding through the intersection. You can only imagine what went through my mind.

As the day unraveled I found myself complaining about things I had no control over. It was way too hot for my taste, traffic lights took too long to change from red to green, and why did people with more than twenty items in their basket get into the express lane at the grocery? I worry and complain about the things I couldn’t possibly change so I don’t have to focus on the things I do have control over. Life doesn’t mirror self-help books or fairy tales. We don’t turn on a dime when it comes to modifying behavior. Usually I read a pearl of wisdom only to file it under “The World Needs This Not Me.” I’m the coach. I’m the expert!!!

You have to start someplace and the thought struck me that right around the next corner is a person whose day may be affected by my attitude. I can greet them with hope and possibilities or I can be the proverbial downer. We all carry baggage around and sometimes we forget about a piece or two that affects our demeanor and interaction with other people. My complaints with another person have nothing to do with them. It easy to take those monkeys off of my back and put them on yours!!!

I have to start someplace, so I’ll begin with ten minute increments. I have found that when I focus really hard on solving issues rather than complaining about them the load I carry seems lighter and I appear to smile more often. Least that’s what I’m told

Namaste my friends.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CHUM48 9/24/2012 6:40PM

    It is so easy to fall into the complain complain place. It takes effort to look for the good, once you get into the habit, complaining that becomes an effort. Thanks for the honesty!

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NASFKAB 7/28/2012 6:03AM

  great blog as usualy

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CLIMBERS_ROCK 7/16/2012 11:57AM

    Great reminder. I'm going to try that today. What does Namaste mean?

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TONI-ANN_L 7/12/2012 3:46PM

    Read this at just the right moment. Namaste to you too.

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DOBSONSM 7/11/2012 8:01AM


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BABY77A 7/4/2012 4:49AM

    Well said. Thanks.

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HUNNAWANNA 7/1/2012 10:57PM

    Thanks, I needed to read that.! emoticon

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LOGOULD 6/30/2012 12:58PM

    What a GEAT challenge for ALL of us. I have been working on it for YEARS, but find when I let go of the things that are outside of my control and focus on thankfulness rather than complaining, my life is 1000% better!

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WYTCHHAZYL 6/30/2012 5:18AM

    Bless your friend for challenging you and bless you for giving it a go!! I realized after a couple of life-changing events in a two-year span (having a stalker try to murder me at work, having a breakdown and getting fired, being diagnosed with cancer and having to move cross country for treatment, my father dying shortly after, then my fiance dying from cancer) that it's up to me how I see the world. Every day is a Gift, Open it, Live it, Love it, Look forward to the next. I now live in a very quiet little village, work from home at a job I love, been cancer-free for 10 years in May, wished on a full moon for someone I could trust to share my peaceful place, my wish was granted and we were hand-fasted two years ago. We try to leave 'em with a smile, it may be the only one they get! Blessed Be!

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REENIE131 6/29/2012 11:28PM

    Terrific blog! Thank you so much!

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CIRANDELLA 6/29/2012 8:15PM

    Namaste, and yours is a day of namaste itself! What a lovely practice. I tried that took quite an effort! I guess I'm a whine-and-cheese gal, but you're so right: There is a ripple effect for those who were the beneficiaries of your pleasant attitude. It will have made their day so much easier! You're an inspiration :)

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TRI_BABE 6/29/2012 6:55PM

    Nice! Being more positive rubs off on other things in our lives.

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DABLUECAT 6/29/2012 12:08PM


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FRENCHMARKET 6/29/2012 12:28AM

    Thank you!!! I needed to hear this!!!

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FATHINSN 6/28/2012 10:50PM

    I believe in not wasting time thinking about small things, things that you've no control of. Just go through life with smile and laughter, try to make things much more lighter and spend my energy more on things that I can can control, on my goals. Which is why some people hard to accept this, they get frustrated LOL Such as how I still can joke at time when I get lost trying to find my grandma's house - my reason, whyever I want to be more gloomy, it's not such a big thing and still can be fix and besides, my mom (my passenger) already worry enough for two people!

Smile & laughter, those are the best way to start beating the whinning and complaining!

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GEEMAWEST 6/28/2012 8:38PM

    I so needed to read this today. Thank you. Thank you from the bottom of my heart my friend.
Although I may have to start in 5 min. increments. emoticon

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ANGELBABIES2 6/28/2012 4:32PM

    emoticon emoticon

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IACTA_ALEA_EST 6/28/2012 4:01PM


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PRESBESS 6/28/2012 3:44PM

    I like your humorous style of writing about something we all need to work on. We "think" we've got it together until the spotlight is shined upon us... and then, well, a different story is revealed. I think your ending was just right... approach it with small time frames and go from there.

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SILLYHP1953 6/28/2012 2:39PM

    I don't consider myself a complainer, but you've put a new light on it.

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STLOUISWOMAN 6/28/2012 2:32PM

    Great blog. Unfortunately, now I have to do something about it in my own life. Thanks for sharing!

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TRYAGIN 6/28/2012 1:53PM

    I was complaining about how people drive with my son in the car, and he
said hey dad they probably have a hard and unhappy life so maybe you should
be wishing them well not being mad at them. It changed my perspective when driving.

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TERRIH8118 6/28/2012 12:51PM

    Great Post..I never really thought about it but it does seem like were constantly complaining about things that we have no control over. and that can't be good for a good self image. I like the thought of going 10 min at time to not complain. There's definitely a lot more things we should be concentrating on emoticon

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KNEWMETODAY 6/28/2012 12:30PM

    Gutsy move, although more and more I'm finding Sparkies who step out, knowing we know where they're comin' from. Thanks to you, I'm going to give it a try today, "I don't really complain that much, do I?"

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MISSB8604 6/28/2012 12:10PM

    WOW! I seriously needed to hear this! All I ever DO is complain about my life and things that are going on! Can I last 10 minutes?! I'm going to try!

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CTTAGENT 6/28/2012 10:47AM

    Great words... I will have to remember this when I am ready to complain about something I cannot change.

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BOBBIENORTHERN1 6/28/2012 10:44AM

  The only way I have been able to live a complaint free life in not in my ability but in the ability of Mr. Holy Spirit which is the Spirit of Love Himself.

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LINDAK25 6/28/2012 10:42AM

    Thanks for making me laugh. Ah, but we do complain about the things we can't control, don't we? Oh, dear, now I'm going to be obsessing over this. I know the more positive I am, the less complaining I do. Ten minute intervals are doable. I'm not so sure about twenty-four hours!

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CATDUG19 6/28/2012 9:58AM

    hahaha thanks for the humourous yet very insightful blog that I will have to try myself. Not complaining hmmm new concept

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CRYSTALJEM 6/28/2012 9:53AM

    I love it! This one is so meant for my husband - not me of course, I never complain! LOL. I like your idea of 10 minute increments. That process works for so many other things... why not this too. Namaste my friend, today I endeavor not to complain - at least for 10 minutes at a time! Thank you. CJ

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MCHILSTR 6/28/2012 9:53AM

  Oh, so true - great blog, and great reminder.

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KDYLOSE 6/28/2012 9:51AM

    I have a feeling I would be very embarrassed at how often I complain.

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DUSTYPRAIRIE 6/28/2012 9:36AM

    I'll do this challenge...later.

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NIGHTOCUPS 6/28/2012 9:32AM

    That's a really good challenge for everyone to try. I'm trying really hard to turn into an optimist and I think that a challenge like this would help a lot. Thank you and Spark on!

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CAROLZ1967 6/28/2012 8:57AM

    Love this! I have heard of these challenges before and in all honesty, never wanted to try them as I'm sure I'd fail. I know it would be hard. But I like your 24 hour idea. As it's shorter, it seems more "possible".... If I really, really, really focus my energy and try hard!! :-) I know the point of it all, but I think actually taking the challenge will teach me more and hopefully open my eyes too. Thanks for the push I needed!

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OLIVIANIGHT 6/28/2012 7:41AM

    What an interesting challenge, it's quite tempting to give it a go and see how long I could last. I think I'm in the same boat as you; it's time to focus on solutions rather than complaints.

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SLIMTHICK2 6/28/2012 6:35AM

    Very insightful! emoticon

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LITTLEROX20 6/28/2012 3:40AM

    Good insight!

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CAROLIAN 6/28/2012 3:08AM


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GOANNA2 6/28/2012 2:21AM

Great blog. emoticon

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BLUEJEAN99 6/28/2012 1:59AM


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JAMER123 6/27/2012 9:37PM

    emoticon emoticon Terrific learning process!

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ALLIGATORKATE 6/27/2012 7:58PM


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REGILIEH 6/27/2012 6:35PM


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CYDNEYLEECH 6/27/2012 5:46PM

    Thanks. I think we all may complain to much about the little stuff. Good reminder to let the little stuff go and focus on the stuff we can change, ourselves.

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HEARTS116 6/27/2012 5:14PM


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SUSIEMT 6/27/2012 5:05PM

    As they say easier said than done! I agree though! I will practice being more patient. Thanks for the reminders.

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SERASARA 6/27/2012 4:53PM


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LELERS 6/27/2012 4:45PM

    emoticon Awesome!

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TERRIJ7 6/27/2012 4:15PM

    We all hate being around whiners--especially if they are US!

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Unraveling The Mystery of Karma, A Tale of Subway and a Bible

Monday, June 25, 2012

We spent the weekend helping our son and daughter-in-law prepare their new home; scrubbing walls and appliances, landscaping and a bit of painting. When we left yesterday afternoon it was all starting to come together. But our tale this morning concerns the notion of karma and how it occurred rather vividly Saturday afternoon. Now, you may call it other names, it is the notion that how you behave returns to you either in a positive or negative manner. I try really hard to make sure it comes back to me positively.

My daughter-in-law asked me to run to Subway to pick up lunch. She handed me her credit card and a list. This is where it starts to get interesting. Her dad, who can charitably be described as over bearing and irritating, decided he was coming with me and that he was driving.

We walked into Subway with some specific instructions: Get five foot long turkey subs on whole wheat, one foot long ham on whole wheat. Have them put the cheese and veggies on the side so people could dress their own sandwiches. I’m not sure what we walked out with because her dad decided we could do all this much cheaper. As I told Joan later, the only choice I had was to stand there mute while he took over unless I called him a few select names in a store full of people. I carried the bags to his car and went to sit the tray of veggies on the back seat. His Bible was lying there. Some folks don’t want you touching their Bible unless they know about it. I am not sure if they think some sort of evil is going to seep through the pages but I always ask before I touch someone else’s Bible. So I told him I was moving it so the tray wouldn’t spill.

When I got in the car he turned to me and said “I’m surprised YOU people know what a Bible is.”( I’ve always wondered who YOU people are but when our kids started getting married Joan pulled me aside and told me it was imperative I behaved at all times when we were around in-laws. I try really hard to listen to Joan all the time. )

I looked at him and smiled, “Yeah I know what a Bible is.”

‘Well it only took you people three hundred years to catch up, didn’t it?”

If this conversation hadn’t been so inane I’d have been offended. I am Roman Catholic by birth but my belief system is……. Well we could blog about that for a year, lol. I just sat back in the seat and kept telling myself we only had a five minute car ride home.

We started to leave the parking lot when a person coming into the parking lot proceeded to hit us head on. If we hadn’t been at a stop sign it could have been worse. The man who hit us was elderly and said he didn’t see us. I was shook up a bit, still a little sore but no worse for the wear. Her dad? He was okay too but his brand new car looked like an accordion on the front end. As I stood there the thought ran through my head “Karma can indeed be a b***h.”

Later that evening Joan said that if the bad karma was meant for him, why I was involved. I grinned at her and said:

“You are who you hang around with!!!”

A cautionary tale my friends, LOL.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SILLYHP1953 6/28/2012 2:37PM

    My first thought was the poor elderly man who had to deal with your in-law after running into his car! I'm sorry he had to be at fault instead of your in-law. I'm glad you were ok. Sometimes karma is instant...funny.

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GIRANIMAL 6/27/2012 4:08PM

    Ha! OMG, one of my favorite Johnisms come to life!

I'm sorry you were in an accident, and even sorry your in-law was in the accident even though he seems to have earned some lessons coming to him. I'm very glad neither one of you were seriously hurt.

Dare I ask: Did this affect your back at all? *fingers crossed*

Comment edited on: 6/27/2012 4:09:14 PM

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SPARKENISTA 6/26/2012 12:03PM

    John! I was out all day yesterday and just saw this now. I hope that you are okay. You never know how things will work out, do you?


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SHELLIECAN 6/26/2012 9:23AM

    What a great blog - I`m chuckling here for 2 reasons
..Firstly because you write so well and put so much humor into your words that its impossible not to be drawn into the story...
..Secondly because on first reading I thought to myself (idiot that I am at times !) how on earth does a person carry a five foot long sandwich !!!

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AVANDREA_ 6/26/2012 8:41AM

    The only bad thing about Karma that time was that you were in the car at the time... glad that no one was hurt John. I am sure my ex father in-law and that guy would have been like peas in a pod... too bad Karma takes such a long time sometimes to catch up to people like that.

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KATHRYN1955 6/26/2012 7:56AM

    Interesting that your DIL gave you the credit card and menu list and not her own father. At least you kept your cool and did not descend to his level. And perhaps in some way that you will never know, your more positive and calm energy may have had an effect on him, much more so, than if you had responded negatively.
As far as karma goes, he is the one with the wrecked car and you are the one who found out that you can stay true to yourself no matter how tempted!!!
Take care,

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MARCYNA 6/26/2012 6:57AM

    As a RC myself, I know we're supposed never to know what a Bible is-even if we read it every day-..should we walk with one copy in hand as a sign we're good believers???
What a damage prejudices do!!!!
It was funny what happened, they say the Lord has a good sense of humor.... emoticon

Comment edited on: 6/26/2012 6:59:08 AM

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LYNMEINDERS 6/26/2012 4:18AM

    Love it....

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KATD13 6/26/2012 1:03AM

    I do love Karma! It's not everyday that you get to witness it so quickly.

As for playing nice ... I can not do it. As I've grown older, I've found it harder & harder to turn the other cheek. I can not let stupidity & ignorance go. If it is directed at me, it is my duty to call you out on it.
It's also come to my attention that the loudest bible thumpers are usually the biggest hypocrites.

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CLOVER2 6/25/2012 10:45PM

    Well, it WAS his car, now wasn't it?? emoticon
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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CARTOONB 6/25/2012 10:18PM

    LOL! You've always said, you are who you're with. Maybe next time you'll let him go by himself. emoticon

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ONEKIDSMOM 6/25/2012 6:57PM

    I'm afraid I had to giggle at "you people". Wonder what that means to him?

And as you said, be careful who you hang out with! emoticon

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JCDROLSHAGEN 6/25/2012 4:43PM

    Kudos to you John for having such grace. Opinionated so and sos are hard to take. And I think this man misses some (much) of the message of the good book.

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ARCHIMEDESII 6/25/2012 4:09PM

    WOW ! You certainly showed restraint. Gee, if that's what he thinks about Catholics, I wonder what he would have thought if his daughter decided to marry someone who was Jewish, Muslim or Buddhist. Unfortunately, I have a cousin with a similar belief system. She firmly believes that Catholics, Jews, Muslims, gays, etc... are all going to Hell if they don't repent their ways. What does she think of her heathen cousin ? I'm merely misguided. eh-hem.

What matters is that no one was hurt in the accident. However, the fact that his pride and joy was bent out of shape says that maybe there is some justice in the universe.

Glad you survived your weekend car wreck and family get together.

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ANATASHIKI 6/25/2012 3:54PM

    nah , you HAD to see it in all her splendor (I mean karma emoticon ) . and obviously a Bible is something that the guy doesn't understand a bit emoticon

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    Our son was married last weekend and his new FIL is similar - a miserable old B with such a negative outlook on life - luckily his beautiful daughter knows exactly what he is like and walks on eggshells around him.
My DH and I have already had the " this man will also be the grandfather of our grandchildren one day, so we have to play nice" conversation!!!LOL
So true - what goes around comes around!!

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DANAWALKER4 6/25/2012 3:23PM

  It is good to be passive and turn the other cheek. It makes for better relationships.

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BAMAJAM 6/25/2012 2:53PM

  Just thought of a post script---- (topic of in-laws) lol

Did your DIL ask you what kind of sandwich you wanted, or did she decide for everyone. Did your DIL appreciate all your hard work, helping them on their new home-- OR--- Did DIL consider it unwelcomed "interference"---- You son might know you are being that great helpful Dad, BUT DIL--- might want you to move away to another country (Joan too) LOL

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WORLDSERIES11 6/25/2012 2:31PM

    Glad you're OK! And congrats on being the better person and biting your tongue:)

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NATRONA32 6/25/2012 2:01PM

    Wow... I think I would have asked him, when was the last time he actually READ his Bible & then asked, 'Or do YOU people not know how to read?'
Apparent;y not based on his behavior...
what a jerk

(you are a better person then I, I would NOT have put up with that at all!)

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LLINDY65 6/25/2012 1:40PM

    Glad you were ok.... I have seen things work out just like this in my own life... I try always to be kind and appropriate no matter what because I do not want Karma to get me too! LOL

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BAMAJAM 6/25/2012 1:38PM

  Good for you, John, "turning the other cheek"--- Religious zealots need a dose of humility, and need to judge not. However, next time you are in his company, when "YOU people" are in his company, you can tell him that Catholics do know about the Bible. Welcome to the world of "in-laws"--- kinda like walkin' on egg shells. By the way, does your DIL read your blogs ?! LOL

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HKARLSSON 6/25/2012 1:23PM

    Hmmm. Obviously, his tail was showing (as my dear departed grandma used to say to people making asses of themselves). Karma can be a subtle goddess, but by crackies, she's the most effective when she is immediate. Sorry you got caught in the middle (or the side), but I'm sure the humor of the situation was not lost upon you. A plague of exuberant flatulence upon annoying in-laws!

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DEARTOMYHEART 6/25/2012 1:04PM

  John so glad to know your ok. I would have loved to have spent that time with you John. You are a beautiful bible believing man. If this man was truly a bible reading man, he would not have said what he did and would have honored his daughter request. You are a man of faith John. What goes around does come around! Feel sorry for this man that he is that blind. He needs a lot of prayers and duck tape for his mouth. emoticon

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HAPPYSOUL91 6/25/2012 12:50PM

    wow, I wouldn't have been able to hold my tongue but then karma took care of it in a clever way.

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MORTICIAADDAMS 6/25/2012 11:17AM

    LOL. It's odd how many so called Christians use the Bible like a weapon but they know little of what it contains and follow even less of it. This applies to ministers as well as laypeople. I encounter it on a daily basis. If you want to bring someone to God the best way is to act as a beacon - "This little light of mine. I'm gonna let it shine." Berating people for not living up to your own limited view of God is not where it's at, even in the Bible. "Judge not, that ye be not judged." I'm not a Bible thumper so I don't feel compelled necessarily to follow this rule but it is there for those who do. I am religious in my own discreet, nontraditional way. I don't tolerate people like your in-law very well because a lot of people like my husband and I have studied the Bible fairly extensively and if you want to use it as a weapon, we can beat your brains out with it. There is nothing more detrimental to leading people to God than a religious zealot and I am not referring to the Jewish sect mentioned in the Bible. I'm referring to fanatics. I feel sorry for your DIL. She sent someone on a simple job to pick up a few sandwiches and they were bushwhacked by a control freak who wouldn't let them even honor that. He is lucky he isn't my dad. LOL. There are fathers and then there are dads. I wonder where he falls.

Comment edited on: 6/25/2012 11:20:14 AM

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NASFKAB 6/25/2012 11:16AM

  Glad you are OK how patient of you

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WILDHONEYPIE1 6/25/2012 10:57AM

    emoticon I'm also glad you are okay. Your self control is going to become legendary. As an aside, it's okay to tell irritating people that you are going alone. emoticon

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GLORYB2014 6/25/2012 10:41AM

    I'm really smiling as I read your blog John, because I truly believe in Karma!
We get what we give . . . sooner or later!
Glad neither of you weren't hurt, maybe his feelings but nothing physical.


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VONBLACKBIRD 6/25/2012 10:28AM

    o my goodness think we all have "those people" in our family somehow...I'm laughing with you as it is just so funny how people can be..You are a very very gracious man who firmly believes in God and His grace for us. It doesn't matter our belief system but only that we believe and also how we treat others. God Bless you immensely!!!

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SIMPLY-VICKI 6/25/2012 10:27AM

  Glad you weren't hurt and your "good Karma" won out. In laws can really be a pain at times but what goes around, comes around. emoticon

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    I agree wholeheartedly with LDRICHEL. She said it perfectly emoticon

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MYOWNHERO 6/25/2012 10:18AM

    This is what I love about you.This is a story full of hurtful remarks, irritation and personal attack. You CHOSE to see the humor and life-lessons here. I'd say you know your Bible rather well!!!

Bravo on being awesome :D

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JEWELLE217 6/25/2012 10:04AM

    Karma can definitely come around and bite you on the backside! Guess he got his! LOL!

Great blog as always!

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LDRICHEL 6/25/2012 9:59AM

    OMG...what a jackass!!! This story made me laugh out loud. Thanks, buddy!

And, for the record, I have always assumed you to be a man of faith and an all-around great person...and I've never even met you in real life!

Sad that he is missing out on the joy and privilege of getting to be WITH you...when so many of us would love to be but just can't.

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HDHAWK 6/25/2012 9:59AM

    I agree 100% John! He got the karma he put out into the world. How miserable to put up with people like that. emoticon

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SANDRALEET 6/25/2012 9:56AM

    So many people think they are the only ones who believe in God.When they are saved do not have to change. emoticon

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KMSIMMONS1 6/25/2012 9:55AM

  Good self control man. Glad you're OK.

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SFREY217 6/25/2012 9:54AM

    Cute story with a great moral to it ! Thanks for sharing.

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It's Difficult Being Your Own Inspiration, Isnt It

Friday, June 22, 2012


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SILLYHP1953 7/14/2012 3:51PM

    My strength and hope does have to come from within me...that was a powerful reminder.

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AVANDREA_ 6/25/2012 12:55AM

    So true John, thank you again for some very thought provoking thoughts.


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LYNMEINDERS 6/24/2012 1:42AM

    Such an awesome reminder...thankyou

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    Thanks for reminding us all that we are our own inspirtation. It's very hard to be my own inspiration but, worth it. Thank you!

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VONBLACKBIRD 6/23/2012 3:36PM

    You do inspire me also.

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MYGOLDENBOYS3 6/23/2012 6:02AM

    Thanks John. A lot to think about and, honestly, have never quite thought of it that way. Yes, internal inspiration. It comes from within.

emoticon emoticon

Have a great day.

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NASFKAB 6/23/2012 5:01AM

  thought provoking as always thanks

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    Yes, I am my own biggest inspiration, too. :) Thanks for the reminder!

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CBRIGGS1956 6/22/2012 10:32PM

    Thanks John, something else to work towards.

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DEBRITA01 6/22/2012 6:14PM usual. What I love about your blogs/vlogs is how encouraging and honest you are. Even when we don't always want to acknowledge the truth or do the hard work, you have a gentle way of inviting introspection. It is a gift that you share freely with others and through your words and experiences, I know I've learned more about my self.

Hmmm, guess I am going to work harder on being my own inspiration and accepting the responsibility that goes along with. Thanks, John...

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GIRANIMAL 6/22/2012 5:04PM

    LOL @ bilingual redundancy! Sorry, the editor in me couldn't help it. emoticon

Consistency in your mind AND actions really is key. And that's why "lifestyle change" is so much more effective (albeit sometimes more daunting) than dieting.

Accountability is a great tool, but reliance on others for inspiration does seem like a bit of a trap. What about when people get busy, as they always do? Why leave your success to other people's (understandably) erratic availability as your cheerleader? Or what about when even the most inspirational folks stumble, as EVERYONE does? If you're not also inspired by you, you've left yourself kinda high and dry.

Personal responsibility is hard, but it's more effective and it's worth it.

Bravo, John!


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TRISTAROSE 6/22/2012 4:16PM

    I liked what you said and you are so right! Thanks for another great Vlog!

emoticon emoticon

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TRESA7 6/22/2012 3:53PM

    John, you've made a terrific Vlog! It gives me a lot to think about. What you have become is an Inspiration, a Motivator and perhaps a Weight-Loss Coach!!

emoticon emoticon

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TRIANGLE-WOMAN 6/22/2012 1:24PM

    Great vlog! I'm gonna friend you! Want to keep checking in and getting inspired.

You get out what you put in and you have put in a lot and gotten a lot in return. I'm here if you ever falter!

¸.•´¸.•´¨) ¸.•*¨)
(¸.•´ .•´ ¸¸.•¨¯`-:¦:
*We Can Do This~
One Day at a Time~
-:... ¦:-•:*'*:• •:*'*:•-:¦:-
..`•.¸.•´... ¸.
(¸.•´ (¸.•´

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ADAMSMOB 6/22/2012 1:19PM

I have to say, I love, love what you are saying. You could not have said it better!!!! I enjoyed every word!!!!!! As you said, we sometime don't like to take responsibility for our own selves or anything. Consistency Is The Key!!!! emoticon emoticon

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LDRICHEL 6/22/2012 12:41PM

    I totally am my biggest inspiration! haha


Seriously, though...I completely get what you're saying because it's exactly what I've been trying to tell my SparkFollowers. I feel the same desire to impart this very information to anyone that says I inspire them. I just wrote a blog called "Fitness Isn't Free" that talks more about this.

Comment edited on: 6/22/2012 12:47:51 PM

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DEARTOMYHEART 6/22/2012 11:48AM

  I so agree with what you are saying. You are what you think. We need to inspire ourselves as you say every hour or even moments. Some times I must give myself a good taking to. We can take food for thought from others but it still comes down to me. John, you do inspire me. I have gotten great food for thought to the point my eyes have been opened to things I didn't what to admit to myself I was doing. I do miss when you are to busy in your work to blog. I feel you are a great mentor. Thanks John. You have a great friday and weekend also. emoticon emoticon

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TRULYVISIBLE 6/22/2012 10:48AM

  I totally agree with that philosophy, you take the things you like from others and incorporate those things you like into yourself. One needs to be their own inspiration for themselves.

Some people say, you can't do it alone (referring to business success, weight loss, etc.) I think you can only do it alone. You can take from others but ultimately you are the one who puts things into action.

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NEWMOM20121 6/22/2012 10:04AM

    Very true and well said. To many people look to others for inspiration, you are correct we should inspire ourselves.

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LIBRARYBELL1 6/22/2012 10:03AM

    Thanks John! I appreciate your words today. I've been taking a class called "You are Powerful" about how a person's thoughts create their reality. I know this to be true and I use it a lot for all the easy stuff - the main thing would be getting jobs - ie: 3 times in my life I have noticed a job opening in the paper or something and I would immediately know it was for me. I wouldn't worry about it. I knew it was mine and I'd walk in with confidence and get it. Several things outside of me is like that, material things that I want, seems easy. It's the inside stuff that is so hard!!!

You've given me a lot to think about. This weight loss would be so easy for me and I could motivate myself if I could just get a handle on my emotions. I've always used food to keep my emotions in check, afraid it might spill out all over the place. Hmmmm....lots to think about. Thanks!!!

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    As always, a pleasure viewing and reading your blog posts. You are an insightful person and very well articulated. Have a great day! Ruthie

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BILL60 6/22/2012 9:20AM

    Hang tough, John.

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SIMPLY-VICKI 6/22/2012 9:07AM

  Thank you John. It's actually what I needed to hear this morning. Have yourself a wonderful Friday! emoticon

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Learning To Live With Life's Hurdles

Monday, June 18, 2012

Yesterday was the first Father’s Day I’d celebrated without my dad. He left us a little over three months ago and just about the time I was eking out a bit of a normal routine it dawned on me I was facing another hurdle in learning to live without him. We were separated by four hundred miles of geography but we talked on the phone once or twice a week. Our discussions centered on sports; mostly golf, baseball and football. While his body failed him over the past few years his mind remained sharp and focused. He listened to television and while our opinions weren’t always the same it made for good discussion. Any time something unique or quirky happened in the world of sports I could always pick up the phone and get my dad’s take on the situation. That defined our relationship. A child of the Depression he wasn’t much into sharing emotions and thoughts. He always had some good advice for me hidden in the news of the day.

Yesterday as I sat down to watch the U.S. Open Golf Tournament I felt this void inside of me. It’s always on Father’s Day and I would always call him at least three times during the course of the day. Before he lost his vision he was an avid golfer and could always draw some parallel to “now and then.” Two of my sons were with me and we talked and chided each other on who would win and stuff like that but I had this feeling inside of me, as if someone left the back door open on a cold winter day and a wind was blowing through my soul. I went to bed last night and stared at the ceiling, shedding more than one tear. Somewhere in the midst of my sorrow a glimpse of reason appeared. Like most events in life that challenge us this was just another hurdle. It wouldn’t be the first and I’m quite sure it wont be the last. In laypersons terms it sucked. It wasn’t how I planned to spend this day but I lay there last night with a choice. I could drown in my sorrow or I could accept it for what it was, acknowledge the loss and move on. The longer I laid there the more I began to draw comparisons to my health journey. Don’t you and I face a series of hurdles each and every day? Don’t some of those hurdles present us with facing some realities in our lives we might normally brush away? Hurdles, challenges, call them what you will, they present us with a choice on how we approach our lives. We can sit in our own swill and point the finger of blame at everyone else or we can sigh, put a band aid on our wounds and move forward.

There is no magic here, just often the dreary resignation to putting one foot in front of the other and moving forward. I will grieve my father for some time and I will have really bad days. They are part of the race we all run. I did walk away with the knowledge that I can control how these hurdles affect me. I’d like to tell you I feel a lot better after writing this but I don’t. There is still a dull ache that will subside in time I’m told.

Every day of my existence is full of hurdles and choices. What to eat, whether I walk or go to the gym, how much rest I get, etc. It’s up to me, and you, to jump those hurdles and take some measure of satisfaction that we survived yet another day. I realize this isn’t my usual cheery “go get em’ guys,” sort of post. But life is like that, full of twists and turns and the knowledge that you and I and so many others aren’t alone.

Take consolation in that feeling. I do.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SILLYHP1953 6/28/2012 2:30PM

    I have so few people in my life who are able to express their emotions and their growth and their failures...I am so grateful you are willing to share yours. You are helping me learn to feel, to grieve, to love, to hope.

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TRESA7 6/22/2012 4:10PM

    emoticon for our loss. My mom passed on March 18th. Both her birthday (Apr. 5th) and Mother's Day were extremely difficult! For Mother's Day, all I could think of was, "I wish I could call Mom."

I finally sat down (both times I think) and wrote my thoughts in a journal. I believe our loved ones can look down and see what we're doing or writing or even what we're thinking about.

I still have my bad days, too. I sometimes cry over the least little thing (like missing a bus) and don't know why until I've bawled my eyes out and taken time to examine things. They say, "Time heals all wounds." But, we never know How Much time.

Hang in there. Know that you have numerous friends supporting you!

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SWTHNY- 6/21/2012 12:54PM

    Thank you for the blog.Both of my parents have been in heaven since I was young. I didn't think about them to much or tried not to because of the hurt that came with it.
It seemed my mind and spirit needed to deal with it more because all of a sudden in my 50's I began noticing I would dream about them. Sometimes it was a dream that was about something unresolved in my mind OR the best ones were when I just was trying not to deal with something overwhelming in my life (sometimes good stuff or sometimes questions or bad things)
I feel they came to me in a dream so I could handle something or figure something hidden deep out. So even when they are gone I believe with my whole heart and soul...God gave them to us...forever. The sadness mellows over time kinda but they find their way back to us in so many ways...forever ours


Comment edited on: 6/21/2012 12:54:35 PM

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LKEITHO 6/19/2012 10:05PM

    Beautifully written. Thank you.

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    Like I told my hubby, you never really have grown up until you lose a parent. You never get over it. My mom died in 96 and I miss her and my grandparents and think of them almost every day. It's not a raw burning pain any more but it still is a dull ache.

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LYNMEINDERS 6/19/2012 7:47PM

    Thankyou again John....we do have choices and we need to make the best ones as we jump our hurdles in Life...thats so what builds us and makes us who we are....

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NASFKAB 6/19/2012 2:58AM

  Lost my Pa 16 years back & still feel lost without him HUGS & all the best

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GEEMAWEST 6/18/2012 11:50PM

    Wish I was there to give you the hugs that I would like to.

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BE-THE-CHANGE 6/18/2012 10:13PM


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GIRANIMAL 6/18/2012 5:16PM

    Sometimes it's hard for me to think of grief as just another of life's hurdles, but in the end, it's true. We all will experience it at some point in our lives, and it does take some work, some energy to climb up and over it.

That ache will continue to dull over time, as long as you address your feelings of loss. I think that's the real hurdle of grief -- facing the loss, and the feelings it creates (the way binge eaters must face their demons, etc.) rather than just waiting around passively for the pain to fade.

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EILI359 6/18/2012 4:27PM

    emoticon emoticon

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HDHAWK 6/18/2012 3:01PM

    Unfortunately we all have to go through these losses. You are right when you say it's how we deal with them that matters. It's ok to take some time to grieve as we need to. Take care. I'm glad you got to spend some of the day with your boys.

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SNOWANGELDIVA 6/18/2012 2:39PM

    No, we are not alone. wanted to write a blog honouring my husband and what an Angel of a Father he is and my heart was numb with grief over missing my Dad. I tried to dull the pain with the sad memories , but, I couldn't hold onto the pain, it was gone. I had let that Bitterness Boat sail years ago, but, the "He'd love it here with me...", "He'd be so proud of these grandbabies..." the absence of his joy...haunted me.
One day at a time, sometimes it's one painful breath at a time, but, we press on toward the mark.
We are not alone.

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DEARTOMYHEART 6/18/2012 2:30PM

  I lost my father 18 years ago and each fathers day I feel that empty feeling come back. This happens on his birthday too. I miss my dad a lot, but each time I feel down we talk as if he were here. Makes me feel so much better. He will be for ever in my heart. We will make it through just like each day we are given, we make it through. Some good, others not so good. One day at a time, life is a GIFT. emoticon

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GETFIT2LIVE 6/18/2012 12:51PM

    I lost my dad 38 years ago and still miss him; lost my father-in-law over 20 years ago and miss him as well. The first special day like a holiday without a loved one is hard, no doubt about it, but we make it through, like this journey we are on--one step at a time, one choice at a time.


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VONBLACKBIRD 6/18/2012 12:25PM

    Big big emoticon

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SPARKENISTA 6/18/2012 11:35AM


This loss has dealt you a huge blow. My heart goes out to you.

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BAMAJAM 6/18/2012 10:57AM

  John,,, I hope your Father's day with your children gave you a big dose of JOY!
When your own dad is fondly missed, you can be thankful (even in your sorrow) that you had a dad that left pleasant memories to be cherished. My dear mom passed away and left a huge hole in my heart----but I am ever so blessed that she was my angel mother. Life is a journey and the path is not all bliss.
God bless you!

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RSTENNER 6/18/2012 10:34AM

    Sending you a big hug John. That's the part of life that is so hard at times. When we love deeply, it's hard to have that loss. But, lucky for us, a new day dawns and we have to look out and see the sunshine and dedicate ourselves to be a encouragement to others. This too will pass! emoticon

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PATTILYNN224 6/18/2012 10:28AM

  Sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing.


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DOLLYHOLLY 6/18/2012 10:25AM

    What a sweet blog! I had lost my dad years ago and wish I had read this before I stress-ate over this past weekend.

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DOODIE59 6/18/2012 10:12AM

    I am sorry for your loss and sadness, John. There is nothing to do but "live it out":)
Hugs to you

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STEADFASTNSEE 6/18/2012 9:39AM

  12 years ago I lost my father (January) and then my husband (March). I had similar "firsts". In fact I had a recent "first" (if you can call two years ago recent). In 2010, I was officially a widow longer than we were married. We were married 9 and a half years. That one was tough. But this is what I did. I went out on my anniversary and bought myself a card. I told myself to stay strong in my faith and stick close to my spiritual family. I also told myself that, with Jehovah God's help, I would make it. And, John, I am. emoticon emoticon

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LDRICHEL 6/18/2012 9:24AM

    I feel your pain, John...although, not fully because I've yet to lose a parent. But I've had those days when I think of my Aunt (who I watched take her last breaths a few months ago) and the grief washes over me anew...just when I feel like I've "handled" it and moved on.

No one expects you to be happy all the time. You are you. You are real and genuine and that's why we love you so.


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TERRIPAL1 6/18/2012 9:20AM

    You are right we all have hurdles, the first holiday without your dad,is always the worst and sometimes,you'll miss him just out of the blue! I lost my dad in 2009 and not a day goes by that I don't think of him or talk about him!

You have your good memories,about your dad,share them write about them savor them no one can take that away from you! emoticon

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NEWMOM20121 6/18/2012 9:13AM

    Thank you for sharing.

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CBRIGGS1956 6/18/2012 9:10AM

    I lost my dad several years ago and still think of him daily, the firsts are always the toughest though. emoticon

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BARB5970 6/18/2012 9:04AM

    I read your blog with teary eyes. I'm sorry for your difficult time. I remember the first Father's Day without my dad and the date of his birthday, the first time it past without him here to celebrate. All the "first's" are very difficult, but somehow, as time goes by, it does get better but it's never easy. (Is anything ever easy?)

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SIMPLY-VICKI 6/18/2012 8:52AM

  I'm sorry for your loss. My dad died in 1977 and I still miss him. emoticon

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