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"Turn And Face The Strange - Ch-Ch-Changes"

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The only thing we really control is how we react to the changes and circumstances in our lives.

Im not sure when I heard that for the first time. I know it was a long time ago and it pops up in my head on a regular basis. In short, I control nothing and oh my goodness thats scary. I could win the lottery tomorrow and be set for life, as they say or a tornado could flatten my home 10 minutes from now and take away everything and everyone I hold dear. Both extremes are possible (Though not probable.) without me moving one centimeter from where Im currently sitting. Sure, I make choices. We all do in some form or fashion. Each of us chooses a path or course to walk. I wont win the lottery unless I buy a ticket and I promise you if I hear the storm warning sirens Ill lead the way to take cover. My decisions or reactions are what I can control. No use crying over spilt milk and all that rot.

I was exercising in the therapy pool earlier this week when a young lady walks up and sits down at pool side. Julia is the new aquatics director and shes noticed me in the pool exercising. Shes observed that it must get awfully boring just walking back and forth. I introduce myself, tell her about my back and stuff and she smiles and says she knows Joan. (Everyone knows Joan!!!) She asks if Id be interested in aquatics personal training. She rattles off all of her certifications most of which mean little to me. Shed love to work with me. Let me just pause for a moment and say I sensed my wifes fine hand at work here somewhere - Decision time.

Do you realize we face these opportunities hundreds of times every day? God, The Universe, call it what you will presents us with all sorts of opportunities to move forward. So as I floated getting water logged I had a decision to make. See all the cool kids train upstairs. Those of us who are limited physically or emotionally; well we work out in the warm water therapy pool and you know what they call us dont you? Im not going to say because its taken Joan close to 40 years to teach me how to be politically correct. The other factor is, well were all friends here right? Come close and Ill tell you my dirty little secret --- I cant swim. I tromp around in 3 to 5 feet of water and my actions often scare little children into believing there really is a Loch Ness Monster. So here I am with someone built like an Olympic swimmer and she wants to train me in the big kids pool!!!

Anxiety, insecurity, low self-esteem and BTW there really should be a chocolate cake dispenser in the pool area so I can toss crumbs to the emotional eating mind monkeys. I smiled, told her Id think about it and tromped away. Id moved about three feet and I heard her. You cant swim can you? This is where walking ON water would be a major gift. It ok, we can start there and its cheaper than personal training. No one has to know. When I turned around she was smiling. I may be out of town all of next week so I told her Id let her know by Friday when we MIGHT start. She turned and walked away leaving me looking somewhat prune like in the water.

Opportunities--- they are there at every turn. They scare the snot out of us and reduce us to our lowest common denominator along with the rest of creation. Intellectually I embrace this opportunity. It makes sense and Joan agrees LOL. Emotionally I cower and run away. When Im in the gym I wear a tee shirt, shorts, etc. In the pool, well I have my suit and thats it. I mean gosh, I have man boobs!!! Now ya want me to stand in front of someone and show them myself just as I am?

Opportunities - Makes ya grin dont it

Namaste, my dear ones, Namaste.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SILLYHP1953 1/30/2013 2:06PM

    I can't swim, either. I think I get what must be a panic attack when I try to put my face in the water. I wish you the best in this opportunity.

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ANNE-ELIZ 10/18/2012 12:24AM

    John,

You always make me smile!

Up until now I have found water exercise to be the only thing I could do consistently and not hurt myself, but consistency with my water aerobics has helped with strength and stamina and now I can consider the possibility of adding a few non-pool exercises.

I'm also considering some swimming lessons, because while I can swim, I notice that my form is off and I can't do the distance that I was able to do at one time. I think that I might be able to improve that now.

I think it's great that you see opportunities... emoticon

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GIRANIMAL 10/16/2012 11:19AM

    Does Joan give man-coaching lessons? LOL

This is indeed a great opportunity! Learning to swim can be useful to you in so many ways: great exercise, esp. for us injured ones, plus it's one more thing you can be proud of achieving. It's not so bad or difficult, trust me -- and I was traumatized as a child by too-aggressive Chicago Park District instructors. Julia sounds much kinder, so you'll be just fine!

As for the fear of embracing who you physically are right now being a hurdle: I wish I could be more of a cheerleader there. At my smallest size ever I am still terrified of bathing suits, so I really feel your discomfort there. Of course, in my case, the fact that I have no easy access to a pool gives me some legitimate reason, but I'd be lying if I said that were the only thing keeping me from swimming. emoticon

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FUN2BAROUND 10/14/2012 10:38PM

    Good for you! I admire your willingness to push your limits. Taking myself out of my comfort zone seems to be the best way to keep motivated....and the small gains and victories mean exponentially more,

Keep challenging yourself!

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GEEMAWEST 10/12/2012 11:00PM

    I have not doubt that you will be swimming in no time. That's just the way you are. You don't do anything half arsed. Good for you!!

BTW, I have been going to the pool for over 2 years now and still feel embarrassed. But I get sympathy from no one because they are all doing their own thing and could care less how I look.
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ME_FIRST 10/12/2012 9:57AM

    You will learn to swim and it will be Wonderful. Your trainer has already seen you in your bathing suit, so no biggie for her

You said "My decisions or reactions are what I can control. No use crying over spilt milk and all that rot." Very true for me this week. I found out the other day that I had a mini stroke over the weekend (when I fell and sprained my ankle) and that I've had others in the past. So all this time I've been procrastinating my healthier life style and loosing some of this 100 extra pounds I carry around I was having strokes. I can cry (which I have not yet, but I'm working up to it as I write this), or I can take the actions necessary to be healthier. I choose the latter.

Yvonne emoticon

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CARTOONB 10/11/2012 11:02PM

    This will be interesting to "watch" as you progress. I predict that you will have a blog soon titled "I'm a swimmer!". Or something much more clever!

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SUNNYSIDEUPMARY 10/11/2012 4:53PM

    Seems to me that this could be an OTS - an Opportunity to Succeed. One of your previous blogs planted the idea of looking for OTS's in my head. Thank you and best wishes, Friend!

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JENNYBOYKIN 10/11/2012 4:48PM

    REALLY THANKS FOR SHARE THIS =]]SOUNDS LIKE A GREAT OPPURTUNITY!!!!YOU CAN DO THIS I SUPPORT YA ;]

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PINETREEGIRL 10/11/2012 9:15AM

    I can't say enough high praise about working with a trainer...it's hard work, expensive, sometimes a bother, and one of the most positive things I have ever done for myself. I see this as my 'year of change' and know that working with a trainer is behind that sentiment. I'd say, if you can, grab on to the opportunity!


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THESLIMMERME1 10/11/2012 1:58AM

    emoticon obviously, you enjoy being in water, it sounds like you are ready to take the next step. - the key thing I remember from lessons as a young adult, is 'if you can relax' the body will float...after many years, I have gone back to the water to do 'aqua exercise' after 13 weeks, my strength, coordination and balance have improved, significantly, the water has made the work seem effortless, along with learning to eating healthy, the #'s are melting away...in time I hope to 'take some swimming lessons so I can enjoy that aspect of using the pool. emoticon the 1st step is always the hardest, but look at what new doors this opportunity will be presented to you. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MORTICIAADDAMS 10/10/2012 9:17PM

    Love it. I totally love the way Joan works. You have been set up and rightfully so. I taught both of my parents to swim when I was a lifeguard. They were TERRIBLE! LOL. The head lifeguard said he had never seem 2 people who could sink to the bottom like a rock so fast and stay there. I swim like a fish and he inferred that maybe I was adopted. LOL. But they did learn to swim some and that gave me peace of mind. Now get your butt in that pool and start those lessons! LOL.

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ONEKIDSMOM 10/10/2012 7:16PM

    emoticon It may be hard to learn something "new" at our age (yep, I figure you're "mature" like me, maybe not quite AS mature, but definitely adult). But it's soooo worth it. Try it. If you don't like it, what have you lost? An opportunity, as you point out. And you will have learned something: whether or not you like it!

Good luck. Look forward to reading all about it!

- Barb

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ANATASHIKI 10/10/2012 5:58PM

    you should try it and see if you like it. I'm the self teaching type , I learned how to swim when I almost drowned when I was 10 years old and I generally learned the best from books .don't think about"opportunity" . what do you feel in your heart about it? it's stressful or exciting?

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LYNMEINDERS 10/10/2012 5:09PM

    What an awesome opportunity...woohoo...go for it....
You are right though...it is how we respond to change that counts

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FAT2THIN-2014 10/10/2012 4:59PM

    Once you learn, it's something you'll enjoy the rest of your life. I'd live in a pool if I could. Go for it, my new friend. emoticon

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FITBODME 10/10/2012 4:40PM

    GO FOR IT JOHN! Swimming is soooo much fun!The great thing I love about swimming is there is no hot stinky perspiration involved!
Do your kids know how to swim? If not, what a hero you will be, if they do, another activity to do together ..WIN WIN
Just keep swimming....just keep swimming....

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KIMCOLLINGS 10/10/2012 2:41PM

    Terrific blog. It seems that all of my sparkfriends are posting such inspirtional blogs today. This is definitely one of them. Opportunity...recognizing it and acting on it. I need to be more conscience of noticing the opportunities around me. I hope you'll take advantage of this one presented to you. It sounds terrific! Thanks John :)

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LUCYJOY 10/10/2012 1:33PM

    It's a great opportunity. I'd grab it in a second. I can sorta swim/dog paddle from one end of the pool to the other, but if I had access to a pool and a teacher? I'd so do that.
I hope you will. My friend, with rhumotiod arthritis had to give up running but took up swimming and man, she loves it. (And can now run again as well-and does)


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DEBRITA01 10/10/2012 12:47PM

    There are opportunities all around us...it's up to us what we do with them. emoticon

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HKARLSSON 10/10/2012 12:35PM

    Go for it, John! You got this! Swimming is fantastic exercise, and also a great skill to have in case you fall off a pier or something. Seriously, everybody needs to be comfortable in water where you can't touch the bottom, because you just never know when you'll find yourself in that situation. I personally am afraid that Jaws will come out from the bottom of the pool and eat me, but I hear that is highly unlikely, mostly because sharks don't dig chlorine. And just think! If you learn to swim, you can go snorkeling! That's how I got over my fear of fish! Okay, well, we've called a truce and I don't assume the fetal position when anything bigger than a minnow shows up, but you know what I mean. This will open up a world of possibilities in the event that you and Miss Joan take a big, well-deserved vacation. emoticon

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BEATLETOT 10/10/2012 12:30PM

    This is a cool blog. I hope you do the training. It would be really good for you, I think. Also, I liked seeing a blog titled after the David Bowie song with something other than just the chchch part. =)

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SCOTMAMA 10/10/2012 12:18PM

    Let us know how your lessons go, John -- I have no doubt you WILL TAKE THEM and you know something? I'm 74 and I never had the opportunity to learn how to swim either. I can swim a little but don't like to get my face in the water. Never learned how to properly hold my breath.

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IFDEEVARUNS2 10/10/2012 12:09PM

    not a doubt in my mind that you can do this!

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BEAUTY_WITHIN 10/10/2012 11:57AM

    You can do it!

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CRYSTALJEM 10/10/2012 11:56AM

    This was a wonderful blog. I empathize - grasping those opportunities so often make perfect sense - but somehow that doesn't seem to make it easier to do! I really hope you jump right into this opportunity because it sounds like once you do you won't regret it. Wow... the big kids pool!!!!! emoticon Namaste.

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HEALTHIERKEN 10/10/2012 11:20AM

    Great blog! Boy, you really know how to call it like you see it, don't you?
I say you've got the poise to go ahead with the personal trainer in spite of how you feel about your current appearance--best of all, that appearance is changing and more focused work will hurry those changes along. I believe you can do it.
emoticon emoticon


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NASFKAB 10/10/2012 11:18AM

  interesting blog

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LOVINGKATE 10/10/2012 10:57AM

  God bless you John. I am afraid of water and have a hard time even telling myself to walk in a pool. I have self esteem problems and what other will think etc. Just thinking about a suit fightens me. So John, go for it. If I had that kind of help, I would do it. Joan is a God sent.
Have a great day. emoticon

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KAT573 10/10/2012 10:54AM

    I liked WonderfultobeMe's observation because it is key! Thinking and feeling from the inside OUT, rather than from the OUTside IN is what helped me overcome the mental blocks for going to the gym, accepting who I am and where I am at; and you can't GET where you want to if you don't start where you are at; I was in the very same spot as you, unable to walk to do groceries; I proactively embraced water aerobics; it saved my life, portected my joints, yet gave me the challenge I needed to get fit; I cannot swim welleither, and it is not necessary i order to do water aerobics; in fact, swimming has little to do with it.
Go back through your essay, and take out all the little fear phrases and self-denigrating comments and see what is left: then turn that into a pro active pro LIFE launching board! NEVER give up; keep on keeping on not for an audience of people but for God the Father who brought you into this world for a reason yet to unfold completely; don't get in the Way, emoticon, rather,Walk it.

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SLIMLEAF 10/10/2012 10:51AM

    Go on, John - do it!

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SMOCKON 10/10/2012 10:45AM

    What will be best for JOHN--not Joan, or the instructor, or the other people in the pool area--in the end?

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SHERIO5 10/10/2012 10:45AM

    Your honesty and willingness to contemplate something new are so refreshing!

Let us know what you decide.

Peace and blessings!

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WONDERFUL2BME 10/10/2012 10:42AM

    I have found it so alleviating (I could even me elevating!) to face where I am at on this journey and to quit thinking I am hiding anything under the baggy clothes. Ha! It is wonderful to let it fly, knowing I am working on it and I get healthier with each passing day and moment. By the time I finish this sentence, I am healthier. Woo Hoo. You are healthier with each and every aquatic step.

Thank you so much for your blog that sent me on this stream of consciousness.


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REFFIE1 10/10/2012 10:40AM

    Good for you for deciding to take the plunge! Swimming is great for ligaments. emoticon

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LOOKY-LOU 10/10/2012 10:29AM

    Happy choosing!! emoticon

Tina

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REGILIEH 10/10/2012 10:28AM

    John, John, John! I loved starting my day today with your blog! I laughed out loud so much my husband came to see what was so funny so I then shared you and he too was laughing out loud! You really are a prize! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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PJBONARRIGO 10/10/2012 10:24AM

    Wow, great post, even greater challenge and decision to make. It's a wonderful opportunity and yet so very scarey and much easier to "just skip it". I'm thinking that you should go for it. At the end of the day, you very seldom regret the things that you do... it is mostly the things that you don't do that you regret :-) emoticon emoticon

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Voted Popular Blog Post: View All Popular Posts

We've Lost A Child --- It's A Good Thing!!!

Sunday, October 07, 2012

I walked into the kitchen one afternoon in late August to find my wife and daughters sitting with their arms crossed. After close to forty years of marriage I smelled only one thing trouble for me. When Joan begins with Let me start by telling you how much we all love you.. it usually means its the last positive thing Im going to hear for the next half hour. I was half right, lol. She realized Id been through a lot in the past six months with my dad passing away and my back injuries, but, she added, my weight had ballooned to a really unhealthy number. Id gained back the eighty pounds Id lost plus added another ten pounds to that. Like the government, she and the girls were here to help.

Their proposal was simple. We would all make a real conscious effort to live and eat healthy from food choices to exercise options. Maybe that would help me get back on track. We did the ceremonial cleaning of the cabinets and stocked it with good stuff. Katie and Maggie both joined Weight Watchers. Its what works for them. Katie is a lifetime member having reached her goal weight and keeping it off for a year a long time ago but by her own admission she had slipped a bit. Maggie said it would be good to feel good again. Joan has major food allergies so eating is always a challenge for her. She has always used a high protein diet with success and of course I use Spark People.

Our goal wasnt to lose weight as much as it is to live healthy. In the past six weeks we have eaten out much less, gotten rid of the sugar and carbs that always tempt us and its been fun working out with my adulate daughters a few days per week. Its been nothing to adventurous walking and swimming. Joan and I exercise together in the pool three to four days a week and she and the girls have their own regimen. Everyone is much more relaxed. Its good to turn to either side of me and know I have support at home as well as here at Spark. When I open the cabinet I see healthy options rather than all the junk. We go out to eat, as a family, every two weeks, and the options are healthy ones, fresh fish, chicken and veggies. The French fries are fading in the rear view mirror.

I weighed myself yesterday a 1.4 pound loss for the week and a total of close to 16 pounds, in the past five weeks. Katie sat back and said, Between the four of us weve lost right at 60 pounds. Thats a small child.

Its a child Im glad to be rid of.

Namaste

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LIBBYL1 11/11/2012 10:45PM

  Thanks for making me laugh!

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EFFRAYECHILDE 10/22/2012 8:55AM

    emoticon emoticon

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MAZDAWD50 10/16/2012 11:41PM

    Congrats and keep up the good work. It's great that it is also a family affair.

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JLLOVETT 10/16/2012 9:44AM

    You are all inspirations!!! emoticon

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KEEPITUP05 10/14/2012 10:20PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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FATHINSN 10/14/2012 9:18PM

    One of lost things that we can celebrate happily is pounds losses :D I like that your family wanted to intervene in your life, to make everyone in the family has better lifestyle :D I'm still trying to do same thing with my parents and elder brother, have inches in progress and miles to go!

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ADELE66 10/13/2012 1:21PM

    Sounds like you have a wonderful family!

:o)

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KARRENLYNN 10/13/2012 2:16AM

    Hi John,

Congratulations on your decision to be healthier and your progress so far. Having family support is really important to our success. Keep going and we'll be cheering you on!


emoticon

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IFEOMA4 10/12/2012 5:14PM

  emoticon its nice to have home support.

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DRAMAGIRL32 10/12/2012 12:59PM

    Great job! I love how it's a family effort to be healthy. That must be helpful and a great bonding experience for all of you.

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ESME25 10/12/2012 10:34AM

    emoticon

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GARDENCHRIS 10/12/2012 10:14AM

    glad you have such nice support!

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MANILUS 10/11/2012 5:42PM

    Congrats on your progress and you are blessed with a supportive family! I am an individual champion. Keep up the great work!!

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SUSANELAINE1956 10/11/2012 3:53PM

    Good job! emoticon

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SPIRALDOWN 10/11/2012 12:29PM

    Very positive...WTG

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TASHANCARRION 10/11/2012 8:50AM

    WAY TO GO!!! Doing it as a family is awesome. Thanks for the motivation!!!!

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SHAZG321 10/11/2012 3:02AM

    emoticon emoticon

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NYKIMMIE 10/11/2012 1:17AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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GIVENTHANKS 10/10/2012 10:40PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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TXGRANDMA 10/10/2012 10:07PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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CHANGINGELAINE 10/10/2012 8:59PM

    It's great that you are on this journey as a family!
I am lucky that my husband has joined me also on a path to better health.
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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ANASNEWBODY 10/10/2012 8:20PM

    Thank you, I enjoyed your blog. Continue your success and happiness. emoticon emoticon emoticon

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NESARIAN 10/10/2012 8:04PM

    emoticon Such a loving family unit! This was so sweet to read about!

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2TIGRE 10/10/2012 3:17PM

    What a great story!!! I love reading posts like this - they're so inspiring and motivating. Keep up the good work.

emoticon

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MIPALADY23 10/10/2012 3:08PM

    Sweet!! Nice job!! I'm soooooo excited for you!

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SERASARA 10/10/2012 1:54PM

  emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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TRICIAE2 10/10/2012 1:47PM

    emoticon emoticon

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BLESSED2BEME 10/10/2012 12:18PM

    So glad the entire family is in on this together! There is no better support system than that of a family who is working together for the good of each other:)

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ONEATATIME3 10/10/2012 9:58AM

  Lucky to have a loving family who cares so much for you. emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 10/10/2012 9:59:10 AM

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YULLABELLE 10/10/2012 9:42AM

    emoticon emoticon

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STEADFASTNSEE 10/10/2012 8:50AM

  Great Job John! And I too was tricked by your title a bit. HUGS!

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KANOE10 10/10/2012 8:11AM

    Great support with your family.

emoticon

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MYGOLDENBOYS3 10/10/2012 7:38AM

    Thanks for sharing. Yes, it is a family affair...cannot have two different eaters in the house it doesn't work. emoticon emoticon emoticon

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GOANNA2 10/10/2012 5:16AM

    emoticon Great blog. emoticon emoticon emoticon

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CSDAYS 10/10/2012 3:55AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MERRIKATE 10/9/2012 5:23PM

    Yay and BIG BRAVO to you and to all your 'girls', John -- what an inspiring bunch you are! Hang in there, knowing that you've helped me and no doubt others too to get back on track starting Now.
emoticon

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MORTICIAADDAMS 10/9/2012 2:52PM

    You and your family are doing fantastic!! That is an amazing amount in 5 weeks.

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ILIKETOZUMBA 10/9/2012 11:53AM

    This was so beautifully written, and what a fantastic inspiring story! Your family sounds wonderful and caring and committed to one another. I don't want to sound cheesy, but this was really heartwarming to read. :) Thank you for sharing. And congratulations on you and your family's weight loss! LOL I love the comparison to a small child. I always like to think that I've lost a teenage girl (120 lbs), and I envision myself carrying around one of my cousins on my back all day long as the way I used to be when I was 244 lbs. I really enjoy comparisons like that. I'm glad your family lost this child! :)

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KIMPY225 10/9/2012 10:59AM

    Traffic job! keep up the awesome work!

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WALKINGCHICK 10/9/2012 8:11AM

    Well done you - on hearing the sentiment from your family, on acting on this sentiment, and on making the progress that you have in this short time. emoticon emoticon emoticon

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PRAIRIECROCUS 10/9/2012 1:46AM

    Good for all of you !
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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FLUTTER-BY)L( 10/9/2012 12:22AM

    love that it has involved the entire family. Awesome accomplishment


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PCASEY7 10/8/2012 11:28PM

    Good for you all! You must be really proud! You're a great example of getting back up, dusting yourself off and trying again! Keep up the great work!

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ROCKYCPA 10/8/2012 11:26PM

    Good job - congrats on losing a "child".

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WORKINGSTIFF 10/8/2012 10:46PM

    John-

How great that you and your family are there for each other. Alone we can do a lot, but with the help of others, each can be unstoppable!

Thanks for sharing.

Helen

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MELLABELLAS 10/8/2012 10:34PM

    Great job!

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CLAYARTIST 10/8/2012 10:00PM

  emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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ROCKETGIRL229 10/8/2012 9:01PM

    Congratulations! I hope this week is great to you!

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CHUM48 10/8/2012 8:28PM

    Great support system you have there!

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BEAUTY_WITHIN 10/8/2012 8:25PM

    Very awesome!

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The 13th Apostle

Friday, October 05, 2012


A blog about me and you :)

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LOLAINSC 10/8/2012 4:06PM

    Couldn't agree more--so we better get to work writing Acts 29.
emoticon

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KELLYPAQ 10/8/2012 6:03AM

    I also couldn't see your post, only the title and the comment " a blog about me and you".

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LOUISE6296 10/7/2012 10:18AM

  Could you post the 13th Apostle again? It just never came through. Thank you. I'm sorry to miss it. Lou

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NUNZIATA43 10/6/2012 12:52PM

    John,

Thoroughly enjoyed your introspection! Gives me something to ponder and I have not though along these lines in the past, but it certainly makes sense. I appreciate that you go ahead and "put it out there'" for us. Love the video (and your hat of course lol). Have a wonderful day and weekend. I can honestly say my day has improved because of you! God Bless! Nanci emoticon

Comment edited on: 10/6/2012 12:52:25 PM

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KATHIC2 10/6/2012 9:50AM

  You are a very wise man. Thanks!

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REGILIEH 10/6/2012 9:01AM

    Oh John! I LOVED it! I believe you are one of my angels on earth. You do inspire me and help me keep hope for all things. I hope I don't sound crazy as I'm really just a normal person but I do love your blogs! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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NASFKAB 10/5/2012 1:38PM

  great blog as usual

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GENEALOGYGAL 10/5/2012 11:46AM

    Loved your Vlog! Thank you, I will ponder your words today. emoticon

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WIFE2BOB 10/5/2012 9:16AM

    Great vlog,thank you emoticon

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HOAGIE22 10/5/2012 8:54AM

  Git Er Dun!!!!

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Writing Our Story Part 2: The Wonder of You

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

I was looking forward to catching up with a friend last night. It seemed like forever since we talked. I knew from the first hello that something wasnt right. Her boyfriend found himself in the unenviable position of not only losing one job but possibly two. You can only imagine the stress. Going from three incomes to one in the blink of an eye can set you into a real quick tail spin. I see many of you nodding your heads. Youve been there, so have I. Its the fear the unknown brings when it comes-o-callin. Things that were inconsequential last week now seem to be a matter of life and death and in many cases they are. So I did what a friend does, I listened.

After a bit I sort of scratched my head, contorted my face in one of those half-crazy looks and said. You realize youre one of my heroes dont you? There was a long moment of silence. Look at everything youve endured in your short life, and each time youve always been much stronger. My friend spent most of her youth and adolescence caring for a parent who was chronically ill. She missed out on a lot of things you and I take for granted, coupled with the unimaginable stress of not being able to help a parent get better. Eventually she had to make the tough decision to remove life support. In a phrase she amazes me and I reminded her yesterday.

Im not discounting how tough life may be for her in the immediate future, I just reminded her of the reservoir of strength within her. That same reservoir resides in you and me. I felt a bit small as I lie in bed last night thinking of my friend and her plight. She can summon the courage to deal with life altering events and I fall apart trying to restrain myself from eating a donut. Its not that Im weak far from it. I am ignorant of the amazing positive strength, resolve and love that are inside of me. I refuse to look in the mirror and see that warm glow that emanates from me; I only see the warts, the fat and a body that is slowly aging. I fail to take note of the amazingly strong person staring back.

So many times during the course of my day, people will tell me how great I am and I just dont see it. Thats because Im not looking hard enough. Thank You A for showing me that even in the things of life we find hard to deal with there is a moment of light and life to help us grow.

Namaste

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SLIMLEAF 10/9/2012 11:28AM

    "She can summon the courage to deal with life altering events and I fall apart trying to restrain myself from eating a donut. Its not that Im weak far from it. I am ignorant of the amazing positive strength, resolve and love that are inside of me. I refuse to look in the mirror and see that warm glow that emanates from me; I only see the warts, the fat and a body that is slowly aging. I fail to take note of the amazingly strong person staring back."

I really identified with that bit of your blog, except I think that I AM weak.
However, your blog post today causes me to look again and I realise that, despite my many weaknesses and failures, I do have a certain element of tenacity, determination and perseverence - I must have, otherwise I wouldn't be here now.

Thank you for helping me to realise this and thus to give me a spark of hope.

God bless you.

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NEWMOM20121 10/5/2012 8:45AM

    Thank you for sharing.

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HDHAWK 10/4/2012 6:58PM

    I'm sure she was touched by your reminder that she can get through this. What a great thing to do!

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WIFE2BOB 10/4/2012 3:20PM

    Sorry to hear about your friend and their situation. Hope it all works out ok for them.

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HLPRATT 10/4/2012 12:54PM

    I do see alot of strength in different people around me. It's harder to see it in yourself though.

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MARITIMER3 10/4/2012 11:29AM

    Your friend sounds like an amazing person... and so are you. If you can't look in the mirror without seeing warts, learn to love them by loving yourself. Remember, God made them too.

Gail emoticon

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GIRANIMAL 10/4/2012 11:10AM

    You really ARE a great friend! That is just one thing among about a billion John greatnesses though. emoticon

For the record (again), I agree with REGILIEH: you've got so much book material here! I'd also certainly buy a buch to share with the world.

emoticon

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AMSPARKER 10/4/2012 7:30AM

    another great blog. i should know by now that i need to have the kleenex nearby when i read your blogs. you have lifted up my spirits and brightened my day. incredible.

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KATHIC2 10/4/2012 7:10AM

  You are wise and wonderful!

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CARTOONB 10/3/2012 11:13PM

    You are a great friend.

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ANDASI 10/3/2012 7:01PM

    emoticon

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ONEKIDSMOM 10/3/2012 6:51PM

    Once again, great insights and truths pervade your blog-space. Thank you. I needed this today, too! emoticon

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LUCYJOY 10/3/2012 5:16PM

    You know, I had to laugh-I've survived a ton of horrible things and gotten back up. But my battle with but restraining myself from eating cupcakes? Can't seem to concur that one-it makes me feel weak.

Liked your blog. Hope things work out for your friend.

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MORTICIAADDAMS 10/3/2012 3:24PM

    I think many of us worry about things that are of little consequence and value. Beauty is fleeting and some day if you make it to a ripe old age what will be important to you is the morals you have, the values, the friendships, the person you are. While it's important to be a normal weight in order to be healthy and avoid chronic illnesses striving to fit an image of beauty seems rather worthless to me. Being the best person you can be is much more important and in that regard you and your friend will be in good shape. Stop basing your self esteem on what you look like but who you are.

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ANATASHIKI 10/3/2012 2:28PM

    lol, it's funny you're talking about this today , I just switched a shift with a colleague so I have this interesting work schedule: last week 99 hours of work , this week 80, next week 75. and before you ask it is illegal . so it made me good to remember I probably can survive this, thanks!

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JEANNETTE59 10/3/2012 2:14PM

  Thank you and may God Bless You.

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REGILIEH 10/3/2012 11:01AM

    John, I wish you would publish a book of all your blogs, I would buy at least 100 to give to all of my friends and neighbors. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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NASFKAB 10/3/2012 9:49AM

  thanks for pointing out that we are not alone

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SHERIO5 10/3/2012 9:34AM

    I think that is why we aren't designed to operate alone, we sometimes need someone to come alongside us and remind us of our strength, and sometimes lighten the load.

emoticon

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ANGIEJAY77 10/3/2012 9:25AM

    Thank you for posting this blog. It really hit home for me because I am going through a similar situation as your friend. But you're so right...we don't always see how strong we are. And, really, if bad things never happened, we'd never gain the strength we need.
Thanks for the reminder!

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Writing Our Story Part 1: The Here and Now

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

I saw a cartoon the other day that pictured of an attorney talking on the telephone. The caption read, Im sorry mam I never heard of anyone suing a mirror manufacturer. Im not a huge fan of mirrors. They point out things Id rather not see. They point out the here. Im not always in the mood to deal with the here and now. Let me create a vision of the future. Its much less threatening and easier to manage. Ill only get a negative payoff from the future when it fails to come to pass and Ill blame myself, just like I do for everything else that goes wrong in my life. Remain positive, listen to uplifting music create a collage of everything you always wanted and allow it to collect dust somewhere. Its not real.

Wow John, thats an awfully dim view of things. Im making a point. We are so, so caught up in the latest and greatest feel good that we neglect to look in the mirror and love and appreciate the current version of ourselves. What do we think that well learn all that positive behavior and loving appreciation of ourselves once we reach our goals? We view it as a reward. I can finally be. Everything else in our world suggests practice makes perfect. We dont hop in a car at the legal age and take off down the road. We practice, we study and we gain experience.

Its hard to look in the mirror and see the real value we offer this world. Were too caught up in reading other peoples stories and wishing that we somehow had the wisdom to be like them. The here and now cries out Here I am, warts and all. I have something unique and special to offer you. Some days the mirror is clear, some days dusty and some days I swear its cracked, but its MY mirror, created just for that amazing, yet often flawed version of me. There is no before and after, there is only now and the now should be embraced, warts and all starting today.

On my bulletin board this morning: My name is John. I am warm and witty and Ill be the best friend you ever had. I am charming but I also believe that at times there is no one who knows any more than I do. My smile and booming voice fills a room when I enter. I do not suffer fools patiently and often wish the world moved at my pace. I take time to share part of me with everyone I meet because I know what its like to feel abandoned and without a friend. I am a compulsive over eater, an emotional eater and I struggle almost daily with the fear brought on by panic/anxiety disorder. They are fears that almost never come true. I love to smile.

So.What about you?

Namaste

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KELLYPAQ 10/5/2012 5:59AM

    You always give me something to think about during the day. Glad I found your blog.

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HDHAWK 10/4/2012 6:55PM

    Love it John!

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KATHIC2 10/3/2012 8:36AM

  You are a wise and thoughtful man.

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JENAE954 10/3/2012 7:35AM

  Thought provoking words!
Thanks for your wise words.
Can't wait for your next blog...
Thanks

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ANATASHIKI 10/2/2012 2:50PM

    lol, I usually don't "see "the image in the mirror and lately my only problem is the rebellious hair that grows too fast.I don't know if I accepted myself or whatever . I KNOW I am extraordinary. so are you. emoticon emoticon

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SHERIO5 10/2/2012 2:05PM

    You've written some powerful stuff here, my friend.

I (and most people I know) struggle at some point with worth, what constitutes value, and certainly, physical attractiveness, or lack of...sigh...but the truly lasting things of value and worth won't be found in the mirror, as you've put so well!

So, as I read recently, breathe in God, and be thankful, breathe out, and smile!

Thanks for sharing your heart. emoticon

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KIMCOLLINGS 10/2/2012 1:06PM

    Love this. Something I really struggle with but such a terrific reminder.

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CHANGING-VICKI 10/2/2012 11:35AM

  I'm glad to have the time to "get it right". emoticon

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MARITIMER3 10/2/2012 11:07AM

    I am so grateful that my husband accepts me. Warts and all!

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LANEYPUDDLESMOM 10/2/2012 10:33AM

    MIRROR REFLECTIONS.......

Wow John...Talking about Food For Thought!!!!

Kind of difficult to respond to this one! I love what you are saying and I am sure you are an absolutely wonderful man and Joan a wonderful girl, too. I think perhaps she might reflect your true beauty. You must admit..The mirror makes it much easier to shave each morning.

For me..I like my mirror. the reflection is not as pretty as I would like physically, but it does keep me honest. Sometimes I gaze into my own eyes and stare long enough to try and see my own soul.

I like honesty..In myself and in others. That is what I like about you.

You know the song," Im not as Good as I once was...Well, I am thinking that applies to just about everyone over the age of 28 that has NOT had Botox or some other enhancement. lol.

It is not about how we look as you well know. It is about being the person God created us to be. It would be so much easier for us to have to gaze into a pool to see our reflection..that way we do not have to see ourselves as the world sees us.

I spent the last 4 years depressed about my husband getting killed. I have moved on or at least in the process of moving on. I have had to use Music to cheer me up at times..To lift my spirit a bit. I say Use what ever it takes..Do whatever it takes.

The mirror reflects the physical part of you, but your Smile reflects your soul.

I am me.. God loves me. My Doggy loves me. Infact, My Dog thinks I am the best and most beautiful person on Planet Earth. Who Am I to argue with Laney Puddles..

Have a truly Blessed Day. We will be your mirror..My mirror says you are a nice looking man with a heart of gold. I'll bet if I asked your better half she would say the same thing..
emoticon

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HLPRATT 10/2/2012 10:20AM

    I love honesty and you are right there John. That's the trouble with that mirror it doesn't lie and sometimes I'd rather not face it. But not facing it or beating ourselves up doesn't help either. Honesty is a valuable commodity,

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MORTICIAADDAMS 10/2/2012 10:12AM

    I simply love myself warts and all. I don't spend much time analyzing myself. As Popeye says, " I yam what I yam.' LOL.

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JAE_HENNINGTON 10/2/2012 10:12AM

  I always enjoy your posts.. I am trying to rewrite my own story into something that is outtstanding and so different from my past.. my thoughts get in my way of believing things can be different.. i am working on it

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REGILIEH 10/2/2012 9:51AM

    Oh John, I wish I could know you and Joan in person, how great thou art! You are one of the very best things about Sparkpeople! I think your mirror is the Best! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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NASFKAB 10/2/2012 9:33AM

  GReat

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BIGDOG18 10/2/2012 9:26AM

  emoticon

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