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WARNING: If You Are Looking For Warm and Fuzzy Ya Might Wanna Skip This One

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

I learn a lot from my granddaughter every time I am with her. Kids are amazingly honest and they don’t have a lot of inhibitions. They have to grow up and become and wise, sorta like me and you, before they learn the art of being secretive and defensive. Little kids thrive on praise. Give it to them and they do a few cart wheels, a hand stand and throw ya a smile that could block the sun and utter at least three or four dozen” thank you’s.” All of that is usually followed be a hug or if you are lucky a kiss. They smile a lot, laugh a lot and are very honest about how they feel. When they are hungry they want to eat. When they are tired they want to sleep. It’s not rocket science to them. If you hurt their feelings they tell you about it and then very calmly, while looking you square in the eye, they tell you how you are supposed to behave.

Then they grow up and because they go through some experiences in their lives that shake their confidence instead of taking a deep breath and asking what they learned here, they decide, very much like I decided at one point in my life that its best to keep everyone, not just the jerks, but everyone at arm’s length. It’s really safer that way, right? No chance of exposing your vulnerabilities, right?
Some of us use humor; some of us develop a quick mind followed by a quick tongue to banish anyone who comes close to finding out where we might be weak or fragile.

“We shall never be hurt again.” This time we really mean it. But if you are reading this you are a Spark friend. Just because you do not show up in my cute little roster of friends doesn’t mean you aren’t my Spark friend. We just aint done the formal invite thing, followed by the effusive thanks and all that neat stuff. I digress.
If you are here and reading this you and I share a common bond, we use food as our defense mechanism. Oh, we might describe it more high brow terms or couch it in a bit of sorrow and pity, but as one of my uncles used to say “You can’t BS a BS’er.

Somewhere, someplace, sometime we had a really bad experience in our lives and unlike a young child who cries about it for a period of time and then deals with it, me and you stuffed all those things deep inside of us and dealt with them every time we rolled by the local buffet table. We got bigger and more out of shape and then one day we hung a sign around our neck that said “Have pity on me.”

There are so many people who tried to help. If we close our eyes we see them parade by and we see how we sabotaged those relationships by making them all but impossible for the other person.

“But,” you say. “They don’t understand us.”

No they understand us all too well. They understand that when they get too close we cut and run or throw road blocks in their paths that make it impossible to deal with us or sometimes even love us. That’s so we can go back to our misery.

Don’t misunderstand me. I know people with genuine issues in their lives, some of them have become dear Spark friends. They are struggling with issues that are threatening their very existence. Here I sit worried about who likes me and who don’t and what sorta trophy I am going to win next month for waddling around a track.

We write a kind note, send a Spark Gift and offer “prayers.” Then we toddle on into our own lives and deal with issues mostly of my creating.

“Whoaaa, John. Dude, why so, so, negative?”

I woke up this morning and as I began my day it dawned on me that the best example I can be to someone, to anyone in my life is to be honest, to be healthy and to be loving. It means I will go through some discomfort and I will stumble and I will fail but ultimately I will succeed. I will let you see me and even though I am very scared that you will no longer care for me I will do it anyways because in the end I believe that we need something to hold on to when the waves get a bit too rough.

This journey, if I do it right, does not get easier it gets harder. I need you. I cant do this alone and I am scared.

This journey, if performed correctly, shows me with all my warts so they can be removed, one by one, not to make me perfect, but to make me real. That means I drop the defenses and open myself to REAL health




  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JUST_TRI_IT 4/8/2010 10:48PM

    hey John...
Being this honest is another example of how you support others and yourself. Being this honest is a gift to others and yourself. Being this honest brings insight to others and yourself. If it is not food that we hide behind, we hide behind something else that holds people at arm's length. Food for considerable thought.

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KAT573 4/8/2010 8:33PM

    Came into my mind: 3 quotes from M.Scott Peck:

1.“Problems do not go away. They must be worked through or else they remain, forever a barrier to the growth and development of the spirit.”
2. “The truth is that our finest moments are most likely to occur when we are feeling deeply uncomfortable, unhappy, or unfulfilled. For it is only in such moments, propelled by our discomfort, that we are likely to step out of our ruts and start searching for different ways or truer answers.”
3. “Until you value yourself, you won't value your time. Until you value your time, you will not do anything with it.”

and ultimately, Nelson Mandela noted:

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that frightens us most. We ask ourselves, 'Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and famous?' Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that people won't feel insecure around you. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in all of us. And when we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” emoticon

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KLEONIKI 4/8/2010 5:00PM

    Dear john emoticon!
I know very well this "touch me not" sign; was wearing it for years.
And it was not only fear of loosing those around me; it was also fear of loosing my poor hardly gained self respect.
Being open, risking talking about my feelings ,expressing even those REALLY DANGEROUS ones is my very bet at present.
I am challenging myself to theatrical exposure not pretending someone else but bearing fragments of my own TRUTH being always me, up there in front of..
I am practising in not only letting the others see my liquid ,unformed inner parts, my fears and my weaknesses but even invite them to do so as a first movement for disarmament and peace.
It is a better life this life it is like children do .
Υou feel blessed and free and little by little you get all the pliability and elasticity needed to survive bending under the wind than to die broken.
I wish i could give you a real hug my good friend but i will just limit in the virtual one emoticon emoticon

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DAISY443 4/8/2010 2:32PM

    You wrote about me! I know the reasons why I am the way I am, but have trouble letting go of it! How brave you are to honestly share in your blog. Maybe that is the first step to healing!

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WALKNLOVE 4/8/2010 9:02AM

    You speak the truth! Isn't that why we are here...to discover our true self? The thin, healthy(in and outside),beautiful one inside us wanting to break free?We have to expose the good, the bad and the ugly to get healing, to make healthy habits(whether they involve eating, our actions, or how we let other people affect us).And you are so right, we can't do it alone.We need each other! AND most of all, we need the help of our Savior, so he can save us from our own selves and our distructive behaviors that seek to sabbotage everything we are working for.May we all be successful and in doing so, may we bring glory to our Lord Jesus Christ! Because GOD KNOWS we couldn't do this without him!
Blessings to you my dear spark friend,John!

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MARCYNA 4/8/2010 8:45AM

    Honestly, I don't know if I can let go of my defenses. I know they're there and somehow look at people through them. I wish I could let them down, maybe I will one day!!!
Thanks, John, reading your blog I had to reflect on this mechanism and how to cope with it emoticon emoticon

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JURI62 4/8/2010 6:42AM

    Wow! This is a powerful blog. One I could have written myself. I isolate, I play the victim card, I hide behind sarcasm and anger. Our awareness is the first step to change, so we're doing great. One day at a time we are facing our traits that no longer serve us and replacing them with healthy options.
Hugs, Judy

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HAPPY-DESTINY 4/8/2010 12:53AM

    FOR ME: To 'like' someone means to enjoy being around them!

To 'love' someone means unselfish constructive action for the benefit of others...expecting nothing in return!

If I don't 'like' you . . that is about me . . not about you!

It is MY choice and there is nothing you can do to change that!

I can 'love' anyone..anywhere..at any time !

It is MY choice and there is nothing you can do to change that!

If I don't 'like' nor 'love' myself . . No thing nor No one will ever fill the hole nor the whole! Not food . .not alcohol . . not sex . . not gambling . . not anything but self-love and self-acceptance!

I 'like' me . . even if/when you don't!

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LAURIEKRGR 4/7/2010 11:52PM

    Hi John, never read your blogs before, but I have to say I am very touched. Thank you so much for sharing.

I believe that when we share our experiences we can then feel our own strengths and see our hope! When I signed on to this site, I thought long and hard about a program of healthy living for myself and you hit on it very well. Let me share my program with you... To be true to this site and myself. Honesty, perseverance, integrity and sensibility. I have to use all of these tools to keep myself in check, a sort of "hip check" for me on how I am doing daily. I also use "one day at a time" because we are not perfect and that ALLOWS me to be moving towards progress, not perfection! I practice these tools everyday, in every aspect of my life -- they are my life savers.

I love that you are so honest and share. I will be back and please let me share my site with you, take a peek and take what you need.

Love your words, Miss Laurie

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DUTCHIEKIWI 4/7/2010 11:29PM

    We're big, bold, loud, laugh a lot... and are masters at putting a face on.

That together with stuffing our faces protects us... well that's what we thought.

However you want to approach it, I now know, it was and is the wrong thing to do, the wrong way to go.

Keeping people at arms length, stops you from finding that true friendship that really we all long for.

But sometimes in life, I need a bit of that "It's my space and get the bloody hell out of it!!"

To find not long after that I'm wondering why I don't have those deep friendships some people have.

This time, I WANT IT ALL.
This time I"M GOING FOR GOAL!
This time I have got the friendships I need to get on with it,

I will fall down again, for sure, but not for long.

This time, YOU will be there to pick me up and tell me to get my butt back into gear.

It's gonna make all the difference between failure and success.

Scared? Yeah, sometimes I'm sh#tting myself as in the past, I as so many of us have lost it all, and gained it back plus more.

My biggest fear was to gain the weight again...
So why did I let it...????

An answer I have not. Sometimes things happen in life and you will never really find the answer.

That's okay.... realise what happened, dust yourself off and start again.

I am not going to let it happen again, how I can truly say, believe and know this again, I don't know.

It's the tingle in my tummy, it's the determination in my head, it's my attitude towards life that has changed enormously.

I found friends here I trust with my deepest darkest mistakes, with my faults I had and still have, because I KNOW...

This time, YOU will be there, you won't judge me for failure, as I won't judge you.
You will reach out for me, hold my hand and pull me back up as I will always do for you.

We might have baggage, but this time we really learn how to deal with it, to share it and to move on.

To show your fear, to show you're scared is an achievement on it's own.

We have come a long way, and we will go ALL the way,
This time, TOGETHER!

Love Dutchie

xxx

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CRAZYGAGRANNY 4/7/2010 9:55PM

    emoticonI love the way you put every day life into normal every day words!
We are all working toward the same goals and there are no "sugar" coating to the fact we all need support,motivation and love to get us through this journey!

Becoming aware first to the hard truths to ourselves then others is one of the first steps! We must realize like you said...what got us to this point!

Thank you John. Please keep the words of wisdom coming! I do so enjoy them!

Barbara emoticon

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GEEMAWEST 4/7/2010 8:40PM

    John,

I so love your honesty and how you "tell it like it is". You speak for so many of us. I too am scared and find that I am only willing to show a very few select friends all my warts.

As always, you are an inspiration to me. I'm here for you, dude!

Cheryl aka G-Ma

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JUANITAGUERNSEY 4/7/2010 7:49PM

    Gee, John. Thanks for your insight. I wish I had your writing talent. You put me right in the heart of the situation. Keep writing. It's probably helping so many of us whether we choose to admit it or not. If not today, perhaps it will become quite obvious a ways down the road and we will have that "aha moment". I have been there and still am there in so many ways. Developing honesty with self is a true challenge for me. I'll keep working at it. emoticon

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JCDROLSHAGEN 4/7/2010 7:27PM

    John, we are all in this thing together, imperfections and all. Keep up the good work.

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REMODELINGPAT 4/7/2010 4:59PM

    Oh, John! Once again you have nailed us! We DO try to hide from others as well as from ourselves. And it's only when we start digging beneath the disguises and probing the true self that we are able to achieve our goals. For some of us, this will take a whole lot longer than it will for others. But it will be worth it for us all!

Blessings!

Pat

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TULIPCHICK91 4/7/2010 2:34PM

    You have aptly communicated what I have been thinking about all week - the fear, the cutting off of relationships, etc. Thanks for keeping it real!

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DOLLIE6 4/7/2010 2:28PM

    Life is a trip pleasant or unpleasant. It's up to you. Total honesty is so freeing.
We are all trying to find our way on this trip some have better maps that others.
I'm proud you are finding out exciting things on your trip and it is fun to have friends on our journey. I must say your wife must be a special person to love you bumps and all. I have a husband like that that knows me pretty well and he lets me learn about myself and always encourages me. I love reading all the blogs as we have ah ha moments and share. It helps me to look at myself honestly. Peace and love to you and your family.

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GETFIT2LIVE 4/7/2010 12:39PM

    We can learn so much from children--their honesty, trust, and ability to absolutely BE in the moment. Maybe that's why Jesus tells us that we need to become like little children. Until we are able to be honest with ourselves, to stop hiding from the truth of where we are and how we got here, we cannot begin the process of healing and changing that we so desperately need. Thank you for sharing; you always seem to say something I need to hear and think about. I love the way SparkPeople has brought us all together so we can support and encourage and sometimes give a swift kick in the behind to one another; makes me believe we really will all make it together.


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MOMMABOF7 4/7/2010 12:34PM

    I love the honesty! This journey to new health really is calling me to be honest about life and why I make the choices I am making...not just food, but in all aspects. I love your writing!

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CAROLYN0107 4/7/2010 12:04PM

    Thanks John for being Real! Great blog.

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ENJOYINGMYLIFE 4/7/2010 11:45AM

  I subscribed to your blog. You are very good at putting these truths into words! Keep writing! Blessings, Cathy

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AMYTATH 4/7/2010 11:26AM

    John,
I think alot of us are scared and too afraid to admit it. It takes alot to openly admit it and I am proud of you for that. We are here for you...warts and all! lol =D

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KARENE10 4/7/2010 11:19AM

    Great Blog! emoticon

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RONDAJONES 4/7/2010 10:35AM

    Great blog! I know exactly what you mean. Thanks for sharing...and I am adding you as a friend too.

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TNTEACHER2 4/7/2010 10:29AM

    You are correct abouot most things in this blog, John, but why have "prayers" in quotation marks? Some of us do pray for our friends.

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MORTICIAADDAMS 4/7/2010 10:16AM

    Great blog!!

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JAE_HENNINGTON 4/7/2010 10:08AM

  this is amazing... you say the things that have been going on in my mind for quite few days. I was with my granddaughter yesterday (she is three) We are outside and she found a bug. She was so fascinated that whe watched with so much excitement over that bugs comings and goings... I was in awe of her that she could find so much joy in the smallest of things. It was a sad reminder to me that life has become very dead to me and not much physical and mental energy to do anything about it...I miss that joy that can be found in life
I have hidden my true self from others and even sadder myself.I want to be free of this bondage...pray that I will have the courage...maybe I should have put this a blog

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SAMGERBINE 4/7/2010 9:41AM

    You said it perfectly! I love reading your blogs :)

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NJMATTICE 4/7/2010 9:37AM

    I'm not sure why you felt a warning was required.
Yes. The big fat hurt little girl still resides here. She just has a new adult friend who empowers her to think it through and make her best choices. Just like big John helps little John. Have a good day and don't forget to let little John out to play.
Love,
Nancy

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STORMTMB 4/7/2010 9:27AM

    As I've said before, I like direct. Honesty cuts through all of the warm and fuzzy (crap). True friends are the ones who know you and love you anyway - just as you are. That's why they are rare and precious. I like you more with each blog, dude.

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WORKINGSTIFF 4/7/2010 9:14AM

    John-

So true, your every word. This journey, which may start out about weight loss, turns into something much deeper for those who have the courage to continue.

Being vunerable also means that when revealing one's self to others we show that we have a confidence in who and what we are; we can take the slings and arrows of those who are different than we are or who may turn out to be critical of us. Just the fact that we open up means that we better know our own selves.

I've added you as a friend and I hope you don't mind. I wouldn't want to miss any "non fuzzy" blogs...

Best to you!

Helen

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YOYONOMORE1 4/7/2010 9:05AM

    It's not always easy to be honest with ourselves, if we don't like what we see in ourselves there's that fear that others won't either, but just think of the feedom we'd all have if we'd just be ourselves. Very good blog and thank you for being honest and brave enough to put yourself out there. Have a blessed day.

Hugs,
Shirl

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FOREVERBT 4/7/2010 8:59AM

    you are a great writer and express yourself wonderfully.


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RHIPEA76 4/7/2010 8:50AM

    This is the truth, John. While the positivity and cheerfulness I see on SP is what keeps me coming back here every day, I realize that it's possible that most of us aren't taking the time to deal with the real, non-weight issues. In my case, I keep myself SO BUSY with school and homework and going to the park to run and tracking my food and planning healthy meals, that I have little time to THINK. A therapist once told me, "you HAVE to sit by yourself with your pain, Rhiannon," and I've yet to learn to take that advice. I wouldn't even know where to start.

I guess my point is...sometimes I (we) need the opposite of warm and fuzzy. Because the reality is, when I'm down to 125, I'll still be ME in here (which is a little scary). My mom says, "wherever you go...there you are."

Yikes!

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JUSTLYLE 4/7/2010 8:22AM

    Great blog again John, we all have many of the same feelings. This journey is not a short one but long and steady, we are in the latter. We WILL succeed! It WILL BE DONE!

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PEABODYPEGGY 4/7/2010 8:19AM

    Thank you John. I see myself in a lot of what you are saying . Your post was deeper than "warm and fuzzy" , it's more like a wave washing over and through. I thank you for your candor.



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Comment edited on: 4/7/2010 8:21:26 AM

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DOLLBABE56 4/7/2010 8:18AM

    You know John, I understand how you feel - although I have a tendency to let people "in" too much at times.This is what happened to me 3 years ago, and it completely unsettled me. I am just now realizing how much. After working at a wonderful store, it closed. They were my second family and I couldn't let them go. I won't go into details right now because it still hurts. I missed everyone terribly. Still do. I am afraid of letting anyone "in". Thank goodness for my Spark friends. You have helped me almost as much as my doctor. Dr. John, that's what I should call you! lol
Have a great day!!!

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MARENAMOO 4/7/2010 7:52AM

    Sometimes I feel like the proverbial onion (although now that I think about it onions probably were not mentioned in Proverbs, but I digress) - peeling back the layers with each blog I read, each emotion that I don't feed with food but try to unravel instead, each mile I log - each day that I am on Spark. I think there are many reasons for overeating - many emotional, many because as a society we just don't apply moderation to food. These are thinking errors and habits that need to be adjusted, re-learned and made healthy. The only way this will work is to be honest - I try and sometimes succeed - I see that your self honesty is well developed - bravo.

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CROBINGO 4/7/2010 7:44AM

    Honesty is a rare commodity. Many times we don't appreciate it when we hear it or we are afraid to give it. As you say, being honest and real as ourselves is a scary prospect because if we REALLY put ourselves out there and then get rejected, it is so hard such a big hurt.

Good for you for taking that step although from what I see, you are a pretty honest person in your feelings, how you portray yourself. So you must have been on this path for a while. Congratulations.

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AMABILE75 4/7/2010 7:43AM

    emoticon Doesn't it feel good to be honest with yourself and others? It may be difficult to do, and yes quite scary... but when you step back in the end you can smile and feel good about what you just did. emoticon

We all need to hear this and accept our own truth. Thank you for bringing this to light to help others begin their process of realizing this as well. Together, we will succeed. Together we will support each other. Together.

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WANDAH3 4/7/2010 7:34AM

    John, one of the biggest things that has drawn me to you in friendship is your willingness to be honest! Thank you my friend.

Hugs,
Wanda

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CICITOO 4/7/2010 7:29AM

    Oh, John, do I ever hear you ! It's as though you were speaking outloud a lot of things I have been thinking.. Thank you for sharing this. emoticon

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HIPPIEFREAK66 4/7/2010 7:25AM

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Standing In The Way of My Success…….

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

………. Is me. Yes, you read that correctly. The largest, (no pun intended.) obstacle to me finding and fulfilling my dreams is me, myself and I and any other cute comparison I might include about myself. I am not afraid of failure. Shoot, I know what that looks like. It’s a “been there, done that,” sort of thing. I am afraid of being successful.

At first it caused me to eat. A challenge would come my way and I would get nervous and anxious and lay in bed at night worrying whether what I was about to do was going to work or not. My knees would knock and I’d shake a bit and the next morning I’d stop at a fast food emporium and ingest my drug of choice. My blood pressure would slowly descend and I’d stop hyper ventilating and I’d feel better. I mean, ya know, it was not like I pulled the car over and took a drink, or shoved a needle in my arm!!! At least what I was doing wasn’t physically destructive!! No, John, heart disease and diabetes and any other illness exacerbated by poor eating habits aren’t dangerous.

“Look John, I think you are growing hair.”

Next came excuses in all shapes and sizes.” You know I’m getting older and I don’t move as quick as I once did and I do have everything I really need. I should be grateful. I should be satisfied.”

I’d watch television and just like a lot of you I would hiss and spit at the lithe and limber people on my screen. They were lucky, probably on drugs or anorexic. “Thank God I wasn’t like that,” I would say as the couch came close to collapsing.

It wasn’t entirely my fault. We have been given a peculiar notion of being successful today that is mostly media supported. Success isn’t always a middle aged man with a mop of hair screaming “You’re fired,” with a superior look on his face. It’s not a group of people running around a desert island half naked with a torch in the hope of winning a million dollars. It’s not trying to win a contest about who can have the most multiple relationships at one time. I could go on.

This notion of success was created because it is largely unattainable. Like all of television it is fiction. There is a really easy answer to that dilemma: Turn It Off and take a walk work on a puzzle or plant a garden. Maybe even read a book.

Dieting deals with depravation. We tell ourselves that if we are going to be healthy and if we are going to be successful then we have to suffer, because deep down inside we know we do not deserve to be whole. I get really scared sometimes when the scale tells me I am getting healthier. It means I have an obligation or expectation to live up to. I can distort reality and say YOU gave me that expectation. You and society. Truth be known I created it myself.

I know what failure is. I can readily identify with it and honestly I am comfortable with it. It’s an old friend. It’s like playing a game of high stakes poker. The longer I play and the more I win, the higher the stakes become. Its better I go back to being fat, old John and sit in the corner and whimper.

Being part of this experience, this Spark People phenomenon, causes me to fight that feeling. In close to four months I have made too many close friends who in many ways are just like me!! Darn them!!! Instead of berating, yelling and belittling, they send me Easter Baskets and Bulls Eyes and other goodies. They explode my inbox with email with congratulations when I reach a miles stone and they offer support when I stumble a bit. They show me true courage. Some of them struggle with debilitating health issues, are unemployed or simply very lonely people. But there they are, fighting through and over the obstacles that have been presented to them offering me encouragement. Me, whose biggest issue right now is that I am between sizes!! Gee, maybe we need to convene the UN Security council for that one.

I choose success, it does not choose me. I choose to overcome my excuses and my fears, it just doesn’t happen. When I am able to do that my dreams become much clearer and real.

I do it because I choose to hang around with inspirational people like you.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MARCYNA 4/8/2010 8:51AM

    WoW...How do I recognize myself in your picture....it's incredible.
I hate watching TV, but I'm just like you - but for the beard emoticon emoticon

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CMBELISLE 4/7/2010 2:27PM

    I read something once that said something to the effect that one can only be successful if one embraces that which is outside his/her comfort zone. It is so true and in so many areas of our lives.

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BIBLIOHOLIC57 4/7/2010 5:39AM

    John,

Thanks right back at ya! You made my morning (let alone my week, so far).

Keep writing, keep hoping, keep dreaming.

You are a success!!!!!

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Annie

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DUTCHIEKIWI 4/7/2010 1:21AM

    Thanks for sharing John, and I totally agree.

The support we give eachother here is priceless!!!!!!!

Sparkfriedn
s have become the family I have always wanted and needed. Now I just wish you would all live a bit closer so we could "do coffee"!

Love ya

Dutchie


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CRAZYGAGRANNY 4/7/2010 1:03AM

    emoticonKeep'em coming John! I love reading your blogs! They are so right on track!

Have a wonderful day...and Great job my friend!
Barbara

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GLOBALKEEWEE 4/6/2010 9:33PM

    You sound like you're anything but in your own way now!
Outstanding perspective.

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GEEMAWEST 4/6/2010 9:07PM

    You're Rockin' It John!! Thanks again for another great blog.

Cheryl aka G-Ma

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REMODELINGPAT 4/6/2010 7:04PM

    Oh, yeah! We are ALL victims of our own fears, both the fear of success AND the fear of failure, until we face our monsters eyeball-to-eyeball and win the victory over them. This is not necessarily a one-time victory. It may have to be fought on a daily basis, or even minute-to-minute some days! BUT, we have this terrific cheering section here on SP. Many, many thanks to you, John, and all you other Sparkies for helping ALL of us defeat our fears and make our way to our goals!
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Blessings!

Pat

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GERIKRAGH 4/6/2010 3:50PM

    We are all our worst enemy. We can be shaped and formed but only ourselves can make us what we are.

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ENJOYINGMYLIFE 4/6/2010 3:39PM

  Great blog! I, too, know the fears of both failure and success, but I am determined to work through them, and so are you! Great! Joyce Meyer tells us to do it afraid... and Mary Engelbright says that success is getting up once oftener than you fall down. Keep fighting the good fight, and keep sharing your journey with us! We're lovin' it!
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ANNSTOECKL 4/6/2010 3:29PM

    Dear John, I'd been enjoying the amount of weight I'd lost then this morning I looked in the mirror and saw how far I had to go. Terrified me, so I came to Sparkpeople because folks understand and are there for me ... and you. Blessings, Ann

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IMJUSTDUCKIE 4/6/2010 3:12PM

    Damn double edged sword isn't it?! What we know makes us more comfortable than the unknown, even if it's what is going to kill us in the end... No more gravitating towards comfort!!! Lets welcome the unknown so we know we are alive!!! emoticon

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DOLLIE6 4/6/2010 3:04PM

    You are a sweetie. Thank you for the blog.

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JCDROLSHAGEN 4/6/2010 1:44PM

    We can all relate to this fear of failure, not matter what the goal may be (weight loss, career plans and so on). It's what Marla Cilley of Flylady calls perfectionism, or "stinkin thinkin". Nothing is perfect; life is about struggle, or challenges. I leave with this quote from the show "Lost":
Locke: You see this little hole? This moth's just about to emerge. It's in there right now, struggling. It's digging it's way through the thick hide of the cocoon. Now, I could help it - take my knife, gently widen the opening, and the moth would be free - but it would be too weak to survive. Struggle is nature's way of strengthening it.

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JCDROLSHAGEN 4/6/2010 1:44PM

    We can all relate to this fear of failure, not matter what the goal may be (weight loss, career plans and so on). It's what Marla Cilley of Flylady calls perfectionism, or "stinkin thinkin". Nothing is perfect; life is about struggle, or challenges. I leave with this quote from the show "Lost":
Locke: You see this little hole? This moth's just about to emerge. It's in there right now, struggling. It's digging it's way through the thick hide of the cocoon. Now, I could help it - take my knife, gently widen the opening, and the moth would be free - but it would be too weak to survive. Struggle is nature's way of strengthening it.

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MORTICIAADDAMS 4/6/2010 11:58AM

    Great blog. We can all be our own worst enemy or choose to be our own best friend.

Comment edited on: 4/6/2010 12:05:25 PM

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GETFIT2LIVE 4/6/2010 11:56AM

    I know this one way, way too well, John; as usual, you hit the nail squarely on the head and said what I need to hear and face up to. Yes, the biggest thing standing in the way of my success is me; I have come close to reaching my goal weight in the past, right to the brink of success, and inevitably I do a quick U-turn and start gaining again. I am afraid of success, afraid of the responsibility and expectations and attention that success brings with it. It is much easier to slide back into old habits, old ways, stick with the 'known' and not venture out into the 'unknown' of having and maintaining a healthy lifestyle and weight. But people like you and all my friends here on SparkPeople make it much harder to go back to the old ways because there is always someone standing by with a hand out to lift me up when I need it or applaud when I make another tiny step in the right direction. Thank you for sharing, you always get me thinking!

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GREENCAT1 4/6/2010 10:37AM

    Awesome blog, John! Right on!

Cathy emoticon emoticon

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CROBINGO 4/6/2010 10:03AM

    Your blogs are really excellent!

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FROMTHEASHES85 4/6/2010 9:45AM

    Hi John! Wow, this was the perfect blog for me to read today!

I too am scared of being successful, failure is easy. The fear causes me to over eat and make excuses. It's easy to blame the world for my unhappiness and hide behind bad habits!

I choose to overcome my excuses and fears too! Thank you for sharing emoticon

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STORMTMB 4/6/2010 9:31AM

    Yep, you nailed it. Most of us fear success more than anything else in life. Another great blog, John. By the way, you are already a tremendous success, so you have nothing left to fear.

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TNTEACHER2 4/6/2010 9:31AM

    I had a little trouble with the "I am growing hair" bit, John. At first I thought there must be a proverb(or maybe there is?) about liars growing hair, and thought about Pinocchio with his nose that grew with untruthfulness. But is that it? Or are you poking fun at yourself(a person CAN lose weight, but hair loss is on the Lord's hands).

Have a wonderful day.

Marcy in Murray.


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KLEONIKI 4/6/2010 9:20AM

    Dear John!
It is commonplace this fear of success this terror of changing the old worn up behavioral pattern as self destructive as maybe..
An easy answer can be found in the study of all addictions.
The difficult one lies somewhere deep inside human nature and its ambivalence and vulnerability..
I need to feel covered with the warm blanket of my well known old habits and at the same time i need to break free and create a new self.
Kleoniki

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KAT573 4/6/2010 8:56AM

    great topic today! loved it; Fear is the number one underlying factor for many of us! This was something I faced daily while working on the Lenten panels, and the various fears that came up had to be faced and looked at and dealt with; the gifts of doing that were greater than the product created! I am so grateful to that experience.
Keep on keeping on! emoticon

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DOLLBABE56 4/6/2010 8:46AM

    Well John, you've gone and done it again! If you keep giving us these wonderful blogs to ponder, I think my mind is going to explode!!! lol, just kidding on the mind exploding thing..... You are so right on all accounts. I find I do the same thing. I get scared, I have thought life would be perfect if I lose the weight, etc.... It is me that is trying to sabotage my healthy lifestyle. It is a daily struggle that we will win.

Comment edited on: 4/6/2010 2:08:19 PM

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JAE_HENNINGTON 4/6/2010 8:43AM

  I am so happy I found you and your blogs.You speak on so many levels of the things I deal with on a daily basis. It makes happy that I am not the only one that thinks about these things. Counting calories and exercising is only one component to reaching our weight loss and health goals. There is this pschology of aspect of "wanting" to be this healthy person. Because with being thin comes responibility of our lives. no more can we blame our extra weight on our shortcomings...bravo for being honest and sharing with us

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NJMATTICE 4/6/2010 8:30AM

    Good Morning John. Hope ya don't blow it! I'm sorry. I just couldn't resist. I hear ya. A lot riding on success and a line of imaginary folks just waiting for you to fail. Consider yourself a success right now. at this moment, just as you are and you've got nothing to lose. You've arrived and you will continue to arrive today, tomorrow and the next day. If you for some reason could never lose another pound, would you be a failure? I don't think so. It eliminates the expectations that somehow life will be better at a lower weight. Life is always what you make it in the moment. Make today successful. You never know what tomorrow brings. Continued success my friend.
Love,
Nancy

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AMABILE75 4/6/2010 8:17AM

    emoticon You always amaze me my friend. emoticon

I believe most of us, if we're honest with ourselves, would have to agree that the same is true for us. We get in our own way more often than anybody else ever could. Lots to ponder... thank you for another wonderful blog.

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Don't Forget About Your Dreams

Monday, April 05, 2010

By all accounts Saturday should have been picture perfect. Joan and I went to the mall with our granddaughter where she got her very own personalized Chicago Cubs baseball hat and as a bonus Grandma Joan took her on the carousel. The carousel is conveniently located right in the middle of the food court, (Funny how that worked out, huh?) so that no matter which way you choose to turn you are faced with a lot of things that, well, they are just not good for you. Cookies, pizza, steak on a stick with greasy, cheesy potatoes……

I sat at a table while they rode the carousel. I waved every time they passed by. All of a sudden out of now where, as I sat in that there with temptation taunting me at each turn, I was overwhelmed with frustration.

“Is this what it’s supposed to be like forever?” I wondered. “I’m gonna sit here and just be so overwhelmed because my lunch choice is starvation or a slow death by watching my arteries close centimeter by centimeter?”

It had been a hectic morning. I had a really quick breakfast. It was healthy but it was quick. The ride to the Mall normally takes forty minutes but because of road construction and a very odd detour it took us ninety. The parking lot was full. It just went on and on and on. By the time this wave of frustration hit me I had originally planned on lunch right around then.

Spending time with a very energetic four year old can make you forget whatever else you are preoccupied with. There is no classification in the Spark Exercise section for “Chasing a grandchild all over hells half acre.” I forgot about being overwhelmed until I woke up around five Sunday morning.

I lie in bed trying to orient myself when this voice inside of me said very quietly but emphatically, “Don’t forget about your dreams.”As far as I knew, I didn’t have any dreams last night.

“Oh, THOSE dreams.”

Sometimes I get so caught up in the calorie counting, the search for better food, the different sort of exercises, the weigh in’s, the challenges and all that really positive and tangible stuff that I forget about my dreams. My dreams are what make this march towards health worthwhile. My dreams are the real reason I do all this. My dreams become the pay off foe all the hard work and the frustration I feel at times.

Before I met all you wonderful folks and began Sparking; my dreams consisted mostly of really bitter thoughts about how I had been cheated out of a lot of things in life because I was fat, and lazy. Never mind I was the person shoving all that food in his mouth and never mind that I was the clown laying on the couch, belching and wanting to take three naps on a Saturday afternoon because the sugar he just ingested would supply a small country for about a week. It weren’t my fault, it was God’s fault, fates fault and whatever president was currently in offices fault. It was never mine. Dream were something you had at night, and most of them scared the snot out of me.

When I started the journey to locate John and remember who he was under that molten mountain of chocolate and fried foods I started to dream, dreams again. It’s the stuff that keeps my engines revving. It gets me excited. All of this reminded me that along with the nutrition and the exercise equally important is locating the authentic me.

My dreams are achievable and all of them depend on me being John again and that is my biggest John does a lot of cool things that are all part of his dreams!! Those dreams are what sustain me when that wave of frustration over whelms me and makes me feel like I am stuck in quick sand.

One of the things we are asked to do when we begin the Spark journey is to make a collage. That collage represents our dreams. Successful people know that this journey isn’t about simple endurance; it is about that “spark,” that deep down motivation that is our dreams.

What about your dreams? How often do you think about them? Do you dust them off every now and then and recall how they get your juices flowing? I am guilty of forgetting and when I do, I begin to lose focus.

The biggest lesson I learned from all of this? Invite my dreams out for a cup of coffee once a week and get to know them better. They are as important to me as the air I breathe.

I’ll share one:

I hope you see your dreams come true too!!!!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CHRISSYVB 4/6/2010 9:11AM

    Sadly, I have to admit that I don't have any dreams. I have a lot of 'to do lists' and I'm really good at crossing things off. But - dreams are different aren't they? I have dreams for my children but I just have 'to do lists' for myself. I think that needs to change. Maybe I'll add "get a dream" to my to do list for today.


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LPERKINS75 4/6/2010 7:55AM

    emoticon

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MARCYNA 4/6/2010 5:22AM

    You are a motivator and like it when people achieve their dreams....Is this a job/profession??'Can I do it in my daily job as a teacher???You're making me think so much....too much for my little brain I'm afraid, but i just love it emoticon

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TADTURC 4/5/2010 11:03PM

    Thank you so much.

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DUTCHIEKIWI 4/5/2010 9:14PM

    Thanks for sharing John,

Yesterday me too took off in the morning for a trip to the mall, just me and the twins....
No need to tell you that it was pretty full on, the mall was packed as Easter Sales had started.

I had promised the twins Pancakes for lunch....
Now pancakes don't tempt me, as I find dutch pancakes much nicer ( thin, a little thicker then crepes) then those fat bouncy pancakes.

It was a nightmare to find table and when I did the unofficial plan was to get something for myself at another food outlet.
i thought subway, but the line was phenomenal and what by Golly was i gonna do with the twins?!

So... I ended up with NO lunch.

The perfect solution? No! but in this case it was the better choice I decided.
I had a little lunch at 4.00 pm when I came home.

I hate food courts at the best of times, and sometimes get so disgusted when I look around and see what people eat and more what they feed their kids.

The pancakes? The twins have only had them twice in their lives, and they are almost three. I was an Easter treat for them.

Again I can really relate to how you feel.

The last two weeks my dreams have been hard to realise in my mind as I've had such a bad flu and have been inactive...

I could do with a boost... might make a new collage!!!

Blog ya later,

Dutchie

x
<
BR>

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WEEZIE1122 4/5/2010 6:02PM

    John,

Great Blog as always.

I checked into it and guess what. You can add "Chasing a grandchild all over hells half acre" to your fitness plan and even mark it as a favorite.

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WANDAH3 4/5/2010 5:53PM

    Ahhhh, a breathe of fresh air and the freedom to dream. Thanks John for the great reminder!

Just remember, you keep up this healthy lifestyle and your granddaughter will be chasing you all over hell's half acre! lol

Hugs,
Wanda

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IMJUSTDUCKIE 4/5/2010 2:58PM

    This blog gave me goose-bumps. Thank you for making us remember!

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ANNSTOECKL 4/5/2010 2:05PM

    Thank you, John. You inspire, as usual. Blessings, Ann

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MORTICIAADDAMS 4/5/2010 1:42PM

    Don't blame yourself completely. A lot of the problem is that there are more poor food choices in public situation than good. The food manufactures and supplies didn't have to load them with salt, sugar, HFCS, and transfat.

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GETFIT2LIVE 4/5/2010 12:52PM

    Thank you for the reminder . . . it's so easy to forget why we are doing all this if we don't regularly take time out to reflect on our dreams. Excuse me while I go revisit mine for a bit!

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REMODELINGPAT 4/5/2010 10:37AM

    John, we all need to be reminded of our goals from time to time. And a mall food court is a horrible place to be marooned while your family frolics. Stand firm, my man! emoticon emoticon

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TRIPLE_EMME 4/5/2010 10:20AM

    Good morning, John.

Excellent blog!

Thank you for the reminder. I need to have a weekly coffee date with my dreams.

I've been out of touch for the past 4 days. The LONG weekend kept me away from the internet. I'm slowly re-connecting. I'll be in touch more later in the day, but wanted to say a quick "hello."

Have a healthy day!
Mel

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STORMTMB 4/5/2010 10:02AM

    I need regular reminders of my goals. I use my journal at least once a month, if not weekly, to remind myself of what I want and what I have already accomplished. It helps tremendously.

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CROBINGO 4/5/2010 10:00AM

    Excellent blog and so true. We remember the actions and activities we are supposed to do and forget to focus on the why; not the health why but the dream why.

Very good reminder for me personally and thank you.

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CMBELISLE 4/5/2010 9:18AM

    When I sit at work each day, there is a wall next to my computer screen covered in sticky notes, cards and sayings that I see every day. I'm trying to make it habit to look at them and think about them on a regular basis. It's essentially my dream/vision board and I've had one at work for years - it just never had a name.

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GREENCAT1 4/5/2010 8:34AM

    Thank you John, as always, for hitting the nail on the head! It is so easy to forget our dreams, the reason we are doing this in the first place, when bombarded with all of the temptations out there. I can attest to feeling sorry for myself sometimes too. Thanks for the reminder to focus on my dreams, not on the temporary frustrations!

Cathy emoticon

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KAT573 4/5/2010 8:19AM

    Dreams are the motivation for sure! There is a saying on here somewhere, can't remember seeing it ever again but it struck me and it led to the change from just dreaming, and having goals to getting to them!

"A goal without a plan is just a dream."

When I saw that, I realized exactly what was missing. The action steps! I did not have them fully developed! They come up as I travel along on this lifestyle journey! Since then, when things frustrated me, I took the FRUSTRATIONS out to breakfast and sat down with them, looked at them, defined them, and then saw the "opportunties" beginning to blossom;

-water in the back of my car
-healthy protein or meal bars that I actually "enjoyed" in the side door of my car
-or else small snack bags already portioned out to take with me of cherry tomatoes and cheese sticks etc.
These, and other planned activities have really helped me to skim on by the fast food places, and having them in my pocket or my bag allowed me the choice to tend to my need for nutrition, rather than give into resentful self-justified purchases of the "only food around"....... I have, as I have traveled along this road, found there are many many other opportunities for dealing with old habits into new, but, like the quote said, it does take looking at the frustrationm defining it and all it means to you, and then "planning" in a way that creates affirmative actions that logically lead to your goal!
Keep on keeping on! emoticon

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DOLLBABE56 4/5/2010 8:02AM

    Dreams.... I still am having trouble with this one. The problem is that I don't know what they are yet. Odd, isn't it. I guess that over the last 30 years I have forgotten what my authentic "me" is (that is if I have known who that is). I'll figure it out eventually I suppose. The collage I made should be redone. All that is on it is pix of my younger "me". What I want to look like. Hey, let's face it - I am not in my 30's anymore. lol Maybe this journey isn't all about our outer shell, but something more - shall we say, spiritual. Inside. Not only to be healthy, but to be at peace with oneself. This is going to be a difficult journey, but I'm going to try to enjoy it. First thing - I'm going to redo that collage. Today.
Thanks for the inspiration John. You have given me a direction to start in.

Debbie

Comment edited on: 4/5/2010 8:08:48 AM

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NJMATTICE 4/5/2010 7:47AM

    I love that voice. The one that slips in there quietly and so gently but so clearly redirects! The voice that lets you know that you are well loved and well cared for. That divine companion. Thank you for sharing the wisdom of that voice today. It is so "human" to get caught up in the details and distracted from our dreams. Our mission. Thanks for passing on the reminder. It's not all about the food and the exercise and the smaller sized clothing and the better blood pressure reading. Once you arrive, where will you be?
Have a great day, John. And thanks for enriching mine.
Love,
Nancy

I forgot to ask. . .what did you finally have for lunch? Okay, maybe it is all about the food.

Comment edited on: 4/5/2010 7:48:57 AM

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JAE_HENNINGTON 4/5/2010 7:45AM

  very beautifully written, heartfelt...I can relate so much to your words.I am at the place of dusting off my dreams and getting back to the business of making them come true. I dont like the person I have become, and the only way out of that is to get busy creating the person I want to be

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Suprise!!!! It's me!!!!

Saturday, April 03, 2010


My very first video blog. I have never done this before so I am not sure how the quality will show up on your computer.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DUTCHIEKIWI 4/5/2010 9:21PM

    Don't know what I'm doing wrong but I can never see any video's....


What am I doing wrong???

Dutchie

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CRAZYGAGRANNY 4/5/2010 3:25PM

    What a Wonderful First video blog! You did great! Loved the hairdo! Will be waiting for the next one!
Hope you and your family had a wonderful Easter too!

Keep those Sparks flying!
Barbara

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MORTICIAADDAMS 4/5/2010 1:38PM

    I could not get the sound up enough on my computer to hear it! DARN!!!

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STORMTMB 4/5/2010 9:37AM

    Hey John, I just got a chance to watch this. So cool. I'm surprised that no one else has said it... you have a great voice for radio. Nice to hear from you. Have a great week.

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REMODELINGPAT 4/4/2010 9:34PM

    Hi, John! I've not ventured into videoblogging yet. Brave man! Yes, your hairdo looks great...very much like my hubby's. He often asks me to check it for him LOL!

Hope your Easter has been super, and is the beginning of your best year yet!

Blessings!

Pat

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SPARKENISTA 4/4/2010 12:11PM

    emoticon video blog. You are really stretching. The quality was great. Hope to see more of you.

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CMBELISLE 4/4/2010 8:58AM

    Happy Easter to you too John! Hope you're having a great day!

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DAVEINSEOUL 4/4/2010 8:26AM

    John,

I don't know if there is anyway to have your video buffered a litte, but if you have a way to set this on your video record program it would be great. I'm out here in Korea and because the video and audio are streaming at the same time, I get the audio before I get your video. So to watch you and here your voice out of sync is a little disconcerting.

But I liked your video.

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TEENY_BIKINI 4/3/2010 5:18PM

    Wow! That was so cool. You are just enjoyable and an easy-going personality on onscreen. What a great gift. I certainly hope you do it again. Awesome and thank you.



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KATIEGLEN012 4/3/2010 4:40PM

    The quality was super...and it was good to hear from you! You have a wonderful Easter also. Sounds like your family might be visiting...enjoy.

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JCDROLSHAGEN 4/3/2010 4:34PM

    John, the video was great. Very nice to meet you face to face so to speak. Have a wonderful Easter. And if you find out the tremendous calorie burnup from chasing a four year old, pass the info on. I have a granddaughter that age myself.

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GETFIT2LIVE 4/3/2010 3:58PM

    Nicely done, John! You're right, your humor comes through as well 'live' as it does in print.

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I pray you and your family have a blessed Easter!

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VTORIA3 4/3/2010 3:47PM

    Really cool, John. Will all of us sparkers around, you will soon be recognized out in public. emoticon

Have a wonderful Easter with you and yours.
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ANNSTOECKL 4/3/2010 3:46PM

    John, What a wonderful Easter greeting! It was good to see your great smile. Blessings, Ann

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TNTEACHER2 4/3/2010 2:54PM

    Nice video, John. Maybe I will recognize you if you are walking around in Murray.

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JUST_TRI_IT 4/3/2010 11:45AM

    You are so cool. Love the hair! Thom's hairdo is very very similar - just darker and greyer :)

Have a great one yourself!!

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AMYTATH 4/3/2010 11:33AM

    YAY!!! Its like we get to "meet" you! hahaha You shouldn't be nervous...you did great! I still haven't gotten the nerve to video yet! You look so great, your pictures don't do you justice...OR you, yet again...need to put a new picture~! Cant wait to acutally meet you in person in May!!!

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PINETREEGIRL 4/3/2010 11:28AM

    John!!!! Those cheekbones!!!
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WANDAH3 4/3/2010 10:56AM

    John, I loved it! Thanks for sharing. You sound exactly how I imagined you would sound...love the humour. (PS...the hair looks just fine!).

Have a wonderful Easter. Easter blessings to both you and Joan.

Hugs,
Wanda

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DOLLBABE56 4/3/2010 10:44AM

    This was GREAT John! You are as inspiring on camera as you are off. lol Great job!

May you have a wonderful Easter weekend also. I imagine you will get a lot of "play time" with your granddaughter too!

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TRENTDREAMER 4/3/2010 9:55AM

    Totally. I don't think that I would ever do a vlog. Good job on it.

Happy Easter to you as well!!

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KLEONIKI 4/3/2010 9:22AM

    Dear John!
You sound completely as i have imagined you!
Interesting, attractive voice, good articulation, cool and calm speaking gentle kind words of friendship!
Good work!
Go ahead!

PS i have been struggling for my first video a month now and it doesn't seem to get uploaded..i could use some advice!
Best wishes for Easter
Kleoniki

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CROBINGO 4/3/2010 9:00AM

    That was GREAT! By the way, you have an amazing voice. You probably know that but it is a pleasure to listen to. Way to step out of your comfort zone and Happy Easter back at you.

Great video blog. I enjoyed it very much.

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NJMATTICE 4/3/2010 8:19AM

    I look forward to the day that the picture and voice go together on my computer. I had a bit of a delay so it was kind of like watching "Max Headroom" if you get that reference. A bit obscure, perhaps. Thanks for modeling good behavior. Stepping outside of your comfort zone and making great strides in the healthy lifestyle. I am proud of YOUR achievement. Happy Easter to you as well.
emoticon I saw you trying to imitate this guy a couple of times. Cheese right back at you. I can't have cheese.
Love to you and Joan and the family this Blessed weekend.
Nancy

having difficulty spelling this morning.

Comment edited on: 4/3/2010 8:20:45 AM

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SUZIEQS65 4/3/2010 8:05AM

    Very cool...congrats..and good luck with your journey.

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The Magic (And I Dont Mean The Basketball Team From Orlando!!!)

Friday, April 02, 2010

My granddaughter is coming for Easter. This is wonderful on so many levels. First, the energy level ramps up tenfold in the house when she is around. Don’t make any plans for “me” time” unless it directly relates to her. The term whirlwind is an understatement. When you are four and a half there in an unlimited supply of energy and the dirtiest word in your vocabulary is “nap.” (As I get older it’s becoming my favorite word!!!)

She brings something really unique to the table. It revolves around the glow in her eyes and the fact that she really believes in magic. Not the kind of magic you see on infomercials, the kind of magic a four year old believes in. She knows there is an Easter Bunny, Tooth Fairy and Santa Claus. No, she has never seen them or talked to them. (She has known since age three that the voice on the other end of the phone is not Santa but me) She knows what the rules are and she is happy to abide by them. She will walk into my office count the pictures she drew that hang on my wall, produce one more from behind her back and walk away with the smug satisfaction there will never be room for a Picasso or Monet as long as her art work is hanging there.

She calls just to say hello and there are always lots of giggles and “I love you's.”

She believes in the magic of life. She believes in having fun. There are no deadlines, no bills no worries about economies, healthcare and military involvement in a strange land. She goes to the park and immediately creates relationships with the hundred other kids vying for the slide, swing and monkey bars and they spend about fifteen seconds working everything out and viola the fun begins and doesn’t end until some adult who is tired of sitting on a wooden park bench comes to end it.
She simply believes in magic and it oozes out of her pours every time you talk to her. There is a “what can we do next” look on her face all the time along with high anticipation of fun. Too bad we can’t hold onto that for eternity. The day will come when the mantle of maturity will be thrust upon her and she will be miserable like all the rest of us. She’ll watch CNN and FOX and all those other purveyors of doom and she will grow sad.

Not if I can help it. Next to my wife, my granddaughter has taught me more about life in her short tenure here on this planet than anyone else I know.

I know longer watch the news. If I am going to be upset with someone or a group of someone’s I am going to arrive at that conclusion all on my own. A few weeks ago she sat down with me and gave me one of those “we have to talk.” looks. I had been pulling her braid when she turned her back to me.

“Pappy,” she began. “If you don’t quit doing that, then I am not going to play with you anymore.” She smiled, gave me a hug and turned around again. Case closed. Do what you are supposed to do or I don’t roll with you. I won’t lose any sleep over it and please be quiet I am watching a cartoon and oh yeah I love you.

I watch the weather and the sports scores. I read things that lift me up not weigh me down. I make a conscious effort every single day to find something mystical and magical about my life and the people in it. I am “growing down.”

My granddaughter has taught me to believe in the true power of the beauty of this world and most of the people in it. She causes me to look for magic and fun as I look for health and happiness. She shows me it’s not found in the pages of Fortune, Forbes or The Wall Street Journal, but in a quiet afternoon, drawing with chalk on the sidewalk.

So I take you my dear Sparkies with me today and challenge you to look only for the magic today because it’s been waiting for you to acknowledge it in your life
Big Hug, big grin.

Wanna go play on the swings?

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TRIPLE_EMME 4/5/2010 10:24AM

    I'm a little late in reading this blog entry. I hope that your visit with your granddaughter was extra special. She sounds like so much fun!

I would love to play on the swings!

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ROBINRC1 4/3/2010 1:57PM

  Our children & grandchildren remind us what is important in life!! Have a great weekend with lots of hug & kisses !! emoticon

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GEINAHG0757 4/2/2010 8:02PM

    I miss my children being little and have no grandchildren. (I used to LOVE going to the park and swinging.) Enjoy EVERY moment with that little miss! Sounds like she has a great view of the world.

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DUTCHIEKIWI 4/2/2010 6:53PM

    Love it!

No more words needed....

except,
for goodness sake Boss, will you stop giving me goosebumps!
I hate being cold!!! .

;0)

Dutchie

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ANNSTOECKL 4/2/2010 2:49PM

    Magic!

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REMODELINGPAT 4/2/2010 2:37PM

    Magic...the twinkle in the eye of your loved one...the fun of picking and blowing dandelions...blowing bubbles...watching fireworks...sailing a leaf boat down the stream or the gutter... emoticonThanks, John!

Blessings!

Pat

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1WALKINGMAN 4/2/2010 11:36AM

    I stopped watching and listening to the news back in September, 08 and really do not even miss it. The whole world would be a lot better off if more people were out improving our world instead of listening about others are out messing it up. emoticon

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MORTICIAADDAMS 4/2/2010 11:08AM

    My husband and I backed off of watching the news years ago. I'm a very happy and contented person and don't need to be bombarded with bad news. Your grand daughter is my kind of person. enjoy.

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WANDAH3 4/2/2010 10:58AM

    Love your blog...your love for your granddaughter fills every word. Children are such a wonderful gift from God. They are here to teach us all the beauties you have expressed. Many of us are just to blind to see it, so wrapped up in the miseries of the world that we have become blind to the beauty that surrounds us and the blessings. I'm so glad you have your eyes wide open.
Enjoy your wonderful granddaughter time.

Hugs,
Wanda

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WALKNLOVE 4/2/2010 10:35AM

    I used to teach 4 year olds and my but the "magic" of just hanging out with them...their unconditional love, the innocent way they look at life, their "way to cute" perspective on things that can make you "bust a gut" laughing.We can learn a lot from them...
like the color of people's skin doesn't matter
like sharing is caring
like God is great & God is good
like let us thank Him for our food
like "everybody, everywhere clean up, clean up"(clean up after your messes in life)
Like Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so....
The list goes on and on....

And when it comes to the "horrible news", why does everyone take FOX or CNN as the "gospel truth", because most times, they are not.Any why do we buy into it? And why don't they spend more time reporting the good going on in our world? Why does the world have to be so negative? BECAUSE they are the world, and we are not.We are in this world, but not of it.It's up to us to show them the way, the truth, and the light....another lesson from a child's song..."Hide it under a bushel NO! I'm gonna let it shine!" Shine on my friend...there's a little someone looking for the "spark" in your eyes!

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CMBELISLE 4/2/2010 10:31AM

    The swings are probably my favorite, but the trapeze bar was a close second. Nothing quite like swinging AND getting to do it upside down. I love to swing when I get the chance, but these days, my legs are usually too long and my hips too wide. However, I do still try and the last time I had to get off after a few to give a child his turn on the swings. That kid was really staring me down.

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GREENCAT1 4/2/2010 10:14AM

    I can't wait to have a grandchild. Six kids - no grandkids yet! emoticon

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TNTEACHER2 4/2/2010 10:12AM

    Hey, John,
I feel the same way you do about the news. While I vote in elections, I do not obsess about them. I read a book while my husband watches the news. I am optimistic and he is a pessimist.

A cute four year old story from long ago. The neighbor's little girl knocked on my door with a picture she had made. I praised her, and immediately placed it on the fridge with a magnet. She got a funny look on her face and tromped our the door. In a few minutes she came back, handed me a different picture, and announced, "Here is a delicious sundae for you to put on the refrigerator. Now hang the other one on the wall.."

emoticon

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VTORIA3 4/2/2010 10:06AM

    Bravo! Excellent blog. Being the grandmother of two, I agree that they teach us much about the wonder of each and every day. If I arrive with the weight of the world on my shoulders, I soon forget what it was that weighed on me so heavily. What a gift they share. Enjoy your Easter time with your granddaughter.

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STORMTMB 4/2/2010 10:01AM

    So many people look at me funny when I tell them how many times each year I go to Disney World (I'm an annual passholder) because, after all, it's for children. And I don't have any children. My best friend and I go. We spend about 30 days a year there. The magic is phenomenal, even for adults. I get lots of character pictures. I watch the parade. I stop and admire the beauty of their landscaping. I look for the details that they put into every attraction. I look for Hidden Mickeys. Mary Poppins is the only "face character" that I'll have my picture with. I love her as if I was still 5. I found my Magic at Disney when I was 18 and it has only gotten better over the years.

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MONTANA_ED 4/2/2010 9:55AM

    It's amazing at what children can teach us. Well, maybe not teach us - but remind us of what is inside each and every one of us. We just need to let it out and play. This is a great blog and I hope you have lots of fun with your granddaughter!

Onwards...>
emoticon

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AMYTATH 4/2/2010 9:50AM

    First let me say that I love this blog.

I learn so much through the tiny, fresh eyes of my 2 1/2 year old. I love to see him see things for the first time. And I love the fact that he truly believes there are monkeys in the woods and that when we see one Daddy will catch it for him.

We have not watched the news in years. It only upsets us and we decided that the most important things in OUR lives is in our livingroom, running and playing and dancing and singing.

Oh, and those parents on the benches have always peeved us off a little, we are running and playing with Joey and we take turns on the swing next to him (he dictates who swings next) We slide down the slide with him, help him climb the rock wall ect. Helps keep us young at heart even if our body keeps aging!

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YOYONOMORE1 4/2/2010 9:35AM

    Defintely the swing, it gives you a feeling of flying and freedom, at age 66, if I go to the park I'll still sit and swing, there are bits and pieces of childhood we can hold onto forever, I never heard o fit written in stone that we have to entirely grow up, lol. Sunday we'll have our kids, grand kids and great grand kids here, I've got a craft for them to do and bottles of bubbles to blow and have fun with, and there is a playground here between our building and the townhouses in back, so I am sure it will be a day full of fun. Enjoy your granddaughter and let your inner child out to play. It sounds like she pretty much adores her grandpa. Blessings to you and yours.

Hugs,
Shirl

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DOLLBABE56 4/2/2010 9:11AM

    Great blog! I look forward to the day we have grandchildren (hopefully we will).

I don't watch the news, and rarely read a newspaper. Oh yes, I do watch the weather sometimes. I don't want more depression in my life - there is nothing I can do about what goes on in the world. Okay, this last statement worries me. I do need to be more informed about what is happening in our country/world. Especially when it comes to politics. I tend to be uninformed when I vote for any official. I go by intuition?, you could say. I know that it sounds odd. But that is how I've always been. So in actuality, do you suppose if I start being more informed, I will not be my true self? hmmmm.... I feel at times that I've never fully grown up. I'm 53 and in my mind I AM still very young at times. I guess that is a good thing. lol

emoticon

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CROBINGO 4/2/2010 8:58AM

    I love the magic in the eyes! I remember thinking the same thing about my daughter. At times I could see the sugar plums and the magic of life just dancing in her eyes.

So lucky that you have that, SHE has that, You recognize it in her, and that you both enjoy each other so much. I had that with my Grandfather and he is long gone but that relationship still lives inside me.

At times he is the voice in my head. Others he is a wonderful memory or just the wonderfulness of our time together. So lucky for both of you. Enjoy!

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OHYESITSME1 4/2/2010 8:50AM

    I perfer the swing myself. When I worked in the mental health field, the very first prescription I would give all of my patients is: NO news, TV, or newspaper for 1 week if not longer. Amazing how ignorance really is bliss.

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JUSTLYLE 4/2/2010 8:50AM

    Great blog John, they sure can bring out the magic in all of us.
My 6 and 8 year old GS came for a short time yesterday and reminded me they brought their ball gloves with them, with that "please" look in their eyes said could you play some catch with us? You just find time for that.
Grandpa Skeeter emoticon

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NJMATTICE 4/2/2010 8:20AM

    I prefer the Monkey Bars, but I'll try a swing for a change.

Thanks for seeing the magic and believing in the magic. It creates more in the world. We can't all be "artists" but we all can appreciate good art. Patron of the MAGIC. I like the sounds of that. "I'm a patron of the Magic"
Enjoy your Holy Week services and all that unseen magic as well.
Love,
Nancy

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