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31 Days to Unbreakable Resolutions:Day Two, Are Your Goals SMART?

Sunday, January 02, 2011

Donít be offended, Iím not questioning your intelligence. Many years ago, when I worked for a Fortune Five I was lucky enough to teach an ongoing goal setting class. The method or process we used to teach people in setting goals was called the SMART process, which is Specific, Meaningful, Agreed Upon, Reachable and Trackable. Iím sure you have heard of this or a variation there of before. It crossed my mind when I looked at Day 2 of the thirty one days. We are asked to be ďspecific and positive,Ē in the goals we set.

When I begin working with a new coaching client I help them set goals. Most folks start with something like ďI want to be a better personÖ..Ē Me also!!! Thatís what I call a ďworld peaceĒ goal. Everyone wants world peace. How the heck do you get it? I ask people this question: If you were taking a car trip to a place youíd never been to before wouldnít you use some sort of map or GPS to navigate your way there or would you just hop in the car and drive? Be specific.Ē John wants to lose 68 pounds by the December 15, 2011.Ē Thatís specific. It allows me to create a vision. I can see the calendar and I can see skinny John. Itís specific.

Is the goal meaningful to me? I love my son Paul, heís my running coach, but his timetable for me is not realistic. I will not be running a half marathon by April 1, 2011. It sounds nice, but I need to run a few more 5Kís, then some 10kís, etc. I need to train. Right now I am focused on running a 5K the end of February. The half marathon goal means a lot to Paul. Heís been running them for close to ten years. To me it has no meaning, not today at least. Be careful that you donít get all caught up in someone elseís enthusiasm until you are ready to commit to it. Choose goals that will really MEAN something to you when you accomplish them. It will get you through the gray patches. This is where a healthy dose of high self-esteem helps. Remember they are YOUR goals and they make you valuable and worthwhile. Do not compare yourself to other folks.

Does everyone involved in you reaching your goal agree on your course of action? A good friend, who has several younger children, decided to train for a marathon. He neglected one small detail. He didnít let his wife know he was upping his training regimen. Sheíd wake up mornings and find him gone. Early evenings found him in the gym or the pool. His family wasnít very happy. Itís not that they didnít want him to reach his goals, itís just that he never shared them or got agreement from them. The kids had activities, his wife had her own goals and objectives and what he managed to accomplish was creating a lot of tension and ultimately not reach his goal. When you sit down to write out your goals ask yourself if the journey to reach them impacts anyone else in your life. If so, get agreement. The bonus is you may also get a good cheerleader to help you out and hold you accountable.

Can I reach my goals? This is my Achilles heel. I get all amped up about a goal early on and I see myself flying with the wind, wearing Armani suits, being ever so buff, and Iím like a puppy drooling all over the place aaaaaaaaaaaaaand I usually crash and burn. One of my clients recently left the military. He was stationed in Kuwait and had lots of time to exercise, so he started running. When he returned home he got out of the habit of running. When we started working together he told me one of his goals was to get back into running and ultimately run a marathon. I noticed every time weíd take a break heíd go outside and smoke a few cigarettes. As gently as I could I asked him if that habit might hold him back from reaching his ultimate goal. When he agreed with me I suggested that he first set a goal to quit smoking with the motivation being to run the marathon one day. He ultimately accomplished both goals!!!

Finally, can you track your progress? This goes back to wanting to be a better person. How do you track it? Weight loss is easy, thereís the scale. Exercise can be charted in time and distance. I want to lose 68 pounds by December 15, 2011. That is track able. I get on the scale, record my weight and look at the calendar. I want to run fifteen miles per week. I log my time and my distance. Be careful not to get caught up in goals that donít allow you the challenge of tracking them. After a while you lose enthusiasm or motivation because you canít see real and tangible progress. When you can look at the calendar and see that progress it motivates you to move forward. And you are a much happier person.

See ya tomorrow.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TRIPLE_EMME 1/3/2011 8:38AM

    This was a GREAT blog!

I found so much wisdom in the words that you shared with us.

Thank you!

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LUCYSRAIN 1/3/2011 12:05AM

    Excellent Blog John!


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    Great blog, John. To thine own self be true. Can't wait to see you running the marathon in the armani suit. LOL. emoticon

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REJ7777 1/2/2011 8:46PM


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SILLYHP1953 1/2/2011 3:37PM

    I'm sure glad you joined the ACIM team so I got to meet you and therefore get to read your blogs.

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EILEENV3 1/2/2011 3:02PM

    Thank you for your post. It is very much appreciated. emoticon

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DOCYJK 1/2/2011 1:49PM

    Thanks for the great reflection. I think the word "should" needs to be eliminated - at least from my vocabulary! If I don't own the goals, my probability of achieving them shrink considerably (likie I wish my waist would!)

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HDHAWK 1/2/2011 12:59PM

    Good points here John. I think I sometimes set goals that aren't really "mine". Sometimes they are set because I think I should do them. This year will be about doing what I need to do, for me. emoticon

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DGILBRIDE1949 1/2/2011 12:06PM

    You made some really good points. I like this blog; it really made me think. Thanks for sharing!

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JUNEAU2010 1/2/2011 12:05PM

    I love this blog and will want to reread it often! Thanks for sharing!

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AKATUJE 1/2/2011 11:34AM

    Thanks for sharing... I need a few reminders often....

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CARTOONB 1/2/2011 11:22AM

    I like the SMART principles for goal setting and try to keep them in mind when making my goals. Great explanation!

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JENNY888 1/2/2011 11:11AM

    This is very good advice John. I am glad you posted it. It is much like what I read in the Cornerstone Chapter of The Spark last night. I am rereading the book for the new year. That and your blogs should be a help in getting me back on track again.

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31 Days to Unbreakable Resolutions: Day One

Saturday, January 01, 2011

Iím good at many things. Being accountable to me isnít always one of them. I have the best of intentions and then something or someone gets in the way and I get derailed. I got up this morning and was trying to figure out a fun way to get myself back on track and stay there. Thatís when I read my Spark Mail. ď31 Days to Unbreakable Resolutions.Ē I printed it out. Nothing new here, just a great calendar loaded with common sense.

Iím going to blog daily on each suggestion or topic. Itís going to help me stay focused and I am really hoping that some of you who have been successful will chime in with tips and suggestions of your own.

Day 1
ďIf you haven't yet settled on your top goals for the year, do so today. Writing down your goals (in specific terms) means youíre more likely to achieve them.Ē

I joined the 28 Day Boot Camp which asked me to set some short term goals. I want to jazz up my exercise and use the time I have available to do meaningful exercise. Iím a bit burnt out right now and I want some spice in my exercise routine. Itís winter here in Kentucky and I canít run outside as much as Iíd like and some days the track and the dread mill are more than I can take. Our gym is having an open house today and they are offering mini sessions in a lot of things, from spinning to cycling, to throwing around kettle bells. They are offering 15 minute sessions in each new class. Iím going to check it out.

Iím committing to not going overboard. I know none of you have ever done that, putting ten pounds of sugar in a five pound sack , but I am going to be careful not to get healthy all at once. Iím going to track my food, be careful of my limits and make sure I balance my input with my output. I'm going to enjoy the journey and not worry too much about who is on my left or my right.

Joan is a very good money manager, I am not. I know how to pay bills and the like and we are not in danger of being evicted but I realized, with some of your help, that it was a control issue. As of this month, Joan is in charge of our finances and I had to promise to super glue my lips closed as they relate to that issue. So I took a deep breath and handed everything over to her. Itís one less thing for me to stress over and worry about and create an excuse to eat emotionally. It gives me the time and space to work on my health. She almost had a heart attack when I suggested she handle this, LOL

I hope you werenít looking for the glamorous. I been there and have done that and found it doesnít work. Just plain old meat and potatoes here.

See ya tommrow.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TRIPLE_EMME 1/3/2011 8:35AM

    Happy New Year, John!

I love your idea about blogging about each point on the January SP calendar. Very clever!

Best wishes for a happy and healthy new year!

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SILLYHP1953 1/2/2011 3:34PM

    That was an excellent idea on using the sp calender for January for blogging topics.

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GEEMAWEST 1/2/2011 12:16AM

    I'm the money manager in our family too. It must be a "girl" thing. I know it's very hard for a man to let go of that control but I'm sure you did the right thing.

Happy New Year!!

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CARTOONB 1/1/2011 6:45PM

    I LOVE meat and potatoes! I hope thie 31 ideas help keep you focused!

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TRACEY5280 1/1/2011 5:06PM


As usual, wonderfully articulated toughts. I like the way you communicate in such a down home, genuine way. I, too, signed up for the 28 Day Boot Camp. Wasn't going to work at year end, but plan to dive back in this month. Another good one is the 10-day challenge. Short, motivating, doable. Kudos to your club for having "sampler" classes. I wish ours had done that, instead it closed at 2:00! What a great way to alleviate some fears that may keep someone from going to a class where everyone else knows what they are doing and are comfortable. I hope you find new ideas and options to embrace as you continue your wonderful journey in 2011.

God Bless,

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ANEPANALIPTI 1/1/2011 4:56PM

    Yep, figuring out there is no glamour to it takes a while, but when it happens, its a nice feeling. :-)

Today really is like all the others. But what a nice one huh? 1/1/11!!!! :D :D :D


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    WOW Talk about transforming into a totally enlightened male!! Handing over the financial reigns to someone better at it is a major accomplishment for most males. John. It looks like you are going to have a very good year.

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NJMATTICE 1/1/2011 2:30PM

    Happy New Year to you and yours, John! I'm looking forward to another year of meeting life's challenges with a happy heart. I'm grateful to have a traveling companion who works hard to do the same. I look forward to your discoveries! Here's to a healthy, happy and prosperous 2011. Cheers!

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DOCYJK 1/1/2011 2:07PM

    I love your idea about blogging daily on the topics from the calendar! Being visual, I'l going to find some cool stickers and put themon the calendar (I also printed that out) and maybe even find out how to do electronic stickers on my Outlook calendar in my computer. I'll let you know if that works out! Happy 2011!!!

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REJ7777 1/1/2011 1:01PM

    I'm looking forward to your meat and potatoes blogs on the SparkPeople January calendar! emoticon

"putting ten pounds of sugar in a five pound sack" - Oh no! was somebody watching? emoticon emoticon

Pretty smart about letting Joan handle the finances if she's more gifted at it than you are. emoticon

Hope you find new challenges to enjoy during your open day at the gym! emoticon

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BEANPOD77 1/1/2011 12:51PM

    Hi John...I have been "away" from SparkPeople for a bit..I still log in, spin the wheel, record my fitness minutes..but have not been logging food, or "chatting" or blogging..With the start of the new year, I have been casting around looking for a way to 're-spark" and re-commit/ re focus..Your blog, as always..has given me some inspiration...a way to start "new".I like that idea of blogging on each topic each day..Going to return to tracking my food, drinking my you said, enjoy my journey...set my sights on the end goals..acknowledge there are bumps, twists and turns, but in the end, I WILL get there..
Meat and potatoes are the staples that always get us through....
I wish you health, happiness and continued success on your journey ( to both you and Joan!)

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DEE797 1/1/2011 12:50PM

    Good for you on figuring out what works for you and what hasn't been working. Good Luck at the gym today. Being able to try different things should help to spice up your workouts. Wishing you all the best for 2011!

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1BEARWIFE 1/1/2011 12:49PM

    Good, common sense blog. I too, am going to do the 28 day Boot Camp. I need direction and instructions to keep me on the ball. Off to begin a GREAT year!!!

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GETFIT2LIVE 1/1/2011 12:29PM

    I joined the 28 Day Boot Camp, too, to spice things up in my routine and get the year started off right. Committing to not going overboard is wise--one of the goals I'm going to be working on this year is developing more balance in my life. Here's to a great 2011!

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A New Years Wish and Message

Saturday, January 01, 2011

If you read my blogs you know I have a daily meditation I read ... "God Calling." I have read this daily devotional since roughly 1989 and it's always seemed to speak to where I was at on that given day. Rather than ramble on and on I thought I'd share todays meditation with you. Hope you enjoy, take what you need and leave the rest for someone else.

Happiest New Year

"I stand between the years. The Light of My Presence is flung across the year to come - the radiance of the Sun of Righteousness. Backward, over the past year, is My Shadow thrown, hiding trouble and sorry and disappointment.

Dwell not on the past - only on the present. Only use the past as the trees use My Sunlight to absorb it, to make from it in after days the warming fire-rays. So store only the blessings from Me, the Light of the World. Encourage yourselves by the thought of these.

Bury every fear of the future, of poverty for those dear to you, of suffering, of loss. Bury all thought of unkindness and bitterness, all your dislikes, your resentments, your sense of failure, your disappointment in others and in yourselves, your gloom, your despondency, and let us leave them all, buried, and go forward to a new and risen life.

Remember that you must not see as the world sees. I hold the year in My Hands - in trust for you. But I shall guide you one day at a time.

Leave the rest with Me. You must not anticipate the gift by fears or thoughts of the days ahead.

And for each day I shall supply the wisdom and the strength."

From God Calling

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SILLYHP1953 1/2/2011 3:31PM


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TIME4AFITME 1/1/2011 4:57PM

    Thank you for sharing!

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REJ7777 1/1/2011 12:51PM

    That made me think of what a dear 95-year old friend told me last night: Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God. We do not go into 2011 alone!

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ANDASI 1/1/2011 12:20PM

    Very nice ! How fitting for this day and of course every day.

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CHANGEDIN09 1/1/2011 11:35AM

    Thank you . As usual a wonderful uplifting blog. Happy 2011. Thank you for your motivational page. I visit often to read your uplifting words.

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CARTOONB 1/1/2011 11:19AM

    If I take it all, will there be any left for others? emoticon

I can see why you read this devotional.

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CBLANK20091 1/1/2011 10:37AM

  Thank you for sharing!
Wishing you a Very Happy Healthy New Year!

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DGILBRIDE1949 1/1/2011 10:29AM

    Thank you for sharing with us. Good words to remember as we enter a new year.

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WALKNLOVE 1/1/2011 10:21AM

    And John, you have encouraged me today to write a blog, my 1st in months, BUT I AM BACK!!!! emoticon

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EMTFF376 1/1/2011 10:19AM

    Thank you for your ever inspiring blogs John. I look forward to even more of them in 2011.

Happiest and healthiest New Year!

R> emoticon

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JUNEAU2010 1/1/2011 10:16AM

    I love "God Calling" and "God at Eventide". I "met" these two books in 1979 and still treasure them!

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DOLLBABE56 1/1/2011 10:08AM

    Very nice blog, John.

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The Climb

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Thank you Miley Cyrus.

I strained my left knee on December 6 and since then my workouts have been halfhearted and inconsistent. There was a part of me that was angry for getting hurt. I rushed my work out that day. I had been sitting in a certification class for four hours and I had to pick Joan up at work and go to an early Christmas reception her employer was hosting. I was in a hurry. I didnít warm up properly, didnít stretch correctly. It was one of those letís get this over with sort of runs. I created a perfect storm for the injury which occurred about a mile into my run. The doctor said I stepped wrong. Rest, heat, cold and more rest. It kept running through my head that I would have been better off not working out that day. It would have saved me a lot of misery. While I was healing I used the elliptical, walked, road a spinning cycle and a recumbent cycle. Nothing felt right. Iíd finish a workout and Iíd feel ďoff.Ē I tried running a few times but the pain would stop me after a half mile or so. The doctor said I was fine, no swelling, no inflammation; everything appeared to be in order. ďRun like the wind,Ē he said with a grin. Only I couldnít. I felt like I weighed a thousand pounds

No matter how I prepared, physically or emotionally my runs were not going well at all. I didnít feel motivated, I felt like I was existing in another universe and nothing seemed right. Everything hurt, my thighs, my ankles, my shoulders my back. I was running but I didnít know where I was running to, for, or with. Iíd run for a mile and quit and then feel terrible emotionally. It was like a dog chasing its tail.

Yesterday Joan asked me to walk with her. We went up to the gym and walked for two miles. Everything felt fine. After we go home Joan started taking down the Christmas decorations and I spent time with a client. Truth be told I was a bit bored. I decided to go back to the gym. I took my running shoes. I was in no hurry. I warmed up and made sure my muscles were not going to cramp and I started to run. My knee had a slight twinge but no pain. I was impatient. I wanted to get it over with. I was flipping through songs on my IPod.

ďEvery step Iím taking, every move I make feels lost without direction, my faith is shaking.
But I gotta keep trying, gotta keep my head held high.
Thereís always gonna be another mountain, Iím always gonna wanna make it move.
Always gonna be an uphill battle, sometimes Iím gonna have to lose.
Aint about how fast I get there
Aint about whats waiting on the other side
Itís the climbĒ

The clouds parted and I saw a small ray of sunshine. My focus had been distorted. I had been training for perfection and no matter what I did I fell short. As she sung, ďIt aint about how fast I get there, it aint about whatís waiting on the other side. Itís the climb.Ē

Lately the climb has had a lot of rocks in the way. I went from my personal best of five miles to not being able to go a mile. I lost my focus and mostly I lost faith in me. I heard the voices, the ones that tell me ďI cant do this.Ē And I was afraid they were right.

Itís not about medals and ribbons and personal bests. Itís about the goals and the hard work needed to get there. I ran a pain free mile and Iíll run another one today. Next week Iíll start training again for a 5K I want to run in February. I need to have a goal.

ďThereís always gonna be another mountain, Iím always gonna wanna make it move.
Always gonna be an uphill battle, sometimes Iím gonna have to lose.
Aint about how fast I get there
Aint about whatís waiting on the other side
Itís the climbĒ

Thank you Miley Cyrus

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SILLYHP1953 1/2/2011 3:30PM

    Good song...did she write it? If so, she definately inherited her father's song writing ability. You should forward your blog to her, she'd probably really appreciate knowing how the song helped you.

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ANEPANALIPTI 1/1/2011 5:00PM

    When you get injured you have to get back into running slooooooowly. Of course you felt like you weighed a million pounds!! It's only natural!

YOU GO JOHN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It's hard to come back from injury and you treating yourself with loving kindness is a beautiful, wonderful thing. :)


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SPARKENISTA 12/31/2010 4:50PM

    John--As usual, this is so inspirational. I know you will build up to your personal best and surpass that to a new personal best.

I am taking this opportunity to wish you and yours a happy, healthy and prosperous 2011 and beyond!


emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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WALKNLOVE 12/31/2010 1:01PM

    Thanks John! I will be doing my best to read your blogs daily now...because you see, I have fallen to the bottom of my mountain & must re-begin my climb. May I run with perseverance and give myself grace when I need it, but most of all God, please help me succeed. You always provide such insight & Godly wisdom. Thanks again! See ya soon!

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TRENTDREAMER 12/31/2010 9:38AM

    "The clouds parted and I saw a small ray of sunshine. My focus had been distorted. I had been training for perfection and no matter what I did I fell short. As she sung, ďIt aint about how fast I get there, it aint about whatís waiting on the other side. Itís the climb.Ē

* Yeah, the training for perfection kind of shot my tires out as well this year.

Glad to hear that the knee is doing better.

Have a happy New Year!

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TRACEY5280 12/31/2010 9:32AM

    Music has a way of coming along at just the right time to help with that battle in the head. At a time in life I was waging a war in my head with that perfect thing I was brought to earth by a wonderful counselor - the only being that is perfect is God. BAM! That phrase has helped me many a time. Good luck in your journey this coming new year.

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KLEONIKI 12/31/2010 7:45AM

    I had never heard this song!
Thank you for the "soundtrack' offered for my "trip"
Luv you
Happier and merrier Year for you and your family

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GO-LOEW 12/31/2010 12:12AM

    Said another way, The journey is the destination!

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JUNEAU2010 12/30/2010 10:03PM

    I am a couch potato today and am inspired by your blog! Thanks for sharing1

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KATJAMN 12/30/2010 1:05PM

    Great blog.
Your knee was just a speed bump, you are back on the right track mentally and physically.

yay a pain free mile.. that is a great big step in the right direction. Go YOU!!

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GETFIT2LIVE 12/30/2010 12:55PM

    Perfection--it's a false goal that we can never achieve, but somehow we keep trying. I know those voices all too well; they sometimes scream at me to stop in the first 10-15 minutes of a run. YAY for a pain-free mile and the ray of sunshine! It is about the goals and the hard work to get there; we need goals to keep us going. Funny how music can help bring things into focus again, isn't it?

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CARTOONB 12/30/2010 10:20AM

    As soon as I saw the title of your blog, I started singing that song in my head. I get it. I don't like to lose. It's hard. Good for you for getting out there and enjoying (or at least noticing) the climb. Good luck!

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REJ7777 12/30/2010 10:14AM

    So much of the battle is won or lost in our own head! emoticon

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NJMATTICE 12/30/2010 9:54AM

    Getting things in focus for the New Year with the help of Miss Cyrus. Who'duh thunk it? Gleaning that inspiration from wherever. I'm inspired! It's going to be a great 2011 with lots of climbing and lots of wonderful sights on the hill. I look forward to reading your inspirations along the way. Thanks for sharing them.

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HDHAWK 12/30/2010 9:36AM

    I have the same "trying to be perfect" issue which had thrown my whole plan out the window on more than one occasion. It's an area I intend to improve on this year. Great song too!

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HLPRATT 12/30/2010 9:25AM

    I gotta check out that song!

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CAHUNO2 12/30/2010 9:03AM

    Both you and Miley nailed it!! I've been dealing with chronic pain since Oct. - I need to find a climb!! emoticon emoticon

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TIME4AFITME 12/30/2010 8:54AM

    Love that song!

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MINENA1 12/30/2010 8:52AM

    Oh I love that song. I have it saved to my favorites on my ipod. I listen to it everytime I need a pick-me-up. emoticon

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BAM0827 12/30/2010 8:44AM

    I use that as a cool down song a lot. It's a good song. Who would have thought Miley could be inspiring :)

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ARTHURTOM 12/30/2010 8:39AM

    I know about that climb.

I injured my hip in late October 2009 and haven't looked at my health the same since the injury. Only thing is I didn't injure myself during my workout...I did it at work. Jumping around like I was a Ninja instead of a 48 year old man.

I lost focus and spun out of control. Put back on 60+ pounds during my injury from not following my formula for success and taking steroids.

Funny thing, I'm not angry about it. All during the time it was happening I felt like a failure, but now, in retrospect, I see it was a challenge. I didn't fail. I learned.


Because it isn't about how fast I get there or what's waiting on the other's the climb.


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STARLIGHT615 12/30/2010 8:35AM

    That is a great song!! Thank you for sharing and reminding me "Itís not about medals and ribbons and personal bests. Itís about the goals and the hard work needed to get there."!!!

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GESHANNON 12/30/2010 8:29AM

    That is a great song by Mylee glad that you are doing better with your running....I had a pain in my upper thigh for a couple months, but I don't feel it any more when I run! It's the climb!

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Oh Very Young

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Long before they put him on the federal no fly list, back in the days when I had hair and Joan and I used to sit on the bed and pool our change to order KFC, Cat Stevens wrote a song called ďOh Very Young.Ē It crossed my mind this past week, it being Christmas and all. All of our babies are grown, the youngest being twenty four and the oldest going on thirty six. Christmas has become a sedate affair, with wives, fiancťs and the like sitting in the living room and having a civilized exchange of gift cards while everyone sips a latte and smiles at each other. I miss the bedlam, the wrapping paper flying all over the living room, people hollering they needed AAA or AA or 9 Volt batteries, brothers fighting with each other because one of them thought the present the other one got should have been theirs. Dearest daughters looking at their mother and holding up a shirt or a skirt and saying ďReally, mom. Do you know big Iíd look wearing this?Ē I miss Joan staying up super late on Christmas Eve making sure theyíd all gone to bed so she could put little surprises in their stockings. I miss filling a whole row at church on Christmas morning and murmuring a prayer that said ďOkay Lord I got them here the rest is up to you!!Ē

They are ghosts now, those days. With each passing year the laughter gets a bit dimmer and the noise muffled. With six of them in one house I never quite knew how we afforded to not disappoint anyone. Their mother always knew where to go, what to get and how to stretch twenty five dollars into a hundred. There were two Christmases I was out of work and I was amazed how Joan took what we had and made them believe they had gotten the Hope Diamond for Christmas. The house is quiet now. They are off beginning their own traditions and that is as it should be. Part of me sits back very proudly and watches them grown and become aware and mature and all those wonderful things about being an adult. We donít teach them any of that. We talk about the hard work, the sacrifice, the painÖÖ.. We never share the joy of adult hood. I count myself as one very happy adult and I am glad my kids are starting to feel that in their lives. Part of me still wishes there was a mess that took forever to clean up, and yelling and shouting and wanting to go down the block still in their night clothes to show friends what they got.

Savor those moments if they are available to you right now. Savor them like you would something valuable and precious. They are a very priceless commodity. My kids are aghast when I let the DGD run all over the place, leaving a mess hither and yon. They complain I never let them do it. They are right. There are some things we just learn with age and sometimes wisdom can be learned from someone who doesnít even reach your knee. Next Christmas, birthday or great family celebration, grab your beverage of choice find a comfortable chair that allows you a good view and inhale the insanity. If you have to let loose, let loose. If you have to fight the urge to pick up each piece of wrapping paper as it touches the ground, then handcuff yourself to the chair. Drink in every second of it and burn it in your memory. Soon enough, as I am finding out, it will all be quiet, and you will only have that blessed memory to make you smile.
Today I am grateful for those pleasant memories.

I hope there is hot water at the gym.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TRACEY5280 12/31/2010 9:36AM

    Love this as we begin our journey in to this next stage. Totally love the last sentence!

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GO-LOEW 12/31/2010 12:20AM

    Wonderful blog, making me wish that my 35 year old daughter lived a bit closer than on the absolute other side of this country.

Have a very happy new year filled with many wonderful moments.

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CHERIRIDDELL 12/29/2010 11:33PM

    And the circle of life goes round ....

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TRIPLE_EMME 12/29/2010 3:48PM

    Truly Beautiful!

Celebrating this holiday with Little Miss Toddler, I will say that this was my best Christmas... EVER!

The wonder, awe and excitement in her eyes was absolutely priceless.

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DEBRITA01 12/29/2010 2:36PM

    I could totally relate to your blog. God, in His goodness, gives us a second chance...they are called 'grandchildren". Like you, I enjoy my little guy to the fullest and don't sweat the small stuff...

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MYOWNHERO 12/29/2010 2:07PM

    Beautiful! I feel much the same way about my family. "Well done, good and faithful servant!"

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JUNEAU2010 12/29/2010 1:27PM

    Well written! Your thoughts echo my thoughts about my childhood memories!

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RWETHAIRYET 12/29/2010 1:21PM

    You're so right about those "ghosts". This year my 2 grandchildren are both 1 1/2, and for the first time in years christmas was a wild, fun, exciting time. It was great and so uplifting to have that chaos with the young ones underfoot. I'm going to treasure each and every one of these that I have.

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ISHIIGIRL 12/29/2010 12:39PM

    Thanks for the reminder. I do cherish my Christmases with my kids as they get older.

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REJ7777 12/29/2010 12:10PM

    "They are off beginning their own traditions and that is as it should be. " Sigh. Yes, that is as it should be. But it's important for us "oldies" to help those youngsters realize just how precious and temporary the bedlam really is. emoticon

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CARTOONB 12/29/2010 10:15AM

    Your civilized Christmas sipping lattes sounds horrible! LOL! My kids are still young enough that we had a mess and I loved it! Not many more years of that for me.

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GETFIT2LIVE 12/29/2010 9:55AM

    You are so right, John. I remind my daughter regularly to treasure every moment with her son because it goes by so quickly. Fortunately we get a bit of a flashback to when she was small because our grandson is just like her: quick to tear into the packages and leaving a trail of wrapping paper in his wake. He's 18 months old now and has this opening presents thing down; got a present? He'll help open it! It's not what's inside that matters, it's getting it open that's the fun. Enjoy your workout, hopefully with hot water at the gym for afterwards!

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SILLYHP1953 12/29/2010 9:51AM

    You brought tears to my eyes. It struck me last Christmas that there is going to be a year when I have no "kids" sleeping over on Christmas Eve. My youngest is 25 and my 27 year old daughter still lives with us. They were both sleeping here Christmas Eve but we didn't sit down and unwrap anything until 11 am. Everyone took showers and got dressed, no pajamas, no up at 5 am. Thankfully around noon I had three grandchildren arrive but they'd already had their early morning presents so they had more patience than usual. My tears are from not appreciating what I had when I had it, not appreciating every single moment of their young lives.

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_AIYANNA_ 12/29/2010 9:42AM

    Thanks for putting things into perspective for me once more, John :) My daughter Nikoletta is now 6 and my son Pantelis is almost 3. Their noise and pandemonium is sometimes too much to handle but I agree with you that those moments are the ones you look back on with a smile.

It sounds as if you have a lovely family. You must be very proud as I am sure they are of you too.

Elen xxx

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HLPRATT 12/29/2010 9:33AM

    When the kids were little, so many older strangers at the grocery store would tell me to enjoy every minute of their childhood, that it would go by quick. All I can say is how right they were. It just flew by. How did my kids get to be 24 and 20? And I do miss the wonder and chaos of those Christmas's when Santa existed. I look forward to spoiling grandkids.

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GESHANNON 12/29/2010 9:27AM

    Thank God for the memories...I have a 19 year old and a 14 year old. I really enjoyed Christmas morning with them. I see them growing and I know that some day I will be in your shoe, and I am thankful for Now! My mind kept going back to the times with my parents and siblings. Our family house sold this past summer and I was flooded with memories of Christmas past. My Mom is now in assisted living and my Dad has been gone for 18 years now. Like I said, thank God for the memories!

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HDHAWK 12/29/2010 9:26AM

    What a wonderful reminder John. My youngest is 16 and the other 2 are grown. No grandchildren yet, so yes, it's pretty quiet around here. It's so enjoyable when we can all spend time together. It gets more difficult every year to find a time that works for everyone.

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JESPAH 12/29/2010 8:28AM

    First off, Joan sounds like a pearl beyond price.

And, I agree -- we can often get so very wrapped up in the quest for perfection that we forget that it's often the imperfect times that are the best.

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HONORINGGOD 12/29/2010 8:06AM

    cat stevens what the heck happened there?, Yusuf Islam (born Steven Demetre Georgiou;way to many drugs I guess. lol christmas will never be as it once was but think of the grandkids rippen it up . thanks for the flash back ,john emoticon

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