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Accepting The Challenge

Monday, May 09, 2011

The last couple of weeks have not been my best. With my basement flooding three times and finding out that flood insurance is only good if you have to commute to and from your house by boat, my moods took a marked turn south. Things just seemed to get worse and worse. When I am stressed it has a tendency to settle in my lower back which makes me walk as if I was thirty years older than I really am. Itís not only painful but itís downright nerve wracking. It hasnít done much for my disposition either.

On my walk this morning I told myself feeling like this, all stressed and uptight, was getting really old. Thatís when it dawned on me that it all begins and ends in my mind. As long as I look at the world through soot colored glasses than I am going to attract all sorts of negative people and experiences to me. Itís like expanding the adage of ďYou are who you hang around with,Ē to ďYou are what you think you are.Ē It begins and ends in my mind. I asked myself to take a good look at me and see what I saw. (Say that ten times really fast!) What do I want to see? I ticked off a litany of things that most of the time I file under the category of ďhopes and dreams.Ē I saw things that would be nice.

ďIf ya canít see it John, how can ya feel it?Ē I said to myself. Really good point. I saw where I was at in many aspects of my life and I realized it I was exactly how I saw myself. Itís sort of like, ďWell what did you expect?Ē As I walked I started taking pieces of who I am and projecting what I wanted them to look like. Pretty soon I began to feel lighter, more peaceful and while that nagging pain in back didnít go away but it subsided. I saw a ray of hope.

As I bounced along, it struck me there was more. Once I had the image in my mind and felt how powerful it was I had to become it. Not when I reach my goal weight, run a 10K or cycle a century. I had to become that vision right now, oversized belly, sore back and all. I had to realize as the adage says, ďThe reason for all challenges is so that you can finally learn that none are larger than you.Ē I have to learn that when I believe I am healthy and whole I will be. When I believe my life is full of joy and blessings and amazingly wonderful people, it will be.

A long time ago an English teacher of mine often said ďIf itís going to be, itís up to me.Ē

When I see it I can believe it and when I believe it I can become it. Everything I do has to be in the present tense. Just ask any very happy person. I am not suggesting we hire the cast of a Broadway musical and go dancing down the streets of life under some false illusion. Life throws us curve balls. How we deal with them is determined by what we think, feel and believe.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SILLYHP1953 5/16/2011 8:56PM

    Well, you would think flood insurance would have covered that damage, some part of your homeowner's insurance anyway.

Sometimes it scares me that I don't have any big challenges in my life right now. Wow, maybe it's because I'm being given the time and resources to face me, the challenge of facing my demons. Everything I've gone through in this life has brought me to this point. How I faced things as a child, or didn't face them, how I've held on to things that should have been let go of, all things that cannot be changed, but I can change how I look at them, at me.

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LYNMEINDERS 5/11/2011 6:47AM

    Amen & Amen to this....

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MIRACLELOVE77 5/10/2011 1:18PM

    GREAT blog :)

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HLPRATT 5/10/2011 9:18AM

    I am constantly amazed by the power of our attitudes. It can make all the difference in the world.

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NASFKAB 5/10/2011 9:10AM

  Great thinking we can do anything being positive. Way to go John

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CARTOONB 5/9/2011 11:18PM

    Are you sure we can't hire a broadway musical? I hear Wicked is pretty good....and apt! LOL!

Seriously, you are right, as usual. I agree with John.

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MKPRINCESS007 5/9/2011 10:29PM

    You know I have been there, John. With my chin scraping the ground I was. But, I just made up my mind to get up the next day, look it in the eye, and give it another go. I made it back out into the light again, and so will you.

Thinking of you, my friend..............

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MIZZSB 5/9/2011 2:53PM

Its not been easy the last couple of weeks but we are here for you!!!! emoticon emoticon

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HDHAWK 5/9/2011 12:05PM

    Flooding is a major curve ball and you deserved to have at least a small pity party, especially when insurance doesn't help. Now it's time to dust off and move forward. Looks like you're doing just that! PS Hope the back feels better!

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GEEMAWEST 5/9/2011 11:55AM

    I totally agree with you, John!

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JANC7223 5/9/2011 11:29AM

    Attitude is everything!

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SNOOPYLUV85 5/9/2011 11:27AM

    Once again, you are so right! Thank you for always sharing your thoughts with all of us!

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EDWINA172 5/9/2011 9:47AM

    Goodness! We are such mental creatures, aren't we? Hope your week goes well. Lets turn that frown upside down:)

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BLACKROSE_222 5/9/2011 9:30AM

    Thank you so much for sharing, John. You are absolutely 100% right.

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UNLIKELY 5/9/2011 8:49AM

  How do I attract not drinking alcohol anymore? It is wrecking my life.

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    That is the principle of "The Secret" and the Law of Attraction... Like attracts like... Good for you for changing your thoughts ... which WILL result in changing your life! (Wayne Dyer book I love :)

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Following The Light Towards My Happiness

Friday, May 06, 2011

Happiness is not elusive. Itís pretty straight forward. I think Iím the one who has had issues with happiness, not the other way around. Iíve had a hard time defining it. Itís as if Iíd walked into a store and asked for a piece of clothing that I could not define and then expected the clerk to rush to a rack and return to me with it, smiling all the while. I know Iíve wanted to be happy because everyone does. You listen to interviews of famous people and they gush from the other side of the coffee table, ďIím finally happy.Ē Sometimes, I think there is an expectation that itís to be delivered wrapped in a bow.

Happiness is very hard work. Donít let anyone fool you. You have to define it and you have to decide what you are willing to do in order to attain it. You have to prepare to suffer a bit as your perception of your world and everyone in it changes, for the better I might add. Happiness isnít like a train schedule. It doesnít have planned stops along the way so you and I can wait for it, hand over our eyes peering off into the wilderness and then signaling the brass band to start playing. It surprises you, like the oft forgotten cousin who shows up at your door step for an extended visit. You love them half to death; you just werenít ready for them.

Real happiness comes on its own terms, not mine. I cannot create conditions for it, define its parameters or hand it a list of exclusions. Like the ground water in my basement this past week it finds its own level and then challenges us to live there. Itís a long journey. Itís why so few of us reach it.

Most of us give up. We tell ourselves the battles not really worth all the effort. We tell ourselves we should be satisfied with what we have and there are people much worse off than we areÖÖÖÖ.. Yada, yada, yada. We turn our failures into excuses to sit quietly in the corner rather than as energy and focus to move forward and try once again. Itís all really the antithesis of happiness, isnít it?

I write this rambling preamble this morning because as I lie in bed reviewing what needed to be done today and in what order it needed to be completed in happiness snuck up behind me and grinned. I go through a bit of a ritual where I am grateful and thankful that both feet hit the ground again this morning. It was at that point it dawned on me that I am the happiest person I know. It has nothing to do with status, wealth or where I live. It has to do with how I feel. I expect to be happier because Iím not yet the happiest person in the world. I donít think that person exists as happiness is very subjective.

I am happy because of four things. I hang around with excellent people and have made the tough choices to let people go in my life who werenít the best influences. I have come to believe I am really worth the effort I put into myself and I deserve this new found happiness. Finally, I am what I believe I am.

Honestly, as I reviewed my blog this morning Iím not sure why I wrote it. Oh, I am lol. Someone out there needed to read this. A long time ago, in the throes of my despair, unhappiness and living with the feeling that I was all alone, my Creator, reached down and light a lamp that showed me a path towards this happy life I now live. Writing this blog will never, ever repay that, but itís a start. As the kindness and love was extended to me, so now I extend it to you.

Happiness isnít about goal s and objectives, itís about the challenge of allowing your heart to grow.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SILLYHP1953 5/16/2011 8:42PM

    Right now happiness is facing my shadow and forgiving and embracing and letting go...happiness rushes in to fill the spaces left.

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MARCYNA 5/11/2011 3:50AM

    Great blog, have to look at my life from anothre point of view to not let happiness flow OUT of it emoticon

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GIRANIMAL 5/10/2011 2:04PM

    I knew I've been missing lots of good stuff! I love your store analogy. A certain someone who loves me very much often asks me what exactly I want, and I get so angry when I can't answer. So this really hit home for me, dear bro. I'm glad I have you to hang around with. emoticon

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LORSI2000 5/9/2011 12:00PM

    Great blog today, John!
Thanks for sharing!

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DAD2GETFIT 5/7/2011 9:09PM

    Great blog John. You are right that happiness, just like any other worthwhile thing, takes work. I can usually be happy with being content. I have a great family, I don't always have everything I want, but I have everything I need right now and for me that's enough.

Setting and accomplishing goals (right now for weight loss and health, but other things as well) also gives me a sense of accomplishment which also makes me happy.


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LUCYJOY 5/7/2011 10:54AM

    I shouldn't comment, probably, but shutting up was never one of my strong poins. I'm one of those children of the dark-and was thinking alot about happiness this week. I don't think I remember how to be happy anymore. I pointed myself in survival mode so my feet could hit the floor everyday-despite whatever life tosses my way. I sometimes find happiness in the warmth of the sun hitting my face-and yesterday, I tried-but I didn't find it. Perhaps that's why I read your blog this morning. Perhaps it will help me on my journey. Perhaps it was to remind me that happiness still exists, even if I cannot find it now.

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HAPPYSOUL91 5/7/2011 8:18AM

    Happines is such a fickle thing, what makes me happy 1 day, may not another day. I am really spending my energy seeking joy in my life on a daily basis.

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LYNMEINDERS 5/6/2011 7:05PM

    Thankyou so so much for writing this today....I have a friend who needs to hear exactly what you have written.....
You are superb and so timely....
Amen to what you have written...

Bless you

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SHERRYJVP 5/6/2011 12:56PM

    Today I call myself a happy person. Somedays, not so much. But I do have joy even through harder days.

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HDHAWK 5/6/2011 12:46PM

    I'm happier just reading your words of wisdom!

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CHAITEAKITTY40 5/6/2011 11:46AM

    Sometimes it is like what you write is meant just for me. Happiness and how to find it are something that me and my inner Eeyore have struggled with. You offer some great perspective for me. Thanks so much!

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KKINNEA 5/6/2011 10:47AM

    Great insights, as always - thanks!

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LADYLAUGHS247 5/6/2011 10:44AM

  Love the blog. For me, happiness is my state of mind. It can and does change every day. But I am (perpetually) an optimistic person - the glass is always half full! Good luck on the journey.

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SNOOPYLUV85 5/6/2011 10:34AM

    Thank you for your continued inspiration in our lives!

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    Love this, John, and just what I needed to read this morning. This basically sums up what I've always believed of happiness, but sometimes it's nice (and necessary) to have a reminder! Thanks for sharing this!

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BLACKROSE_222 5/6/2011 10:04AM

    Thanks again for sharing, John. True Happiness can sneak up on you, and I'm so glad to hear that even with all of the rough stuff you have had the last little bit - it hit you first thing this am. emoticon

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CARTOONB 5/6/2011 9:40AM

    I'm happy that you're happy! Hope the entire day is just as good.

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TIME4AFITME 5/6/2011 9:33AM

    Thank you for yet another great and inspiring blog. emoticon

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ZURDTA- 5/6/2011 9:21AM

    Thanks. I think many people think that happiness arrives and that is it - like it is something tangible. But happiness is not consistent (to be sublimely happy ALL the time??) and it is subjective. Sometimes it is a change in attitude, sometimes is about striving harder for something and other times it is about letting go. Just like weight loss is about finding YOUR own way, so is happiness.

Thank for the blog John, thoughtful as ever...

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MRSPINCKNEY 5/6/2011 8:53AM

    emoticon Perspective! Thanks for sharing!

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NJMATTICE 5/6/2011 8:43AM

    Happy Friday, John.

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CICI510 5/6/2011 8:42AM

    Wow! What an awesome an inspiring blog. :) emoticon emoticon

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KAT573 5/6/2011 8:40AM

    Keep on Keeping ON! emoticon Happiness comes and goes, and looking at what brought it on always helps us test its authenticity, validity, etc. Of course this works with UNhappiness too and yes, it sure IS a lot of hard work, of the spirit and the soul...which also need exercising and don't get enough at times. emoticon

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CIVIAV 5/6/2011 8:40AM

    Another one we all need to hear regularly. Thanks again John your willingness to reflect Sparks us all!

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Go Your Own Way

Thursday, May 05, 2011

I once told my children that if you didnít get out of bed until eight am the day was already half over. Joan would look at them through the steam of her coffee and let them know that while they should always respect their father, what I just said was a matter of opinion. I am out of bed and ready to go no later than six am. I have a to-do list and I am at my most effective for the remainder of the day when I can accomplish things early on. It gives me confidence. It makes me focused and I have a clear vision of my purpose. I track my food much better and I am more apt to exercise. Before I go to bed each evening I pretty much know the first five things I need to do when I get up in the morning. When I live this way, no one can stop me. I, you see, have a plan.

Joan, on the other hand, gets out of bed when she is done sleeping. Her first order of business is coffee followed by Matt Lauer. If she doesnít have to work in the morning she and Matt have multiple cups of coffee followed by the newspaper. A shower comes, when it comes, unless she has to work. We have a kitchen table that seats eight. The kids are grown and gone but it still seats eight. Joan and I eat on about a quarter of the table. The rest if it is piled with her ďstuff.Ē The only time she has ever threatened to leave me is if I mess with her ďstuff.Ē

We have two totally separate ways of approaching life and we both are very successful people. We have different ways of communicating and we are both extremely effective in getting our message across. There isnít anything either one of us wont tackle, we choose to wrap our arms around it a different way.

There is not only one way to do things. I could probably have put that a bit more eloquently but the simpler the better. There is no one way to lose weight and maintain a healthy life style. I am a flexetarian. Joan has never met a piece of beef she doesnít like. I exercise daily, she exercises three or four times a week. We are fortunate that we have learned two things over thirty seven years of marriage. The first is to respect each otherís views and choices and the second is not to get taken in by every fad and idea that comes around the corner.

It took me awhile to realize those things. I would always look at other people and how they did things and measure myself against their achievements. I always came up lacking. That was their life style it wasnít mine. The first thing I did was totally embrace John, warts and all. I realized that I wasnít hurting anyone getting out of bed at five am to start my day. I get seven hours sleep and I do fine with it.

Go your own way. Find the things that truly convince you that this journey is worth all the effort and above and beyond everything else ---------------- be the extremely unique you that you were created to be.
That is why I love you so very much. Now------------------ Go celebrate who you are.

Shoot, the dayís half over. I gotta go.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SILLYHP1953 5/16/2011 8:33PM

    This is something that needs work in my life...figuring out who I really am, not being scared to see the real me and let other people see the real me.

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    My hubby is a night owl and I'm a morning person so we have to compromise. LOL.

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_AIYANNA_ 5/10/2011 4:12PM

    Although I like sleeping in from time to time - mostly because I rarely have to luxury to do so, I must admit that nothing beats getting an ealy start to your day :)

I love the way that your blogs make me want to become a better person in every way... Thank you, John!!!

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GIRANIMAL 5/10/2011 3:44PM

    I'm really starting to get this after 7 years with my beloved too. Thanks for the more in-depth insight!

Also, I see there are a lot of fellow Fleetwood Mac fans out there. Rock on! I have to go listen to this song now. emoticon

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MARCYNA 5/9/2011 3:39AM

    Loving you isn't the right thing to do
How can I ever change things that I feel?
If I could, maybe I'd give you my world
How can I, when you won't take it from me?
You can go your own way, go your own way
You can call it another lonely day
You can go your own way, go your own way
Tell me why everything turned around?
Packing up, shacking up, is all you wanna do
If I could baby I'd give you my world
Open up, everything's waiting for you
You can go your own way, go your own way
You can call it another lonely day
You can go your own way, go your own way

You can go your own way, go your own way
You can call it another lonely day (Another lonely day)
You can go your own way, go your own way
You can call it another lonely day

You can go your own way
You can call it another lonely day
You can go your own way

emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 5/9/2011 3:40:50 AM

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TRACEY5280 5/6/2011 6:38PM

    Always so important to remember. I've traveled the route of looking at how it's done by others and always come up lacking. Glad I'm on a different route these days! My Bill is your Joan :)

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CATHERINEL66 5/6/2011 1:43PM

    Nice! I am a morning person too, and when I look at other people, I have to remind myself to not project my own preferences on them! My DH is a morning slacker (did I say that?).

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LORSI2000 5/6/2011 1:19PM

    LOVE IT!

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KENDRACARROLL 5/6/2011 11:07AM

    Love your blog.
It took me almost half a century to figure out that "My way or no way" might be a funny saying but is quite the opposite if practiced.
There is much wisdom in your words.

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NASFKAB 5/6/2011 6:09AM

  Great blog glad that you both live each with their way. Never had thatj

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DUTCHIEKIWI 5/5/2011 11:51PM

  Love this blog!

It's so true, we are all so different...

Looks like I am a mixture of the two of you lol,

up early at the crack of dawn, but look forward to my morning coffee.

and the 'stuff' thing... same here!! ;0)

Thanks for sharing your opinion... now I'll go and find mine ;0)



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CARTOONB 5/5/2011 11:20PM

    My dad used to tell me the same half over at eight. I will still sleep as late as I can...every day! But, on the days I do get up, it's amazing the stuff I get done! I guess I'll just keep doing what works for me! Hope you do as well.

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JUNEAU2010 5/5/2011 11:04PM

    This might be my favorite of your blogs!

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KAZINMICH 5/5/2011 10:40PM

    Oh! I almost forgot, I have Fleetwood Mac's lyrics stuck in my head now!!! "you can go your own way.." lol

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KAZINMICH 5/5/2011 10:38PM

    I really like this blog. I try to explain to my single friends that my husband I are two separate people living our lives together. We choose to be with each other, live together and do things together, but we are still our own selves. My husband and I are alike in some ways, and completely different in others. We do think differently, process things differently, do things differently, but usually come up with the same end results or ideas! My weaknesses are his strengths, and vice versa. I think that balance, that respect, and differences combined with the things we do have in common are what makes a wonderful lasting relationship.

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CMHARRISON12 5/5/2011 10:27PM

    Thank you John, you help us all so very much. I love that our differences often bring us to the love we seek! Keep telling your truths and the rest of us benefit!

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SNOOPYLUV85 5/5/2011 5:40PM

    You are really awesome. I get made fun of a lot for this same thing. You are really helping me to see that it is okay to be me and that all of this is not a race. I can really relate to this!

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EDWINA172 5/5/2011 3:48PM

    I love you John. You have a way of making me feel so good about myself. Your words heal me. Thank you. Thanks for sharing your feelings. There is so much of myself that I read in your words.

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SHERRYJVP 5/5/2011 3:30PM

    YOU are not an engineer are you? My husband is and he believes there is one right way-HIS. We laugh about it after 32 years, but he he is not convert-able. He says it's his job. LOL On the other hand..he is trainable..and will eat the occasional vegetarian meal..even though he makes a big deal about fun.

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BLESSED2BEME 5/5/2011 2:36PM

    What is a flexetarian?

This is so much like my hubby and I! 25 years later, still married and finally starting to understand each other! emoticon

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ZURDTA- 5/5/2011 2:09PM

    Ah that sums up me and my partner too... very different approaches, but it works for us. And weight loss - well we can all get ideas, but yes, we have to find our OWN way.


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HDHAWK 5/5/2011 12:50PM

    I'm a morning person right along with you and am married to someone who gets up even earlier than I do. The journey is much easier when we go with our own flow, so to speak, than trying to mold ourselves into something we aren't. Too bad it took me 52 yrs. to figure that out!

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LUVMYK9S 5/5/2011 12:32PM

    Thanks for reminding me that everyone is unique and there is no 'only one way' to approach life. I sometimes feel that I cannot be successful unless I embrace the lifestyle of others. Time to embrace myself just as I am, quirks and all ...
Have an AWESOME day John!

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STIPER23 5/5/2011 11:35AM

    Thank you!

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MOMONTHERUN1 5/5/2011 11:32AM

    I love this!! Thanks for making me realize that not everyone can be like

Have a great day!

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EDWARDSC393 5/5/2011 11:29AM

    Loved your blog! When my husband is home, we both watch the Today show, Yea , we all have to go the way we feel comfortable! I absorb all this info then do What I know works. Glad to have read your blog, its so refreshing! Cherie

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LISA01605 5/5/2011 11:05AM

    Over the course of this weight loss/get healthy process I have come to the same conclusions. When I started I came up with a plan and I followed it and it worked. Over time I let in too much information. I was on information overload from all the "experts." While most experts have the same message they often have different ways of getting there. Some say never do X and others say always do X. It can get confusing. In trying to do the "right" thing I lost track of what worked for me. When I couldn't decide what to do, I did nothing and the pounds crept back on. I recently recommitted and when I did I decided to go back to basics. I am doing what works for me and I am having success. Going my own way works for me.

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CIVIAV 5/5/2011 11:03AM

    Love you too John and I'm more like Joan by the way!


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WENDYSPARKS 5/5/2011 11:03AM

    Have a good day!!

Wendy :)

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GRANDTO4 5/5/2011 10:58AM

  I'm with Joan on this one! My job requires me to wake up at 5 AM - I do NOT like that and I will NEVER like that, and on weekends, the most joyful ritual I have is the shutting off of the alarm clock Friday night. My exercise for that day includes the happy dance for that. But I do sort of envy people who can jump out of bed early and hit the ground running. I sort of ooze out of bed and hit the ground shuffling.

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    You are a very wise man!! Cheers to your years of marriage as well! I love to hear stories of success in that area as well!!

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CUPCAKE2CARROTS 5/5/2011 10:44AM

    I love reading your blogs. I ALWAYS come away with something. :)

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JECKIE 5/5/2011 10:41AM

    Very true! I see it a lot with me and my three sisters. We are all so different, but we manage to all be very successful in our own ways.

My parents used to use that same line on me... of course, I was a teenager sleeping until 11. :) These days, if the sun is up, I'm up. I may be slow once I wake up, but I can't just lay in bed either.

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MOONBIRD 5/5/2011 10:26AM

    What a great blog! You and your wife sound like me and my husband, except I am more like you and he is more like your wife. hehe I am always trying to remind myself that it's ok to do things my way if it works for me.

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HAPPYSOUL91 5/5/2011 10:25AM

    LOL - have you been looking into my life....I am a morning person w/lists and DH is a night person and goes w/th the flow. Enjoyed your blog!!!

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HOAGIE22 5/5/2011 10:14AM

  Been there done that!! emoticon

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Please Be Happy

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

The suns out, the basement has no water in it and the work has just begun. We were fortunate. We ended up with water about a third of the way up the baseboard in three rooms. Itís drained, it smelled and we are cleaning up. We are happy.

Apparently the rest of the world isnít, or at least my part of it. I went to K-Mart to buy a utility knife to cut out a bit more carpet and the lady in front of me at the register was complaining it was cold. She was happy the sun was out, that it wasnít raining but did it have to be so cold. Cold as she defined it is about 56F. There is a bit of a breeze. Trust me, Iíll take it over what we had the past two weeks. Apparently she wouldnít. It wasnít enough the sun was shining and the sky was that really pretty blue. It needed to be warmer. She went on and on.

My friend Archie is 86. Every morning he gets up at 3:00 AM and mops the floors, dusts the counters, and folds towels at our local YMCA. He told me one morning that ďAny day above ground is a good day.Ē

I wished it hadnít rained, but it did. I wish it wasnít cold but is. I wish my basement was the way it was two weeks ago but it isnít. Og Mandino wrote a book called The Greatest Miracle in the World. That miracle is you and I. That miracle is our innate ability as human beings to rise above, to persevere, and to ultimately triumph. It starts with how we feel. My feel hit the ground today. I have all my faculties and now Iím going back to work in a warm house that has electricity and people who love me.

Iím happy

Howís about you?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SILLYHP1953 5/16/2011 8:23PM

    It took me years, years and years, to figure out I had control of my attitude, that other people didn't make me feel sad, happy, or mad.

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LYNMEINDERS 5/6/2011 1:48AM are so right......
any day above ground is a good one......

I had a funeral today and farewelled my godfather however although it has grief attached to it all the family were happy for what they had to remember and what they had shared with him.....

We don't usually spend enough time not the lady at the K-mart.....
Life is all good.......happy to still be here....yay.....

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DUTCHIEKIWI 5/5/2011 11:26PM

  You're right John.....

My little baby girl was very sick, now she's getting much better... I'm healthy, the sun is shining, I can walk, run, eat, laugh, cry...
I can do anything I want...

I'm happy!



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MARYMO22 5/5/2011 4:41PM

    we all have to learn to be grateful for the things we have - the lady in the shop must be an unhappy woman who just hasn't learned what the happy people in this world know.

Feel pleased and proud that you are one of the grateful ones - I know I am


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HAPPYSOUL91 5/5/2011 9:22AM

    Wow, I really like what your friend Archie says and he is 86 and active with a job. He sounds wonderful and a joy to be around

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KAT573 5/5/2011 9:17AM

    How we think will and can change how we seem to feel; it is a hard realization to come to for all of us and one that we are fortunate to be gifted with even while it may yet need discovery.

And one of the other most important things I have come to realize is the power of taking the first step, nomatter what, being where I am NOW. Yep; GLAD you were not hit harder but I do know the amount of work you have to do to get back to where you were. May your HOPE and your STEPS take you further on your Way! emoticon

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SNOOPYLUV85 5/5/2011 8:08AM

    Love this perspective - thank you! emoticon

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11WILDHORSEZ 5/5/2011 12:22AM

  Well put! It's all perspective, and happiness is a choice. I'll take happy any day! :)

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MOONBIRD 5/5/2011 12:06AM

    I love this! We have SO many things to be happy about, if we just open our eyes and notice them. It's all too easy to only notice the bad things.

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CARTOONB 5/4/2011 11:20PM

    I am happy!

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TIME4AFITME 5/4/2011 10:17PM

    Uplifting, thank you. I am glad that you are happy...I am too!

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WATERMELLEN 5/4/2011 9:54PM

    Most of us are just as happy as we choose to be: and like you, I choose to be happy most of the time!!

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GEEMAWEST 5/4/2011 9:19PM

    You're so right, John. So very right. It is sunny and 70 here today and that makes me VERY HAPPY!!

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HDHAWK 5/4/2011 5:55PM

    I'm happy, but at our meeting today there was a table of very negative teachers. The rest of the staff definitely noticed. I guess the end of the year stress is getting to them. Smile! emoticon

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LUVMYK9S 5/4/2011 4:00PM

    Yes, I'm pretty happy today, even though it was raining this morning, the sun is shining now! I have a poem tacked to the cork board by my computer so that I will see it every day ~


Outside my window, a new day I see,
and only I can determine what kind of day it will be.

It can be busy and sunny, laughing and gay,
or boring and cold, unhappy and gray.

My own state of mind is the determining key, for I am only the person
I let myself be.

I can be thoughtful and do all I can to help,
or selfish and think just of myself.

I can enjoy what I do and make it seem fun,
or gripe and complain and make it hard on someone.

I can be patient with those who may not understand,
or belittle and hurt them as much as I can.

But I have faith in myself and believe what I say,
And personally intend to make the best of each day.

~ Author unknown


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LORSI2000 5/4/2011 2:23PM

    I'm wonderful, too!
LOVE, LOVE, LOVE reading your blog posts.

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NJMATTICE 5/4/2011 2:09PM

    I'm serenely happy today. Thanks for asking!
Love the little tribute to Archie. I know some Archies in my life as well. They know the secret to living well. Thanks for sharing that.
Enjoy your day above ground.

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LISA01605 5/4/2011 2:00PM

    Excellent blog it is in line with one of my favorite quotes: "Being happy doesn't mean everything is perfect. It means you've decided to look beyond the imperfections." I have had that on my signature for quite some time to remind myself.

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JECKIE 5/4/2011 1:34PM

    I love it! I'm glad the rain is letting up in parts of the country - we don't need it any more.

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    Cheers to Positivity and seeing the Glass as Half Full instead of Half Empty emoticon

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LHIEBEL 5/4/2011 12:59PM


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KKINNEA 5/4/2011 12:57PM

    I should be more happy - thanks for this blog!

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BLESSED2BEME 5/4/2011 12:44PM

    Yes, I am happy too! So glad you see the sunshine through the rain!

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BECCALYNN75 5/4/2011 12:37PM

    Guess what the lid of my jello with lunch today says . . . .

"Happy is still legal in all 50 states."

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NYKIMMIE 5/4/2011 12:28PM

    Yes indeed.

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CMBELISLE 5/4/2011 12:08PM

    I know what you mean! I live in GA - there are so many people here who are now homeless and people who lost their lives. I'm grateful that I'm above ground as things could be so much worse. Yes, it's rather chilly here too but the sky doesn't get any better than right after a good rain.

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~INDYGIRL 5/4/2011 12:08PM

    Woohoo! Yes indeed!

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CAMSMOM918 5/4/2011 11:49AM

    Thank you for the uplifting blog. I needed to read this today.


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HOLLYS_NEW_LIFE 5/4/2011 11:40AM

    I'm so happy! I agree with your friend Archie, every day we're breathing has to be a good one.

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MIZZSB 5/4/2011 11:35AM

    i am happy too John!
Got a great man who supports me in my battle with weightloss, a beautiful daughter who loves me for just being ME. And i can get up every morning!
Ofcourse warm weather is NICE but it does not make us happy other things do...

Glad to hear your basement is 'better'.

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CIVIAV 5/4/2011 11:21AM

    Yes indeed!

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GETFIT2LIVE 5/4/2011 11:18AM

    Me too, John. It is so easy to get stuck in a mode of seeing only what is wrong and not what is right (the old glass-is-half-full syndrome), but finding the positive makes one much happier. My goal is to be able to say, like Paul (paraphrasing slightly), I have learned to be content in whatever state I am. Have a great day!

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The Little Things

Monday, May 02, 2011

Thereís a part of my life I always look back at with fascination. I was twenty two and given the responsibility of supervising sixty five people. It took me a few months but I realized why they hired ten people at a time. A year later only three of us were left standing. Thirty seven years later Iíd like to tell you it was because of my agile mind and superior intelligence. I survived because of something a boss told me during my first week as a supervisor.

ďTake care of the little things and the big things will take care of themselves.Ē

I embraced it, I lived by it and then having become a success I forgot about it!!! It came home to me this week as we cleaned up our basement after it flooded twice in three days. As we sorted through what we could keep and what needed to be tossed Joan and I had more than few conversations that started with ďYou know if we hadÖ..Ē Most of those conversations turned into ďWhat we are going to need to do in the future is ÖĒ The little things. The very small, day to day things we donít give a second thought to are the things that become our salvation when a crisis hits. When the little things in my life are mostly in order Iím ready to handle the big stuff. I can clear my schedule, pool my resources and deal with the situation. The big things, as my boss said, take care of themselves.

The big thing for me is the scale. No matter how good I feel I approach it with trepidation. I donít recall the veggie at every meal as I stand on it with eyes closed waiting for results; I recall the bite of cake I took off my granddaughterís plate. The little things are what get me there. The little things are making sure I log ALL my food and realize a calorie isnít always a calorie! The little things are following my exercise plan and oh yeah making sure I take a day off once per week. The little things are creating that balance between diet and exercise and getting enough rest during my day to make sure my body functions well. Yes, there are variables. There is water retention, weather, and lack of sleepÖÖ.. I could go on and on. When I monitor the small things in my life, Iím ready for whatever comes next.

The little things require an investment. It may be time, it may be money. I donít have a lot of trouble dropping twenty bucks on a large pizza and garlic bread or eating at Olive Garden but I get all worked up over spending the same amount of money on an exercise video. The little things are really dull and boring most days. There is no magic in the little things. They are often like a six month old child, screaming, whining and fussing until we pay attention to them.

I am always looking for the eternal placebo, the quick fix, the magic bullet that will turn me sleek and svelte. It does not exist. What remains is my ability to manage myself, my health and the day to day things that make John a successful and mostly healthy human being.
The little things are the things that get me there so that when that fifteen foot walk from the bedroom to the bathroom happens once a week, Iím ready for it.

ďTake care of the little things and the big things will take care of themselves.Ē Thank you Ray.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SILLYHP1953 5/16/2011 7:38PM

    What!!! No magic bullets??
Ok, again, thank you for making me think and feel and all that good stuff.

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IAMDARLENE 5/4/2011 8:29AM


This is excellent!! I hope to remember to take care of those "little things" and let the big things take care of themselves. Wow, that makes such good sense! Thanks John!!

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LYNMEINDERS 5/4/2011 1:55AM

    So very very true....
Great to be reminded of it like you have been.....

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SWEETMOMMY41 5/3/2011 9:57PM

  that is so true! little things do require time and effort to get done. it is so easy to spend money on restaurant meals and so hard to spend it on what can help us on our journey to better health. have a great day!

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WALKNLOVE 5/3/2011 2:50PM

    Oh, so very must have read my mind! LOL

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CARTOONB 5/2/2011 10:30PM

    Little things do add up!

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WATERMELLEN 5/2/2011 9:51PM

    It IS the little things that count when it comes to discipline(and the small pleasures too: such as a bouquet of this spring's violets on the kitchen table! NO calories!! Course I didn't eat them . . . )

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HDHAWK 5/2/2011 7:03PM

    I still look for the quick fix but at least I dismiss them much more quickly than I did in the past. I'm less likely to try them too!

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HAPPYSOUL91 5/2/2011 6:15PM

    Excellent, you sure said it all and how true it is!

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PGNBRI 5/2/2011 11:48AM

    Wow. You have no idea how much I needed to hear this today!


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BLESSED2BEME 5/2/2011 11:47AM

    Taking care of the little things also helps us reach the big goals...nothing worth anything is ever easy. There are many steps to reaching a point in life that we are living for! Thanks for sharing.

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JSPIN74 5/2/2011 11:36AM

    great observations here - thx

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GRAMMAOFFIVE 5/2/2011 11:34AM

    So true. The little things require an investment. It only takes a couple minutes to log your food, a few seconds to say no to that bite of cake, 5 minutes of spare time to get a little more activity into your day.

There are no quick fixes. But we all can take baby steps doing the little things to get us to our goals.

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GRANDTO4 5/2/2011 11:13AM

  Very nice and very good advice! I, too, was especially hit by the part about how easily we spend money on restaurant meals, and how hard it is to spend it on things that would benefit us in our journey to be healthy. It's on ongoing challenge to change the thought process in place for decades.

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BLUEROSE73 5/2/2011 10:34AM

    Very true. I hope the scale was good to you this week

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CMA444 5/2/2011 9:49AM

    Well said! emoticon

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TRISTAROSE 5/2/2011 9:35AM

    So very true .... will try to do that! Thanks for the reminder!!

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GRAMLORI 5/2/2011 9:33AM

    Why do we hate to DO those little things anyway? Boredom? They seem less than essential? Or is it just because we know we'd be organized if we did them, so we ignore them, thus creating the excuse that we are just the disorganized type? I sure need to work on some of those "Little Things"!

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TINA_LYNN91 5/2/2011 8:56AM

    Very, very good words to live by!

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IFDEEVARUNS2 5/2/2011 8:53AM

    So true. Thanks for the reminder.

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TABUKRA69 5/2/2011 8:51AM

    Wonderful piece of writing or is that typing LOL.
Something you picked up on that I found interesting .... how we will easily drop bucks on something that we don't need "the pizza" yet find it hard to drop bucks for something that would help us "the exercise DVD". We do the exact same thing in our house and thanks for pointing that out ..... somethings gonna change in this house :D

Take care of the little things ..... how very very true.

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NASFKAB 5/2/2011 8:50AM

  How true to take care of the little things. Thanks

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