JOHNTJ1   67,876
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When The Going Gets Tough..................

Monday, May 30, 2011

Availible on YouTube@

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SILLYHP1953 6/4/2011 3:17PM

    We are all on different levels of learning in this world, and I try really hard to remember that. Thanks for your thoughts, as usual I appreciate your perspective.

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HANKENSTEIN 5/31/2011 5:35PM

    I have worked with her on things, and she's wonderful for the sport because she not only plays the part of beautiful very well, knowing that all attention is good attention, but she also does everything they ask of her, says provocative, sometimes snippy or playful things and all with a smile.

That said, race fans, by and large, are not the sharpest knives in the drawer by any stretch. I mean, I know many NASCAR fans that root for the car number, or the sponsor, no matter who is driving the car with that number or that sponsor. Odd lot.

Hope you enjoyed it otherwise, John. I've never been.

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GEEMAWEST 5/31/2011 3:39PM


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KEKEIKO 5/31/2011 2:32PM

    There's always going to be someone out there envious of the success of others. The key is to ignore negativity and remember the path you're on and what it took to get there and also to appreciate those that share in your success. Thank you for sharing this video blog. Mom2Piper suggested to view your blog. Strength to you fellow Sparker on your current and future goals. Hugs, Keke

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ANEPANALIPTI 5/31/2011 10:05AM


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GRAMLORI 5/31/2011 9:39AM

    John, you sounded just like I thought you in my opinion, which doesn't matter a bit!! lol....your voice matches your looks. Just thought I'd throw that in.

Your message in this video is fantastic! Very well said, thought provoking, and just plain right. Thank you! Someday, maybe I'll meet you at a race. Probably not, but I'm pleased to count you as a friend, anyway! You have a terrific and blessed day!!

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MIZZSB 5/31/2011 6:29AM


Thanks so much for this V blog ...
I dont Danica Patrick, but why in the world would you boo at someone?
Its just shows poor character of that person boo-ing...


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HLBUSH1 5/31/2011 1:03AM

  John, thanks for the great blog. Just starting spark today and I found great motivation in what you had to say. I needed an obviously intelligent person to "lay it out there" while still being encouraging. Look forward to your future video blogs.

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CINNAMONCAT9 5/31/2011 12:57AM

    Really fun to get to know you through this video.

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SPARKENISTA 5/30/2011 10:50PM

You make many good points here. I only know Danica Patrick b/c she is the spokesperson for I do know her name. I think it's disgusting that people booed her. She has qualified for one of the most difficult events in racing. She deserves kudos for that. I believe that she came in 10th, which seems like quite an accomplishment.

Did they boo b/c of her comments, language and attitude or b/c she is a woman outshining men? I'm not sure. Nevertheless, it is a throwback to a less enlightened time. I suggest that those critics go out and qualify for the Indy 500 if they have so much to say and let their actions speak for them rather than their negative sides.

Hope you are doing well.



emoticon emoticon emoticon

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BLESSED2BEME 5/30/2011 10:47PM

    Thank you for posting this today. I really enjoyed putting a voice to your face! I needed to hear just what you said too:)

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SPARKLISE 5/30/2011 10:17PM

    It was really weird to listen to you speak-that's the first time i do that on sp. Good blog!You always make us think! emoticon

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HDHAWK 5/30/2011 10:01PM

    I would love to see Danica win because she's a woman. We all stumble and make mistakes, even those in the limelight. Everyone gets to see it when they mess up. I was told that I shouldn't enter the challenge I did because it's summer and I won't be able to have fun. If I had waited the next excuse would have been the holidays. The more people told me I couldn't do it, the more motivated I became. emoticon

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TEDYBEAR2838 5/30/2011 9:58PM

    My sound is broke right now so I can't hear you and I can't read lips. But I know it was a great blog!


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NASFKAB 5/30/2011 9:55PM


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Whose Goals Are Your Goals?

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

A friend called to thank me the other day. He’d just received his bachelor’s degree. When I answered the phone his first words were, “I called to thank you for helping me learn how to set goals the right way.” Tim had been out of school for twenty three years before he made the choice to return to college almost five years ago. He made the decision when he attended a budget meeting at work for the very first time and didn’t understand what was going on. He and I talked that afternoon and he told me that he was giving serious thought to returning to school. I asked him what his main motivation was. He told me it wasn’t about work, or promotions or the like. He was going to do this for himself. The meeting at work was the push he needed to get going on his goals. If good things happened as a result, even the better but he was doing this to improve himself. I smiled then and I smiled when he called me to let me know he’d reached his goal.

I thought a lot about that journey and I came away with a question: Whose goals are my goals?” It’s a pretty popular practice to read an article or a blog and get so motivated by someone else’s success that I become convinced that I need to follow their path. Don’t get me wrong, I believe in hanging around with motivated, successful people. But how do you think the world would be if everyone looked and acted the same way? How often do I take a deep breath and take stock of John and where he is going, how he plans to get there and what his motivation is for all the hard work and effort. I can be motivated by your desire to participate in an Iron Man. I will applaud you and grin from ear to ear when you achieve your goal, but personally, it has no meaning to me. Yet, how often do I go careening down the path of following someone else simply because ………….. Well I guess because I want to be like everyone else. When I think like that I usually don’t reach my goal because it has no personal meaning.

Personalizing our goals and objectives super charge them. My friend Tim reminded me of an exercise I had him do in class one day. I gave each person a poster board and a twelve pack of colored pencils. In the center of the poster board I asked them to draw a goal that had special meaning to them. I encouraged them to make it personal. In the four corners of the poster board I asked them to create four benefits of reaching this goal. I asked them to take it home use it as a guide. Tim told me one the benefits he derived was stressing the value of education to his son. He wanted him to attend college after high school and felt by setting a good example his son might follow suit. (You are who you hang around with!!)

My dear friend MSSUNBUG competed in her very first triathlon Saturday. I was so happy and proud for her. A group of friends had lunch Saturday and after she posted her blog I passed my phone around and showed them her results. They were impressed to say the least. I was happy for her but she and I lead different lives. I can share in her joy but a triathlon isn’t on the near horizon for me.

She and Tim caused me to look at something I wasn’t really comfortable looking at ---- ME!!! I discovered that when I go off willy-nilly pursuing YOUR goals I am simply delaying the inevitable process of examining myself and working on John’s issues. Lord knows it’s easier to work on yours!!! When I set up unrealistic goals for myself I am all but writing failure across them.

MSSUNBUG probably didn’t think about a triathlon before she shed one hundred thirty pounds. She took small incremental steps towards reaching personal and meaningful goals that she designed for herself. It was only then, that a triathlon became a possibility. Tim didn’t go out and buy a cap and gown the day after he started school. He made the goal his own and earned it.

When I won’t look at my own goals critically I am basically saying I’m not worth the effort. It’s easier to fail at your goals than to succeed at working hard on my own.

So, whose goals are your goals?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

VTORIA3 6/1/2011 1:21PM

    Great blog, John. I should have read this first before I posted to your spark page. Whew emoticon I'm no longer feeling any guilt for not setting a higher goal for myself like running in a 5K like John did. It is easy to lose our perspective sometimes....

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MARCYNA 5/31/2011 9:17AM

    I have a confident with myself but everytime I get near it just fades away....maybe I should sub-categorize it????I'm puzzled emoticonThanks, anyway,great blog!!!!

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GRACIOUSGRAPE 5/30/2011 9:43PM

    I agree with all of the above - brilliant blog, you should write a motivational book. Very thought-provoking and so right on target! And as Lynmeinders states, my own goals aren't easy to attain. I do take inspiration from other's successes and try to incorporate from their success stories those exercises, recipes, etc. that I can utilize in my life with my own goals. Stuff like running a triathlon I leave behind - am glad it worked for them and glad they were successful, but like you, John, it has no place in my goals as I have no interest in achieving that as one of my successes.

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DOGMOMMA2THREE 5/30/2011 5:47PM

    I really don't know what you do for a living but I think you really could be a motivational speaker/writer! Your blogs always make me stop and think and for that, I thank you!

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JPRICE217 5/30/2011 12:52PM

    emoticon emoticonblog

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REJ7777 5/26/2011 7:48AM

    emoticon emoticon

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NANASNOW 5/25/2011 4:14PM

    John, you are a friend who is the wisest! Goals, we know we need to make them. They are ours, but then (if you are like me) you see someone else's goal and, I like that one! I also suffer from entrée envy at restaurants. Or when I read a magazine and see the "NEW" Dr. Oz diet and go, ok, I can do that! You know what has worked the best for me? Spark. So, why do I balk at it? Don't know, but John you sure do help! Thanks!

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RACINGSLUG 5/25/2011 2:42PM

    It really is a blessing to be able to share in your thoughts. What a wonderful story about how you encouraged someone to set his own goals. It can be easy, especially on SparkPeople, to feel like we should all be traveling in lockstep, at the same speed, planning to run a Marathon someday, but we're all motivated by different things, so it makes sense that we need to take a step back and really consider whether this is what we want to do.

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LINDSEYBO 5/25/2011 1:15PM

    emoticon emoticon

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SILLYHP1953 5/25/2011 11:01AM

    You write one of the most thought-provoking blogs I read on sparkpeople...I don't even remember how I came across you on here, but I'm sure glad I did. But, I also know that just because you make me think, you do not make me work at my goals or figure them out. I have to do that and I've not been very good at it lately. I do have a goal of having mostly weed-free flower and vegetable beds in the yard and have been diligently working toward that by pulling weeds and mulching every day for the past few weeks. But I've been slacking off from making me eat healthy or doing other exercises besides gardening. I need to figure out what my goals really are, do I even have any real ones?

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NASFKAB 5/25/2011 9:05AM

  Thanks for pointing out to follow our goals not somebody else's

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ONEKIDSMOM 5/25/2011 7:11AM

    emoticon blog, John. It is so true that in order to stay motivated, the goal has to have personal meaning. Been there, done that, with setting goals that were what I thought other people wanted me to be!

Someday, I'll get to the center of the onion... peeling back the layers, and hopefully find out who Barb is and what her *real* mission in life is. In the meantime, living today. One day at a time. emoticon

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LYNMEINDERS 5/25/2011 4:59AM

    Brilliant blog.....

I am pleased to say my goals are fully mine and not someone elses....doesn't make them any easier to attain though

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JUNEAU2010 5/24/2011 10:38PM

    My goals seem a lot smaller than other people's goals. I need to give them the respect they deserve so that they will grow in my heart and be stronger!

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CARTOONB 5/24/2011 9:33PM

    I'm really glad that we are all diffent people. I couldn't stand being surrounded by me! LOL!

I guess I don't have goals. Maybe I should get some.

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HDHAWK 5/24/2011 7:52PM

    Excellent point John! I mentioned a challenge I wanted to join to a couple of my friends the other day. I said how have a tiny bit more time for me during the summer so it came along at the right time. They pretty much said summer is a terrible time to do this because...people like to drink more, BBQ, etc. Well, those temptations are always there as well as holidays, bdays, you name it and add some food. I started the challenge on Sunday for me. It's something I've always wanted to do and I am. 3 down, 95 days to go. After that we'll see what goals are next.

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NJMATTICE 5/24/2011 5:09PM

    Mine are mine. Thanks.
Happy Tuesday, John!
Love to you and yours.

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ZURDTA- 5/24/2011 3:28PM


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DEE797 5/24/2011 2:02PM

    What a terrific blog as usual. Really need to think on that "whose goals are your goals"......hhhhmmmmmmmmmm

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BLESSED2BEME 5/24/2011 1:52PM

    Very true but I also feel that by hanging out with the movtivating successful people here that I get great ideas from their goals which in turn help me figure out what I want my goals to be. Some ideas I'd never thought of on my own.

True, healthy goal setting is something I've learned over the process of my journey on spark and I'm very grateful for that!

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MIZZSB 5/24/2011 1:01PM

    Great blog as usual John..

i can recall doing other people's goals or copied their way of fitness routines as it worked for them. This is a good one, are my goals my own goals. Right now i only have weight loss goals bu how do i want to achieve them...?

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GIRANIMAL 5/24/2011 12:45PM

    Ooooh, you've got my wheels turning. I love when you do that. Thanks, John! emoticon

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LORSI2000 5/24/2011 12:23PM

    HOLY BUCKETS did your words hit home with me today, John!

When I think back on several weight loss efforts, I've realized I wasn't a leader; but a follower of someone else's goals.

I certainly have a new set of goals; MY OWN!

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TEDYBEAR2838 5/24/2011 11:43AM

    Good Blog, John. YOu can do for YOU what YOU want to do. I know emoticon

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CALLIKIA 5/24/2011 11:28AM

    I've been learning this more and more lately. Why SHOULD I think that I should be like others? They are not like me...and that's a great thing. We each have unique gifts and talents. I'm more flexible than people 1/3 of my size - that is a UNIQUE talent. (How many 300lb women do YOU know that are able to do the splitz? ...cuz I'm ALMOST there!) So, yes. MY goals are my goals, and I'm going to try to keep focusing on that. I will still allow myself to adopt some of the workout programs that others have been successful at, but I'm letting myself more and more adapt them to suit myself and my needs and my goals.

Wonderful blog, once again. Thank you!

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GETFIT2LIVE 5/24/2011 11:22AM

    Well said, John. Sometimes it is easier to go blindly after someone else's goals than it is to do the hard work of figuring out what my own goals need to be. I have participated in some challenges that did not motivate me at all and did not really help me toward my own goals. That's nothing against the teams or challenges, they are perfect for some people--just not me. It took me awhile to realize that. The longer I go on this journey, the more I am refining my own goals and way of reaching them; I love running and write about it a lot, but I also try to encourage others to look for what THEY love to do. That is the only way you stick with it for the long haul.

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KKINNEA 5/24/2011 10:42AM

    I like these ideas - I try re-examine my goals every once in a while to ensure I am doing what I want to achieve.

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GEEMAWEST 5/24/2011 10:37AM

    I totally agree. Several of my Sparkfriends have tried to get me to join various running teams. I have no desire to run. I don't like it at all. I'll stick with my walking and other things, thank you very much.

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BEATLETOT 5/24/2011 10:30AM

    Thanks for posting this blog. Definite food for thought.

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CIVIAV 5/24/2011 10:18AM

    This isn't something I like to look at. I am an impulsive, jumper in on others goals. But staying the course on Spark has me looking at myself and learning what I like and where goals have personal meaning. This is the crux of creating success.

I've found running again and all of a sudden I am running a 1/2 this weekend. As you say the opportunity showed up and is totally right. What's next? Not yet sure but I know it involves improving my stamina and endurance over the summer. Then we'll see.

Thanks for these great words!

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And Then There Is Right Now

Monday, May 23, 2011

I often remind myself to "live in the moment." Between me and you, I achieve it about forty percent of the time. Mostly, I'm regretting past decisions or worrying about a date circled on the calendar three weeks into the future. Rarely do I simply stand on the back porch, take a deep breath and just let the moment wash over me.

Did you ever find yourself secretly investigating one of those "fad diets?" You know what I am talking about, the ones that show a person who shed two hundred pounds in just six weeks and suddenly their lives changed dramatically. I have to admit to you that sometimes I wish that person was me!!! I wish everything would change at the snap of my fingers. I close my office door, access the internet and wonder if the latest rare fruit found in the jungles of Brazil may be exactly the boost I need.

It's boring drinking eight glasses of water every day. Tracking my food gets to be a hassle and a half and when I forget to be perfect and track every last morsel that enters my mouth I get frustrated. My legs and gluts burn when I exercise. I keep this image in my head of a sleeker, trimmer John and honestly I just dont always see him.

I get tired of reading blogs from people who live on dandelion root and fresh water and have this quasi Zen like experience with the Universe and by the way, they never cheat. Not crumb one of cookie, cake or pie, cross their parched lips. It's daunting at best.

But I am here this morning like I am every morning because the minute I boot up I know I have at least one thousand friends here who share my predicament. I'm moderately successful at what I do and that puts me in the same category as many of you. You fight the good fight, battle hard and some weeks it seems like victory is a word you need to look up in the dictionary. But you are here for the very same reason I'm here. You're here to be better. The cool thing about being better is that it means so many different things to all of us.

Living in the moment, in today, gives me hope and joy and while I am probably a lot more critical of myself than I should be at times, it gets me over the hump. So I've decided that today is simply one of those days that I acknowledge me, just as I am.

While I'm at it, I'll include you too.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WALKNLOVE 5/31/2011 7:50AM

    Think I'll just say "Amen" and try to get back to living in my moment.

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DOGMOMMA2THREE 5/30/2011 5:44PM

    A wonderfully, insightful blog! Thanks!

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TRIPLE_EMME 5/25/2011 1:35PM

    Your blog is really resonating with me, today.


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ONEKIDSMOM 5/25/2011 7:03AM

    Love this blog... it fits my mood today! And being what we are is being what we are... and we're OK!

emoticon One foot in front of the other. Right now.

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REJ7777 5/25/2011 6:54AM

    Thanks for the pat on the back. I needed it this morning.

Yes, I peak at those fad diets, looking for an easy solution I know doesn't exist. emoticon

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DEE797 5/24/2011 2:05PM

    Another blog to get the motors turning and realizing I don't live in the moment, I'm always worried about something either in the past or the future. Need to take a moment and just exist in the here and now. Thanks for the reminder.

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LYNMEINDERS 5/24/2011 5:28AM

    You definitely have a lot of mates on this journey...and most of us feel the same as you do....yay....
The moment ain't too bad......

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MIZZSB 5/24/2011 4:10AM

    your definatly not alone in this.
I dont like to track my food everyday, and 8 glasses of water everyday bleghhhhhh
I am on the Spring 5% challenge and this weeks Living The Good Life is drinking your 8 cups of water, we track this in a topic and some people drink 16 glasses a day!!!!!! excuse me???? yes 16.. that is 4 liters!
I dont even drink 4 liters a day of all the fluids ( water, coke, coffee, tea etc)

And those fad diets, i am just digusted by it. As i know its not true.. it is not possible!!!

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MYADOG1 5/23/2011 11:32PM

    Nice to know I am not alone! emoticon

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CARTOONB 5/23/2011 10:27PM

    You're welcome. I'm one of those folks who misstep and eat sugar and such. emoticon

BTW...I read all the fad diets too. Luckily, they all sound too hard or too stupid or too something so I never actually try them. But I keep reading! There's gotta be a silver bullet out there somewhere, right?

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SILLYHP1953 5/23/2011 8:33PM

    Today I managed to meditate twice, like I'm "supposed" to, and it actually does make a difference. Meditating is all about being in the moment. My mind wanders out of the moment and I bring it back, over and over again, until the mements of being in the now get a little longer.

Thank you for your words. Thank you.

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JUNEAU2010 5/23/2011 8:22PM

    Your blog brings a hymn to mind and I am singing it in my head. What a great way to perk up the day!

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TEDYBEAR2838 5/23/2011 8:09PM

    Amen on the good being good enough!


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MARTELLA3 5/23/2011 6:49PM

    Sometimes we have to let our good be good enough. Some days my "good" is pretty good, Other days... well, you know.

But we keep on fightin', so that in itself makes us winners!


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HDHAWK 5/23/2011 5:03PM

    So true John! Some days I wonder if it's all worth it. The people are what keep me here and keep me going. I can't imagine not keeping track of my spark friends!

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BRENDABUNNY 5/23/2011 2:49PM

    John those are wonderful words I feel like I was sitting here writing the sam ethingas I was reading what you wrote..I mean exactly it is how we all get to feel me sometimes its overwhelming trying so hard and then not getting the exact results that I want for my efforts..anyway great blog and have a wonderful day! emoticon emoticon

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LORSI2000 5/23/2011 2:28PM

    I couldn't have said it better myself!

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ANTIGONAKI 5/23/2011 1:53PM

    John, I am so with you, it is hard to be positive and calm all of the time and we do beat ourselves up for every little thing we forget... I can't even track every day, but I at least try to get in all of my water and produce requirements and hope that it is enough to last me until the next day when I can start over....

I have starved myself, taken appetite suppressants, fat burners, energy thingies, done extreme exercising etc. It's just not the way to go. I admit that I get frustrated and bored plowing through all of this, especially with all of that negativity that surrounds me... My peanut gallery needs to shut up most of the time. I'm glad I have my friends on Spark and my best friend who has lost 100 lb in 18 months and looks fabulous.

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GEEMAWEST 5/23/2011 12:44PM

    Thanks, John. Just what I needed to read today.

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WATERMELLEN 5/23/2011 12:27PM

    Yup. You'll remember "be here now". And: that's all we've got for sure, so we may as well be here now!!

(The "miracle" book which has helped me most . . . is the Judith S. Beck "Diet Solution". No voodoo, not "diet", just some excellent strategies derived from cognitive psychology wht help us stick to doing what we know we need to do: learning to think like a thin person. And . . . with all the enthusiasm of the converted . . . . I do recommend it.)

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TRISTAROSE 5/23/2011 12:25PM

    Good words of wisdom. emoticon

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MAMADWARF 5/23/2011 10:52AM

    Popular blog award, coming up. I totally relate to this and I thank you for writing it. I start my mornings with spark (90% of the time) and it sets the tone for me. It helps keep my head in the game and reading blogs like yours, gives me the boost I need to do the best I can for myself, today and every day. Thanks, John. Simple, straight forward and honest.

(In the beginning, this was soo simple for me. I went months with barely a glitch. As time has gone by, real life (and cookies!) have entered in and it is not always as easy to be strong or to turn away the things we want or "deserve" and sometimes, being just ME has got to be enough. Thanks for the reminder).

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NJMATTICE 5/23/2011 10:46AM

    It's all about the moment. Never know when our moments will end. Gotta take advantage! Thanks for the positive reinforcement du jour!

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GRAMLORI 5/23/2011 10:24AM

    As usual, words of wisdom!! I liked it so much I shared it on FaceBook! Thanks for putting things back into perspective for me! Have a blessed day!!

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HAPPYSOUL91 5/23/2011 10:11AM

    I sure can relate, spent years just waiting for the miracle to occur without any effort on my part.....ah to have a fairy godmother! emoticon

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TIME4AFITME 5/23/2011 9:54AM

    Great blog which I am sure many of is can relate too. It is so great to read your blogs and they have kept me going more then once this past year. Thank you


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CMA444 5/23/2011 9:37AM

    Great blog! I've been in that mindset lately! I really need to keep hearing things like this!

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MOMGABE 5/23/2011 9:36AM

    Thanks for the great blog. I can relate.

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NASFKAB 5/23/2011 9:34AM

  Great blog John. Though I do share the wish for a "miracle food", know it has to be done slowly & steadily. Thanks for putting it in perspective

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MERALO 5/23/2011 9:32AM

    The Quasi-zen lifestyle is not all it's cracked up to be...your (and my) way is better :-)

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MADTHENURSE 5/23/2011 9:32AM

    As hard as it can be sometimes, we do need to be happy with who we are, as we are. We are working on improving our selves - which is something to be proud of - no matter how long it takes us to get to that person we envision as the perfectly sized version of ourself. More importantly, it doesn't mean that we can't enjoy the moment until we get there! I remind myself all the time to "suck it up and have fun!"

Have a great day!

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SPARKENISTA 5/23/2011 9:29AM

    Great blog, John! Haven't heard from you recently--I miss you!

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BTINTERNET 5/23/2011 9:19AM

    Happy Monday John!

I share that secret wish for the miracle-diet-fruit-fad but at the same time we know that we can only do our best, and most of the time that's good enough! *hugs*

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Observations and Updates

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Observation: My thirty three year old son and I had a late supper Thursday night. He usually works second shift so the opportunity to sit and talk is far and few between. Half way through dinner he looked across the table and commented: “You know dad, the problem with you baby boomers is that you won’t embrace your mortality!! You people think you are going to live forever. Get over it, you’re gonna die someday. “Well hopefully not anytime soon.

Update: As I write I have been soda free for twelve days. Tuesday will make two full weeks. I am proud. In a way, I am glad I had the tobacco withdrawal to go through six years ago. This is very similar in how it presents itself. I am not a coffee drinker, so diet soda was my caffeine boost in the morning. I crave one every morning, no matter what I am doing. It lasts about fifteen minutes and then it gets bored and goes away. It returns between four and five in the evening. Very odd, lol. Like tobacco I can be blind-sided without warning. This morning after church I went to the grocery to get eggs. As I passed the soda display I was over whelmed with this craving that can only be described as passionate. The freaky thing was that immediately thereafter, I wanted a cigarette.

Observation: Do you know that no one knows what is in MSG? I have always had sensitivity to that additive. It will manifest itself with a head ache or a very dry mouth. I had lunch with one of my daughters Thursday and had what appeared to be a harmless turkey sandwich, with tomatoes and lettuce. About two hours later not only was my head pounding and my mouth feeling like a candle wick but I would have robbed Kroger for a diet soda. I had this image of me backing out the door with a twelve pack of Coke Zero and a loaded gun pointed at the clerk muttering, “Everyone relax and no one gets hurt.” So I went home and Google searched MSG and aspartame. There is a connection but no one can definitively say why because no one knows what is in MSG. It’s a secret.

Update: Our basement is dry. Well ninety percent dry. I am waiting another week to make sure the walls are totally dried out before we paint, carpet, vinyl and get a new toilet. It appears that my insurance will pay nothing. The clearest explanation I received goes something like this: FEMA covers front water. The Ohio River would have to over flow and end up in my basement for FEMA to cover my damage. Given my distance from the river in order for that to happen the whole town would be under water. Home owners insurance covers back water, or water that backs up from the storm sewer. Ground water is covered by me!! Guess what invaded my house? Yup, ground water.

Observation: You are all wonderful people.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DOGMOMMA2THREE 5/30/2011 5:41PM

    Sorry to hear about your basement! So proud of you, however, for going soda free! Wow! I don't drink much (maybe 6 cans a week) but that is probably too much given whats in the stuff. MSG can cause some very weird side effects, can't it.

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TRIPLE_EMME 5/25/2011 1:33PM

    Congrats on being two-weeks soda free! That really is impressive.

So sorry to hear about how the financial burden of the repairs is on you for all of the flooding.


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CMBELISLE 5/24/2011 9:25AM

    No one thinks to have flood insurance when they live on the highest spot in the neighborhood like I do, but when we had the 100 year rains two years ago, even we were wishing we'd had it because we got ground water in our basement too. The water table just got too high. We were really lucky though - it seems to have only destroyed the carpet padding and we were able to save the carpet. Best of luck to you with the cleaning and re-painting.

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-CORAL- 5/23/2011 1:28PM

    Bad news about your house. 2 weeks w/out diet soda? Torture. Great job.

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WIGIME 5/23/2011 10:33AM

    I don't drink a lot of soda, but I did quit smoking about 10 years ago. I know what you are going through, but I also know that you can HANG TOUGH!

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PROT358 5/23/2011 12:01AM

    Congratulations of nearly two weeks soda free! I stopped drinking pop when I joined spark, but I was never much of an addict so I never missed it. But now if I have just a small amount, it makes me violently nauseous. There is definitely something very bad in there. Glad you found the strength to quit!

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GIRANIMAL 5/22/2011 11:49PM

    LOL - I've been on a sort-of fast/cleanse of sorts for three days now, and my caffeine and sugar withdrawal have been fierce! I woke up from a nap today and had similar visions about gnawing someone's arm off if I didn't get a cookie RIGHT NOW! Yikes.

And you're on nearly two weeks?! I have a renewed appreciation for your impressive struggle, dear friend! emoticon

I get what your son is saying, but I tell my BF this: I am not trying to be immortal. I'm just trying to feel better while I'm here.

I gave up MSG and aspartame years ago because I get wicked migraines and I generally don't like paying someone to poison me. Scary stuff. I hate to tell you - most deli meats contain nitrates, and it is equally nasty stuff. I fear that may have been the source of your reaction. emoticon Unless is was Splenda in the bread, which is also a pet peeve of mine. I know you were dining out this time, but read your bread labels - it goes by "sucralose." I'd hate to see you undo your hard work kicking the aspartame by letting another chemical sneak in.

Keep it up, bro! You're doing great. emoticon

So sorry about your basement costs. Insurance is mostly a scam if you ask me. I have never understood the lack of flood coverage. It's stories like these that make me glad to still be a renter. *sigh*

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KT-NICHOLS-13 5/22/2011 11:40PM

    Great job on the soda John. I think of you daily and send out good thoughts into the universe as you kick the habit ... it is difficult.

MSG! I had to giggle. My husband is Jamaican and as we shopped at one of the local supermarkets there I came across a bulk bin section. In one of the bins they sold MSG. I stopped and stared for a hot minute until I was being noticed by the locals.

Sorry to hear about the flooding and lack of outside coverage.

Be well!

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LYNMEINDERS 5/22/2011 10:42PM

    You are so so one knows what MSG is do they?????that is really thought provoking...we could be eating anything these days......
I sometimes think some of the 3rd world countries as thye are called have far better quality food than the west does.....

Glad you basement is recovering and drying out....
Insurances are fascinating aye!!!! especially when one wants them to pay for something......
Thats when we find all these loop holes they didn't tell us about when we signed

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MIRACLELOVE77 5/22/2011 9:23PM

    That's crazy, I can't believe no one knows what's in MSG even though it's in so many foods--it could be something terribly terribly bad and we don't even know it. Congrats on kicking your habit of diet coke one day at a time, that's awesome! :) And I'm sorry to hear about the flooding, it sucks when you have insurance and find out it covers less than you thought (happened with my car recently when I got hit).

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SILLYHP1953 5/22/2011 8:29PM

    12 days!!! What an accomplishment! And your awareness, your ability to stop and feel and let it be...very inspiring. What do you mean it's a secret what's in MSG? How is that possible? I had a bowl of cereal a week or so ago and noticed shortly after how dry my mouth was, and I did associate it with the cereal but didn't go further than that in my thinking. Very interesting.

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MOMKAT4310 5/22/2011 7:10PM

    There has certainly been enough water. Flooding creeks, storm drains, etc. Although I live on top of a ridge, in the past we have had the ground water issue. Just my problem. For that, I have had a wet/dry shop vac for 37 years. ARGH
And I remember when everyone of my mom's era was putting MSG (Brand name ACCENT) in foods cooked at home. Yuck.

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HDHAWK 5/22/2011 6:34PM

    I love the image of you backing out of a store with your Coke Zero! You're doing very well John! Keep it up!
Sorry to hear about the disappointing insurance news.

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JECKIE 5/22/2011 5:45PM

    Oof. That sounds like a pretty lame excuse from the insurance company. Sometimes they irritate me!

And good for you for the soda. I won't give up my coffee. Nope nope. Just won't do it.

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NJMATTICE 5/22/2011 5:34PM

    Observation: you seem to be bearing your many pains with grace. Exemplary behavior, John. Here's to a wonderful week ahead.

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KIKOOMAGOO 5/22/2011 5:32PM

    I am glad to hear your basement is drying out- the same thing happened to my father's basement once. We had to have the foundation dug out and resealed from the outside, and paint the inside. I am also glad to hear you are winning the diet soda war- truly you can conquer the world now!
The whole MSG thing gets me too with migraines at the very least and full blown sick at the worst. Fortunately the latter hasn't happened in many years. Even salad bars which are supposed to be good for you can have it.
Enjoy your week!

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CARTOONB 5/22/2011 5:22PM

    Congrats on the no soda thing! You are kicking butt! Sorry about the ground water. Dang it!

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CHAITEAKITTY40 5/22/2011 4:23PM

    I have migraines and two of my biggest triggers are MSG and aspartame. Scary stuff and in so much more than you think. Glad you basement is at least drying out. I'm sorry you can't get more help with the cleaning up.

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Learning From A Five Year Old

Friday, May 20, 2011

Somewhere in my reading yesterday I found a passage that suggested if you were looking for true wisdom, find a five year old to talk to. I was fortunate in this respect because my granddaughter had her end of the year kindergarten super-duper musical special last night. She and approximately forty other five year olds took us on a journey through letter, color and number land. They provided a few shakes a few shimmies and a lot of pointing, waving and covering their mouths with laughter. For about thirty minutes last night insurance adjusters, missed Spark rallies and any other earthly woe took a distant back seat. If you’re having issues in life just bend over really far, then straighten up, then lift your hands towards the sky and sing. You may bounce if you so choose.

There is no pretension in being five. They walked up on the stage like a herd of cattle. Despite the teacher’s pleas to get ready, they got ready when they finished saying hello to each other, waving to mom, dad and grandparents. Then, with all the important things out of the way they began to sing. When they were tired of singing they might stop and make an observation. One even asked rather loudly “When is this going to be over?” They know what’s important. When they were finished singing they moved quickly and with cat like precision towards the cookies and juice. They have learned, in their brief life that family, friends and a good deal of bending and stretching will carry you far. They have learned that laughter and just being goofy sometimes can cure a multitude of woes.

As I was driving home I thought of something I read many years ago. I’d like to share it with you. Its Robert Fulghum’s “Everything I Needed To Know I Learned In Kindergarten.”

" Most of what I really need
To know about how to live
And what to do and how to be
I learned in kindergarten.
Wisdom was not at the top
Of the graduate school mountain,
But there in the sandpile at Sunday school.

These are the things I learned:

Share everything.
Play fair.
Don't hit people.
Put things back where you found them.
Clean up your own mess
Don't take things that aren't yours.
Say you're sorry when you hurt somebody.
Wash your hands before you eat.
Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you.
Live a balanced life -
Learn some and think some
And draw and paint and sing and dance
And play and work every day some.
Take a nap every afternoon.
When you go out into the world,
Watch out for traffic,
Hold hands and stick together.
Be aware of wonder."

Be blessed today.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KIKOOMAGOO 5/22/2011 5:46PM

    Thanks for reminding me of the good things about 5 yr olds. My son is 5 so it's more of the I'm bored, I'm hungry, no fair, and you're so mean that I get. We did have a fun day today with a neighborhood ice cream social, and playing outside. The You're so Mean will come when it's time to come in. I'm gonna miss this someday!

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KAZINMICH 5/21/2011 11:54PM

    I've always loved that writing, it's so true. The beautiful innocence of children!

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MARCYNA 5/21/2011 2:07PM

    I need to spend more time with my 5 1/2 years old nephew. I know he knows better. I might as well learn from him.
Thanks for sharing such a funny episode & poem emoticon

Comment edited on: 5/21/2011 2:08:37 PM

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LMLOPEZ 5/21/2011 9:39AM

    I think more people in this world need to follow those kindergarten rules. Thanks for sharing!

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LYNMEINDERS 5/21/2011 7:06AM

    Thats awesome....something we all need to remember...thankyou

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KIN59VARA 5/21/2011 4:02AM

    Thanks for the reminder, it was a great way to start my day!

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ANEPANALIPTI 5/21/2011 1:21AM


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NASFKAB 5/21/2011 12:04AM

  Thanks a lot

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DEE797 5/20/2011 9:53PM

    Love this blog. Never read his I will see if my library has them.

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DAD2GETFIT 5/20/2011 9:15PM

    Too true..I've read a number of Fulghum's books they're all good.

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KELLY40222 5/20/2011 8:41PM

    Sad how we forget the most important and simple rules to live by.

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JUNEAU2010 5/20/2011 8:27PM

    Five is such a perfect age! I love this blog!

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CARTOONB 5/20/2011 8:27PM

    Great lesson!

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KIMMARIE11 5/20/2011 8:11PM

    That was an excellent for us all. Thank you for posting those words to live by.

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KA_JUN 5/20/2011 7:35PM


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    I really enjoyed reading that - thanks! emoticon

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KSGROTHE 5/20/2011 4:58PM

    emoticon emoticon for sharing! It sounds like you had a wonderful time at your granddaughter's show!

- Karen

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LORSI2000 5/20/2011 4:07PM

    I love it when I get an email message that you have posted another blog!
Love your stories and inspiration!

p.s. How is the sugar-free gig going?


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SILLYHP1953 5/20/2011 3:50PM

    When and why and how do we forget those most important things?

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TKDABRUNZ 5/20/2011 1:50PM

    My 7 and 5-year-old's are always presenting me with some jems. Their actions are always reminding me not to take myself too seriously.

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DEBRITA01 5/20/2011 1:23PM

    Oh, to see the world again through the eyes of a child...we all could learn a lot! Thanks for sharing...

Comment edited on: 5/20/2011 1:24:00 PM

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GETFIT2LIVE 5/20/2011 12:21PM

    Perspective--that is what a five-year-old can provide. We NEED to be reminded from time to time what is really important in life. Glad your granddaughter and her classmates could brighten your evening and life a bit!

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HDHAWK 5/20/2011 12:10PM

    So glad you had a wonderful time!

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DOGMOMMA2THREE 5/20/2011 12:07PM

    I just loved this blog! I especially loved the comment from the child who asked "when is this going to be over". How often have we sat in church, in meetings, etc and thought the very same thing?!

Thanks for this insightful blog!

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JANC7223 5/20/2011 12:06PM


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TRIPLE_EMME 5/20/2011 11:56AM

    Love this blog!!!

I am blessed to live and share my life with my beloved, Little Miss Toddler.


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TEDYBEAR2838 5/20/2011 11:55AM

    So much wisdom for ALL of us!
thanks John

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CANDOK1260 5/20/2011 11:53AM

    great blog thanks

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