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Good Days Arent Always Measured By The Scale

Thursday, June 09, 2011

When Lisa sat down at the table she was crying. Not the big tears, but the ones you needed a Kleenex for. She looked as if she’d been crying for a while. Lisa is one of my clients. I work with people in her situation who have a limited income or are in adverse circumstances. I tell them the maximum I’d charge and the minimum. I tell them to pick either or a figure in between. It’s a matter of trust and honesty and if I can’t trust them and vice versa there is no sense working with each other. Surprisingly most people choose the middle figure. I know they are financially strained but I’ve found that a person’s dignity is more important than a lot of things and if I didn’t charge something most people feel that its charity. I would help someone and have; pro bono if they just couldn’t afford anything. My business clients pay about ten to fifteen times the hourly rate Lisa does and I feel I have an obligation to put something back and help people. You might call it an intention.

Lisa was crying because at the last moment her child care option collapsed and wouldn’t be available. Lisa is a single mom; she is raising her daughter without any support from anyone else. Right then and there if I could have taken a picture of Lisa and put it in the dictionary it would have gone next to the definition of “lost.” I asked her if she tried the YMCA. She told me they had started their program the day before and didn’t have an opening. I smiled. I’d been on our YMCA board for three years. The current Program Director was a former client and as most clients end up becoming…………. A really good friend. I excused myself for a minute and called my friend. I gave her Lisa’s name and she said that she would find a place for her daughter and yes there was scholarship money available for her. All she had to do was come in and sign some papers.

When I got back to the table the tears dried up for a few minutes. Lisa’s next issue was life insurance and how she was really worried that if something happened to her there would be nothing for her daughter. I smiled. We have a friend who sells life insurance and had some of the experiences similar to Lisa’s and is younger to boot. She agreed to meet with her and set something up.

I left Lisa smiling, got in the car and headed on my way. I had vinyl to pick up, a toilet to buy and more paint. In between all of that I had a few more clients. By three in the afternoon I was stressed out and worn out and I was sitting in a parking lot waiting for Joan to come out of the grocery when it hit me:

I had just had the best day in a long, long time because I had done something for someone else with no motivation of “What’s in it for me!!” I invested part of my day doing something for another person. It felt so, so good. I sat in the car and smiled, then I cried a bit and then inside of me the clouds parted and a huge ray of sunshine burst through and gosh I felt so good. There is a song and part of its lyric went through my mind. “A good day is any day that you’re alive.”

Yesterday morning when I checked my account balance the big check a client owed me had been deposited into my account the night before. A few minutes later, our contractor told me my office would be ready to move back into sometime today. Maybe one had nothing to do with the other but I really believe that taking the time to give to someone just so they could have peace of mind…………..

We like to use the saying “What comes around goes around,” to refer to people who have done something selfish or wrong. I think it refers to everything. I think the more I go out of my way to help you the more I will be helped. It’s not about me. It’s about us!

BTW: I still can feel that bolt of sunshine. My problems aren’t gone; they are just easier to manage. If you are reading this it could be because you care, with thought of yourself

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SILLYHP1953 6/11/2011 5:05PM

    What a wonderful blog to read...you are getting back what you've been giving!

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ARWEN555 6/10/2011 10:50AM

  You're my newest Hero. Keep up the good work, and compassion.

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ERANGEL37 6/10/2011 10:24AM

    Reading this just made my day! You are wonderful person, keep sharing.

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IMIN2GENES 6/10/2011 9:12AM

    You are such a kind soul! Thanks for sharing such a wonderful story and reminding me of how connected we really all are.
Chris


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KENDRACARROLL 6/10/2011 8:54AM

    Hey, good days should never be measured by the scale. :)

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NASFKAB 6/10/2011 6:31AM

  Loved your blog showing how being thoughtful helps not only the one you helped but you yourself thanks

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LYNMEINDERS 6/10/2011 6:22AM

    Love this...it is so so true....we get more out of helping others than we do when we wonder whats in it for me....

yay....go you....
I can feel your sunshine....

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GEEMAWEST 6/9/2011 10:00PM

    You so deserved that bolt of sunshine! You are totally AWESOME!!, such a caring and giving man.

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JUNEAU2010 6/9/2011 8:07PM

    You were Lisa's ray of sunshine today! AWESOME!

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CBLANK20091 6/9/2011 7:26PM

  John, you are truly a God-send. Not only did you touch Lisa's life in so many big ways, but just think how many people you've inspired to look for opportunities to help others!

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DAD2GETFIT 6/9/2011 6:42PM

    Thanks John,

Your blogs are always uplifting and I look forward to them.

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HDHAWK 6/9/2011 2:50PM

    It is such a good feeling to do for others! Glad it sent you a ray of sunshine!

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CIVIAV 6/9/2011 2:08PM

    Good Samaritan, sure. Great soul, absolutely!

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SARAWALKS 6/9/2011 1:49PM

    So true and thanks for sharing this wonderful day! I do believe that God blesses us as we take time to bless others and you did that today. emoticon emoticon

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HOLLYS_NEW_LIFE 6/9/2011 12:42PM

    Karma is good my friend : )

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TIME4AFITME 6/9/2011 12:20PM

    That is a wonderful story so glad that you could help her. Thank you for posting that emoticon

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DEE797 6/9/2011 11:57AM

    What a wonderful story. So glad you were able to help Lisa and bring a little sunshine into her day as well. emoticon

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GIRANIMAL 6/9/2011 11:52AM

    emoticon

Mostly your selfless service to Lisa, but also the universe's response to your actions. I KNOW it was related - Wayne Dyer and many others stress it's all about service and, really, it makes so much sense.

Congrats on finding some sunshine, some real gratification, in the best possible way.

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Comment edited on: 6/9/2011 11:53:18 AM

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KIKOOMAGOO 6/9/2011 11:36AM

    Thanks again SparkFriend! Had to pull over today and cry for a little lost soul that I can no longer help, but can pray for. What a day it's been and not even noon here. On to the next segment!

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ZURDTA- 6/9/2011 10:39AM

    Cripes I am teary after reading this... I think it is because I WAS Lisa a few years ago but alas I had no John. Gosh, you are a real good guy...

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HAPPYSOUL91 6/9/2011 10:26AM

    You have written an excellent blog. Those words ring so true for me!!!

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SPARKLISE 6/9/2011 9:35AM

    It's always feels so good when you can do something for someone that you know appreciates it and really needed it. All the money in the world can't buy that feeling. Good for you for being unselfish and ready to help. She was really lucky to have you on her path. emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MUSTANG_SALLY2 6/9/2011 9:32AM

    I love hearing that you were able to help Lisa. It brightened my day to know that someone who needed a hand up got one and didn't have to make a deal with the devil to get it. Thank you, John for being the kind of person who does this kind of thing. It makes me have a bit more faith in the goodness of the world. I worry about the human race sometimes and then I'm sent a story so I can be reminded. There's still hope.

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GRAMLORI 6/9/2011 9:30AM

    The scale is such a small thing to be so revered by so many.

Ooooo......don't I sound philosophic this morning!!! emoticon

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KHAMELEON1 6/9/2011 9:22AM

    Paying it forward is always the best way to show your gratitude for what you have.

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ZIPPOZEPPO 6/9/2011 9:21AM

    nice story and thoughts thanks for sharing

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Setting Intentions

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

In the center of town stands a massive sassafras tree. I pass it each morning on my walk. It’s been there forever but I never really noticed until the other day. Beside it is one of those historical markers. I’d stopped to tie my shoe and I saw a sign that told me this tree was “first mentioned” in town documents in 1861. According to the plaque it had been around for a good while back then. I kept walking and I thought just how long that tree had been there. It had witnessed The Civil War, both World Wars, Korea, Vietnam, bot wars in Iraq……… I’ve missed a few I’m sure along with so many other events we mark time by. People were born, people died and that tree stood there, strong and regal. It provided shade for generations of people. It was there before I was born and it will be there long after I am gone.

In her book Quantum Wellness, Kathy Freston talks about” setting intentions”. An intention is different than a goal because it’s an activity you commit to day after day. It has meaning to you in your journey. For example one of her intentions is that she is silent as she eats her breakfast. It allows her to focus on her day and gather some much needed spiritual energy. It’s a behavior or intention she practices each day. I have been looking for such an intention in my life

As I walked past the tree it dawned on me that I am simply a visitor on this planet. I do not own it or anything on it and truth be told; by some of my actions, I do not honor it as a visitor should. If I came to your house to visit I would respect you, your wishes and your customs. I would be very careful not to disturb anything. You would do the same for me. Yet here I sit on a planet where I am a guest and I treat it as if it should bow to my whims and fancies. Long after I am dust, that tree and many others will continue to provide shade and life for millions of people. As is stands strong through turmoil I am simply passing through.

My intention is to walk by that tree every morning and remember that everything great and small, important or seemingly insignificant deserves respect. That respect begins with me. It begins with looking into the mirror and shows a healthy respect for myself and my life. It begins when I value every part of me as much as I possibly can and realize that while I am only a guest on this planet, I have an important responsibility. It begins when I look into your eyes and see the amazingly wonderful value inside of you.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PIMPINELLAN50 4/11/2012 2:01PM

    Beautiful and thought provoking words. emoticon
I stumbled upon your SP-Page,and have enjoyed reading many of the Blogs. emoticon

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SILLYHP1953 6/11/2011 5:08PM

    Great intentions, and a great way to think of our planet.
I don't hear about sassafras trees much. My grandmother used to have sassafras tea.

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REJ7777 6/9/2011 7:30PM

    Great blog! emoticon

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NASFKAB 6/9/2011 9:14AM

  Thanks for this awesome post

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LYNMEINDERS 6/9/2011 1:03AM

    Thankyou again for an awesome thought provoking blog.....

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GIRANIMAL 6/8/2011 4:20PM

    Beautiful intention! Did you also intend to nearly make me cry? Because you did! emoticon

You reminded me of how I have often said, in response to people wanting to kill wild coyotes because they are eating domestic dogs or goose eggs because the geese are producing too much poop (for real, only in Chicago!) that, hey, wild animals were here long before us and we are tramping THEIR habitat. I am sure you know the kind of looks and uncomfortable silences that engendered: "Oh no, a hippie -- run!"

I'm not perfect -- I eat meat and just last night said we needed to buy ant traps -- but I do try to have some respect for this place I am visiting. How perfectly lovely that a beautiful old sassafras inspired such an awakening in you!

The wholeness you are finding on your journey is awe-inspiring. Impressive work, John.



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HDHAWK 6/8/2011 2:21PM

    Love it!

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KSGROTHE 6/8/2011 1:51PM

    You have a lovely idea for your intentions!

- Karen

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LANIEGIRL 6/8/2011 12:50PM

    Great Post!! emoticon

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TRISTAROSE 6/8/2011 11:36AM

    Great blog .... emoticon

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DEE797 6/8/2011 11:34AM

    What a wonderful post. I like the setting intentions also. I need to read the book you mentioned. Thanks for sharing.

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GETFIT2LIVE 6/8/2011 11:24AM

    Wonderful idea, John--I like the idea of setting intentions and choosing something like this helps set perspective each day. Thanks for sharing!

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JAKEANDNELLIE 6/8/2011 10:46AM

    Again - words of wisdom!
Thanks!
Sheila

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ELENA_DIEM 6/8/2011 10:05AM

    This is one of the best posts I've ever read on SP. It really speaks to me. Thank you for sharing your reflections and intention :)

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JUNEAU2010 6/8/2011 9:56AM

    I Love this blog!

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BLACKROSE_222 6/8/2011 9:04AM

    Sounds like you have good intentions. emoticon

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CIVIAV 6/8/2011 8:45AM

    The sensational, spiritual Sassafras...

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MARTELLA3 6/8/2011 8:37AM

    I appreciate you and your wisdom. Your words have set a wonderful tone for the day.

Marty

Comment edited on: 6/8/2011 8:38:09 AM

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MUSTANG_SALLY2 6/8/2011 8:33AM

    Amen. Well said, John.

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CARTOONB 6/8/2011 8:33AM

    That is an excellent intention! Love the idea.

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MIZZSB 6/8/2011 8:31AM

    ahhh thanks for this one John...!

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Finding Compassion

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

I often reassure people by telling them “No problem is a small problem if it is your problem.” I believe it when I say it. Sometimes it’s very easy for me to sit back and look at another person’s issues or concerns and hear that tiny voice inside of me whine, “What’s their problem? They don’t really have a problem!!! They need to quit complaining.” It’s an awfully selfish perspective. I grew up with my mother and a cadre of old nuns dressed in black wagging a finger under my nose and reminding me that there was starving children all over the world who’d love to be where I was. I’m quite sure there were and still am. I was remonstrated to accept my suffering, whatever it was in a noble manner and move forward. It usually ended with the promise of “a place for me in heaven…..” Actually it only served to make me bitter at times. Any issue that occurred in my life was minimized by starving third world people.

I had become, as many have, a product of the times. I cared about me and my concerns because the good Lord knows no one else will. If you have a problem, well that’s your problem. I slowly began to change when I saw the brave behavior of many, many people who were succeeding in their lives despite their problems and issues. They not only acknowledged their issues but they embraced them, owned them and wore them as a badge of honor and dignity. I started to notice that those people who seemed to have so little to give in a material sense were always first in line to give freely and without reservation. In spite of their own issues and problems they acknowledged that mine were EQUALLY important to me. I thought they were angels or maybe even saints. They honored my pain and suffering.

I write that lengthy tome as a preface of sorts to the tiny but powerful revelation I had yesterday. My blog on Job began with my own personal tale of woe. As I reflected on it a bit I started to see that my sufferings and trials were not making me angry and bitter but rather opening my mind to a feeling of love and compassion for those around me. It is really easy to snap at people, take a break from your goals, be unavailable because “you are going through a lot.” Everyone understands and it’s a great opportunity for me to lick my wounds. It is much more difficult for me to accept I’m not Super-John, life does hit me in the gut occasionally and it should not stop me from reaching out to those around me.

Maybe that was the point of this rather painful lesson I’m going through. Maybe it is there to remind me that I am frail and I am strong and loving, all at the same time. Maybe it happened to show me what life is really all about. It’s about joining hands with the person next to you and sometimes dragging them along because they haven’t the strength to walk on their own and by the way, you are limping themselves.

Health is not only the number on a scale, the circumference of your waist, whether you binge or not. It’s not only the knowledge in your head, often it’s the growth of your heart and your soul.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SMOCKON 6/13/2011 6:17PM

    I laughed out loud (at my desk!) when I read about the nuns and the starving children. There must be a nun training school where that lesson is #1. My mom (who is almost 75) said her nun teachers said that, and the nuns who taught me said it, too. No words of wisdom or ah-ha's from me. Just thanks for the laugh. emoticon

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GIRANIMAL 6/8/2011 4:11PM

    Wow. Nice work, bro.

One of my biggest lessons has been learning to accept help. And to ask for it before it is "too late" and I blow a gasket. And I have had very good friends drag me along when I didn't even recognize that I hadn't the strength to do it alone.

I'm not all the way there yet, but this lesson has been one of the biggest -- maybe larger than my 75 pounds lost -- victories toward overall good health.

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LYNMEINDERS 6/8/2011 4:51AM

    Amen & Amen....you write such inspiring blogs that never fail to challenge me....thankyou for being you and writing what you write.....

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SILLYHP1953 6/7/2011 9:41PM

    Pain does cause us to grow, maybe it's God's fertilizer.

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HDHAWK 6/7/2011 6:17PM

    emoticon

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JUNEAU2010 6/7/2011 6:13PM

    Well said!

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DEE797 6/7/2011 2:29PM

    Another terrific blog. Thanks so much for sharing it with us.

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MIZZSB 6/7/2011 2:18PM

    thanks John!!

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BLESSED2BEME 6/7/2011 1:05PM

    This is one of the very things I love about spark. We take each other's hands, without even having ever met each other and help others along in a community based village of people who are learning about themselves, others and how to care better for themselves and others. Awesome isn't it?

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REDSHOES2011 6/7/2011 12:43PM

    emoticonblog

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SNOWANGELDIVA 6/7/2011 12:37PM

    It's so true! They're are involved in this healthy journey.

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SPARKLISE 6/7/2011 12:11PM

    You are on a very good path. Keep up the good work. emoticon emoticon

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GRAMLORI 6/7/2011 11:12AM

    Our health is physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual....all rolled up in one. You (again!) hit the proverbial nail on the head! Thanks.

You have an awesome day.

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JENNY888 6/7/2011 10:51AM

    Very true. I've noticed the same thing. Thanks for blogging about these words of wisdom.

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BLACKROSE_222 6/7/2011 10:33AM

    Very true... and not always easy to hear, but needed. Thanks again,

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GEEMAWEST 6/7/2011 10:32AM

    You're so right, my friend. So very right. emoticon emoticon

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JAE_HENNINGTON 6/7/2011 10:27AM

  Love (compassion) covers a multitude of sins (shortcomings)

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NASFKAB 6/7/2011 9:50AM

  Very wise & so true

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ZURDTA- 6/7/2011 9:43AM

    I have the same thing - I try to be a superwoman and feel down when I realise I am not. I can't control everything, I cannot be involved in everything, I cannot DO everything and on and on... letting go is hard. People lean on us, because we let them, we like it... but we cannot keep it up...

It's a learning curve...

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IMIN2GENES 6/7/2011 9:20AM

    Wise words my friend!
Chris

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Learning To Persevere

Monday, June 06, 2011

One of my closest friends may be brain dead. My eighty seven year old father finds out today or tomorrow if he has bone cancer. My eighty year old mother may have a bowel obstruction. I am so stressed out that my legs and lower back scream with pain the minute I move wrong. The reconstruction of my lower level moves at a snail’s pace. I do not feel inspired to blog or write at all – This has always been my saving grace. A client “lost” an eight thousand dollar invoice and will “try” to pay me today or tomorrow. They were genuinely sorry.

Should I go on?

“There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and eschewed evil………..” Regardless of your spiritual belief, the book of Job is a good read. It’s the story of a wager between God and the devil. God tells the devil to throw everything he has at Job and God is banking on the fact that Job won’t give up and lose faith. The devil takes his best shot and God stands by watching. In the end, Job hangs on and everything he lost, plus more is restored to him. That’s not to say that Job sat there with a grin on his face. He suffered, he was in pain. At one point his body was covered with boils and his family was killed in a variety of disasters. He ended up sitting on a large pile of dung with his head hung low. His friends walked by and laughed. Many told him to “curse God and die.” He didn’t. He persevered. He believed in something and he believed his faith and his ability would cause him to win in the end, even when the whole world seemed to be tilted away from him.

Simply put this is a really good story about persevering. Job had a set of beliefs, goals, things he wanted to do and no matter what happened to him he kept sight of those things and no matter how much people jeered and laughed he kept moving forward. In the end he was rewarded for his faith. I’m no Job. My faith isn’t that strong, but I am persevering. I am stumbling and falling and cursing my rotten luck in life and wondering why I am surrounded by so much mayhem, but I’m not losing sight of my goals. For every one of you here who supports me, there are people I know who tell me I should just give up. They tell me that some people were just” born fat” and it’s a losing battle. They tell me fifty seven is too old to start running or spinning or working really hard on a twenty year plan.

You know what? Some days I am tempted to listen to them. Some days I have to fight the urge to pick from one of the disasters in my life and just give in. Some days it would be really easy to “curse God and die,” so to speak. Some days I am so stressed out that I use food as an excuse to feel better. I go way beyond my calorie limits and tell myself its okay. I wake up in the middle of the night, often I cry a bit and feel like a total and complete failure. My self-worth gets tied up in my appearance. I feel alone, like I don’t have a single friend. My well of inspiration has dried up. My own personal pile of dung!!!!

I’m not writing to get consolation, support or love. (It’s welcome but it’s not the reason I’m writing.) Each morning, after another night of not sleeping well I gingerly get out of bed and I walk, run or cycle. I ache, but each day I tell myself today is the day everything will turn around. I have a healthy, balanced breakfast and I tell myself today is the day I’ll stay in my calorie limits!!! I do not give up. I persevere. I believe in John. I believe what John is doing is going to help him follow through on his twenty year plan.

I’ll get there despite my short comings and failures. In the end I’ll be smiling and it will all have been worth it. I’m learning never to compare myself and my experiences to other peoples. I am learning that through my pain and disappointment the precious practice of love and compassion for other people, no matter who they are or what they do. I am learning to persevere.

“Don’t give up, don’t ever give up.” Jim Valvano

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SPHAPPYHIKER 6/8/2011 11:17AM

    Thanks for this post. I stumbled across this today and found this is what I needed to hear. I to am learning to persevere and I am at a standstill and this is a reminder that I have to move forward and do something.

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SILLYHP1953 6/7/2011 9:39PM

    I'm not sure what to say, so how about if I just listen. Sometimes I'm pretty sure we just need to talk and hear ourselves and get it out and know there are people who want to listen to us. My daughter taught me that when I always tried to fix whatever she was trying to talk to me about.
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MIZZSB 6/7/2011 11:30AM

    hugs my friend

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ZURDTA- 6/7/2011 9:28AM

    Hugs xx

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MARCYNA 6/7/2011 7:37AM

    Sorry to hear about this John, but the Lord is always with you and will carry you through all this....I was also in trouble when my mum broke her shoulder last month but I've found everything turned out to be a big blessing. My prayers are for you, as always emoticon

Comment edited on: 6/7/2011 7:37:59 AM

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LYNMEINDERS 6/7/2011 2:12AM

    The story of Job is a great one to read.....I agree with you....

I believe in you as well and I know that you can presevere and reach your goals.....

Will be praying for you pain levels.....

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AJDOVER1 6/6/2011 11:58PM

    Thanks for posting this. I needed to put myself into perspective today. You're in my prayers.

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RJFERRARO315 6/6/2011 11:45PM

    As those below/above, I'm familiar with Job too, and your blog reminds me to keep the faith and above all persevere. And I belive you will too.

I'm sorry to read about all the trials in your life now. I'll be praying that, like Job, you will find that perseverence carried you through. Hang in there, a step at a time.

Hugs, Rebecca

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CARTOONB 6/6/2011 10:33PM

    Very familiar with Job's story. Sorry to hear that you are so intimately knowledgeable as well. BTW...57 isn't too old to start a twenty year plan. Seems to me you have at least another 20 after that you need to plan for.

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JUNEAU2010 6/6/2011 9:41PM

    Well said, REJ7777! I really relate to your blog JOHNTJ1 - I weigh just about what I did a year ago! I live in terror that I will be laid off. My bank account has been cleaned out. I could go on. Still, I plug away joking it's my Norwegian stubbornness. I don't know what it is. I can't give up, even if I want to do so. If I give up, I know I will die. I am obese. I have a long way to go, but, even with all this, there is a tiny spark of hope. Hope that I will achieve my goals, hope that I will live long and healthy enough to enjoy the next generation in my family...I could go on. For all the negatives that make me want to quit, there are at least as many positives for keeping going....

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MSSUNBUG 6/6/2011 9:41PM

    I'm sorry for all that you have going on, dear friend. I relate so, so much. I've been having a few terrible days in my world over here, and this was actually really helpful to read. For tonight, I have nothing insightful to add or share. Simply, "I hear you." And "thanks."

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REJ7777 6/6/2011 8:29PM

    I think that the fact that you refuse to give up, is the very reason that you will succeed, in spite of everything. I know that it sounds trite, but as I read somewhere, "When you're in the valley, don't forget what you learned on the mountaintop!"

Plus, if you're healthy, you'll be better able to face the other challenges in your life.

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HDHAWK 6/6/2011 7:59PM

    I'm sorry for all the things you're going through John. Keep moving forward (and I know you will) because we've been fortunate enough to have today to do the best we can! Love and hugs! Kim

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LUVMYK9S 6/6/2011 5:55PM

    I am sorry for all of the chaos and worry in your life right now. This blog was timed perfectly for me, just today I was thinking what a failure I am. I've been on Spark since April 2009 and yet I am at the same place as I started. I've lost and gained the same 5 pounds over and over again. Your message to persevere hit home with me and no matter what I will never, ever, give up.

My thoughts and prayers are with you, and I know you will persevere. Thank you for being you!

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Andrea

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CIVIAV 6/6/2011 3:39PM

    If emoticon help - take em. But no matter what, just get on up one more time!

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GIRANIMAL 6/6/2011 3:14PM

    Now it's my turn to praise you for your strength, tenacity and grace. I'm so sorry you're getting pummeled from so many directions, but the reasons/lessons will reveal themselves eventually. Meanwhile, you are example for us all! Huh - maybe it is we who are supposed to be learning the lessons from you in this struggle. If that's the case, thank you eternally for your forbearance, my dearest friend!

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BLESSED2BEME 6/6/2011 12:47PM

    I lean on the Book of Job quite a bit! I see people suffer and struggle so much but go on despite it and am so very grateful that I have that choice to make as well.

Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us. They are always thought provoking and motivating.

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KKINNEA 6/6/2011 11:46AM

    All of us, your SparkPeople friends, believe in you. Hang on to that in those tough times!! Great blog for all of us!

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GETFIT2LIVE 6/6/2011 11:41AM

    Lean hard into God right now, John; that is the only way to make it through the stressful times. Ask Him what He wants to be to you right now that He could never be any other time or way. I'm so sorry about all the mayhem going on. Sickness, death, financial difficulties--any one of those stressors is enough to send us over the edge at times, but combined they pack a potent punch. Hang in there; you are worth the effort, and you ARE going to come through this season.

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NASFKAB 6/6/2011 11:17AM

  What a great way to put it

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HEALTHY4ME 6/6/2011 11:15AM

    Well I believe in you!!! and there is always someone worse off than yourself - that was for me as I sit here off work cos of dr orders, in extreme pain from siactica. oh the pain, but I can think, walk, talk, move and have emotions good, bad, sad, happy.
I feel sad for your family and friends and their issues. life certainly isn't fair is it.
HUGS to all.

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NOMORESTALLING 6/6/2011 11:12AM

    Through it all.....You know we can't wait until everything is just right. It will never be perfect. There will always be challenges, obstacles and less than perfect conditions. So what. Get started now. With each step you take, you will grow stronger and stronger, more and more skilled, more and more self-confident and more and more successful.
Mark Victor Hansen


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JECKIE 6/6/2011 10:57AM

    I believe in John, too!

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I hope today is the day things turn around!

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NCHOPEFUL 6/6/2011 10:50AM

    I wanted to write something encouraging but couldnt find the words. Just know that you touch SO MANY people on here and though we may not "know" you we care about you!! Keep clinging to your faith- God never fails!! And it doesn't matter how many times we stumble, we never truly "fail" until we quit trying altogether! So no, "Don't give up, don't ever give up."
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FROGGERHKC 6/6/2011 10:23AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SHERRYJVP 6/6/2011 10:16AM

    You are SO IMPORTANT to your spark friends, I can't imagine how important you are to your family and friends. Your goals are wonderful and reasonable and you can do this because of your faith in God and you know that He will ALwaYS be there. Everything's in your favor.

I will be praying for your parents and continue praying for your parents. I know how hard that is.

blessings
Sherry

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GRAMLORI 6/6/2011 10:12AM

    "Damn the topedos, full speed ahead!" I ate close to 1/2 lb of fudge yesterday. But this 'old lady' is back on track today, considering where and when I'm gonna walk today. Guess I better write my own blog. Thanks, John. You have a blessed Monday, anyway! emoticon

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MARTELLA3 6/6/2011 10:06AM

    John-
Don't forget the passage at the end of Job where it says that when Job prayed for his friends, the Lord blessed Job twice as much for the second half of his life. (Job 42:10)
Get ready for the blessings.

Marty

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MISSROCKABILLY 6/6/2011 9:59AM

    Good for you on persevering, John. It's not always easy, and it's not always fun, but it is worth it. You are worth it!

So sorry to hear that things are so stressful in your life right now. Hope things get better soon!
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BLACKROSE_222 6/6/2011 9:51AM

    You are so appreciated, and loved in this community - that I can only imagine how much you are in you are loved and appreciated in your day to day life. When every card is against you, eventually something must come up right. Thank you for the reminder that we are all persevering, and trying our best - sometimes we just don't think about it.

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DEBBIEDAY 6/6/2011 9:44AM

    Great post and a reminder I needed to hear today John..THANKS! Let's keep pressing onward slow going is way better than 'no ging'!!!! emoticon emoticon

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PANFRIEDTROUT 6/6/2011 9:35AM

    you've been an active member of SparkPeople for just about 18 months .... I'd sum that up as "perserverance".



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Finding A Tough Goal

Sunday, June 05, 2011

At the end of March I decided to set an activity goal of taking ten thousand steps a day. Since I’ve been using my BodyBugg it’s tracked automatically and I simply upload the information in my computer each evening. It’s ninety percent accurate. April was a really great month! I averaged 11,202 steps each day. I was feeling really good. Nothing could stop me, could it? I sat down to total up and average out the month of May. As I looked at my figures I saw some pretty big numbers. Yeah………… there were some small ones but mostly nice five digit numbers. I felt confident, until I averaged the totals………… 9,688. I ran the figures again, then had Joan run them and they still came out the same……. 9,688. I had failed to reach a goal. My world started to crumble and I swear I could feel my waistline slowly but surely expanding on me!!! I was 312 steps a day short of my goal. I sat at my computer with sweat forming around my brow. I was calculating how many steps I’d have to make up in June to compensate and suddenly I sat back in my chair and asked myself why in the name of all that was sane and sacred was I freaking out? Plain and simple, after further review, I had fallen short of reaching a goal. It wasn’t from lack of effort or desire. There were some days, out of business necessity that I spent four hours or more in my car traveling. There was at least a week I spent on my hands and knees pulling up carpet, padding and vinyl from our ground water attack early in the month. I made an effort every single day to get those 10,000 steps into my activity.

Reality, well reality is reality. It’s like a feather on a windy day, it blows as and where it chooses and sometimes we are simply along for the ride. Do I wish May had turned out different? Yes, indeed I do. Is there much I can do in June? Not really. Every morning when I wake up my intention is to walk my 10,000 steps. I haven’t given up or set it aside because there is a degree of difficulty to achieving it. That’s how I know it’s a good goal. It’s going to be hard.

I’m not fooling anyone, including me when I put goals out there that are simple and easy to reach. It may give me some sort of false sense of pride but really, I know what I’m doing and when I try to fool myself. In the long run it never works.

So my May wasn’t what I expected it to be. I could give you a million reasons why and you’d probably agree with most of them but suffice to say I have found a goal that’s going to be tough to attain and then maintain.

That’s how I know it’s a good one.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CMA444 6/7/2011 9:43AM

    Great outlook! emoticon

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GIRANIMAL 6/6/2011 12:08PM

    A good one indeed! But remember, as you have often and wisely told me: We still have this thing called life, and sometimes it gets in the way. :) Your reasons were legitimate parts of life, not excuses. But besides, you really nailed it by seeing that intention coupled with action really is everything anyway. You're doing it, dear friend!

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PCOH051610 6/6/2011 9:55AM

    I can really relate to the following words you wrote "I’m not fooling anyone, including me when I put goals out there that are simple and easy to reach. It may give me some sort of false sense of pride but really, I know what I’m doing and when I try to fool myself. In the long run it never works."

I have to incorporate your wisdom into my own journey! I think you are going fantastic and I'm glad that you can now "mentally" write off May. Move on and work on June!

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MIRACLELOVE77 6/5/2011 9:52PM

    that's awesome. Great job on not letting the setback set you back!

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SPARKLISE 6/5/2011 7:24PM

    ooohhh! I don't like it when people say something that gets me in the gut.
Your "I'm not fooling anyone,including me when i put goals out there that are simple and easy to reach."
Ouch! Thats what i've been doing in all areas of my life especially my fitness plan -No goals,so i can't fail. Something i have to ponder on.
Thanks. You just challenged me to challenge myself. emoticon emoticon

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DAD2GETFIT 6/5/2011 6:54PM

    emoticon emoticon

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MKPRINCESS007 6/5/2011 4:07PM

    Seriously, John,all I could see what how many steps you DID DO. Never lose sight of that. Without that goal, you wouldn't have had that many. So, take time to love yourself and tell youself you did an awesome job, even if you didn't hit the magic number. Focusing on that magic number, like the number on the scale, can be deadly. It can kill your momentum, your drive, your desire. Don't allow that to happen.

If you strive for doing the best you can, every day, you should be damn proud of that.

Rock on!
Karen

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STRONGERLEANER 6/5/2011 3:12PM

    Great outlook!

Keep going! Keep stepping!
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RACINGSLUG 6/5/2011 2:53PM

    You are doing great. The hard goals are always the most satisfying to achieve. Keep reaching for it, and the payoff will be worth it!

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CIVIAV 6/5/2011 2:37PM

    Progress on two fronts, activity level and learning about your reactions. Can ask for an experience more apropos than that. WTG on the steps and not panicking!

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JUNEAU2010 6/5/2011 2:09PM

    Glad you stepped off that anxious reaction to your goal! Your new perspective is a sign of growth in a good way!

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CARTOONB 6/5/2011 12:47PM

    Good for you for cutting the panic and the waist expansion short. Even tho you didn't get ur steps every day, you were still active. Small steps.

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TAKINBACKMYBODY 6/5/2011 12:39PM

    You are doing great!!! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SILLYHP1953 6/5/2011 12:14PM

    You have such honesty and are so grounded. I feel privileged to read your blogs.


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DEE797 6/5/2011 11:57AM

    I say you did pretty good. You set a goal and came as close as you could to reaching it. Life throws us a curve now and again. So be proud of what you did accomplish and keep moving forward. Wishing you continued success on your journey! emoticon

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KLEONIKI 6/5/2011 11:23AM

    I know..
I was so utterly positive that on May i would have met goals and follow the May bootcamp strictly..
Then my mother had fallen and injured and i had to end up devastated, tired, and with some inches added in my waistline..
I DID NOT MET MY GOALS EITHER...
Nevertheless i did not forget all about them..
I did my best to fight (using only my feet to transport me even after a sleepless night..,choosing food as healthy as possible from sometime unhealthy ones available)and i know that "back on track" is my REALITY .The rest are bad incidents that can only for a while interfere with my plans and decisions.I have changed.Really. From inside...
Good luck , dear friend
Hugs


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GETFIT2LIVE 6/5/2011 11:11AM

    I'd say you did pretty darn good, John. If you hadn't had that goal, how many fewer steps would you have done? Goals are just that--something we work towards but don't always reach. Sometimes when we shoot for the stars, we come up short, but we always go farther than we would have if we didn't try at all. Great perspective!

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JBARSTOW 6/5/2011 10:52AM

    Great perspective on things - ever notice that the rear view mirror in the car is a lot small than the windshield? It pays to look forward, not stare at where we've been. Keep going on that goal...and you know what? You'll hit it. And it'll mean even more when you do, because you had to word extra hard to get there.

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TRAVELGRRL 6/5/2011 10:38AM

    Love it! Just aim to be better every month. Continual improvement, not perfection.

Life DOES intervene with the best-intentioned goals!

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HDHAWK 6/5/2011 10:19AM

    Good attitude John and remember you burned a LOT of calories doing all that basement work!

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TEDYBEAR2838 6/5/2011 10:16AM

    JOhn, I know you didn't reach your exact goal, but GOOD GRIEF! You did emoticon
Part of the victory is in the TRYING. YOU DID. You may not always make your exact goal, but you have to know you put forth the effort to reach it. Don't be so hard on yourself.

June will be emoticon

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