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Getting Away For The Weekend

Friday, June 24, 2011

Joan and I will be away all day today and tommrow at The International Bluegrass Association ROMP festival.

Steve Martin performed last night and he was nothing short of amazing.

There are ten acts today and ten acts tommorow and we wont be back until late Saturday evening. Have a great weekend guys. I'm going to try to get some much needed relaxation.

I'm going to try to update some from my tablet. (If I can figure out how it works, lol)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LYNMEINDERS 6/27/2011 6:29AM

    enjoy your weekend to the fullest.....

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TURBOADDICT444 6/25/2011 9:06AM

  Have a great time. I think people know how funny Steve Martin is but I don't know if people realize what an awesome musician he is too. Enjoy!

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NASFKAB 6/25/2011 7:06AM

  Enjoy it. Have fun

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CARTOONB 6/24/2011 9:44PM

    Have fun!

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HDHAWK 6/24/2011 5:51PM

    Sounds like a fantastic time John! You and Joan enjoy!

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    I love Steve Martin and he is amazing!!

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SPARKLISE 6/24/2011 1:27PM

    emoticon emoticon

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MIZZSB 6/24/2011 1:09PM

    whats a tablet??

steve martin a musician?? never knew... have fun

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GIRANIMAL 6/24/2011 1:00PM


Have a much-deserved great time!

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SILLYHP1953 6/24/2011 12:48PM

    Wow...bluegrass! My ex-husband was a bluegrass musician and I loved it when they all came over to the house to practice in the living room. I know you will have a GREAT time this weekend.

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KKINNEA 6/24/2011 12:32PM

    Sounds like great fun - enjoy!!

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LORSI2000 6/24/2011 10:49AM

    At first I read, "I'm going to try to update some from my TOILET". Glad I gave that sentence a second read.

What a wonderful weekend you & Joan have planned! Enjoy!


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GEEMAWEST 6/24/2011 10:45AM

    Sounds like a lot of fun. I love Steve Martin, he's hilarious!

Enjoy & Relax!

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BALDWINJ_03 6/24/2011 10:11AM

    Have a fabulous weekend!!!

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GRAMLORI 6/24/2011 9:59AM

    How fun is that!!! Enjoy your "romping"!!!!

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PANFRIEDTROUT 6/24/2011 9:53AM

    what a fantabulous weekend!

Music Festival tickets = $75
Gas to get there = $20
Relaxing with Joan = ** priceless **

emoticon emoticon

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CIVIAV 6/24/2011 9:50AM

    Have a wonderful time!

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TIME4AFITME 6/24/2011 9:39AM

    Have a great time!

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MARTELLA3 6/24/2011 9:26AM

    What perfect timing for you! You need a break and what better than Bluegrass to make you move and forget your troubles.
Have a fabulous time!


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SNOOKUMS19 6/24/2011 9:14AM

    Enjoy your down time!

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Keeping Myself Positive

Thursday, June 23, 2011

When we were very young, around the ages of four or five, my mom and her sisters would visit my grandmother every Friday morning. They would sit around the kitchen table and talk while my cousins and I sat on the kitchen floor and played, or fought, depending on the day and our mood. Inevitably my mother or my aunts would lead the conversation towards some topic of woe. (I spent a long time wondering what a gall bladder really was.) My grandmother would either be cooking or sewing and without missing a stich or a beat she would always have the same comment regardless. “This too shall pass.” I’m sure my mom and my aunts didn’t like hearing it any more than I like my reminding myself of it today.

I consider myself to be about ninety percent positive all the time. I can usually handle what life throws at me and deal with or at least put a positive spin on it. It’s what keeps me moving forward. I mostly act like one of the twin brothers who rushed downstairs on Christmas morning only to find a large pile of horse manure. One brother slumped down dejectedly. The other raced towards the pile of manure and began throwing it up in the air. He was heard to say, “There has to be a pony under here somewhere.”

In the past eight months I have injured myself more creatively than anyone human being can quite imagine. From my wrist, to my knee to my IT Band to my quads, I have slowed down so much and have so much pain that there are days you really don’t want to be around me. I’m angry and frustrated that I can’t run right now. My quads are so tight that I can hardly walk. I feel like a failure, total and complete.

Most of it comes from the stress of now knowing that FEMA won’t reimburse me for any of the five grand I dropped on my lower level because my flood wasn’t more than two acres. The rest of it comes from worrying about two of the kids being out of work right now. I still have minor night mares about the three flood events in April and May. It’s all created quite a perfect storm in my life.

I don’t write this to vent or to garner sympathy or support. I write because this morning, when I was at my lowest, when I went to sit in the whirlpool at my gym and eased into seventy degree water, got out weighed myself and found I’ve gained ten pounds in the past three weeks, I was ready to throw in the towel. I was going to find a mountain top someplace and just spend the rest of my days cursing my fate.

So here I am sitting in front of my locker, tight as a piano wire feeling like I have let down everyone I’ve ever known, feeling like I don’t have a friend in this world to talk with and I begin to cry. And with those tears comes a small beak in the clouds. I hear my grandma saying “This too shall pass.” I sit a bit longer and hear a much more reassuring voice speak to my heart. It says; “Be still and know that I am God.”
Staying positive can be a bit^&. Retaining your faith often sucks really badly. It causes us to feel like we are on a roller coaster and when we look in the mirror we don’t recognize ourselves at all. We feel disconnected and in a fog. It’s suddenly so silent and we can’t find the map and we feel so bad inside and so frustrated that we can’t find our way out. Then we hear those voices, like beacons and we pick our stuff up and move forward because deep down we do know:

This too shall pass.

Hold my hand. I’ll hold yours and somehow we’ll get through all of this. I promise.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SPARKLISE 6/24/2011 1:27PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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BTINTERNET 6/24/2011 7:24AM

    Thank you for sharing this. (And these days, I can tell you all about the gall bladder...)


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MIZZSB 6/24/2011 2:20AM

    Dear friend!

Your blog really touched me! You are definatly NO FAILURE! You ARE a true inspiration to me. And you hit a sensitive chord with this blog. I lost myself the last week orso..

Just to let you know i am thinking of you emoticon

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GRACIOUSGRAPE 6/23/2011 11:57PM

    John, you always strike a chord with your blogs. I, too, have been lamenting my constant pain and inability to do the things I have always done, and my inability to lose weight at a quicker pace due to that pain. Yesterday my 3-year-old granddaughter sat on my lap and said, "Grandma, why is your tummy getting bigger?" It hit me between the eyes. I so wanted to exercise today, but instead took care of a sick 2-year-old grandson that wanted to cuddle. I use to walk 4-5 miles a day, now I struggle to make one, and that is at a much slower pace because of my constant limp. I use to love to dance, but can't do that anymore. Even though the weight goes up 2-3 pounds and down only 1 at a time, if I am lucky, I keep trying to the best of my ability. I am not at all happy with myself at this weight. It is too difficult to work around my weight, and I know that the weight is contributing to the pain of my bad ankle, as well as causing my knees to ache, especially when climbing stairs. But I can't give up - where will that get me? Staying at this place that I dislike! My mom always told me that God gave us challenges to test our faith and build character. She also told me that she feels I have had enough character building in my life and knows that I have a strong faith in order to get through everything I have dealt with already. My mom, who is the strongest woman I know, told me that she admired ME for my strength, tenacity, character, and faith! Like you and many others, we have been through a lot, but we don't give up. We may get knocked down occasionally, but we always get back up, are stronger in our resolve, and keep moving towards our goals, helping others along the way, because that is who we are! We find God deep within us to help get us through those challenges we face, then with His help, we get up, dust ourselves off, and start over again, and again, and again. I have the Serenity Prayer as a magnet on my fridge because it helped get me through a marriage to an abusive alcoholic (my family never thought I would make it out alive, and neither did I). We are here for you, John, to listen to you, provide a shoulder to cry on as well as to offer words of encouragement and support, and also our love. We are in this together - and we understand. emoticon

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GEEMAWEST 6/23/2011 9:47PM

    Doesn't a good cry feel good? Consider you hand being held. I'm here for you.

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LYNMEINDERS 6/23/2011 7:52PM

    Life is a rollercoaster at times but like your Grandma saig....this will pass....
And....Be still and know that i am God.....perfect reassurance for you to keep going forward ...God is right there with you and will not leave you....
The toughest times in my journey and my life have been the times that have set me up for life.....

Praying for you

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    Through the toughest times in my life I have always lived by "What does not kill us makes us stronger"...many times I said "But God am I not strong enough already?" and then I realized that he really was the only one who knew how much I could handle.
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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KANSASROSE67 6/23/2011 5:25PM

    My mom and grandma both said that same thing, along with "Everything will look better in the morning." And you know what? They were right. Hang in have the kind of faith that will get you through...let God carry you right now. Sending warm thoughts and prayers your way.

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BETTY925 6/23/2011 5:14PM

    Awesome! Thanks for sharing from your heart. I completely understand...been there, done that! But because you have chosen to share, you have enriched others beyond measure, me being one of them. I, too, was about ready to "throw in the towel" but you have convinced me that, "I am worth it!!!" Thank you!

Keep it up! You CAN do it!

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GRACIE4ONE 6/23/2011 4:59PM

    My friend, thank you for reminding me that THIS TOO SHALL PASS! Just what I needed to hear!

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JUNEAU2010 6/23/2011 4:43PM

    Thanks for sharing. I was feeling blue about my own current physical challenges and this gave me hope.

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JENNY888 6/23/2011 4:36PM

    Together we can do this if we keep up the fight. I often have heard the saying "This too shall pass" and I love to hear "Be still and know that I am God". Another favorite saying of mine that was told to me by a very old lady with many afflictions who always seemed to remain positive. I asked her how she was that day and she told me, "only talk about the things that you can change and ignore the things that you can't." I think all three of these saying are related and some of the wisest sayings I know. Stay in there John and know how far you have come. Slowing down a little might be wise, but giving up is not.

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BRENDABUNNY 6/23/2011 3:35PM

    That is my all time favorite and reassuring saying"This too shall pass"..You are only human John and you always seem to pick yourself up and find that positive attitude that is inside you you are a wise man I can tell by your many blogs.
I sometimes too wonder what I do all this for becaus ethe scale seems to move soooo slow for me but I trudge along anyway and please know I'm by your side too emoticon emoticon emoticon

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LORSI2000 6/23/2011 3:17PM

    My mother says the same thing, followed with, "Keep your pretty chin up!" emoticon

...There may be a bald spot on my back hairline from having my chin up so dang high! :)

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NASFKAB 6/23/2011 3:10PM

  Your Grandma was right 100%

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KKINNEA 6/23/2011 2:45PM

    You've got it!

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    Bless you grandma. She was 100% right, John, and it all passes and isn't worth getting out of shape over. Good times, bad times, they will all come and you can't control it. Relax and ride the waves. Let it happen.

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MIRACLELOVE77 6/23/2011 2:16PM

    WONDERFUL blog. I loved your horse manure story too :) But know that you're not alone, know that you are in NO WAY a failure. The fact that you want to work out is great, and right now you just need to take it easy, stretch, and heal up. And God NEVER calls you a failure, he never thinks of you as anything less than his beautiful, wonderful child that brings him great joy. The fact that you are hanging in there and turning to HIM for comfort--can you imagine what a blessing that is to God? Remember that he never leaves you either, and his love never fails. I'm sure when you look back on this in a year, you'll see God's hand growing and carrying you through it all. Sending up a prayer for you.

Here's a song, maybe you know it, but it's a real encouragement in the hard times (her husband had cancer when she wrote it):

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GIRANIMAL 6/23/2011 1:58PM

    Whether you want the sympathy or not, you've got it, dearest friend, because boy, oh boy, do I know "disconnected and in a fog." And pain. It is just the worst.

My mother loved the phrase "this too shall pass." Funny, because she always sounded more like your mom and aunts in her complaints about money and ailments, etc. But then she would always sort of correct herself -- "but this too shall pass" -- and you could see the shift in her energy. It most often works for me now too.

As for those 10 pounds, could it be inflammation from your injuries and/or overall stress? Cortisol is a real bit^& too.

Hang in there. Here, take my hand! emoticon

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SILLYHP1953 6/23/2011 1:45PM

    You touch so many people on here, and elsewhere, because I've shared a few of your blogs with my kids. I still call them kids even if my youngest is 25. Kids is easier to write than children.

Your grandmother had learned firsthand that things on this earth DO pass, she had the wisdom of her years of watching it happen. I'm glad you hear those voices when you need them.

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KENDRACARROLL 6/23/2011 1:23PM

    John, "this too shall pass" is the only thing that keeps me going right now as well.
I'll hold your hand, and together we'll soldier on...

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TIME4AFITME 6/23/2011 12:54PM

    emoticon Thx for the positive attitude so many times your blogs make me keep trying!

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KT-NICHOLS-13 6/23/2011 12:48PM

    My Dear Friend John, Although we don't know each other that well I hear you. I feel your sadness, rage, joy and faith. As I read your blog again I am left with tears in my eyes, a lump in my throat and my thoughts are this ... You are blessed and a blessing! If I were standing toe to toe with you I'd huge you till your soul felt it. You are blessed and a blessing ...

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PUGLOVER1999 6/23/2011 12:16PM

    PS: I love your writing! You are talente!

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PUGLOVER1999 6/23/2011 12:15PM

    John, your blog brought tears to my eyes. I am so discouraged and full of feelings of failure and self-loathing this morning. I have been struggling with losing my last 5 pounds ... Oops --now it's my last 8 pounds -- and I have not had anything like the stress you described! I do not even have an excuse / a reason for overeating. I'm just self-indulgent, the very thing I want to die to!

I remind myself that Jesus took my sins (all of them, but I'm thinking particularly about self-indulgence) to the cross that I can live righteously (I'm thinking about self-discipline, an aspect of the fruit of the Spirit) ... and I'm STILL SELF-INDULGENT!

I've been thinking about being willing to DO WHATEVER IT TAKES and find my mind is willing but the body is weak. Or maybe it's actually the other way around ... my body is stronger (been exercising) and my mind is weak! Either way, I'm not feeling good about me today.

Isn't it wonderful that GOD IS FAITHFUL, even when we are not! He will never leave us or forsake us. I think I will spend some time counting my blessings ...starting with your blog that reminded me I'm not the only one who is struggling with mind and spirit wars. If we never struggled, we wouldn't build up those muscles ... physical and spiritual ones!

I'm rooting for you! I will pray for you (and me) too! emoticon emoticon

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GETFIT2LIVE 6/23/2011 12:15PM

    Your grandma was very wise, John, but you're right--staying positive and retaining your faith often feels absolutely rotten when life is conspiring against us. Some days throwing in the towel and giving up seems like the only reasonable option. Listen to your grandma, and most of all listen to God; He hasn't given up, so until He does, we can't either. I'll hold your hand if you will hold mine, too. Ask God what He wants to be to you right now, you might be surprised at the answer.


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GOOFIERNU 6/23/2011 12:09PM

    emoticon for your words and your positive attitude!

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HEALTHY4ME 6/23/2011 12:00PM

    Thanks John I will take your hand and you mine. I am off work right now cos of sciatica and the likes. I have been hurt so much in past 5years that hubby and I are thinking is it worth getting the dr on board to me taking early disability pension. We would have to sell the house ect. but do I want to work and continue hurting myself.
Then I get the woe is me, mainly cos I just don't know what would be best, it isn't cut and dried and easy even if we don't have enough $. there is also hubbys depression and all that has stopped his work early also. Then my dad who is becoming more needy as he ages and my mum passed 2 years ago this june. so not just a acase of take care of me only......
had a mini meltdown last night on spark, then did a bit of thinking and I too after a kick in the butt for a great spark friend realised yea I am not the only one, and as your wise grandma said this too shall pass. just wish I knew what to do in long term. lol

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SNOOKUMS19 6/23/2011 12:00PM

    My friend I understand your stress and disappointment. I had lost all my weight last year and maintained for 6 months. More time than I ever had at maintenance. In October I found myself in a stressful situation. I found the right resources, including Spark :). But by January I had gained every pound back. Through the crying and counciling I'm in an amazing place today. Friends here had told me that this will pass and I felt I would never be here. My faith as well carried me here and I did have moments that God showed himself to me and I knew I wasn't alone. Use your friends here to guide you. We are here. Take a breathe.

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Decisions and One Month Plus No Diet Soda

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Making the best decision is tough enough, no? It often involves wringing our hands, tossing and turning at night and uttering a quick prayer in the hopes that we made the correct one. Did you ever think about the impact of your decisions? Ever wonder how the decision you make today will have an impact of next week, or even next month. What if we settled for looking at the next five days?

The donut or slab of pie that I contemplating eating right now will give me a bit of momentary satisfaction. Isn’t that satisfaction often followed by some guilt of sorts? A bit of “OMG I blew it.” A few days from now when I get on the scale and I’ve rationalized my way from one donut, to two or maybe three and I don’t show a loss or “OMG I gained weight this week.” Maybe I don’t feel like going to the gym today. It makes it much easier not to go tomorrow and the next day and the next. Soon I’ve forgotten my way to the gym and my old buddy guilt hops in the seat right next to me and grin. I don’t often weigh (No pun intended) the impact my decisions have for my future.

My mind is an amazing tool. It can rationalize anything and continue to rationalize anything as long as I allow to. So I’m committing to do two things, both of them have helped me to become diet soda free for over a month now. (I stopped marking the calendar about two weeks ago!!!) The first is looking at the impact of those moderate to important decisions I make in my life. What effect will they have on my immediate future? While they may give me a short term payoff is there a dead end road around the corner for me somewhere up ahead?

I know when I stay in my calorie limits, do my exercise regimen and get enough rest I feel confident and alert. That’s a great feeling. Truth be told, it’s a feeling I can have every day of the week if I make the right decision. It’s difficult for me. I often feel like “Good John” is on one shoulder and “Bad John” on the other. I’d like to tell you I’m successful one hundred percent of the time but I’m not.

I am get more effective. I’m doing so by remembering that I am really worth all those tough, “in it for the long haul” decisions I make each day. I doing so with the knowledge that I deserve that positive payoff I get when I make the right decision. People often tell me they fall short of their goals because they are haunted by bad decisions. I believe I should be haunted by good ones; the good ones of me, doing what’s best for my own health. I do it because I am challenged by the most excellent, healthy, intelligent people I choose to hang around with. I see their success in life and I strive to mirror it with my own. Those people are , uhm, YOU!!! I have the knowledge that I am everything I really believe I am.

A BFF mailed me a wrist band. On it was written “Thoughts Become Things, Choose The Good Ones.” I look down at it a hundred times a day. This person, a healthy and successful Sparker shared part of their secret with me. When I choose to make the best decisions for me I get the best payoff.

There will always be a slice of pizza, a bag of chips or wedge of pie looming and lurking around the corner. I’ll always be faced with a new and possibly tougher decision. But really, you know as well as I do that those encounters make the end game, the sweet victory of health, so much more satisfying.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LAWRALOO 6/24/2011 12:16AM

    I started my no soda pop kick on Monday!
Almost done with day 4 and honestly I thought it would be harder than it has been.

Way to go John! You're a rockstar!

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SILLYHP1953 6/23/2011 1:29PM

    I read this just in time to help me! I think I can manage to stay away from the snack machine at work today. I need to print out your blog and post it on my desk.

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BETTY925 6/23/2011 8:36AM

    Great blog! Very motivational! I needed to read this today!

I went a whole YEAR without diet soda and then dicided to have "just one" and I am back up to 2-3 daily. emoticon

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TERRIPAL1 6/23/2011 8:02AM

    It's good to know that I'm not alone with decision making or shall we say the struggle with food!! The good & bad John on your shoulders is so true!!

Thanks !! emoticon

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MYGOLDENBOYS3 6/23/2011 7:28AM

    Just read this today and must say it was needed as the stress is building in my life at the moment. Instant gratification does not always result in healthy decisions.

Comment edited on: 6/23/2011 7:29:06 AM

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CARTOONB 6/22/2011 9:40PM

    I've found that if I think about it, I make good decisions (usually). It's the thinking about it before I do it that's a challenge! I'll try to do better.

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KKINNEA 6/22/2011 11:32AM

    Well said!

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SNOOKUMS19 6/22/2011 9:26AM

    This is so true! Thanks for perspective on a rainy day when some comfort food would feel good. For a moment....

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PATTILYNN224 6/22/2011 7:59AM

    Thanks for writing this. It's going on the wall to remind me daily.

I hope you have a blessed day today as well!

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NASFKAB 6/21/2011 11:30PM

  Congrats on 1 month without soda. Great. keep it up

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    Congrats on the one month with no soda. I used to be a soda fiend and seldom have one any more.

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LYNMEINDERS 6/21/2011 7:13PM

    You never fail to remind me of things everytime you blog....
Thankyou yet again for a very timely reminder....
Crazy....I know all this stuff however it is easy to igore it....
This is the very stuff that prevents me from maintaining my achievement

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MKPRINCESS007 6/21/2011 4:38PM

    Awesome John! It is hard sometimes to shelve instant gratification, even if we know it is the best decision in the long run. I gave up soda like two years ago now, and when I occasionally drink it now, especially diet, it makes me feel awful and upsets my stomach. Proof positive that it really is nothing but liquid junk. So proud of you for making this great decision for your health.

Keep on rockin' it, my friend!


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MIZZSB 6/21/2011 3:25PM

    love your blog!

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JPRICE217 6/21/2011 1:50PM

    Great blog should have read it early went to pizza hut for lunch and pigged out. I see plenty of fruit and veggies the rest of the day.

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GIRANIMAL 6/21/2011 12:55PM
?productid=420 emoticon

I understand the struggle with immediate gratification vs. short-term or long-term consequences still! At least twice a week I still think, "Maybe I could have just one piece of bread/cookie/egg/bit of cake...then I'll know for sure if the gluten/egg/dairy are making me sick!" But then I might have to start my elimination diet over...etc., etc.

It's a constant struggle to do the "right" thing. But you're right -- as long as your eye is always on the prize of feeling better, stronger, healthier, more confident, you'll make the "right" choice more often than not.

And then it gets easier -- like your new diet-soda-free lifestyle! emoticon

Comment edited on: 6/21/2011 12:56:49 PM

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HAPPYSOUL91 6/21/2011 12:51PM

    Great wrist band. I especially like the quote....really worth all those tough, “in it for the long haul” decisions

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PGNBRI 6/21/2011 11:17AM

    I need that wristband! Congrats on the diet soda! I knew you could do it!

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BLACKROSE_222 6/21/2011 9:55AM

    Great blog! I've seen a few people on here discussing the wristband idea... I like it.

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SPARKLISE 6/21/2011 9:38AM

    We all have a "bad" and a "good" on our shoulders and the one we listen to the most will be the one that decides our outcome. emoticon emoticon
So it's our choice to have a good life or a bad life. All those little decisions are very important but a lot of times we think them too small to matter.
Glad you brought this up.Maybe i needed that today! emoticon

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BEATLETOT 6/21/2011 8:59AM

    Good job on the diet soda!!! I went back to read some of your blogs about quitting. Did you get headaches? If I go a day without diet soda, I get headaches. It's the aspartame, not the caffeine, as I discovered when I first discovered the headaches and tried to combat them with regular soda.

I'd love to quit, but I'm really scared of the headaches! Maybe I should start over 4th of July weekend, since we get July 1 off work for Al Israa Wal Al Miraaj in addition to Monday the 4th. I can sleep my way through the first four days of it. Do you think they'll have subsided by then?

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KATHRYN1955 6/21/2011 8:58AM

    I think the trouble with a lot of those food decisions is that the negative effect is not immediate, but the 'positive' (sugar high, great taste etc.) is instant. It becomes a matter of constant vigilance and a lot of positive self-talk to reconcile the whole notion of instant vs. long-term gratification.
Congratulations on being diet-soda free!! For me, the diet soda only encourages the desire for more sugar.
Here's to healthy decisions!

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GRACIOUSGRAPE 6/21/2011 8:58AM

    Another great blog, John! Thanks for providing me "food" for thought as I contemplate those decisions. Have been lax on the exercise lately and really need to make better decisions about how I use my time, making sure I plan some for myself so that I can get that exercise in with my busy schedule. But that is an excuse because EVERYONE is busy.

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NANCYBOAT 6/21/2011 8:56AM

    Great post!

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TOTHEFUTURE1 6/21/2011 8:50AM

    I love the wristband idea and should get myself one soon!

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Perfect Love Isn't Always Perfect

Monday, June 20, 2011

She has a huge smile on her face as she walks up to me I the parking lot. Being five and being small she was having a hard time holding the card behind her back. She had this conspiratorial grin on her face as she looks back at her dad. With one swift movement she thrust a card and a hat forward and proclaimed, ‘Happy Pappy Day” I have every card and piece of art work she has ever given me. Some hang on the wall and some sit in a folder in my desk drawer. I have five Father’s Day Cards in an envelope.

“Open It,” she said.

Inside was a card telling me how wonderful I was and then she scrawled her name. Below her name was a peace symbol, well actually about five peace symbols. Four of them were scribbled out. She told me that she wanted to make sure she drew it correctly and she didn’t think I’d mind the four practice tries. Next she handed me a large red, white and blue hat, the kind you see Uncle Sam wearing.

“I told daddy you’d look silly in it. Put it on” I did and she laughed and giggled and covered her face. “You do look silly!!!”

Perfect love is not always perfect. It’s just open, honest and so what if you have to scribble out the peace symbol four times. You got it right on the last try and that’s all that counts. You want to have a good laugh? Give someone a silly hat, tell them to put it on, laugh and then beg to have your picture taken with them. Hold their hand, walk into a movie and enjoy yourself. Not once did I see our granddaughter make an effort to do anything more than be herself. I think she had more fun than anyone else and really isn’t that what life is all about?

I thought a lot about this over the weekend, mostly the four scribbled out peace symbols. I try so hard to be perfect, to get it right the first time, to be everything to everybody, and I lose sight of the fact that the real intention is to share and grow, to love and to be loved. Perfect love isn’t always perfect. Perfect love is simply the ability to keep scribbling out those peace symbols until we get it right and knowing the person on the receiving end understands what all that hard work was for. It means they share in the joy, the desire, the hard work and disappointment until they are looking at the acceptable peace symbol all their own.

My memories of my granddaughter will never be the end result, they will always be those moments when she was silly, when she struggled hard to write or draw what she wanted to draw, and when she danced around giggling, because I looked silly. That is perfection in progress. I could learn a lot from her.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PIMPINELLAN50 4/11/2012 2:13PM

    Big smile emoticon while reading this Blog!Thank's for sharing!

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MYLIFEMADELITE 7/14/2011 10:07AM

    Thank you! So sweet, simple and true.

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SWEETNEENI 7/14/2011 1:28AM

    Beautiful blog John emoticon

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THESHELBSTER 7/13/2011 10:23PM

    Great blog. Thank you for sharing.

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BRAVEHEART4ME 7/6/2011 2:33PM

  I love this, brings tears to my eyes.

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65DAVIS 6/29/2011 9:43AM

    Great Blog - thanks so much for sharing.

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SQUIRRELY_GIRL 6/28/2011 12:24AM

    Powerful and well said!!

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FLUTTER-BY)L( 6/27/2011 3:24PM

    Today I needed this. So much in my life recently has been about not even writing the peace symbols instead of trying 5 times. It is even better that she knew that you would not mind her imperfections. That is an awesome grandpa. I hope she keeps that with her all her growing up.

Thanks again for sharing your blessings.

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DEBLYNN323 6/27/2011 3:01PM

    WOW...thanks for sharing!

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KLONG8 6/26/2011 7:22PM

    Very nice touch....very true.

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MENACE79 6/25/2011 10:23AM

    Wow - this really hit home for me; I've got tears rolling down my cheeks! Beautiful sentiment, well written, and poignant.

Thank you.

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JULIA1154 6/24/2011 11:28PM

  What a wonderful piece. Thank you, John.

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TEMPEST272002 6/24/2011 10:27AM

    What a beautiful blog. Thank you for sharing this story with us. It was very moving. I hope you print this blog off & put it in her memory book... then take it out to read at her wedding. Lovely.

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MISTRESSSU 6/24/2011 2:07AM

    Thank you for this lovely story. I must admit that a lot of life's best lessons have been taught to me by my kids when they were young and now by my grandkids. It certainly isn't the stuff I learned at school and college that bring joy to my life. Yesterday at school sports Emily aged 6 tried really hard with all the sports but only ended up with a 'well done' ribbon given out to everyone involved who was not a specific winner of an event. On the way home, and hugging that ribbon for all she was worth, she informed me that when she got home she was going to put the ribbon on her wall to remind her of a lovely day. No bother that she did not 'win', in her eyes it was just another lovely day. How nice not to have to be a 'winner' but just to be happy at whatever you can achieve. Food for thought for all adults!
Have a great day. Regards from the UK

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JUNIE33 6/23/2011 11:47PM

    I work and sacrifice to get on the good side of my grandchildren. And I love it! emoticon

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JSPIN74 6/23/2011 3:33PM

    sweet & true

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SILLYHP1953 6/23/2011 1:20PM

    When are you going to write your book? Seriously! When?

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YOURHAPPINESS 6/23/2011 12:33PM

    What an amazing, inspirational blog!!!!!!

"the real intention is to share and grow, to love and to be loved."
ABSOLUTELY TRUE and exactly what I needed to read today.

Thank you so much!!

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LESSLESSMIMI 6/23/2011 11:52AM

    Wonderful blog! It's amazing how many different ways we love during our lives--and the way we love grandchildren and are loved by them is one of the most precious!

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CANDOK1260 6/23/2011 11:42AM

    and we can larn alot from you

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AML05030 6/23/2011 11:20AM

    Isn't it funny how we LEARN to that getting "it" right the first time is the only way we can properly do anything? I love talking to little kids who haven't learned that lesson yet. I think it's something adults should unlearn a little.

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WOMANCHEF 6/23/2011 8:38AM

    Thank you for this beautiful reminder of the joy in our lives.

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SINABUNN 6/22/2011 8:35PM

    Wow, just beautiful. Thanks so much for sharing.

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MIZZLE2105 6/22/2011 9:47AM

    That is soooo sweet!!! What a wonderful blog!! Thank you for sharing!!

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MOMONTHERUN1 6/22/2011 9:32AM

    Wonderful blog!

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ERIN4771 6/22/2011 9:18AM

    amazing blog!!! thanks for sharing, and opening my eyes a bit today, i needed it emoticon

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RUNNER12COM 6/22/2011 9:16AM

    What an amazing lesson to share, that the effort and the journey are as significant as any end result.

Good stuff here.

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MARCYNA 6/22/2011 9:07AM

    So funny, and so much to learn from this wonderful child- any possibility of seeing you in that funny hat????????????????

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PATTILYNN224 6/22/2011 8:05AM

    Aren't grandchildren amazing. They have that perfect love and they don't care what we look like, how much money we have or anything else. They just love us.

My grandaughter also reminds me of what "child like faith" is all about.

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WALKNLOVE 6/22/2011 7:43AM

    so cute! She sounds like a bundle of joy! Glad you have her.
And the only perfect love is God's...until then, we just keep trying to love like he does! :)

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    What more could anyone want? Yep, you had it made.

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GIRANIMAL 6/21/2011 12:33PM

    D'oh, I totally forgot to log in and tell you Happy Pappy Day! That's my perfection in progress -- always god intentions but sometimes sloppy follow-through.


You really hit home with the perpetual perfectionist in me with this one, dear bro. Thanks for an (always) much-needed reminder.

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WIGIME 6/21/2011 9:13AM

    Great words John, they definitely give me something to think about, thanks.

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LYNMEINDERS 6/21/2011 4:22AM

    She sounds adorable.....enjoy her to the fullest.....

Happy Pappy Day

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MIRACLELOVE77 6/21/2011 12:22AM

    such a wonderful blog. She is too cute. Happy Pappy Day! :)

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EDWINA172 6/20/2011 9:18PM

    I love this. So touching. Thank for sharing this John. Your love for each other is perfect.

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JUNEAU2010 6/20/2011 7:35PM

    What a lovely story and analogy! Thanks for sharing!

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LORSI2000 6/20/2011 6:46PM

    Happy Father's Day, John!
Sure sounds like yours was splendid.

Today's blog brought fond memories of my mom, sister and me going to the Younkers Department Store when I was younger.

We didn't have enough money to go to the movies, roller-skating or mini-golf; but we would go to Younkers and have my mom try on hats. You see, my mom has this perfectly round (beautiful) face so almost EVERY hat looks absolutely ridiculous on her. She would make silly faces and pose silly poses and we would laugh until we were sick in our bellies.

Some of life's richest moments are free.

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    That was so adorable and so true!

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KERLIN26 6/20/2011 5:09PM

  This really hit home with me. Thank you.

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NASFKAB 6/20/2011 5:06PM

  Thanks for writing this

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GETFIT2LIVE 6/20/2011 4:14PM

    Aren't grandchildren the BEST?! We can learn much from them. I spent the weekend with my 2-year-old grandson, and the absolute joy and utter abandon with which he does things, the way he is totally engaged in the moment, was refreshing. He is 'perfect' for who and where he is right now, not quite able to master 'drawing' Grandma and Grandpa's names, but thoroughly enjoying his attempts.

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KANSASROSE67 6/20/2011 3:09PM

    Love this blog. I'm a recovering perfectionist and your words really hit home with me...thanks!

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HDHAWK 6/20/2011 2:59PM

    Precious! We could all learn a lot from children. What joy she must bring to you and Joan.

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1TRULYBLESSED 6/20/2011 2:28PM

    From one perfectionist to another, thanks for the insight!! Children teach us so much...

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GEEMAWEST 6/20/2011 2:28PM

    Great blog! Yesterday someone said "Nothing in life is free" and my husband replied "Except the smile of a grandchild".

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IDLETYME 6/20/2011 2:15PM

    Wonderful Blog! When you are 73 years old, all you have are the beautiful memories of your grandpa and dad. Treasure them!!!!

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KIKOOMAGOO 6/20/2011 1:51PM

    Are you making a memory book for her? Something with a collection of your happiness brought on by her actions and words? Something with all the lessons she taught you along the way? What a treasure for her that YOU are- maybe she would love it so much that she would make one for her grandchild someday. maybe I'll do that when I have grandchildren too!
Happy Monday, John

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EILI359 6/20/2011 12:39PM

    Great blog -I always find your words inspiring - thank you. Eili xx

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SHERR513 6/20/2011 11:20AM

    Great blog thanks for sharing it emoticon

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Voted Popular Blog Post: View All Popular Posts

Somewhere, Someone

Friday, June 17, 2011

Maybe there are mornings you look out your kitchen or living room window and you begin to wonder if you ever make a difference somewhere………… anywhere.

Somewhere there is someone who just joined Spark and is totally and completely overwhelmed by this whole experience. They are scared, they are a bit embarrassed when they read their first blog and they realize “Boy do I have a long way to go……….” They sit in front of their computer, sipping their morning coffee wondering what to do next. There are ALL THESE PEOPLE!!! They feel over whelmed by the entire experience and begin to wonder where the support will come from.

Somewhere someone feels very alone. They keep waiting for a Spark Goodie, a Spark Mail. Why doesn’t anyone ever read their blogs? They have very few Spark friends. They begin to doubt themselves, why they are here. Maybe, this is just like everything else they have tried……..

Somewhere someone is ready to throw in the towel. They have gone a week, maybe a month maybe even longer without showing any positive movement on the scale at all. Maybe, they even weigh more than when they first joined. They start to question their own value, their own worth. Every morning when they log on they keep hoping someone will leave a word of encouragement on their Spark page. Maybe today is the day they will meet a new friend. Maybe that new friend will help show them the way.

Somewhere someone has returned after a long absence. They couldn’t keep up with things so they gave up and now they are back and they are a bit nervous and scared. Maybe this time they will succeed.

So while you are looking out your kitchen window this morning and questioning your own value and worth realize that all it takes is stopping by someone’s page and saying “Hi,” sending a goofy Goodie and let them know that you thought of them. Maybe you invite them to join a team you are on or participate in a challenge with you and make them feel included, make them feel loved.

Do you know how many people there are in this world who don’t feel loved, who sit alone each day and how Spark has become their life line? Do you know how many people there are who believe they have nothing to offer, as if being a good mom or dad isn’t worth recognizing?

It takes five to ten minutes to find someone new or someone lost and muster up the courage to crash on to their page and let them know you are pulling for them. You don’t know how many times I have gotten a little nudge from one of you that’s made the difference in my day.

Now…………. Go do the right thing.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CHANGE4THEBEST 7/9/2011 1:07PM

So true, a few words from a sparkie makes all the difference to our day!


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4EVER21B 6/30/2011 11:28PM


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MOEMOORE 6/30/2011 4:12PM

    Well put! For some reason, I have a hard time responding to blogs and boards. I read a lot of them, but don't always comment. This time around, I'm trying to force myself to change that aspect. I know I need it, and I know how great it feels to get responses.

Keep it up!

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QUEENREEN8119 6/29/2011 9:44AM

    I was that person once. Now I try and comment on someone's first blog if I see no one else has commented. It just takes 30 seconds to make someone's day brighter.

Thanks for this reminder that we all at one point were waiting for that first spark goodie.

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CMA444 6/29/2011 9:21AM


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TIFFYFANNY 6/29/2011 9:15AM

    Every time I get a goodie or a comment, my day gets a little brighter. Great blog!

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    You rock!

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YASMINCANO 6/27/2011 6:40PM

    emoticon emoticon

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ERIN4771 6/25/2011 7:06AM

    amazing blog my friend, and so right!! i remember the first goodie i received, and the kind note as well, and it made a HUGE difference in my day, and kept me coming back....thanks for reminding me to keep paying it forward.....

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4SPARKLEKITTY 6/24/2011 8:49PM

    thank you for taking the time to acknowledge the importance of support, both in giving and receiving!

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NEVER2LATE2SOAR 6/24/2011 5:07PM

  Thank you for the reminder that each one of us might just have the words that someone else needs to hear. If I make the time to connect with others, I will probably find that same gift coming my way when I most need it. We're all in this together.

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TAMIK1964 6/24/2011 4:29PM

    What a great blog! I wrote my first blog not expecting anyone to read it but then I got comments right away and knew this was a great and active site. It gave me so much encouragement!!!

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SINABUNN 6/22/2011 8:51PM

    Are you peeping in my window or something? lol Amazing that I found your blog... today of all days. Earlier, I posted an entry about how low I was feeling, looking for support. Checking back in a several hours later to find just a couple of responses... well, you just described exactly how I felt. Believe me, I'm so grateful for the people who responded, but I still felt such a void. I'm so glad I went in search of inspiration and stumbled upon you. You're a keeper!

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MALKEWKE 6/21/2011 11:32AM


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DUTCHIEKIWI 6/20/2011 1:48AM

    On my way... right now!!!

thanks John for directing me in the right direction. What goes around comes around!!



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RUN4FOOD 6/19/2011 8:29PM

    Thanks for your thoughts. We all like to receive nudges and we can all give nudges. The best way to get a nudge is to give a nudge.

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KERLIN26 6/18/2011 7:26AM

  You're so right! Thanks for this.

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REJ7777 6/18/2011 6:00AM

    I ENJOY encouraging and supporting people on SP... too much! My challenge is to make sure that I don't spend too much time on the computer when I should be doing other things. It's easier to type than to exercise! I guess the answer is balance.

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LYNMEINDERS 6/18/2011 2:47AM

    There is so many people who feel disconnected and each one of them is so precious and can actually achieve their goals....
I am certainly hearing you....

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JUNEAU2010 6/17/2011 10:57PM

    Good reminder! BTW: I found a hard cover copy of "The Greatest Generation" by Tom Brokaw for $1! I will be thinking of Mr. Miller and all the members of that generation I've known as I read this book!

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DAD2GETFIT 6/17/2011 6:44PM

    Great advice as always. Thanks John.

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NASFKAB 6/17/2011 6:17PM

  Thanks a lot I'll try

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MYOWNHERO 6/17/2011 4:32PM

    Thanks! I will.

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SILLYHP1953 6/17/2011 3:32PM

    I do that, but could do it more, and hopefully this blog will start a movement!

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KKINNEA 6/17/2011 3:28PM

    I always thought I would feel like a stalker but you're right!! I'll start doing that!!

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ANATASHIKI 6/17/2011 3:18PM

    don't say that to me , I'm a bit of a stalker nature emoticon

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CIVIAV 6/17/2011 12:54PM

    How awesome! I'll take on two a day!

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LORSI2000 6/17/2011 12:10PM

    A stalking I shall go!


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GIRANIMAL 6/17/2011 12:06PM

    Great reminder! It's been so long that I'd sort of forgotten how overwhelmed I felt in the beginning -- so much that I didn't come back for nearly a year.

I'll go make a difference today. It really is all about service. emoticon

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HOLLYS_NEW_LIFE 6/17/2011 11:22AM

    Great blog, I think we've all felt like this at the beginning!

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CARTOONB 6/17/2011 10:35AM

    I'm on it! Great usual.

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DEE797 6/17/2011 10:33AM

    Terrific blog as usual and a good reminder of why we are all here. You definitely have a way of getting to the heart of things. Wishing you success on your journey!

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HDHAWK 6/17/2011 10:32AM

    emoticon That's why this site is so much more than a "weight loss" site. It's hard to put into words all the wonderful things spark has to offer. You're one of them!

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KABEE2011 6/17/2011 10:29AM

    Thank you! From "Someone!" Your posts are so encouraging to me each and every read!

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JECKIE 6/17/2011 10:14AM

    Love it! I used to try to hit up the "first blog" posts every day, but I've been slack on that lately. Off to do so right now!


And John, have a great day. Thanks for being awesome - you bring so much good to this place.

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GRAMLORI 6/17/2011 10:14AM

    You are so good at putting into words things that can make a real difference to people! Thank you! Have a blessed Friday, John.

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TIME4AFITME 6/17/2011 10:04AM

    Great blog you always have something wonderful to say!

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BLACKROSE_222 6/17/2011 9:57AM

    I love this so much! I am constantly trolling the blogs, and pages and message boards for new and old people - I personally love it when people comment on my stuff, and want to pass that along to others.

Plus, some of the most interesting people I've met on here, I've bumped into on the Blogs.

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SPARKLISE 6/17/2011 9:37AM

    I try to respond to a lot of people on sparks-especially those who do not have 1000+ friends emoticon but,i also have to live life outside the spark family!If i let it,i'd be here 22 hours a day! But i do agree that people who are not great writers and thinkers don't have as much support as those who give more inspiration. Human nature to flock to people who are more charismatic, i guess. emoticon

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TURBOADDICT444 6/17/2011 9:37AM

  What a great blog! I hope you have a fantastic week! I am going to do the right thing right now, thanks for the extra push. It is a great feeling to know that you are never alone

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LANIEGIRL 6/17/2011 9:29AM

    Wonderful Blog!! You always know the right things to say!! Have a wonderful day!! emoticon

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TERRIPAL1 6/17/2011 9:17AM

    Nice blog !! I love it .I'm pretty new here & just reading your encouragement to reach out makes a difference. You're right we are all here together,we all have at least one thing in common.Let's be there!! Thanks & happy friday!! emoticon

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