JOHNTJ1   66,820
60,000-79,999 SparkPoints
JOHNTJ1's Recent Blog Entries

Finding Wisdom and Bliss

Monday, September 26, 2011

If we are not careful, wisdom and bliss will team up, hunt us down and infect us with their own unique brand of mirth. I’m not quite sure what will happen then but I can imagine, just from my limited exposure, it will be a good thing.

Last Thursday evening, a group of seventh and eighth graders proudly and with a perceptible amount of nervousness walked in front of sixty or so adults to sing a medley of tunes. They were our “entertainment” at the Optimist International Banquet. They smiled, rolled their eyes, wrung their hands and other wise did a really good job. During their last song I noticed a girl in the back row. She was tall, and her head poked up above her school chums. At one point in the song, as it grew towards a masterful crescendo she closed her eyes, threw back her head, and SANG!! The smile and expression on her face told the story. She had touched the fringe of bliss and just for that one, pure and sweet moment, everything was perfect. Lord, it touched my soul.

Yesterday I read a posting from a Spark friend who had taken a “break,” to reorganize, focus and other wise get her stuff together. She realized after a few days that she needed the love and support but had found she’d become caught up in what I call the Spark Rat Race. I’m paraphrasing what she wrote because I felt as if she had tapped into my soul.

How many of you feel guilty if you don’t respond to every blog posting, Spark Goodie, Spark Mail, or friend request? (Please visualize me raising my hand) How many of you rush to your PC every morning, log on to Spark, spin the wheel and swear to all that is holy, the points are rigged. (I had a friend who actually charted this on a Excel spreadsheet for a month and swears there is a conspiracy. I myself don’t think it’s fair that my streak of logging in was broken by the fact I was in a remote area fort one day and couldn’t log in!!!) Will you listen to me? Holy cow!! Lost somewhere in my desire to ascend the Spark ladder, accumulate fitness points and the scared and treasure Goodie points, I’ve stopped having fun. I came here to get healthy (Another word for bliss.) to reclaim some semblance of balance in my life and instead I seemed to have lost focus.

So my Spark friend touched a nerve or struck a chord inside of me. Many days I do all the right things for the wrong reasons. Many days I come here to feel secure and reassured and not to do the things that make me healthy. It’s all about perception and Thursday night the young lady, head thrown back, angelic smile on her face reminded me it’s all about seeking that pocket of bliss in our lives we so richly deserve. I do deserve to be happy and healthy. I am worth every bit of effort I put into myself, but it doesn’t matter much does it, if I am Spark Community Member of the year and my health suggests I am morbidly obese. Like my Spark friend suggested, sometimes we lose track and a slight pause helps us regain our bliss.

I am grateful for the wisdom and now if you’ll excuse me I am going to find a street corner to sing on so I can regenerate a bit of bliss.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SILLYHP1953 10/12/2011 3:22PM

    Does the end justify the means? I don't think so, I think it's the journey, not the end that's important. I got caught up in all the sparking stuff, too, but have backed away, figuring out what's important (it's not points!), and am doing better. It's the community on here that keeps me coming back and keeps me going forward.

Report Inappropriate Comment
LINDAJ0621 10/7/2011 5:38PM

    Wow....this is a timely topic for me! I have been having some struggles along these lines also. So, I took a break and had to decide if I actually wanted to continue here or not. I came to the conclusion that I DID want to stay at SP, but I have to be doing the things I want to do and NOT the things I feel obligated to do. And, I have to STOP feeling guilty about LIVING and not being on the computer all the time!
emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
NASFKAB 10/5/2011 12:27AM

  Great blog as usual

Report Inappropriate Comment
SPARKLISE 9/28/2011 9:35PM

    SO true!
I get so stressed out if I get behind in sparks!
That is not what is supposed to happen!
emoticon emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
CATHERINEL66 9/28/2011 12:41PM

    Oh, can we have a video blog of you singing on the street corners? This I gotta see :) Just kidding :)

I couldn't agree more -- everyone has to find their groove.

Report Inappropriate Comment
WORKINGSTIFF 9/27/2011 10:14PM

    OMG--who would have time to blog, respond, huddle, comment etc. etc. everyday?

I think the point of Spark is to be a part of the community, but to also get out in the world and live a great life. I'm sure Chris D. wouldn't want a whole community of online only participants.

Living in the real world and then bringing it to Spark is the great part of all of this. I enjoy reading about people running marathons, traveling, visiting relatives, etc.

Report Inappropriate Comment
TRACEY5280 9/27/2011 7:15PM

    I'm right there with you. I've stopped commenting, responding,etc. so much and stepped back to focus on me. It can bog you down and take away from where the true focus should be. Like in eating, exercise, and all that is good, it's a matter of balance.

Report Inappropriate Comment
MORTICIAADDAMS 9/27/2011 11:51AM

    I absolutely get it. We have enough to do without turning everything into another job and more work!! We need to enjoy the journey and if we aren't we need to assess our situation and regroup.

Report Inappropriate Comment
LYNMEINDERS 9/27/2011 5:45AM

    Double Amen John

Report Inappropriate Comment
STEELKICKIN 9/27/2011 12:41AM

    Amen, John. AMEN!!!!

Report Inappropriate Comment
CARTOONB 9/26/2011 11:01PM

    The wheel IS rigged...and I'll figure out the pattern eventually! LOL! Great blog.

Report Inappropriate Comment
GEEMAWEST 9/26/2011 8:48PM

    I am throwing my head back and singing as loud as I can. Even though I can't carry a tune. LOL

I really get where your spark friend is coming from. emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
HDHAWK 9/26/2011 7:31PM

    Boy, can I ever relate to this one. Sometimes I do feel like I give too much time to spark because heaven forbid I miss something important!
A couple weeks ago I became a spark motivator and was almost embarrassed because I've gained back to 5 lbs. over my highest weight. I'm a faithful sparker, but I sure haven't been faithful to myself and my goals.

Report Inappropriate Comment
IFATFIRST77 9/26/2011 7:05PM

    Interesting points to ponder for sure. emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
GIRANIMAL 9/26/2011 4:44PM

    LOL -- I've been feeling guilty for like 5 days for not yet being able to respond to comments on my last blog. emoticon

I sure do feel at times like I have lost sight of my intentions -- as I mentioned to you recently, I discovered that I have been Eating By Numbers for quite some time now, and I am not quite sure yet how to break that habit yet. I want to say it's time to just stop tracking, but I sort of still need to because of my food issues, plus I want the "crutch" as I am starting to shift up to maintenance calorie range.

Anyway, the short version of that is I hear you, and fully encourage you finding your bliss in whatever way works best for you. If it's not chasing Spark points (which makes sense to me!) then so be it. This is your journey to better health, to the best John that John can be. Own it. Go sing your heart out! You sure do deserve it, dearest friend.


Report Inappropriate Comment
HAPPYSOUL91 9/26/2011 1:18PM

    You just "bliss" away

Report Inappropriate Comment
GETFIT2LIVE 9/26/2011 12:14PM

    It is soooo easy to get caught up in the Spark Rat Race without realizing it! I've had to back away from some teams and challenges because it was becoming too much, and I've definitely felt like a 'bad' Spark Friend when I don't respond to every comment, goodie, and message that comes. I love this site and my friends here, but I can't live here 24/7; that's not really living, is it? Go find your bliss, John; I'm gonna go find mine.

Report Inappropriate Comment
KKINNEA 9/26/2011 11:22AM

    Great blog - I recognized myself in there. I need to get out of the rat race some!

Report Inappropriate Comment
TEDYBEAR2838 9/26/2011 11:04AM

    blisfully bliss

Report Inappropriate Comment
JECKIE 9/26/2011 10:20AM

    Right on! Here's to your bliss!

Report Inappropriate Comment
GOOFIERNU 9/26/2011 10:09AM

    I just finished a necessary three day down time due to me (foolishly) injuring myself. I didn't track, I logged on, but didn't obsessively get all the points. I couldn't exercise, so didn't track that either... and when I COULDN'T, I realized how OCD I'd become with the whole point system. I would think, "Did I get every possible point I could???"

Time to back away from the Spark Site and actually go DO the exercises and stretches. Sitting here obtaining points isn't moving my butt and helping me get rid of these last 20 pounds.

Time to go find my bliss.

Thank you for this post!!!


Report Inappropriate Comment
TERRIPAL1 9/26/2011 9:04AM

    Nice one,enjoy your bliss ! Enjoy the day & have some fun!

Report Inappropriate Comment

Letting Life Come To You

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Awhile back someone crooned “The blues don’t care who’s got em’” I’d be lying if I told you I bounce out of bed each morning with a grin in my face and a song in my heart. Most days it’s a bit of a struggle. My mind fills up quickly with everything I need to do. I stretch, pop my pills, struggle into my clothes, head for the pool. It seems as if I’m marking time. Where’s the joy? What did I do to deserve all of this and why are all of these people putting such huge expectations on me? I am just one guy. What happened to the life I always dreamed of? Why can’t I track my food, spend six hours exercising, become Sparkie of the Year and sit at my PC all day sending out Goodies to everyone who crosses my path? You see, some days you just have to take what life gives you. It may be a gift card to the store of your dreams or it may be an expired coupon to McDonalds. It would be nice to accept it with a smile on your face and a song in your heart, but you and I both know, that doesn’t always happen.

Most days we just deal with life. We pay the bills, change the oil in the car, listen to a frustrated co-worker, clean up after spouses and kids and somehow hold it all together. We start our day with the best of intentions and suddenly everything comes unraveled. We scratch our heads, wipe away a tear and just keep moving onward and upward. No one will ever write our biographies. We’ll never be on The Today show. We, you and I, are quite simply the threads that hold life together. We are the “great unsung.” We are the people who set the example, not by loud words and clanging cymbals. We are the folks who lead by our lives, our love and our commitment. It’s not always fun.

I recalled training for my first 5K. Lord, I hated every moment of it. It sucked, I ached and running 3.2 miles seemed far away. I remember the first time I did it. Being the large ball of emotion that I am, I was crying. Poor Rebecca, the trainer on duty at my gym, didn’t know what to do so she hugged me. I remember the first race I ran and how the deep sense of accomplishment flowed through me as I crossed the finish line.

I hold those things in my heart and know that when I let life come to me, rather than trying to bat it away, that around a corner or over a bend, there is a cheering finish line waiting just for me.

Peace to you this day.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NASFKAB 10/5/2011 12:25AM

  You are an inspiration to all of us

Report Inappropriate Comment
SPARKLISE 9/24/2011 10:31AM

    And that is what life is made of.
I think there is a lot of hype about how you can be super positive and always in amazement of every little thing that is going on , always bright eyed and bushy tailed every minute of every day!
Sometimes you just do things because they have to get done- without pomp and fanfare.(Is that a saying? emoticon)
We might be the great unsung to the masses but not to our family.
Great blog John.
emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
JPRICE217 9/24/2011 10:09AM


Report Inappropriate Comment
DUTCHIEKIWI 9/24/2011 1:47AM

    You are the one that somehow puts the words and feelings that I have in my heart and mind in writing. With goosebumps I read your feelings and how they are similar if not the same to mine. It's such a relief to read that I am not the only that has these feelings, and the having the knowledge there are people out there like you that understand how I feel without even having to say or explain everything, means a lot!

Next time you cross a finish line, any type of finish line, just know...
I might not be standing there in person, but I standing there waiting for you and applauding you with heart and soul.

I hear you, I feel you....

Let's make life our adventure that we share together, as together we are so much stronger!!



Report Inappropriate Comment
GIRANIMAL 9/23/2011 3:06PM

    Boy, this fits right in with my resounding life lesson of late: acceptance. I'm really working on remembering to let life come to me, accept it for what it is and do my best.

Peace to you, John!


Report Inappropriate Comment
SNOWANGELDIVA 9/23/2011 11:57AM

    Bravo, brother.. you may not be on a 'Hollywood Hot List'; you're on mine. I adore your ability to write and allow me to sigh my frustrations in tandem with yours. The Today Show does not have my attention like my sparkling friend, John does.
May God Bless you with peace as well.

Report Inappropriate Comment
LYNMEINDERS 9/23/2011 6:53AM

    Very is so easy to get caught up in the mundane that we miss the treasure in each day....

Comment edited on: 9/23/2011 6:54:14 AM

Report Inappropriate Comment
MKPRINCESS007 9/22/2011 6:03PM

    John..........I so appreciate your down to earth, no holes barred look at life. Funny you should mention that "no one will write our biographies......No Today Show" son was showing me Google+ yesterday, and it is in Beta version at the moment. The suggestion is to follow "fun and interesting" people......examples being Paris Hilton, Mariah Carey, and some senator from somewhere. I thought "Why should I follow them? Will they EVER follow me?" and what makes them "fun and interesting"? Definitely an aha moment, cause we most certainly are blips on the radar. That being said, I so agree that we need to let life come to us. The best things that have ever happened to me have come when least expected. Being open to what life brings is what it is all about.

You rock, man!

Report Inappropriate Comment

    Yep, the feast and famine, ebb and flow of life. But as you well know what makes the man is not how you handle the good times but how you ride out the bad and you will ride this one out and learn the lesson that this period of tribulation entails and be stronger than ever.

Report Inappropriate Comment
CANDOK1260 9/22/2011 2:07PM

    love your blog but then always do

Report Inappropriate Comment
CATHERINEL66 9/22/2011 1:29PM

    Such a sweet blog, John! Though I am shocked you hated every minute of the 5K training! What? How could you not be engulfed by positive endorphins? (tongue in cheek here). LOL! You LOVE working out, I just know you do :)

Report Inappropriate Comment
WORKINGSTIFF 9/22/2011 12:37PM

    Life has a way of getting in the way...we live it as best we can, with some days being better than others. But! Every day we open our eyes is another chance that someone else did not get...

Report Inappropriate Comment
TEDYBEAR2838 9/22/2011 12:17PM

    Hope to see us both at tha finish line!

Report Inappropriate Comment
KKINNEA 9/22/2011 10:19AM

    Love it

Report Inappropriate Comment
NJMATTICE 9/22/2011 10:04AM

    Happy Thursday, John. Life is good.

Report Inappropriate Comment
JSPIN74 9/22/2011 9:51AM

    emoticon so true! thanks for this & being one of the unsung along with us emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
TRISTAROSE 9/22/2011 9:47AM

    Well said John .... I was feeling down on myself this morning, always second guessing what I have done and/or said. I need to look at the brighter side of life and not question and/or care what other people think of me as I am what I am. Thanks for a great blog!

emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
ANATASHIKI 9/22/2011 9:08AM

    emoticon I was thinking at exactly the same things today . I was sitting in a garden with a friend , relaxing with a coffee and suddenly thinking why can't we have this more often? why do we have to always run breathless after stupid things? why is everything so complicated? or is it just me being complicated? why can't my brain stop asking questions without answers ? so I decided to grab every little piece of happiness that was available and ignore the rest emoticon emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment

    Life brings us almost exactly what we expect. "I bargained with life for a penny and life offered me nothing more". You are right, live life as it comes and enjoy!

Make it a great day!

Report Inappropriate Comment

With A Little Help From My Friends

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Tomorrow evening somewhere around seven I’ll be sworn in as president of our local chapter of The Optimist’s International. I wasn’t the first choice for this office. Three people turned it down and I said yes. The look on the election committee’s face was one born more of relief than elation. No matter. I WANTED to do the job. The national president as well as the regional governor will be there to swear me in along with a whole slate of officers. If you are not familiar with Optimists International I encourage you to do a Google search and learn more. Basically our motto is “Optimists bring out the best in kids.” I have to give a speech somewhere in the midst of all of this hoopla and grandeur. It has to be short and inspirational.

I had a difficult time sleeping last night because it was warm in our bedroom. It was one of those fall nights that weren’t really warm enough for the AC and not cool enough to open our windows. I laid there for a bit wondering what I could say that would inspire a group of people to inspire an even younger group of people. As I rolled over, it came to me. I’d share what I have learned here. For each of us it is different and if you been my friend for a while you have read this before.

No matter what you do always believe you are deserving and worthy of being successful. No one is better than you and no one can do what you do and bring to this world what you bring.

You are worth all the work, effort, blood sweat and tears you put intro you own success. Whether it’s a 5K run or a 5 pound loss, your value can’t be measured in tangible terms. Every sacrifice you make puts a definitive stamp on your individual value, worth and greatness.

Finally, you are who you hang around with. Great people seek out other great people and challenge each other to be even more than they could imagine in their wildest dreams. When you associate with positive and optimistic people you become stronger and better. Leadership is no more or no less than setting a great example and following through upon it.

I learned this from you. I wish I could put you all in a bus and have you join us. At the end of my speech I turn towards you and clap with heartfelt appreciation and recognition. You’ve taught me so very much and I am grateful.

The Optimist Creed begins with the following two words “Promise yourself………..” Whether its health, fitness or simply life I challenge you to live those words with me.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SILLYHP1953 10/12/2011 3:15PM

    You know those three people turned down the job because you were supposed to have it!!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
MARCYNA 9/27/2011 10:23AM

    Congrats!!! I'm proud of you!!!

Report Inappropriate Comment
NASFKAB 9/27/2011 2:01AM

  Great piece

Report Inappropriate Comment
SNOWANGELDIVA 9/23/2011 12:01PM

    CoNgRaTuLaTiOnS on your Presidency, John. This is F*A*B*U*L*O*U*S!!!!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
CARTOONB 9/21/2011 11:08PM

    Congrats on being the new president! You will do a great job!

Report Inappropriate Comment
CLOVER2 9/21/2011 10:45PM

    You will be awesome at this, your wisdom and inspiration have touched so many of us, it's been great!

Report Inappropriate Comment
LYNMEINDERS 9/21/2011 8:02PM

Congratulations....>I love your speech and your are so so right....
we lwaern so so much off each other that we can pass on to the younger generation...
That's really what life is all about....
Go you

Report Inappropriate Comment
CHAITEAKITTY40 9/21/2011 5:49PM

    Congrats! I know you will do a wonderful job! emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
SPARKLISE 9/21/2011 3:03PM

    Good for you!
I know you'll do a great job!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment

    They are getting one "heck" of a leader. You should have been first choice!

Report Inappropriate Comment
GIRANIMAL 9/21/2011 1:56PM

    I can't fathom a single soul who could fail to find inspiration in your eternal, sincere optimism. You are a perfect choice for this position, and your speech will prove it!

For the record, I'd totally get on that bus for you. emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
NJMATTICE 9/21/2011 12:22PM


Report Inappropriate Comment
GETFIT2LIVE 9/21/2011 11:51AM

    You will do well in the position and in your speech, I have no doubt, John. You live the Optimist's Creed and have taught us here to live it as well, maybe not perfectly (for who of us is perfect, right?), but a little better every day.

Report Inappropriate Comment
BLACKROSE_222 9/21/2011 11:34AM

    Your speech will be great - that is an awesome idea to speak about. Great work, and congrats!

Report Inappropriate Comment
SUSUSUZZZIE 9/21/2011 10:53AM

    emoticon I'm sure you will make an awesome president!

Report Inappropriate Comment
SANDYBRUNO 9/21/2011 10:39AM

    Congratulations on your position. The important thing is you really want to do this so you will do a great job. It sounds like they are getting a great man.


Report Inappropriate Comment
KKINNEA 9/21/2011 10:00AM

    Congrats, I can think of no one finer to lead the group!

Report Inappropriate Comment
FROGGERHKC 9/21/2011 9:42AM

    Congratulations John!!

Report Inappropriate Comment
HDHAWK 9/21/2011 9:00AM

    You're a great choice John!

Report Inappropriate Comment
WORKINGSTIFF 9/21/2011 9:00AM

    Hail to the Chief, baby!

You are exactly where you need to be. You are a very inspirational writer, so I have no doubt that your words will inspire as well.


Report Inappropriate Comment
WALKNLOVE 9/21/2011 8:51AM

    Congrats! No one deserves it more than you! Three cheers for John!

Report Inappropriate Comment
MUSTANG_SALLY2 9/21/2011 8:24AM

    I'll be there in spirit. I'm glad you said "yes" to the presidency. They are blessed to have you!


Report Inappropriate Comment

My Attitude Determines My Altitude

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

I’ll admit loud and clear that I am unabashedly a fan of Zig Ziglar. Oh the other motivational gurus are fine, but when I am in desperate need of a pick-me-up, a lift of the spirit or simply a kick in the butt, Old Zig is who I go to.

Zig tells the story about traveling to a speaking engagement with a colleague of his. Flights were delayed, mostly by weather, some rescheduled, and some cancelled altogether. At 2:00 AM Zig and his friend found themselves in the Dallas/Ft. Worth airport. They were scheduled to speak at 8:00 AM and their flight wouldn’t depart until six. It gave them just enough time to shower and shave ---- no sleep.

Zig said he was furious. He plopped down in one of those really comfortable airport chairs and began to fume. After a bit, he noticed his traveling companion was quietly reading and humming. As a matter of fact it dawned on Zig that this man had remained totally unruffled through the whole ordeal. Zig tapped him on the shoulder and asked him how he could remain so calm in the face of the entire calamity. The man put down his book.

“Well, I figure I can be happy or I can be mad and it won’t make any difference. I’m still stuck in Dallas/Ft. Worth. I might as well be happy. “

I crawled out of bed this morning, struggled into my swim gear and spent thirty minutes in the therapy pool. I am sore, I ache, but somewhere as I exercised, this story came back to me. I have lower back issues. My life’s been changed, at least temporarily. In a sense my world is upside down. I can choose how I feel. The pain will still be the pain, so I choose to be John.

It’s not fair that life often hands us situations we can’t control but in His infinite wisdom God gave us one thing no one else is master of ---- Our Attitudes

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SILLYHP1953 10/12/2011 3:13PM

    I guess Zig Ziglar even had to have eye-opening experiences!!

Report Inappropriate Comment
NASFKAB 9/27/2011 1:59AM

  Grear lesson

Report Inappropriate Comment
GODDESS181 9/24/2011 10:23PM

    Thanks for the reminder, we choose how to experience what life sends our way.
emoticon emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
JPRICE217 9/24/2011 10:06AM

    Great blog is was a real eye opener emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
CARTOONB 9/21/2011 11:10PM

    Choosing happiness works for me!

Report Inappropriate Comment
GEEMAWEST 9/20/2011 7:49PM

    I love Zig Ziglar, so does my hubby. We actually got to see him speak once and it was great. And he told that same story. It's so true. Thanks for the reminder, friend.

Report Inappropriate Comment
LYNMEINDERS 9/20/2011 7:31PM

    Just brilliant....and so so true.....
It would help us all through our days if we remembered that story.....

the choice is ours....

thanks so much for reminding me not to get caught up in my attitude.....

Report Inappropriate Comment
HDHAWK 9/20/2011 7:26PM

    I have Zig downloaded on my mp3 player. I can hear his voice when you tell that story. emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
GIRANIMAL 9/20/2011 6:09PM

    Ohhh, you and your awesome timing! I get this -- I really, really do -- but I have been having an awfully hard time actually practicing it for, well, most of my life. I'd say it's high time! Thanks, John.


Report Inappropriate Comment

    Good old ZIG. I agree with him and I choose to be happy. I don't let anyone or anything steal my joy.

Report Inappropriate Comment
VALERIEMAHA 9/20/2011 1:41PM

    Thanks. Definitely food for thought! And YEAH, "I might as well be happy!!!"

I love what the amazing Victor Frankl said: "Everything can be taken from a person but one thing: the last of the human freedoms -- to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances."

Report Inappropriate Comment
SOULFISH80 9/20/2011 1:18PM

    So great. Thanks so much. I woke up on the wrong side of the bed this mornig, "poor meeing" myself, not wanting to do anything but be back in bed, eating something surgary and sedating myself till work. But somehow, this morning just gets better and better. Did my 6 mile bike ride, have my lunch planned, read some amazing blogs, including this one, life is good. Thank God for SP, it really is helping me transform my life. Blessing on your day. Hope you feel like John all day today. emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
HAPPYSOUL91 9/20/2011 12:41PM

    Excellent thought and PS, I also love zig ziglar

Report Inappropriate Comment
BLACKROSE_222 9/20/2011 11:58AM

    Awesome reminder to us all, John. Glad this thought came to you and helped.

Report Inappropriate Comment
KKINNEA 9/20/2011 11:05AM

    Great reminder on attitude - thanks!

Report Inappropriate Comment
MISSROCKABILLY 9/20/2011 11:04AM

    Such a great story! Thanks for sharing it, and thanks for continuing to be you!

Report Inappropriate Comment
-CORAL- 9/20/2011 10:55AM

    Wow, I will definitely remember this the next time I'm pouting about life circumstances. Thanks for a great blog.

Report Inappropriate Comment
GOOFIERNU 9/20/2011 10:18AM

    Want to hear something fabulous? My facebook post last night was:

"Being happy doesn't mean everything is perfect, it means you've decided to see beyond the not so good stuff and enjoy every day. "

And it is SO TRUE.


Prayers and good, happy thoughts that your pain will be short lived!

Report Inappropriate Comment
GRAMLORI 9/20/2011 10:02AM

    Ohhhhhh, I needed that one today, John. I, too, have been fighting the lower back pain that no two docs can agree on the source of, and nobody knows how to relieve. On the 3rd, when we took our San Pedro River Walk that I blogged about, I fell, and pulled a muscle in my shoulder....and of course, "just rest it and take pain pills and if it still hurts in 2 more weeks we'll try something else" is what I got. I still haven't figured out how my mind can be young enough to still have the want-to, but my body is so stiff and sore that it says forget-it!!!
I'll be praying for your back, John. And thanks for this one, today. As that OLD commercial for some aftershave with the baby said, "Sanks. I needed dat."


Report Inappropriate Comment
ANATASHIKI 9/20/2011 9:32AM

    that's what I was saying before . everybody around me is stressed and unhappy , counting the days and waiting things to be like "before". maybe they will never be , maybe it will be worse , maybe it will be better, why worry and think about what you can't change? wouldn't it be better to embrace the present and enjoy the good parts? and don't say there aren't good parts , there almost always are .I like your today attitude! emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
CMA444 9/20/2011 9:31AM

    Wow! Another great blog! This really spoke to me:

"Well, I figure I can be happy or I can be mad and it won’t make any difference. I’m still stuck in Dallas/Ft. Worth. I might as well be happy. “

What a perspective! Makes me really thing! Thanks for posting this out here!

Report Inappropriate Comment
NUTSNUTSGETEM 9/20/2011 9:19AM

    John - if you get a chance, listen to this song by John Gorka - Good Noise -
BlTxRPI&feature=related - it goes hand in hand with your blog. One of my all times favorite songs. The lyrics are here -
R>Have a good day!

Report Inappropriate Comment

A Matter of Perspective

Monday, September 19, 2011

Our oldest son moved into a new home. He’d lived in the same apartment for over ten years. You can imagine what he accumulated!! One bedroom was akin to entering an archeological dig. As we helped him sort through his collection, sitting in a corner, covered with dust, was an old stereo he received as a Christmas present over twenty years ago. If you are old enough, you remember the kind. It has huge speakers that stood on the floor, a turn table, a dual cassette player and a very early version of a CD Player. In its day, it was very cool. To my horror he was going to throw it away. He forgot it was there. After begging and pleading with Joan, I was allowed to load it in our car. (Basically she kept asking me what I was going to do with it and basically I kept telling her I didn’t know. I don’t think it was so much that she consented to letting me have it as she gave up in exasperation.) It sits in my office, the wood veneer all polished and shiny. I found a needle for the turn table and dug out my vinyl. (They used to be called “records) Very cool. It took a while but I found some very old cassettes. Everything works!!!

Enter my six year old granddaughter.

She stood in my office looking at the stereo with a puzzled look on her face.

“Pappy, what is that?”

“It’s a stereo sweetie.” I explained the concepts, the intricacies and the coolness of the equipment. I expected her to get as excited as I was. She looked at it for a few seconds and then looked up at me.

“Wouldn’t it be easier just to use your IPod?”

For a few seconds I teetered on real despair until I realized there was so much wisdom in what she said. No matter what we cling to, life is a matter of perspective. Whether it’s our health, our diet, or the vehicle we use to enjoy our music, life always presents us with other options. It’s up to us whether we take advantage of them or not. To my granddaughter the option was simple: Why take up space when you could carry something better in your pocket?

She’s a bright little girl, but I still keep the Pledge wipes in my desk drawer and polish the speakers every Sunday after church.

I like the way they shine.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SILLYHP1953 10/12/2011 3:11PM

    I had hundeds of albums, hundreds, maybe thousands, well, over a thousand. Finally gave them to my musician son last year. I am making progress with letting go of things. You keep shining those speakers!

Report Inappropriate Comment
NASFKAB 9/25/2011 1:42AM

  like old things too

Report Inappropriate Comment
WANDAH3 9/20/2011 7:26AM just have to love little children and their take on the world.

Enjoy the polishing.


Report Inappropriate Comment
LYNMEINDERS 9/20/2011 5:15AM

    Go you....If I had a steroe I would do the same....
We do have one but it is black wood and came from my dads after mother died....
I too have "records"...a lot of them ranging from 78's to 45's through to Lp's.....
Can't play the 78's any more as I can't get a needle for the stereo....

You keep pledging your amazing stereo.....there is not many of them left....they are precious.....

BUT...I do hear you when you say "life is a matter of perspective"....
So easy to loose that at times.....

Report Inappropriate Comment
DUTCHIEKIWI 9/19/2011 10:34PM

    Love it love it love it!! I feel your feelings and I totally feel hers too... lol I'm the " in the middle generation" I had records too, we called them LP 's just realising I owned those makes me feel terribly old. But there were awesome!!!
But an IPOD... let's face it... it DOES fit much better in your pocket!! ;0)



Report Inappropriate Comment
CARTOONB 9/19/2011 10:22PM

    I do remember those! I'm glad you have one and that you like it...even if you can't put in your pocket.

Report Inappropriate Comment
SMOCKON 9/19/2011 6:30PM

    Hah! I still remember the point where the 8-track switched on some albums.

Report Inappropriate Comment

    My hubby has ours out in the garage and he treasures it too. It's a man thing. LOL.

Report Inappropriate Comment
HDHAWK 9/19/2011 5:40PM

    emoticon This blog makes me smile. My 22 yr. old son is working on getting his stuff shipped back here from Phoenix so he can look for a job. He can live with mom and step dad for free, which fits his budget and mine. He has several boxes, which are no big deal, BUT we have to have my mom's old console stereo with the 8 track shipped back! He loves his albums and would be happiest playing drums in a band the rest of his life. I say enjoy it John. We have the kind you're talking about too. The needles cost a fortune now. They used to be so cheap!

Report Inappropriate Comment
GIRANIMAL 9/19/2011 4:44PM

    I purposely bought a record player -- with AM/FM stereo AND tape deck -- about five years ago. And *gasp* I do not own an iPod, though I am starting to see uses for it. emoticon But lest you think I am a total Luddite, I do have subscriptions to XM and Netflix. LOL

My BF just sold his old receiver on Craigslist for a guy who wanted to use it solely with a record player as well. Neat.

But yes -- sometimes it's hard to see new options past our old habits. Thanks for that reminder embedded in such a fun story. emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
ANATASHIKI 9/19/2011 3:29PM

    emoticon I just god rid of my last cassettes , sure that the device doesn't exist anymore. I think my mom still has some vinyl hidden somewhere emoticon I can't wait for the day when the i pads will be ewww , so old emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
GRAMLORI 9/19/2011 11:34AM

    Love it!!!

Report Inappropriate Comment
BLACKROSE_222 9/19/2011 10:49AM

    LOL - that is one smart cookie, your Granddaughter. And yet, we are all guilty of this. I did something similar with the first Laptop I ever bought - it was so out of date, and the battery didn't work anymore, and you had to hard boot it more times than you were actually on the thing. But I still have it.

Report Inappropriate Comment
SUSUSUZZZIE 9/19/2011 10:19AM

    Oh how I forgot about the monstrosity that came in to my life with my marriage and then left about 5 years later in a garage sale to someone who was THRILLED with their find. It was win-win. I'll have to bring up your bog to my DH tonight at dinner.

Report Inappropriate Comment
PATTILYNN224 9/19/2011 9:12AM

    Sometimes I think its just not about the equipment. Sometimes I think its about the warm fuzzy feelings that go with the memories of things from long ago.

I'm very happy for you and your find. I hope you play those records for years to come.

Report Inappropriate Comment
JSPIN74 9/19/2011 9:07AM

    emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
GETFIT2LIVE 9/19/2011 9:05AM

    Yes, it is a matter of perspective. For portability, an ipod can't be beat. For sheer listening pleasure, though, there's nothing quite like vinyl. We do have to make choices, though, about what we keep and what we let go of, both with stuff and with ideas and ways of doing things on this journey.

Report Inappropriate Comment
MARCYNA 9/19/2011 8:38AM

    WoW....I am moving this week after 10 years and, yes I have a stereo just like yours...without the CD player.....should I keep it??????????

Comment edited on: 9/19/2011 8:39:05 AM

Report Inappropriate Comment

    Periodically I get an e-mail listing all of the tings that the students entering college were born after. Your e-mail was but another trip down memory lane.

Make it a great day

Report Inappropriate Comment
GABY1948 9/19/2011 7:45AM

    This took me back a bit. I too, remember exactly what you describe...and even older than that. One way I am different than you, I would have been like your wife and gotten rid of it too! But I have one like you here at home with me...must ba a MAN thing :) Thanks for posting these memories! emoticon

Comment edited on: 9/19/2011 7:45:56 AM

Report Inappropriate Comment

First Page  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 100 101 102 103 104 105 106 107 108 109 110 111 112 113 114 115 116 117 118 119 120 121 122 123 124 125 126 127 128 129 130 131 132 133 134 135 136 137 138 139 140 141 142 143 144 145 146 147 148 149 150 151 152 153 154 155 156 157 158 159 160 161 162 163 164 165 166 167 168 169 170 171 172 173 174 175 176 177 178 179 180 181 182 183 184 185 186 187 Last Page