PATTYKLAVER   243,434
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Taking Stock

Saturday, November 03, 2012

I started looking at my Spark Page today. The picture I have of just me was taken just after I moved back to Michigan. I had lost maybe 5-10 pounds at that point. I looked at my weigh tracker and it dawned on me that I have lost 50 pounds all together. I found it hard to believe that I've come that far. My hair is a little shorter now. I like it to look nice, but just don't like to spend much time fiddling with it. I've got more of a variety of clothes than when I came here. Most of what I have, though has been bought on sale or at a resale shop. I like to look nice, but don't see the need to spend a lot of money on designer things. I'm comfortable with what I look like.

When I first came back, my main goal was to find employment. A few hours a day were spent looking for a job or trying to improve my skills. I now realize that my back does limit what I do and how I do it. I fought to get SSI and have finally succeeded. Now I know that I have a certain amount of money coming in every month and this has definitely lifted a huge burden off my shoulders. I can work my temporary jobs to fill in the gaps without doing more damage to my body. (For example, my part time stint at Home Depot left me in definite pain every work day and filled with stress with all that I had to deal with.) My stress level has gone down tremendously.

I now can fill my days with things that I want to do. I am involved with my church more and have made many good friends. I volunteer a couple days a week a couple hours a day. It gets me out and gives me the satisfaction of helping others. I can spend time with my family. My mother is aging and needs a little help every now and then. I can be there for her. My niece has her driver's permit. I can spend time with her and take her out to get some practice. I surprised myself by not being too nervous on this one. But I did go and thank my mom after the first time and told her thank you for taking out me and my siblings.

If someone would have told me two years ago that I'd be at this stage in my life right now, I probably wouldn't have believed them. It's got me wondering what the next year will bring into my life.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MDBUTTERFLY 11/5/2012 8:49AM

    FANTASTIC!!! 50 pounds is awesome! And it sounds like you are getting a lot of other things in line emoticon emoticon

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PROUD-GRANDMA 11/3/2012 8:01PM

    Success!! Life is a journey!

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NPA4LOSS 11/3/2012 7:03PM

    I am glad that you have SSI and that it is helping to relieve the stress of day to day. I am glad that you are now able to take care of yourself a little better. You deserve the break! emoticon

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DONNABRIGHT 11/3/2012 3:03PM

    emoticon

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LYNNA1968 11/3/2012 2:56PM

    fantastic outlook, put positive out get positive back. emoticon

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AMYC0128 11/3/2012 12:35PM

    Congratulations on 50 pounds lost! I shope at resale shops as well and find really nice clothes to wear as well.

I'm really glad that you have a steady stream of income coming in now that is a huge stress reliever, the volunteer work is as well with helping others.

You have came a long way Patty and I hope the year ahead is even better for you

Amy

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WHITTLETHEWAIST 11/3/2012 12:12PM

    I love this reflection.... very inspiring! Congratulations on 50 pounds lost and all the good changes that have come out of it!

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CHARLIESGIRL69 11/3/2012 12:04PM

    emoticon

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NESARIAN 11/3/2012 11:12AM

    It is pure Joy to read how well things have worked out for you!

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JUSTA123 11/3/2012 10:22AM

    Sounds like you have your head together! Have a great day! emoticon

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Volunteering

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

This is my third week of volunteering at a local food pantry that is literally just around the corner from me. I answer phones, make appointments, and make reminder calls to those who have appointments coming up. I'm still in the learning stage. I haven't worked with the same people twice and I am learning a little bit from each person. Everyone has their own way of doing things and I'm sure that soon I will have my own.

Doing this kind of volunteering is an eye-opening reminder of how people in general can be. There are the people that are embarrassed to be asking for help. These people are grateful for whatever help they can get. These people will be the first to help others whenever they can.

Then there's the people that get angry because you can't get them in for awhile. There are so many people in Michigan who are out of work and in need of help that the first available appointments we have are in the middle of January. We try to explain to them that they can call in every day to see if there has been any cancellations. Some listen and do that; others just hang up on us. It's disheartening to try to help and know that I'm not getting anywhere.

The people that amaze me are the ones that call in and expect to be given all sorts of help at the drop of a bucket. These people know that they haven't paid their rent/mortgage/utilities for months and expect us to direct them to agencies that will come up with the money by the end of the week. Some of these people have a list of things they want help with. What were they doing to help themselves as they were getting to this point? Granted, there are people out there that have had some really bad luck and bad things happen to them, but as a whole, these people don't impress me as being resourceful or actively seeking to improve themselves.

Then there are the people that have getting something for nothing down to a science. They go from agency to agency seeking what they could get from each of them. Ask them if they've been anywhere else and they will lie to your face and tell you no. I had an agency call yesterday to verify whether or not a couple people had been there recently. They had been in a couple days before and swore to the agency that they had not. I find it hard to deal with people that will do this. I myself wouldn't even think of trying that.

I'm not letting the bad apples deter me from wanting to help those that really do need and appreciate the help. I am grateful to those who have helped me when I needed the help. I am paying this forward.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FIFIFRIZZLE 11/4/2012 7:42PM

    I wonder whether those cheats are in some ways the ones most in need of help.There is hope for folk who are down on their luck and unable to help themselves due to circumstances they may not be able to control. When their situation improves, they have the ability to move on.

Those who cannot see how they can do better for themselves than to rely on and exploit others are crippled and trapped in a truly destructive cycle that I wouldn't wish on anyone. They are like beaten and vicious mongrels who expect the worst and the very least from life, and that is what they set themselves up to receive. how can their situation improve, poor things?
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Comment edited on: 11/4/2012 7:45:32 PM

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JUSTA123 11/2/2012 10:08AM

    I like that your paying it forward, don't be discouraged, it may seem like there are a majority of cheaters, but the truth is there isn't , I to work at helping others, and frankly some of us would be surprised to know their next door neighbor is hurting. Have a blessed day!

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EATVEGAN 11/1/2012 11:53PM

    It can be very disheartening to work with the needy. Sometimes you can't do anything for those really up against it, and it seems like the cheaters have it made. But keep plugging away. I believe it will even up in the end. You will be blessed for caring and helping.

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NPA4LOSS 11/1/2012 10:11PM

    emoticon I taught cooking classes at our food bank for three years and loved it! emoticon

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MDBUTTERFLY 11/1/2012 8:26PM

    Thats great! Would be nice to be a part of helping others. emoticon

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SLIMLILA 10/31/2012 6:34PM

    Kudos to you Patty. When you've been on the needing side, it can be very disheartening to see how some people use and abuse and cheat the system. But you have to trust that you are really providing help to "some" people who need it. emoticon emoticon

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Thanks, Spark People!

Friday, October 26, 2012

I got thinking this morning. I feel that I have come a long way in the two and a half years that I've been on Spark People. I'm healthier and more active. I am more confident in myself and happier with who I am and where I'm going. I really believe that I can contribute a lot of this to this site and the wonderful people that I have met on this site. So I am sending out a big thanks to all.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GLASSART43 10/30/2012 2:51PM

    You're so right! The support we give and receive does make all the difference.
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MDBUTTERFLY 10/28/2012 8:26PM

    I feel the same way! CONGRATS for all your accomplishments!! emoticon

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DIDMIS 10/26/2012 7:01PM

    It is nice to be grateful and to say emoticon I appreciate my emoticon 's also.
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NPA4LOSS 10/26/2012 6:48PM

    emoticon You have come a million miles my friend! emoticon

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MOMMA48 10/26/2012 12:17PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon my super bud!!

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NEPTUNE1939 10/26/2012 11:13AM

    emoticon But remember, you are the one that deserves the ultimate credit for being consistent! Earl emoticon

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Finally

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

After about a year of asking, my doctor has finally decreased a medication I'm on. I've been on it for awhile. I was not given a direct reason for why I was put on that particular medicine and I never liked how it made me feel. The doctor balked at first then made the comment that as people get older, that there's a greater chance of side effects from medicines. Go figure! So last night was my first night on the new dosage. I didn't really sleep that well, but can't really say if it had anything to do with the medicine or not. I woke up in a great mood, which is a good sign, I think. So time will tell if I have made the right choice. As long as I can say that I'm in good spirits, I think the answer will be a resounding yes.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LYNNA1968 10/25/2012 7:51PM

    its always a great feeling to have it decreased! Good for you!

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NPA4LOSS 10/25/2012 3:42PM

    emoticon We have to stand up for ourselves to get things done sometimes!

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JUSTA123 10/25/2012 7:05AM

    good for you, side effects from some meds can be awful..

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DIDMIS 10/25/2012 1:31AM

    You probably read what a medication I was on did to me. Doctors always blame everything on stress or getting older. Sometimes we need to stand our ground. Just because we are older doesn't mean we are stupider. I have decided to read all of the side effects of all medications instead of skimming over them.


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SPIRALINGUP 10/24/2012 8:14PM

    Glad you are feeling fine!

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NESARIAN 10/24/2012 12:09PM

    Yay you for persisting. There should be a reason for each medication. Maybe you could ask what the goal is for this certain med?

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Getting There

Sunday, October 21, 2012

I'm slowly getting into the habit of doing things to improve myself mentally. It's something that I have talked about doing for awhile now, but have been prevented from doing so by a couple of things. One was a job that I had that had crazy, inconsistent hours and lots of stress. The other, I must admit, was me. I just didn't give myself the push I needed.

I am back doing things at church. This is helping me spiritually and socially. There's a lot a great people at my church and I enjoy spending time with them.

I am dealing head on with a couple problems that I have. I'm researching and asking lots of questions. I am really thinking about what it is that I want and I am sticking to my guns. This is a major step for me. I've always been someone who has stepped back away from things that caused stress and discord. I'm learning how to deal with stress in a more healthy way. The researching and soul searching have been major breakthroughs. I've got a way to go yet in this area, but I am taking it one step at a time and gaining confidence with each day.

I have found one place that I have started volunteering at. I've only been there one day, but I think it went rather smoothly. It didn't even bother me that I found out that the person working with me and showing me the ropes was my ex-husband's wife. I just jumped right in and started working. I'm not sure how comfortable I would have been with that a few years ago.

There are still a few areas that I need to work on. I had set some goals for myself and haven't been striving for some of them. There are things that I want to learn and get better at. Gotta push myself a little harder on these.

At least I feel that I am taking baby steps in the right direction. By the end of the year, I hope to look back and see how far I have come. I want to end the year on a high note and make next year an even better year than this year. emoticon

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MDBUTTERFLY 10/24/2012 10:19PM

    Baby steps is the way to go...you will get there! emoticon

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BECCA324 10/22/2012 6:40PM

    It sounds to me that you are making the right directions to relieve stress, volunteering is a great way to get your mind off of things and get some real satisfaction with what you do. I volunteer once a week also and the feeling that I get from it is irreplaceable. Just keep sticking to your guns.

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KONOHA-NIN 10/21/2012 3:37PM

    It sounds like you have been making a lot of progress! Be kind to yourself and keep acknowledging that you are working hard and taking these baby steps in the right direction...they all add up.

By the way, thanks for your comment on my blog post. It is not easy for me to stay positive...I force myself to make that summary of things each day because it is otherwise so difficult to slip into major negative self-talk (at this point, that is still my habit - like you, I am trying to work on changing and improving mentally!). My hope is that I can "fake it till I make it" and that my outlook on things can slowly change to "default" to positive rather than negative.

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BERGBA7 10/21/2012 1:41PM

    great! emoticon
Have a good week!
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NPA4LOSS 10/21/2012 12:49PM

    emoticon The mysteries of life are always an amazing adventure. You have come a million miles. Enjoy the journey!

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