Sure You Can!

01/05/2016

It is so easy to get wrapped up in negative mindsets. This is why there is such an industry of self-help books, classes, and seminars. We often have to be cajoled out of our detrimental grooves which keep us from achieving our goals and dreams. I know this hazard, because I fight it too. One has to move past it to get the work of success done. Today, I am telling you, you can do anything. That sounds wildly optimistic at first glance, but I truly believe it. I have done things I never thought possible, and I am no superhuman.

I lost 65 pounds in less than a year. I never dreamed that I could before I started. There were many things against me. I was over 50, on an anti-psychotic and an anti-depressant, did not enjoy exercise, and hated to eat right. I overcame these obstacles and I am now 135 pounds. Some people told me, you cannot start a diet in December because of the holidays, but I began on December 6, 2013. Some people say being over 50 makes weight loss almost impossible, but that was my age. Evidence says anti-psychotics and anti-depressants cause weight loss resistance and weight gain, but I could not discontinue my medications. Hating exercise makes weight loss difficult, but I got a Samsung Galaxy Gear, began using the pedometer function and walked, walked, walked. I do not like hot nor extremely cold weather so I did almost all my walking indoors. I did not change my dietary habits much, but I put the MyFitnessPal app on my cellphone and followed its suggestions on calorie intake. I was honest and counted everything I consumed. It is January 2016 and I am still the thinnest I have been since my teen years.

A while back, I wrote an entry per day on this blog for about a year and a half. I had never written every day that consistently. I have to take care of my mother and the household, plus I much prefer reading to writing every day. Lazy is my guess, but maybe it is more just some days ideas are hard to come by. My muse goes off to visit other more fortunate humans and leaves me uninspired. I do not know who exactly borrows that flighty creature, but I wish they would find one of their own and quit taking mine from its rightful place. Anyway, I decided to try writing every day and I managed it. Not that it was easy or that I liked doing it on every day I did it, but I willed myself through it.

You are capable of such things, but you must believe it, believe in yourself. You must also be willing to dedicate yourself to working each day and make the necessary effort. It is not easy, some days you will want to quit. If you are like me, you will find reasons to skip what you need to do. Resistance is normal, a natural part of the process of doing things that are difficult. You can overcome it and keep going. You are strong, stronger than others believe, and stronger than you know. Do not let your life slip by you leaving a trail of regrets. Resolve to take charge of your life and destiny. No one else controls it. You, with the help of God (or whatever higher power you choose to believe in), who is always with you, are able to do all things you can imagine. I am absolutely certain of this.

If another person can be great, so can you. It is not easy, change never is, but it is doable. You can do it. You can be your own hero. Do not short sell yourself. Opportunity is there for you to grasp. Take it, be who you want to be and do not settle for less than your best. Write out a positive action list or motivational statements like I have given you here. Read over them when you are having a bad day or are tempted to give up. Such things can help keep you going in spite of daunting doubts and difficult times. You are a wonderful, creative, talented, gifted, extraordinary, and unique individual with the power to change your life, the lives of those around you, and ultimately the world. Get busy and do it! Do not doubt. Be sure you can…

I slept a good part of the day away again. Mom and I did our regular things. I walked less than six miles which is a bit less than I think I should. Normally, I try for at least eight miles, preferably more. I like to use at least 600 calories in exercise. Because I do not walk incredibly fast this requires eight miles.

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I have a page in my coloring book I have been working on for a couple months now, not regularly, just when I decide I can, and I want to finish it. I am going to have to make it a priority. I am very tempted to move to another picture, maybe even another book, but I know leaving it undone would bother me. I like to finish things, even though sometimes I want to do something else. I am a perfectionist, which I know is a negative trait, and I am very bad about procrastinating. Procrastination is terrible, it keeps me from doing things in a timely manner and from completing what should be done. See, I told you I was no superhuman.

This NaJoWriMo (National Journal Writing Month) challenge is not easy. I have other things to do. I do not know what to write. My mind is a blank with no idea in sight. Inspiration is totally lacking. I am doing it anyway. I hope that you find my contribution entertaining or encouraging or inspiring. I know it is not the best work I am capable of doing, but sometimes getting the words you have inside written down is all you can do. I am no genius. I am not blessed with greatness at all times, if ever. (See that negativity slipping up on me. I tell you the enemy is crafty and constantly after me)

The pages for the Sweetwater Camera Club which are published in the Chapel Hill News & Views are due again soon. I, once again, do not want to work on them. This is crazy. I enjoy the work while I am doing it. Finishing it makes me feel great. I am very good at it. Still every month I struggle with getting started. I resigned on December 7, 2015 after almost four years doing the volunteer job. I was convinced to continue the work. I do not know why I chose to keep on, except I am not a quitter, the club has no one else to do the job, I like it once I start, and it does not take too much of my time. I have so many projects I would like to work on and sometimes I erroneously convince myself that the pages are keeping me from accomplishing those things. Truth is, nothing keeps me from doing anything I want to do but my own self. I am in charge of all that I do. I have the ability to accomplish anything I choose. This is true of all people.

Today brings another gratitude list. Join me by noting things for which you are thankful in your life. It can at times seem nothing is going right and there are so many desires, but writing a list can make one realize life is much better than it sometimes appears.

I Am Grateful:

1) I slept well, without nightmares.

2) I talked to my niece, Leigh.

3) I completed more than 10,000 steps.

4) I washed some laundry.

5) We have a washing machine and dryer.

6) We have clothes to wear.

7) We have clean water.

8) Tide Pods are excellent for cleaning laundry.

9) My bed is comfortable.

10) Mom seemed in good spirits.

Do you ever try to write poetry? It is not hard. I have been doing it almost all my life. I am not an expert and I use few forms. I can tell you I believe anyone who wants to do it can write. I am an equal opportunity poetry maker believer. You can do it, try now.

Effort Making

There is always some
Resistance to the things most
Needed to be done,
But we can accomplish much
If we are dedicated.

We choose our own goals
Being certain we want them,
Then we do the work
Necessary to make them
Become our reality.

We, each one of us,
Have creative energy
We must allocate
To the tasks we deem worthy
Undivided attention.

We are capable
Of much more than we ever
Imagine we are;
Life opens our abundant
Gifts and resources uses.

We choose to sometimes
Share facets of ourselves so
Others benefit
From what we have learned in life,
The raw experiences.

All this is duty
To being the very best of
Who we choose to be,
Making available more
Happiness within our world.

We are the people
Who are creating the things
That make wonderful
Happenings occur out where
Efforts change society.

© Jo Ann J. A. Jordan
Wednesday, January 6, 2016

This is my fifth entry and for January 5th, though I finished it later. I spend too much time on these to
always complete them on the proper day. My apologies for being somewhat a rule breaker. Must be the rebel in me.

Do whatever you can to make your dream come true. You are the only one who can complete the tasks with which you are purposed. I hope you are finding something helpful in my ramblings. Please take time to subscribe to this blog if you enjoyed reading it. I would love to hear from you if you would like to leave a comment.

Always,
Jo Ann

3 Comments

One Step, One Handhold, At A Time

01/04/2016

You get your prompt at the beginning today. You were not expecting that, were you? I usually make you wait so you read what else I have written…

Climbing is hard work, but each milestone along your path brings special gifts which encourage you to continue. What have you gained as you work to fulfill your dream? What has inspired you to reach greater heights? Share your accomplishments to motivate yourself and others.

Now create something from this prompt. You are a creative person and have the ability to complete anything you desire. This is a simple exercise.

Get busy!

I stayed up all night. This seems to be becoming a pattern. One crash night and day, then one night and day into night and on to the morning staying up. Might be a little manic going on here. Watching it closely. I also seem to have an overabundance of ideas soaring through my mind.

Going to share a few thoughts I have been entertaining with you all. I have never considered journalism as an outlet for my talents, but since I have been reading The New York Times and Atlanta Journal – Constitution fairly regularly, I have come to think I might have something to contribute in this format. I know many writers got their start in the business through newspapers and periodicals. I am a little afraid my credentials will not stand me in good stead in this market, but all they can tell me is no. I have heard no before, and guess what? It has not killed me. I am tough, well, at least I can dodge with the best of them. I have no college degree, but have done a great deal of self-motivated learning through reading and free courses online. I have no particular publishing credits, but I have edited and published a desktop produced magazine. I have written since I was a very young child. This is my life. Words carry me, nourish me, move me toward achieving my purpose.

I have worked as a volunteer Publicity Chairman for Sweetwater Camera Club doing page layout and design for almost four years with a local ad funded magazine called The Chapel Hill News & Views. I doubt they will pay me, but I think they might be willing to publish some articles. I have not asked yet, but I have some ideas. I am thinking of doing some public interest pieces and some health articles. I have ideas of people to interview.
The question is; do I have the skills necessary? If you have an opinion, please share it with me in the comments below.

I am reading a new motivational book, which I will cover in more detail later, but it reinforces the ideas I have been having about doing something that gets me more into public view. I cannot have significant impact on people’s lives without widespread publication. Blogging, and social media alone are not enough to reach many. I want to encourage, inspire, motivate, and empower others to become creators who influence their destinies through what they create. I think I have ideas worth sharing.

I hope that by helping others I can also help myself and become self-sufficient. I want to share my challenges, but I want to overcome them so they no longer define me. I want to be measured by what I accomplish, not a disease I cannot control. I have struggled, but I want to shine. God willing, I can do things that in my own power are not possible.

I am doing a gratitude list again today. Join me by noting your blessings. It seems to bolster my positive attitude and you may find it helpful to you too.

I Am Grateful:

1) I went to physical therapy, although I really did not want to go.

2) I gave the staff some bookmarks and a box of cookies.

3) I helped a friend today.

4) Even though I have been very negative lately my best friend has not deserted me.

5) I started reading a great motivational book on Kindle.

6) I did not lose my stylus though it dropped out of my phone case several times.

7) Hope talked to me when I came home. She is so adorable.

8) My mentor and I talked a while this evening.

9) Since SunTrust was closed, I came home sooner than I planned.

10) The SYNC system in the Explorer worked better than ever.
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This space held a poem yesterday. I am not convinced I can poem today. I shall try:

As I Climb

I am blessed with
A gift the Creator wants
Me to share freely,
Or I do not believe He
Would have given it to me.

I need to pull up
Through my depths of poverty,
Becoming myself
Sufficient to support my
Own needs without assistance.

I am strong enough
To carry my own heaviness
Without you others
Looking after me without
Wanting to do, charity.

I know I have worked
And my benefits are mine,
But some are jealous;
They see me as parasite
Unworthy of such little.

I want more, freedom,
Choice to have the many things
Denied me so long,
I want health, I want wealth, and
I want to hold my head high.

So now undaunted
I will climb much higher up
Reaching lofty prize
Of the life I have long dreamed
I deserved to live and share.

I am blessed with
A gift the Creator wants
Me to share freely,
Or I do not believe He
Would have given it to me.

© Jo Ann J. A. Jordan
Monday, January 4, 2016

I finished up just at midnight. Pardon this poem if it is a bit crass. I hope you enjoy most of this bit of thinking in ink. I have done a poor job, I am afraid, but I am a bit tired this late. Sleep, the pillow and sheets call.

May each of you create your dream come true. Please take time to subscribe to this blog if you enjoyed reading it. I would love to hear from you if you would leave a comment.

Always,
Jo Ann

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4 Comments

Come On, You Know You Want To

01/03/2016

I am not asking anything you find impossible. You need to do this for yourself. A few minutes a day to explore your creativity is all you need. It will be beneficial in many ways. I would explain them, but if you are like most, you probably already read about the helpfulness, or have personal experience with the positive outcomes. So get busy with your chosen art or craft.

This was a crash day. I went to bed at 2:30AM after staying up all night Friday and all day Saturday. I slept until 10:00AM when the alarm, which had been going off thirty minutes, finally roused me. I fixed breakfast for Mom and I, ate mine, and left her at the table as I went back to bed. I asked her to call me at 1:00PM, but she fell asleep too. She called me at 1:30PM. We ate lunch and I fell back asleep on the couch. She must have slept too, because when I woke at 5:00PM she was snoring. I fixed supper, then woke her. We ate and I got busy walking. I called my best friend, Reba, and my niece, Leigh, and talked to them as I walked. I also read as I walked later.

The secret of my weight loss has been walking, but I do not do any exercise well if I have to concentrate on it. I read, talk on the phone, or as now, write on my tablet while I walk. I also walk circles inside the house most of the time. Weather does not hinder me. I believe you have to work around your own preferences to be successful at maintaining a weight you are happy with. I am not of the blood, sweat, and tears school of exercise. I get bored with it, so I do things to keep my mind entertained. I have to keep my mind busy anyway because of my Schizo-Affective disorder which even on medication will take over if I give it an idle mind to work on.

I have been very worried I was going to lose my Mom for a month because after we took a trip to see Alex’s promotion she collapsed. She hardly walked at all until the week of Christmas. Saturday she left the house for the first time since November 3, 2015. We went to my great-niece, Jayden’s, birthday party. Mom did very well and said she was not tired when we got home. I am so relieved. Caregiving is stressful enough without the added burden of thinking death is imminent for your loved one.

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Christy and Jayden

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Jaylynn

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Jeremy

The party was great. There were many people there and I was somewhat uncomfortable as I am in all social situations that involve crowds, but I survived. I took pictures with my point and shoot camera, but am not really pleased with most of them because I seemed not to point in the right place at the opportune time.

I am doing a gratitude list today. Join me in taking a few moments to note your blessings. It seems to help me stay positive and you may find it beneficial for you too.

I Am Grateful:

1) Mom did well going to the birthday party.

2) Jayden liked the gift we gave her.

3) Word on the tablet and One Drive allow me to walk as I write.

4) Amazon Prime Music allows me to stream music I like in the Explorer, here at home, and through headphones. It saves me subscribing to Sirius. I do not listen to commercial radio.

5) I have some awesome books to read on Kindle.

6) I finally opened my Prismacolor pencils, which I have been saving for years because I did not feel my art was worthy of their use.

7) I have coloring books to help relieve my stress.

8) After a week of constant problems, including Christmas Day, AT&T fixed my services.

9) I have two gift cards to spend.

10) I am blessed with wonderful friends and family.

Here is an original prompt to inspire you in your creative endeavors:

What happens when you finally go over the edge? Do you fall? Do you fly? Is the edge only a step along your path?

Carry this in whatever direction you wish, in any format you want to use. Write, draw, paint, take photographs, or whatever brings your vision to life. Do not edit, just use first thoughts, anything that comes to mind. Get to the heart of what you need to communicate.

Now get yourself busy and do it!

I will try to give you a prompt like this one each day I continue writing daily. I am committed to a month, but we will see if that works. Maybe if it does, I will keep going even longer.

The Edge Of Insanity

This pathway I take
Meanders around the edge
Of insanity
With all its stress and problems
And I cannot forego it.

I am prisoner
Of things incontrollable,
But I strive toward
Overcoming their hold on
The success of my living.

Each moment becomes
Proving ground for my limits
Of resourcefulness,
I am stronger than I look,
But weaker than I would wish.

I struggle forward
Attempting to stand alone
Never knowing when
I might fall over the edge
Into the quagmire so deep.

I am a fighter
With an unquenchable thirst
For sweet victory;
The prize allowing me chance
To live comfortable peace.

I go undaunted
By the constant challenge faced,
I will not let it
Overcome my good intention
To live a fulfilling life.

© Jo Ann J. A. Jordan
Monday, January 4, 2016

This entry covers Sunday and into late night morning hours of Monday. I still count it as the one for January 3, 2016. I may have to write each day’s account after midnight so that I get my steps in. My Gear only counts some steps while I write on the tablet and some things I must do sitting at the computer. I have not learned how to copy & paste on a touchscreen or how to return one line as I have to in a poem or how to insert pictures from my SD drive. These things anchor me to my laptop.

Bless each of you. Please take time to subscribe to this blog if you enjoyed reading it. I would love to hear from you if you could leave a comment.

Always,
Jo Ann

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So Are You With Me?

01/02/2016

We are together for day two of this adventure if you are reading this right now. That is exciting because I want you to follow along. More than that I hope you will also take action on your own. I would like you to take a few minutes each day to write. Maybe it would just be a simple recounting of your day, or you could write a poem, story, memory, anything you want really. Just be creative. You have so much to share with the world, which only you can communicate. You are so unique and we need your voice. It adds so much to our communities, please get busy.

Once upon a time I wrote an entry on this blog every day for a year and a half. I cannot promise I will do that again. If you look at the past entries here, you will see that I have taken quite a while off. I think I am going to do things a bit differently this time. I want to do the entries on my tablet or my computer instead of handwritten journal pages. This may change, but it is my current modus operandi. Look at that, I actually used Latin, ha ha.

I stayed up all night. I seem to do this quite often recently. I enjoy the peace and quiet of the hours when Mom is sleeping. I am also able to keep watch over her. I need time to myself, I steal it in the darkness. I seem more creative in the wee hours of the night. Sometimes I write what I consider very good statuses and poems on Facebook overnight. If you follow me here, you might like to friend me on there. Send me a message and I will answer your request.

I have managed to keep my weight to 135 pounds for over a year now, down from over 200 pounds on December 6, 2013. I believe having a Samsung Galaxy Gear and the MyFitnessPal app have helped a great deal. Walking miles each day has been instrumental too. Here is a picture to illustrate the difference in my appearance…

The second photo is me today. Not the best lighting for taking a good picture. I am not great at selfies. Cannot ever seem to get that right. I try, but it seems an impossibility for me.

I am going to add a gratitude list today. I hope you will join me in taking a few moments to note your blessings. It seems to help me stay more positive and you may find it works for you too.

I Am Grateful:

1) Christmas is over.

2) The new year has begun with all its open days to fill with accomplishments.

3) I am able to read and write because of an excellent public education overseen by some outstanding teachers.

4) I have begun working on Otherwise Entertained again.

5) Mom has finally started moving around a bit more after almost two months of mostly inactivity.

6) I have some wonderful tools to employ in creative activity.

7) My dog, Hope, who is nine and a half years old is doing well. She is a joy in my life.

8) I have been listening to more music lately.

9) The weather is cooling off after unseasonable warmth and I am able to wear long sleeves.

10) God is good all the time and in all ways.

Now I am going to ask you to do a few things. First, if you enjoyed reading this, please follow my blog and leave a comment if you have time. Secondly, get your own self busy and do something creative today. You have all the talent you need for it. I have faith in your ability and you should too. Share your ideas and creations with the world. The world needs everyone’s input. You will change lives, including your own.

Always,
Jo Ann

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6 Comments

A Not So New Beginning

 

We can start with my admission this was not a breakthrough day in my life. I watched the ball drop in Times Square and the peach drop in Atlanta because both were on screen simultaneously. I stayed up reading The New York Times and a book until around 2:30AM. I was dead to the world until the alarm went off at 9:30AM. The clock usually fails to wake me, but this time, I got up. I fixed Mom breakfast and sat with her to eat a bowl of Lucky Charms. June, her best friend, called while we were eating and I left Mom talking to her when I went back to bed. I meant to sleep only a few more minutes, but that was my mistake, I stayed in my comfy bed asleep until late afternoon.

When I awoke I asked Mom if she was ready to eat lunch or supper. She chose supper, so I began my first attempt at a traditional Southern New Year’s Day meal. I cheated. I used a Fleischmann’s Simply Homemade Baking Mix for the cornbread, to which I added honey because I saw some mixes claimed to include honey. I used Great Value canned black eyed peas, Margaret Holmes canned turnip greens, and a spiral sliced ham I cut into fourths overnight. I baked the cornbread and when it was almost done I warmed the vegetables in the microwave. The ham slices I warmed on our plates. I served the meal at the table. We both enjoyed it. I know I cheated, but I have never claimed to be a cook.

After eating, I read a little. I remembered I had taken a pie out of the freezer for dessert and asked Mom if she wanted a piece. She did, so I brought it out of the refrigerator. It was not thawed, so I warmed her piece of apple and mine of cherry in the microwave. The pie, as all the Daily Chef Samplers have been, was very good.

I took a shower and debated clothes choices for some time. I finally decided on an outfit. I called Linda, Reba, and Leigh to wish them Happy New Year. Mom wanted me to wrap Jayden’s birthday gift, which I got on New Year’s Eve day. I did that and wrote a card. After finishing I read and walked trying to get at least 10,000 steps in. I managed to accomplish it.

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So that is my not so new beginning to what I hope is a super year. May all of you be graced with many blessings.

Always,
Jo Ann

4 Comments

Long Time No See…

Hello! I have a journal entry to share and some pictures. I hope you will excuse me for being away so long.

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Here are a few pictures of the new and improved me… These were taken on July 14, 2014 which was my 51st birthday.

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I am grateful:

1)   I have been able to increase my fitness.
2)   My eyesight has improved.
3)   I am much happier than I was several months ago.
4)   My confidence has increased.
5)   I have tools to help me in becoming more fit.
6)   I have a Kindle Paperwhite.
7)   I have become a better cook and have begun to enjoy it somewhat.
8)   I finally finished cutting the acreage and yard today for the first time this year.
9)   I have some nice new clothes that fit.
10) I have my Mom, a home, and an adorable puppy dog.

I hope you will find your way back here. I may begin to make some more regular updates because I desperately need to get back to writing.

Always,
Jo Ann

1 Comment

Progress Report and New Beginning

I have made a great deal of progress since December 6, 2013, just walking and watching calories. I am down from 200 pounds to 179.6 pounds as of this morning.

Today, I am starting 10 Week Body Change. I had to take measurements and a photo to begin.

Weight: 179.6 pounds
Hips: 43 inches
Waist: 38 inches
Left thigh: 25 inches
Right thigh: 25 inches

I know that is pretty awful, and maybe too much information, but I want to come back with progress…

It is a good thing I already made some significant changes, because sodas are taboo, as are artificial water sweeteners… Gonna be some difficulty with that, but at least I have somewhat weaned myself.

The food choices look pretty good, but some things are gonna be challenging.

My new goal is 120 pounds… That should be quite a change.

We shall see…

Here is what I look like today:

Start of BodyChange 2014-01-20

I am so grateful to have come this far… Now I have more to look forward to accomplishing.

Always,
Jo Ann

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