Monday, May 31, 2010

The Last Leg

I hope everyone is having a great Memorial Day -- either attending services, visting with family, or hanging with friends! As you can tell by the pic -- I'm chilling with my bff today just hanging. After a little Panera and Starbucks -- we journeyed back home for some visting and blogging. After all -- we are some blog divas. (And she FINALLY did a post on our blog -- you can see it here --> Grace & Joe Show)

This Memorial Day finds me at a plateau and a decision. I've pretty much been bouncing within the same five lbs range weight wise for about 2 months now. It's pretty frustrating, but to be expected. I've lost a full grown man in weight already . . . so there's going to be a time when my body slows down -- and it's happened. Not to worry -- I'm still positive and working out on a regular basis, just ready for the engine to get fired up again.

Which brings me to my decision. For awhile I've known I would have to go back under the knife to have extra tissue removed. It's inevitable with a large and relatively quick weight loss. They wait for your weight to somewhat stabelize, and then look to see if you're ready to have the tissue removed.

I visited with a surgeon the other day and was quite surprised when he said I'm ready. He said based on the amount of time since my surgery, my stable weight, and how my skin hangs, it's time to think seriously about the removal of the tissue. A bit scary, both because of cost and because of what it entails, but here I am.

Sometimes I feel like I've been running a race, and this is the last leg of it. I'm very thankful for all the support of my friends and family thus far, and am excited to run the last leg of this race . . . not that it ever really ends, but you get the idea. It's weird to be at this point when I never thought I'd get there . . . but here I am.

And here I go . . .

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Save the Paper

Paperless transactions, paperless documents, paperless communication, paperless money, paperless . . . paperless . . . paperless. . .

What did paper ever do to you? Did it steal something important from you? Did it lie to you? Why do you hate paper so much?? Ever think about the impact that paper has had on your life?

I can promise you this, my life would be much different without paper. So many memories, so many images . . . are preserved on paper. Paper is, dare I say it, more personal. When you give someone something on paper, it means more. It says – “Hey, you took the time to write this down and send it to me. You must think I’m special.”

It’s amazing what happens to an item if you wrap it up in paper. Let’s say you bought someone a shirt and you just hand it to them. They’ll be happy . . . but that’s about it. Now take the same shirt, wrap paper around it, and give it to them. They are immediately touched by the gesture of taking some paper and concealing what you are giving them. You turn a handout into a present with the presence of paper.

And seriously . . . who doesn’t like to hold a wad of paper money?? How cool is it? Even if it’s a stack of $1’s, it’s still pretty awesome to hold. You just feel excited . . .

Yes, I’m lamenting the loss of paper in our world. It’s been so many special memories for me. Some from far ago, some from just the other day, but paper has been a huge part of them. From a present I really wanted years ago, to a fortune from a fortune cookie given to me by someone special, paper continues to be a part of something that touches my life.

So with that in mind . . . I say this . . . SAVE THE PAPER!!!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Nothing Coherent Today

I find myself at a point where I can't really string together a coherent thought today. Not sure why . . .

I'd love to rant about the gulf oil leak going on and how we should all boycott BP, but just don't want to do the research . . .

Saw a thought provoking story on AC360 (sidenote -- love Anderson Cooper!) about children and racism, but can't stay focused on it today.

Could fill you in on a fantastic week I had down in Texas visiting family & friends, but I'm just not ready to divulge all that yet.

I can excite you about my upcoming research project that will take place this summer -- but then you might not be able to participate in my experiment.

Yeah -- I'm just all over the board today. I guess I can leave you with this one truth about what you might see in JJ's head . . . genuine happiness. It's amazing how wonderful my life has become. I can only say thank you to God above, and my family and friends here with me.

12 months and counting . . . and I do mean COUNTING . . . (and yes that is a funny billboard if you think about it)

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

According to The Agenda

AHHHHHHHHHHHH! I really needed to get that out. I was checking out a link from Nilla’s facebook about a country singer that came out and well . . . I kinda got ticked!

I’m just about sick and tired of hearing the phrases “The Gay Agenda” and “I get it, you’re gay.” Not to mention the ignorant and stupid question of “I don’t understand what it’s such a big deal when gay people come out? What’s the point?”

Well – let’s address these one by one, shall we?

First – in regards to the Gay Agenda – there isn’t one. Shocking revelation, I know. I hate to break it to all the conservative right wing hullabaloo’s that swear up and down there is . . . the real point is there isn’t one. We didn’t all secretly one night have some big meeting and vote on what our agenda should be and then run out and try to implement it. Being gay is not a political view point, a social agenda, or a life choice. It’s simply just part of who we are. God decided to make us gay – just like he made others straight, or black, or white . . .

Second – in regards to “I get it, you’re gay” – Um, no you don’t. You don’t get it – at all. Because if you did Mr. Red Neck Hillbilly beat your wife Nadine while opening a Nattie Light – you wouldn’t feel the need to say that you do ACTUALLY get it. If you honestly did get the fact that people are gay, you’d read a story about someone asserting part of their life, and then move on with yours. You’d make a slight comment to someone near you like, “Oh – that’s interesting” or maybe “Cool” . . . but that’d be the extent of it. You wouldn’t have the impulse to start off a comment like “I get it, you’re gay” and then go on about how the Bible says being gay is wrong. Let me break this down real simple for you – You don’t get it. The Bible doesn’t say it’s wrong. Stop polluting the gene pool. (I might have been a bit stereotypical in this one . . .)

Finally – let’s understand the point of coming out – You don’t get the point because you don’t know what it’s like to be forced to be someone who you are not and finally break free of that yoke. I can’t explain it – There is no words for me to describe what it’s like to break out of what you are “expected” to be and embrace who you actually are. I’m going to go out on a limb and actually push this button – I think straight people that are so dismissive of the importance of a gay person coming out are actually JEALOUS that they don’t have an equally important self-acknowledgement. It’s just not a big deal to acknowledge that you are the normal, average, accepted person that you are. It’s a bit – dare I say – exciting to stand up and defy someone’s expectations and make a stand on who you truly are.

I can’t stand people that can’t accept the world for what it is and are always trying to twist it to fit their confining point of view. Back to your regular scheduled reading & surfing . . .

Monday, May 3, 2010

The Next Chapter

How often do you hear that people want to change? Often – right? Now here’s a tougher question – how many of them ACTUALLY changed? There a multitude of reasons why people don’t change. Fear of the unknown, it’s comfortable doing what they are currently doing, there’s no real reason to change, etc., etc. . . . We’ve heard them all before.

However, there is only one real reason that people do change. Something deep within them calls to them, and they listen. The listen to that calling, and make a choice. The choice is a simple one, they can follow what it says, or ignore it. I feel lucky in that I’m surrounded by people that listen to that voice, and it encourages me everyday to keep following what I hear.

Those that make a change start a new chapter in their life. A new twist to their story that makes the ride of life all that more interesting. I find myself at one of those junctions, and as a look around some people that are closest to me are there too. We all are wondering what the next chapter holds -- and it's kind of scary . . .

One of the less talked about challenges of change are those around you – that DON’T want you to change. There are people in our lives, and we all have them, that do not ever want you to change. That influence is sometimes very, very hard to overcome, and often the hardest. It’s scary to walk a path that you’ve never been down, but if you are trying to do with a slew of people against you – one is apt not to even try.

A very special person in my life inspired me today. A dream of his that he never really thought would come to fruition is actually in front of him. He walked into the unknown, and started down the path. He’s aware of the challenges ahead, and the success that awaits him. The best part – he’s doing it for him and no one else. Change will only last if you do it for you – b/c ultimately you are the one that’s living it, not anyone else.

So – to him I say I am with you. If you ever need me, you know I’m here. And to you – loyal reader and follower of my random thoughts – embrace change – in you and in those that are close to you. Evolve – and see how the world changes with you.

Let's turn the page together and see what the next chapter has in store . . .