JusJoJan – Jan 25 – Journal

#JusJoJan ~ 1/25/22 - featured image

Linda is our host for this month long blogging challenge. Thank you Scarlet for the prompt word today.

Your prompt for JusJoJan January 25th, 2022, is “journal.” Use the word “journal” any way you’d like. Enjoy!

I started journaling as a kid. I had the typical girly diary with the fairly worthless key. It was fun to write my daily events and feelings, as well as my dreams. Once I discovered my older brother was reading my diary and tormenting me with my own words, I stopped using the diary.

In high school I loved to buy a pretty new journal at the start of each school year. Vromens always had such wonderful choices. They were super expensive to me, but I’d save to get one that I liked. After I filled up the nice one, I would start journaling in spiral bound notebooks.

I wrote a great deal of poetry in high school. It soothed me when I was uber stressed. At one point, for reasons I can’t remember, my grandmother asked if I had written to bio-dad. I hadn’t of course. She asked me to write him a letter, telling him what was going on in my life. If you’ve read much of my blog, I’m sure you’ll remember that I’d do most anything for my paternal grandparents. I foolishly agreed to write him a letter. I told him about my good grades. I told him about my job at McD’s. I told him I was toast mistress for my speech class. I then ended my letter by copying a poem from my journal. The poem felt like a great description of my life.

What did I get in return? A letter saying that poetry and being a toast mistress were a waste of my time. He informed me that I should be spending my time with more important things. Instead of rejecting what this man (who I saw MAYBE once every two years) said, I tore all the pages out of journals and stopped writing all together. I remember the day like it was yesterday. I never told anyone about what he had said, especially not his mom.

Many years later I would purchase lovely journals and write random thoughts. I never wrote poetry again though. If I looked at what had journaled and didn’t like what I read, I would rip out the pages and throw them away.

I joined with some other women to go through some books that required journaling. We would only share what we wanted to. It was a fun way to get back into writing. Then I started working on the Artist’s Way book and workbook. There is a great deal of journaling there. The kids were grown and gone, so there were no reasons to not spend my time journaling.

Four years ago, when I started therapy for PTSD, my therapist recommended I keep a gratitude journal. I had already begun my mornings and ended my evenings stating things I was grateful for. I agreed to his request. I found a journal that was designed to make a list. I would write, then read aloud my list of gratitudes every evening. As I started my blogging journey, I decided to work for a year looking for things to be grateful for. It was very good for me. I shared my blog address with my doc. He had read a few and encouraged me to keep up with it.

While taking online classes, working with a life coach, and my therapist, I have kept journals for my thoughts. They are all over my home. I’d start in one journal, put it somewhere, and then start another. There is a method to my madness though. There was an amazing synchronicity between what different people were saying. I could use information from one place and fit it into a conversation with someone else.

I still love journals. I recently bought another copy of the Artist’s way. I want to start it once again. I just might need to scan Amazon for a lovely journal. I already have a plethora of pens to use.


JusJoJan – Unbelievable

Thank you Linda for all your work on JusJoJan. Thank you J-Dub for your prompt word “unbelievable.”

It’s unbelievable what the body remembers long before the brain does. I can tell myself that I’ve done all that I can. Intellectually, I can keep reciting the serenity prayer hoping that my body will accept the reality I must live with. I’ve been on overload today. In an effort to escape my body’s turmoil, I looked for something to be of comfort. I have not been very successful.

When I am anxious, I tend to immerse myself in projects or chores. Anxiety is not the emotion of the day. When I am angry, I often spend excessive time cleaning. Today, just the basics were done. When grief takes over, I tend to look for comfort foods. I’ve been doing a good job of allowing myself one piece of chocolate a day. Knowing how long it takes something to be a habit, I choose to not start overindulging again.

I browsed through some Shutterfly pictures today. The memories came flooding in, washing away any resolve of pretending I was not in pain. Darn Shutterfly. Why do they need to send me reminders of what happened on this day X years ago?  My body knew before my brain acknowledged the date. Admitting my sadness, I looked for a remedy to still my thoughts and calm my emotions.

I had chicken soup with matzoh balls for lunch. This terrific comfort food smoothed some rough edges. I needed more relief though. I thought about making charoset. I purchased some Manischewitz grape juice yesterday. Perhaps the universe had my back knowing I might need it today. As I played out back with Annie, I attempted to figure out exactly what I needed to calm my soul.

It came to me finally. I was not only grieving the deep loss, but I was also grieving not being able to talk to my mother about my pain. I am grateful that my mom wasn’t here to bear witness to what happened. It would have been even more devastating. I’d just like to have Mom here.

I decided that I needed to make blintzes. No one ever made them as good as Mom, as far as I am concerned. I Googled a recipe that looked familiar. As I was prepping the blintzes, happy memories flooded in. My shoulders relaxed, my headache eased, and my thoughts were transported to happier times. My blintzes are not as beautiful as my mom’s. I am not a pro at neatly wrapping the delicacies. But the taste.  The taste was wonderful. It was just what I needed.

Blintzes are a psychological comfort food for me. They remind me that I will be able to bear this pain. They remind me of happier days. They remind me of my mom.

JusJoJan – Jan 22 – Surviving

Linda is our host for JusJoJan. Wendy gave us the prompt word surviving today. Linda says:
Your prompt for JusJoJan January 23rd, 2022, is “surviving.” Use the word “surviving” any way you’d like. Have fun!

My thoughts have taken me to the good, the bad, and the surviving modes we are all in today.

We are typically so wrapped up in our daily “issues” that we convince ourselves that no one else would understand. And in a way that’s true. We each have a different path that we have traveled. Most are not fortunate enough to reach adulthood without facing some traumas and dramas outside of their control.

I don’t subscribe to the belief that we will not be given more than we can deal with. Sadly, I have seen people break under the pressures they faced.   But I do believe, that if there is any hope of surviving life’s hills and valleys one must have support. That support might be from a higher source, a therapist, a doctor, a trusted friend, a confidant, or whomever you can feel safe with. I’ve needed all of the above to make to this point in my life.

I could not get a good copy of the Holmes-Rahe Stress Inventory so I am adding a link here. The task is to see how many stress points you have in one year.

(There is no point listed for living through a pandemic, so you’ll just have to assign it the number of points that you feel it impacted you.)

What Does Your Score Mean?
150 points or less= a relatively low amount of life change and a low susceptibility to stress-induced health breakdown

150 to 300 points=  50% chance of health breakdown in the next 2 years

300 points or more = 80% chance of health breakdown in the next 2 years, according to the Holmes-Rahe statistical prediction model

The chart is thorough, but there are major stressors in my life right now that are not listed. I could make a pretty good assumption as to what number they might be assigned. 

By just using the chart, as is, with no added major stressors that I have, but aren’t listed, I am at 363. Again, that does not include the pandemic, nor family stresses not listed. It is a wonder I am surviving without a major health breakdown. I am surviving because I have a tribe of caring individuals who help me see the good in my life.     

What number would you assign Covid-19?

How do you deal with stress?


SoCS & JusJoJan Jan 22

Linda is our host for SoCS and JusJoJan. Linda says:

Your prompt for #JusJoJan and my very first birthday-Stream-of-Consciousness-Saturday is: “icing on the cake.” Write about the first thing that comes to mind when you think of the phrase “icing on the cake.” Enjoy!

Making brownies for my grandson’s 11 birthday was awesome. But the icing on the cake would have been to be able to get hugs from him.

Having the electric company come and trim my jacaranda tree yesterday was great. The icing on the cake was that there was no charge for the needed work.

Retiring when I did was the right thing for me. The icing on the cake was that it was right before Covid 19 changed our world.

I happily cleaned out more clothes to be donated. The icing on the cake was finding a fiver in my old sweater’s pocket.

I did two loads of laundry today. Everything was promptly folded and put away. The icing on the cake was that nothing needed to be ironed.

My family and I all ordered our test kits. The icing on the cake will be if we never test positive.

I purchased a ton of Valentine’s Day cards Wednesday.  The icing on the cake is that the selection was bountiful and I will get them out in time.

I’ve managed to write every day for JusJoJan and the icing on the cake is that I’ve been reading more new blogs.






JusJoJan – Mission

#JusJoJan ~ 1/21/22 - featured image

Linda hosts JusJoJan and  Fandango has given us  the prompt for today.

Your prompt for JusJoJan January 21st, 2022, is “mission.” Use the word “mission” any way you’d like. Have fun!

I too, first thought of the Mission Impossible theme. I am sure it has been used to death though. Instead, I’d like to write about what personal missions are important to me right now.

I am on a mission to not allow the news to drag me into a state of depression. The less I watch, the happier I am. I’d like to remove the chains of angst and anxiety that pull on my heartstrings.

I seek to make my immediate world filled with the melody of joy. My mission is to look for the good instead of the constant din of the bad.

My mission right now, as more beloved people leave this realm, is to appreciate those I love and care for. I need to make sure my cherished ones know how much I care for them.

My mission is to move forward, with as much love as I can. I hope that those I love are happy, healthy, and blessed.