Anything is Possible!

With Love, Hope, and Perseverance


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Emotional Vampires and Self Care

Get out of my bathroom!

Today’s prompt for Just Jot January and One-liner Wednesday is: Vampires.

There are many types of vampires. I’m going to write about the emotional vampires – people or jobs that try to suck the life out of us.

After I retired, my husband said, “That job was sucking the life out of you.” (That’s my one liner unless I find one that’s more positive.)

It wasn’t always like that. But it got worse in the last five years of my 30 year career when demands became unreasonable. It was common to work through lunch and take work home – physically as well as emotionally. Never mind the emotional risks of trying to help people fight the monster of addiction – that I could understand and deal with. It came with the territory. Addiction is a vampire. There was always the Serenity Prayer and I used it often.

During those last five years on the job, I often told myself, “I’m not going to let this job kill me.” That’s a little more positive for a one liner.

I am thankful to be free, is even better.

Being in a relationship with an emotional vampire who is a person can also suck the life out of you. It can be subtle at first, and sometimes it’s obvious. Maybe the person has unreasonable demands on your time. Maybe he or she talks constantly or yells a lot. Maybe he or she is narcistic and manipulative.

If you find yourself stuck in a life sucking relationship, here are some ways to take care of yourself and save your own life:

  1. Clarify your boundaries. First do this by yourself or with a trusted friend who is not a life sucker. Put your boundaries in writing. This is as much for yourself as anyone else.
  2. Be assertive. State what you want and need. Be specific: “I need an afternoon to work on my art by myself.” or “I’ve been listening to you for a ___ minutes. I need you to (or will you please) listen to me without interrupting for ___ minutes,” or “I don’t take calls or texts between 11pm and 9am.” If you don’t feel safe being assertive, focus on 3, 4, and 5 below:
  3. Self care: Surround yourself with safe, nurturing people and/or pets. Engage in activities that add positive energy and comfort to your life. Take care of yourself in every way you can physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Believe that your health and time are valuable.
  4. Create Distance from the vampire. This could mean making a plan to leave. It could mean actually walking away from the relationship. But it could also mean limiting the amount of time you spend with the person or how much you think them. I had to make myself stop thinking about my job when I was home by using mindfulness and positive distraction.
  5. Be safe. Develop a support network and let a trusted person know your situation. If you are in a domestic violence situation, and don’t feel safe physically or emotionally, make a safety plan. Here is just one example.

Just Jot January and One-liner Wednesday is hosted by Linda Hill. For details, visit:

One-Liner Wednesday/JusJoJan the 27th, 2021 – Vampires | (lindaghill.com)


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Good News Tuesday for Jan. 26, 2021: Protecting Women in Iran, Honoring a Capitol Protector, UK Sustainability Work, US Rejoins Paris Agreement, and Awarding a Fun Design on the Border Wall

Seeking Balance One Tuesday at a Time

Iran Moves Forward with Bill to Protect Women from Domestic Violence

Iran’s executive branch just passed a bill called the Protection, Dignity and Security of Women Against Violence which will help protect Iranian women against violence including any act that “…inflicts harm to their body, psyche, personality and dignity, or restricts or deprives them of legal rights and freedoms.” The bill will now go before the parliament then to “a judicial and religious entity called the Guardian Council.” Read more from The Good News Network.

Honors for Capitol Police Officer Eugene Goodman

Eugene Goodman, the officer who helped defend the US Capitol from the January 6 attack and diverted rioters away from lawmakers, escorted Vice President Kamala Harris to the inauguration. Officer Goodman was made an honorary Deputy Sergeant at Arms for Inauguration, and a bill has been introduced to honor him with the Congressional Gold Medal. I hope you will read more and watch related clips from Good Morning America.

UK Prioritizes Climate Change Solutions

“The UK government has announced it will commit at least £3 billion (US $4 billion) to climate change solutions in developing countries.” The money will be used to protect biodiverse ecosystems and support moving to sustainable food production. This article from the Good News Network reports other ways the UK is prioritizing solutions for sustainability.

US Rejoins Paris Climate Accord

President Joe Biden signed an executive order for the United States to rejoin the Paris climate agreement, the largest international effort to curb global warming. Here’s more from NPR. President Biden also signed executive orders to fight the coronavirus including establishing a testing board and mandating masks in airports.

Teeter-Totters at the US-Mexico Border Wall Win Prestigious Design Award

The teeter totter designed by California-based architects Ronald Rael and Virigina San Fratello, won the 2020 Beazley Design of the Year, run by London’s Design Museum. The pink teeter-totter built into the US – Mexico border wall, shows how what happens on one side affects the other. You can read more from CNN and watch the video. This article contains fun photos and additional video.

Got good news?

Please share in the comments!

It can be global, local, or personal.

I offer this good news as part of Just Jot January. For more jottings, and a happy ending to her story about Lavender, visit: #JusJoJan prompt the 26th – “Shutter” | (lindaghill.com)


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JusJoJan: Dead of Winter: Journey 1, Forlorn Peak

Linda’s Just Jot January prompt for today is “Specs.” The prompt will take us on a journey of vision.

Young Emlyn is the main character in Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene’s new fantasy series, Dead of Winter. Emlyn sees visions that get her in trouble if she isn’t careful. Her family thinks she is rattlebrained. Emlyn also hears voices and feels “…a light pressure, …. like something was too close . Or as if something crowded her, as if too many things were in one spot.” At one point, she encounters a large white wolf who speaks to her. You can see this wolf on the cover of the first book above.

Our main character lives in a village where men referred to as, “The brethren” or “elders,” have enforced severe restrictions on women including the wearing of plain clothes and limiting their activities to household chores. Emlyn is granted permission to take lessons in reading and numbers so that she can help her father with accounting for his apple orchard. That was generous of the elders considering they think her rattlebrained.

The person who teaches Emlyn is the widow Osabide who was banished from her village a while ago “when the zealots took over.” I have greatly enjoyed the images Teagan creates of Osabide’s cottage at the foot of “Forlorn Peak.” In spite of the peak’s name, the setting and relationship between Emlyn and Osabide give a feeling of comfort and support. This is also true of Osabide’s relationship with her mysterious grown niece, Zasha. I suspect these relationships will provide a strong foundation for the challenges ahead.

Don’t you just love Tegan’s book cover? It reminds me of a photo I took of my grand daughter when we were hiking and met the neighbor’s Great Pyrenees. If I’d thought about it, I would have moved to the left to include the river they’re looking at.

For more information on the first journey in the Dead of Winter series, visit Teagan at:

New Series Launch — Dead of Winter: Journey 1, Forlorn Peak – Teagan’s Books

For more on January jottings, visit Linda Hill, who has some interesting stories of her own, here:

#JusJoJan prompt the 25th – “Specs” | (lindaghill.com)


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Good Triggers

Today’s Just Jot January prompt is, “trigger.” That’s the name of a character in our host’s interesting story.

When we think of psychological or emotional triggers, we often think of a word, image, smell, etc. that triggers something unpleasant. Maybe it’s an unpleasant memory, reaction, or past trauma. But stop! Don’t go there!

What about triggers that trigger good memories or positive reactions?

I seem to remember positive triggers being created when I was trained to do hypnosis. It was over ten years ago, and while I did some private practice work after completing my training, I haven’t kept up with it, so my memory is a bit fuzzy. Maybe something will trigger my memory of establishing a good trigger!

If someone is in a relaxed state or having a pleasant experience, and puts their hand on their heart, or makes an okay sign with their hand and repeatedly pairs the positive feeling with that gesture, then the idea is that the gesture will trigger the positive feeling. Now, I remember the word, anchor, was also used in our training.

The smell of pine triggers a memory of hiking in the woods. The smell of cloves or cinnamon can trigger the taste of pumpkin pie and Thanksgiving or Christmas memories.

How about a song triggering memories or feelings from long ago? A song that was popular in our formative years can take us back to that time. Dan at No Facilities recently shared some examples in this post “Name that Tune.”

Songs by The Beach Boys trigger memories from the late 1970s driving to the beach in my 69 Dodge Dart with the windows down because there was no AC in that car.

Roberta Flack’s The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face takes me back to 1972 when David and I were dating.

Some songs just trigger funny feelings and images, like The Beatles Yellow Submarine.

Speaking of The Beatles, how about this one?

What are some of your good triggers?

For more jottings and Just Jot January info visit Linda at:

#JusJoJan prompt the 24th – “Trigger” | (lindaghill.com)


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SoCS & JusJoJan: Manifesting and Letting Go

Your prompt for #JusJoJan and Stream of Consciousness Saturday is: “close eyes and point.” When you’re ready to write your post, open a book, a newspaper, or whatever is handy and close your eyes and point. Whatever word or picture your finger lands on, make that the basis of your SoCS/JusJoJan post. Enjoy!

The book closest to me was, The Language of Letting Go, by Melody Beattie. It’s a daily meditation book for codependents. Her first one. It’s my second copy because I wore the first one out. But I haven’t read it in a long time, so I’m surprised it was close by. Maybe I was going to lend it to someone.

We’ve been through a lot together.

Anyway, here’s what I pointed to:

“It may not happen the way we wanted it to and hoped it would. But our controlling wouldn’t have made it happen either. “ (July 23: “Making it Happen”)

Hmmm. Some things have actually turned out better than I hoped they would. Other things did not. Life is full of surprises. Trying to control things is a hard habit to break. The other day, I went out with my adult daughter and found myself telling her she should do this or that. She was relatively patient with me, and I need to apologize. It’s not like I was doing it a lot, but more than I should. Yikes! There’s the should word again! We are human.

When things don’t turn out the way we hoped or dreamed or did all that manifesting stuff, maybe it’s because God has other plans. God or the Universe, whoever. There are powers greater than us who know better what we need. And it aint over til it’s over. Maybe God has something even better planned!

All we have to do is our best. That does not mean perfect. My best is different on any given day. Sometimes my best is listening well, being kind, sorting a stack of papers, throwing stuff out, exercising and eating well, or maybe my best is just doing one of those things. Some days, my best is getting a load of laundry done and watching a movie.

We should can let God and the universe know what we want. Name our hearts’ desires, imagine the feelings we’ll have when we get what we want or something even better. We can go ahead and work hard for our hopes and dreams increasing the chances of them coming true. But God and the universe might have other plans. Maybe there are lessons we need to learn first, like I wrote about in my book. Maybe we need to walk the long and winding road. Or maybe our dream come true is right around the corner.

The point is, stop trying SO hard. Stop worrying SO much. Ask, do your best, and let it go. (Note to self.)

Stream of Consciousness Saturday and Just Jot January is brought to us by Linda Hill. For more info, visit:

The Friday Reminder for #SoCS & #JusJoJan 2021 Daily Prompt – Jan. 23rd | (lindaghill.com)


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Lessons in Perseverance From My Dad

Today’s Just Jot Janury prompt is, “limp.”

My dad walked with a limp. It started Korea when he got shot in the leg. They put a plastic artery in his leg – very innovative for the early 1950s. Then they shipped him around to major military hospitals for doctors to view the leg work.

Once his leg healed, he hardly noticed the old injury. He continued his military career, including a tour in Vietnam, until 1969. The leg didn’t slow him down until he got older. By the time he was 70, he walked with a cane most of the time, but he kept walking.

In 1993 he was in a major car accident which broke two vertebrae in his back and put him in the hospital for several weeks, then a wheelchair for a few months. He also wore a Frankenstein looking “halo.” It looked like this:

They had a ramp built to the back door which he used while he was in the wheelchair, but a year later, he rarely used the ramp.

Both of his legs were worn out by the time he was 80. The plastic artery prevented him from getting a knee replacement. His legs hurt at night, and he heard keeping a bar of ivory soap between his sheets might help. He said it seemed to. He had a walker, but preferred to use the cane. Climbing the three front steps to the front door was like climbing a mountain, but he only used the back ramp if he had groceries. Then he’d pull the groceries up in the big laundry basket on wheels they probably got a yard sale. But most of the time, he climbed the front steps, slowly to focus on balance, one step at a time.

Now, my dad is in heaven with mom. He doesn’t walk with a limp. He flies!

This is Dad in “cardiac rehab.”
He kept going long after his quadruple bypass.
He enjoyed the comraderie. It was like a club.

In case you didn’t know, my dad inspired the title of my blog,

“Anything is possible.”

For more about Just Jot January, visit Linda Hill at:

#JusJoJan prompt the 22nd – “Limp” | (lindaghill.com)


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JusJoJan: The Spell was in His Smell

1972

JoAnna’s brain kept nagging her. Be careful! People are on their best behavior when you first meet them.

But this isn’t the first time we’ve met him, said her heart.

A lot can change in 39 years. Yeah, he was a good guy when you dated in high school, but who knows what he might really be like now. For all we know, he could be a —-

“Don’t go there,” JoAnna intervened before her brain’s imagination ran down the dark road. “Let’s just wait and see. What we do know is that he has been working as a firefighter and EMT for the past 15 years. That should at least count for something. I’m taking it slow.”

I’ve heard that before, said her brain.

Shush! said her heart. Last night was wonderful. He was a perfect gentleman. Our second first date…. And that kiss….. our second first kiss…. it was divine. This was meant to be. You know, there’s the timing. And we’ve had all those phone conversations. He drove all the way down here from Connecticut!

Well, just remember, JoAnna, said her brain, “Follow your heart, but take your brain with you.” The brain really should be in charge anyway. You know how much trouble the heart has gotten you in to. Not to mention the body….

“Enough!” JoAnna said. “I’ve got to get some sleep! Big day tomorrow.”

On their second second date, David and JoAnna went to the beach to watch the summer sunset. She leaned back against his strong chest and felt the comfortable security of his well-muscled arms wrapped around her. She kept both her heart and brain quiet as they watched the golden light spread across the horizon and reflect on the intracoastal waterway. David continued to be a perfect gentleman which the brain and heart both liked, though the body was slightly annoyed.

Sunday was their last day together before David returned to Connecticut. After church, they sat on the couch in JoAnna’s living room. They talked very little and mostly absorbed the weekend and each other’s presence. JoAnna placed her head on his shoulder then lifted her nose to his neck. She inhaled deeply. The result was intoxicating.

“You smell good,” She murmured. “Are you wearing any cologne or anything?”

“No. I guess it’s just me.”

She lifted his hand and smelled the inside of his wrist. It smelled good, too, but not as good as his neck. Her nose lingered just below his ear as she continued to breath deeply falling under the spell of his pheromones. It started to dawn on her. He had been her first boyfriend back in 1972. His smell had been imprinted on her brain.

This could be dangerous, whispered her brain.

Just shut up and enjoy it, her heart said dreamily.

We have to stick together, said her brain. Don’t go anywhere without me.

Yeah, whatever.

___

If you’d like to read more about the romance of JoAnna and David and what it took for them to find each other after 39 years, read Trust the Timing, A Memoir of Finding Love Again, or the short version, From Loneliness to Love. Just click on the books in the right sidebar above.

Today’s Just Jot January prompt was the word, “spell.” For more jottings and info, visit our host, Linda Hill at:

#JusJoJan prompt the 21st – “Spell” | (lindaghill.com)


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One-Liner Wednesday Take 2: Democracy Cannot Be Defeated

Today’s prompt for 1linerWeds and JusJoJan was, “defeat.” I didn’t like it, though Linda used it in a very appropriate way. I wrote my first take on the prompt before President Joe Biden’s inauguration. After listening to Youth Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman’s poem, “The Hill We Climb,” I found the perfect quote for the prompt. So here it is:

“But while democracy can be periodically delayed, It can never be permanently defeated.”

Amanda Gorman

Ms. Gorman, at 22, is the youngest poet to recite at an inauguration. As a child she overcame a speech impediment, an auditory disorder, that she believes helped her become a better writer. Here is her whole poem:

For more on One-Liner Wednesday and Just Jot January, visit Linda Hill at:

One-Liner Wednesday/JusJoJan the 20th, 2021 – Defeat | (lindaghill.com)


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One Liner Wednesday: Holding Us Together

Found on Facebook. Don’t know the source.

What’s holding you together?

What’s holding us together?

What if we applied this, not just to ourselves, but to our country?

PS. I found a timely quote that fits the prompt better! Please the next post for Take 2!

One-Liner Wednesday and Just Jot January is brought to us by Linda Hill. For details, visit:

One-Liner Wednesday/JusJoJan the 20th, 2021 – Defeat | (lindaghill.com)


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Good News Tuesday for Jan. 19, 2021: Germany’s Renewable Energy Success, City’s De-escalation Training Pays Off, US Capitol Clean UPs, and High School Senior Opens Email at Mom’s Grave

Seeking Balance One Tuesday at a Time

Germany Used More Renewable Energy than Fossil Fuels in 2020

In 2020, the world’s fourth largest economy used more renewable energy than fossil fuels. Here are the details from the Good News Network.

Newark, NJ De-escalation Program: No Shots Fired in 2020

In the city of Newark, New Jersey, no police officer fired a weapon while on duty in 2020. City leaders credit a de-escalation program implemented two years ago. Overall crime was down 6%. Learn more here.  

US Capitol Clean Ups by a Congressman and Veterans

Congressman Andy Kim was cleaning up litter in the US Capitol at 1:00 on the morning after the attack on his Capitol. Representative Kim was in a separate office building during the attack, but when he saw the awful mess later that night, he felt compelled to help clean it up. With tears in his eyes, he told Congressman Dean Phillips, who spoke last week at a Braver Angels event, that he couldn’t stand seeing capitol that way and wouldn’t rest until it was cleaned up. Here’s more from NBC News.

In a related story, a group of veterans volunteered in a clean-up event near Capitol Hill Sunday picking up trash, debris and graffiti after last week’s riot. Here’s more from The Hill.

High School Senior Opens Email at Mother’s Gravesite

Skylar’s mom passed away in 2016 on the last day of 7th grade. When Skylar saw the email from Duke University, she didn’t open it right away. Not knowing whether she was accepted into Duke, her first choice, she took her laptop, and her dad, to her mother’s grave, to open it. You can read more about Skylar here at Good Morning America. Watch what happened at the gravesite and be ready to be moved.

Got good news?

Please share in the comments!

It can be global, local, or personal!

Thanks to the cities of Newark and Washington, I included today’s Just Jot January prompt: “city.” For details on Just Jot January and fantastic stories from our host, Linda Hill, visit:

#JusJoJan prompt the 19th – “City” | (lindaghill.com)