JoJoisms

What’s old is new

Written By: JoJoisms - Jan• 03•18

I thought I’d take the time to catch you up on all things JoJo now that this blog has gone back to the basics.  After many years, I finally put together the collected works of JoJo and published my entire body of JoJoisms in the aptly titled PDF, The Big Book of JoJoisms, (for which I now hold the registered copyright on almost 600 JoJoisms!)

Since then, I have been busy writing more JoJoisms as well as creating some other fun memes I have been posting all over social media.  I thought I’d share them here all in one place so they won’t be lonely and so that I can easily find them (relatively speaking) when someone either misquotes me or claims authorship.

Most of my inspiration comes from the struggles and trials the Lord saw fit to allow in my life.  Aside from making me rich in experience and strong of character, they have given me an endless source from which to draw humorous conclusions about life.  So, as life flings various objects aimed squarely at my noggin, I continually find new and unusual humor in the aftermath and will report back with my oddly crafted conclusions.

To that end, I’d like to catch you up, as it were, with a few of the ones I’ve already accumulated as I’ve been recovering from my latest and greatest surgery de jur.  Here they are in no particular order:

JoJoisms in 2018

Written By: JoJoisms - Jan• 02•18

The last several years brought some interesting opportunities and challenges into my life and, as I usually do, I dealt with them as any Sit Down Comedian would. I made fun with it, joked about it, and wrote about it…all here on JoJoisms.com. You got to read the good, the bad, and the utterly ridiculous.  I pray you have been both encouraged and entertained.

2017 was an amazing year filled with new beginnings, many of which I pray become a trend in the coming years.  For one thing, I’ve grown accustomed to eating regularly and it will be nice to know we won’t run out of month at the end of our money.  Or is that the other way around?

I’ve been a busy little beaver this past year, and not just recovering from an entry into the Guinness Book of World Records under Most Surgeries in a Given Time Period.  And I have some new news that’s newsworthy.

2017 brought forth upon the internet some new websites conceived in humor and dedicated to the proposition that all issues are not created equal, but they ARE all more fun when they are told through the arthritic fingers of this Blog Corespondent.  So…each issue will have its own unique address on the internet super highway as follows:

1. Should you require information about how to be a more effective communicator for the mission God gave your voice, Art of Eloquence will remain open for business, though the blog will remain fairly quiet unless there is some earth shattering communication news to report.  Otherwise I will let sleeping blogs lie.

2. Grape Stuff, LLC is now our parent company through which all amazing things will be made known.  I suggest you run your fingers on over and sign up for our mailing list which will only find its way into your email box when we have something amazing to report.  This will include any special offers for various things that support families.  Go forth and check it out. You’ll be glad you did because we have a free gift for you just for signing up.

3. Grape Stuff has launched a brand new product line on Amazon: mugs that have my JoJoisms on them!  We call them MugXpressions and as you can see, they have their own website.  If you’re a coffee lover, tea drinker, or you just love the sass with which my JoJoisms deliver Life’s Truths…as I think of ’em!, you’ll want to head on over and read all about The Adventures of Mug Man and Java JoThat’s the monthly blog post about my dh and I as we go forth and multiply mug fun!  Join us won’t you?

4. Finally, if you are a family in trial, and you want to continue to read my weekly articles about living better during struggles, head on over to our newest site, Life Beyond Surviving and sign up for our mailing list where I will continue to deliver these articles you’ve come to know here at JoJoisms.com.

So JoJoisms.com will be going back to its roots as I talked about when I launched this blog back in August of 2013 in this debut post.  I will leave this JoJoisms site up and continue to post new JoJoisms, Visual JoJoisms, and other memes that help bring humor to life’s issues.   So, if you love my humor and just want to be entertained a bit each month, come back and visit me here for the latest installments of my JoJoisms as my body ages and my brain tilts precariously just this side of madness to bring you endless giggles to get you through whatever life throws in YOUR face.

Step18: Getting Out of Survival Mode

Written By: JoJoisms - Jan• 01•18

It’s been a long series, but I hope it’s helped you deal with Survival Mode a bit better.  My last tip for Getting Out of Survival Mode is to make the invitation.  Often it’s easier for others to come to us than it is for us to get out to go somewhere.  It’s not always the case because then you’ll probably need to host, but it can be very beneficial for a few different reasons.  First, let me share what I originally wrote about this:

18. Invite others over so  you don’t have to go anywhere if that is easier for you. It is for me.

I invite people to come over to my house to visit as often as I can instead of having to drive out to them. It’s more taxing for me to have to plan and execute a car trip out than it is to have someone over for lunch.  You may find it different for you, but this works for me.

There really are several parts to this.  Making the invitation, instead of trying to get out, helps those in trial for several reasons:

  1. It allows you to keep control over your life a wee bit when so many things seem out of your control.
  2. It allows you to be in a more comfortable environment rather than having to do without the comforts of your home you’ve built into your health condition. It’s like home court advantage. LOL
  3. It keeps you from having to drive out and back.
  4. It helps keep down the expenses because there is less gas or wear and tear on your car
  5. It keeps you in contact with friends and family as some may stop inviting you because you’ve cancelled before or said you couldn’t come.
  6. It can help you feel connected to the world, especially if you are a home body.
  7. It can be a great help to you to keep your spirits up and keep you closer to sanity to ask a trusted friend rather than make it just a gathering of friends.  

If you find yourself in trail, take a look back at this series (scroll back to the first in the series) and read them over and over as you need them.  Joy is around the corner, even if your trial isn’t over.  You just need to make some changes, surround yourself with those who understand (check out LifeBeondSurviving.com ), and take some time to look for the joy hidden inside the trials each day.  

I hope you found some of what you seek inside these articles.  Stay with me for more on how to find the joy and get through life’s trials.  😀 

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

If you’re not already subscribed to my mailing list, click here to learn why you should be!

Merry Christmas!

Written By: JoJoisms - Dec• 25•17

 

 

Merry Christmas!

No article this week!  Just wanted to wish all my readers a blessed and joyous Merry Christmas!

My wish for you this Christmas: May your trails be few and your health in abundance!

I wish you a joyous time with your family and friends.

Check back next week for the conclusion to my series, 18 Steps to Getting out of Survival Mode!

 

 

 

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

If you’re not already subscribed to my mailing list, click here to learn why you should be!

Step 17:

Written By: JoJoisms - Dec• 18•17

This series is quickly coming to a close.  This week’s step is all about listening to your body. If your issues are health related (or even if they aren’t), trials can bring with them overwhelm and that means getting fatigued.  It’s important to keep your energy up when you’re in trial so you can better handle what life likes to throw at you.  Here’s what I wrote initially:

17. Schedule naps or take them when you need them

Sounds like a no brainer, but chronic illness usually means we get sleepy or tired–especially at about 3pm.  I used to schedule a nap around that time because I knew I would be good for nothing unless I did.  Sometimes I have to be flexible and nap at 9am if I wasn’t able to sleep much the night before. Now this works out great if you don’t work or work from home.  Those of you who work outside the home, will not find this helpful unless your boss is okay with your head down on your desk at 3pm every day.

It’s not just naps, but finding ways to keep your energy up during trials that can be very tricky so here’s some things to watch out for that can cause more fatigue:

  1. Skipping meals
  2. Not eating healthy meals
  3. Eating on the go
  4. Poor snacking between meals (choosing the chocolate donut instead of something that will nourish your body)
  5. No snacking between meals (it’s more healthful to eat every three hours to keep nourished and it actually helps you maintain your weight)
  6. Not eating big meals (Big meals can make you sleepy, especially if you have a lot of turkey or something with triptofan in it)
  7. Not getting enough sleep at night whether insomnia or not scheduling yourself enough down time.
  8. Not taking time to de-stress which can cause an energy crash before too long and usually at a most inopportune time.
  9. Not taking care of an underlying health issue. (See an internist or specialist if you have insomnia, thyroid issues, adrenal issues, etc. I finally got my insomnia mostly handled with a prescription and now my health issues are mostly controlled and I have more energy)

What things ZAP your energy?  What steps can you take to minimize or overcome them? 

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

If you’re not already subscribed to my mailing list, click here to learn why you should be!

Step 16

Written By: JoJoisms - Dec• 11•17

Just three more steps to talk about in my series called 18 Steps to Getting Out of Survival Mode and this week’s is reminders.  Here’s what I wrote in my original article:

16. Reminders on computer or iphone

I used to use paper lists, but brain fogged minds often lose the list.  So I began using my Outlook Calendar.  When my computer was zapped by lightning, I transitioned to my phone, which was better for me because it has a loud tone that was near me when it went off.  I can’t tell you how many times I came upstairs at 4pm to find my computer had reminded me to eat lunch.

Technology’s a wonderful thing!  There are more ways to remind yourself to do things than there are people in the world.  Find one that works for you.  Find several if that’s what it takes. If technology’s not your thing and you love notebooks, use them.  Whatever works for you.

I can’t tell you how much pressure it takes off of my already fried brain to know I don’t need to keep certain things in my head for very long…not that I have as much control over that as the years roll on!  Whether your brain is overloaded due to age or trails, this is the one thing that will help you keep on track and not have to experience that old familiar heart wrenching, “OH SNAP!” moment when it’s too late to do something that went critical four days ago!

What kinds of things should you leave to a reminder and what things should you trust yourself with?  Well, that all depends upon you.  Take inventory of the things you tend to forget.  There was a time I couldn’t even remember to eat lunch so that got added to my reminders.  Here’s a list of things to get you started, but lest you think they are too simple to bother with, let me remind you that reminders have saved this old gal MUCH and that’s why these things are on the list of things to put on a list.

  1. Birthdays (with a reminder a few days ahead that allows you to buy a gift or schedule a call)
  2. Anniversaries (YES YOUR OWN!)
  3. Doctor and other Appointments
  4. Deadlines (anything from work related to ordering gifts for relatives and even the last day to call and cancel that trial software program you purchased six months ago)
  5. Household chores
  6. To update your food shopping list
  7. To make a recurring weekly part of a meal. (We like to have beans with our weekend family breakfasts so I like to schedule Friday afternoon to make sure I have enough for the weekend)
  8. Family visits (whether they are coming to you or you to them)
  9. Regular events (make sure to block out times when you’re usually busy with recurring events like church so you don’t inadvertently schedule something over it without thinking…so you don’t need to think too hard.)
  10. Subscriptions. (I always put a reminder in my schedule for a make up subscription I have. I love the makeup but I don’t wear it much so I have enough to last me ten years after my death! But they won’t warranty my applicator if I don’t have the subscription set up. So I remind myself to call in every three months to postpone it.)

What could you schedule in to remind yourself of that would ease your already burdened mind?  Put it in!

 

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

If you’re not already subscribed to my mailing list, click here to learn why you should be!

Step 15

Written By: JoJoisms - Dec• 04•17

Step 15 in Getting Out of Survival Mode is to take notes and organize yourself.  That meant making lists. Here’s what I wrote originally:

“15. Make lists so you don’t forget

Part of chronic illness for so many is brain fog.  I can’t tell you how many times I forgot to take my meds, eat lunch, do laundry… I make a list each day of what needs to be done and include things some might think to be ridiculous like taking my vitamins, eating lunch or taking a shower. “

However, getting organized can mean so much more than just making lists and I’ve talked about a few of these in my earlier steps as they related to them.  Making lists and getting organized does several things:

  1. It takes the pressure off your brain fogged mind.  When overwhelmed either with disease or the chaos of other trials, you need to keep yourself organized or you’ll be expending too much energy just trying to remember everything you need to do.
  2. It lowers anxiety.  It can be stressful trying to remember all the things you need to do…in time to do them…ON TIME!  It’s so much less stressful to have them all written down, reminders in place so you can deal with all the other stuff you need to deal with…and I know there is plenty left!
  3. It lowers the chances of increasing the chaos and trials.  You and I both know that trials come in sizes.  Super size trials are the ones that overwhelmed you so much that you couldn’t remember to handle the things you could handle while you could still do so.  Keeping track of all you need to do helps you get them done on time to avoid penalties or making your trial worse.

With that in mind, here are other ways you can organize yourself:

  1. Lists can be on paper, on your calendar, on a phone calendar.  Whatever works for you.
  2. I recently found an app that makes my list making even easier.  It’s called Listaway.  It allows me to make several lists and then stick the tasks to be done (with deadlines) so that all my lists are in one place. In fact, I have Listaway on my iPad too so it’s coordinated no matter what device I’m holding. Also it means I can be on a phone call and easily see my lists and calendar which is also sincd to my iPad.
  3. Speaking of calendars…I have my calendar on both my iPhone and iPad so I can easily see what appointments I have.  I also have them color coded so I can see which appointments are things I need to get to (pink) and which ones I just have to do something by that date (blue).
  4. Alarms.  I have a hard time remembering things even with all those tools so I have a reminder go off on my phone AND iPad so I can hear it from where ever I am and know when things are getting ready to need my full attention or physical presence.
  5. I have several apps that I use to keep notes of things like symptoms I need to tell my dr, forms I need to fill out for my kids, ideas I have for articles, books and webinars (you might have other lists for your ministry/business.
  6. Notebooks help me keep organized for various projects I have.  You may want one notebook per project so you can keep notes as you think of them and have them all in one place.
  7. Ladies, you may want to keep track of your monthly female cycles.  If peri menopause is one of your trials or not, you’ll probably be too brain fogged to remember when the dr asks or if you need to know.  Mine were so chaotic in and of themselves that I couldn’t be expected to remember if I had a Sheldon Cooper memory!
  8. Keep records of the people you speak to about issues you have.  I kept a Charter Communication Log that ended up being about 50 pages long because we had so many problems with the cable company.  I’d write down the name of the person I spoke with, date and time, and issue as well as what the rep told me would be done.  It made it easier for me to complain and be taken seriously the next time I had an issue which was all the time.  Having specifics (names, dates, times, terms) makes your case more credible to the company.  You may not be able to remember what you had for lunch, but you can read what Linda W. told you she’d do on 4 September 2017!
  9. Put all your important documents in one place you can easily find.  I have all our birth certificates, bank info, etc in one file folder all in one place so I can easily find it no matter what head spinning chaos is going on around me that day.

Any way you can keep notes, records, ideas, and other things you may need later in any organized way that will allow you to find them when you need them will help you keep chaos at bay.  And that’s another step in getting out of survival mode!

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

If you’re not already subscribed to my mailing list, click here to learn why you should be!

Step 14

Written By: JoJoisms - Nov• 27•17

Ok. Step 14 gets us a bit closer to the close of this series.  I originally wrote about shopping at Walmart: 

“14. Shop Walmart–less trips

I love to shop at Walmart.  I can go to just one place and get groceries, car tires, a birthday gift for Aunt Millie and take out for dinner all in one stop!”

But the truth is that any place that allows you to combine your efforts to save you time and energy is a great tip and part of the 14th step in Getting Out of Survival Mode.  This also saves you gas, frustration, and overwhelm.  Anything you can do that combines things into one trip, one store, one outing, will be a helpful step in getting out of survival mode.  So here are other ways I combine things:

  1. Amazon and Online stores. You can buy just about anything online. I’ve talked about that before, but I can’t stress enough how letting your fingers walk through the virtual yellow pages takes the sting out of just about all manner of shopping!  It’s my best tip for so many steps along the way that will get your further from survival mode!  Walmart even has an online version of itself now!
  2. Use your down time. I’ve had a lot of practice with having to remain in bed or on the couch due to chronic illness/surgeries.  Let me tell you that there are a LOT of ways you can combine your recovery (from surgery or resting from other trials and issues).  I did a lot of my work on my phone instead of my computer.  My dh bought be an iPad to help me do more that my iPhone couldn’t due to my overwhelming fatigue and pain of fibro and other health issues.  This allowed me the ability to do many of the things I needed to without having to get up and go to my computer.  
  3. Sweeps.  Sweeps is a word I made up just for this.  It’s what I call doing what’s needed while you’re already in that room or store or event.  If you’ve already hobbled yourself into the kitchen, you might as well combine the trip for coffee with the trip you were going to take to wipe down the counters.  If you’ve already gotten yourself to take a trip for Thanksgiving, you might as well combine that with all the trips you were going to take to the post office mailing Christmas gifts.  If you’ve already driven to the gas station, you might as well get the car washed on the way out.  
  4. Extra. If you’re already making a sweater or cookies or dinner for one person/event, you might as well make extra for other people/events.  It takes very little extra effort to make more dinner and freeze half than it does to make just enough for one night.  It takes just a bit more effort to make two batches of cookies than it does one so you can have twice as many to give as gifts at Christmas time.  

Anything you can do to increase the output without increasing the input by much is an opportunity to do more with less time/effort.  And that gets you one step closer to getting out of Survival Mode!

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

If you’re not already subscribed to my mailing list, click here to learn why you should be!

Step 13

Written By: JoJoisms - Nov• 20•17

Step 13 in our 18 Steps to Getting Out of Survival Mode is stocking up.  Here’s what I wrote in my original article:

“13. Buy extra at the store if you can and go shopping less often

If you can, buy two or three dishwashing detergents, jars of spaghetti sauce or hair spray when you go shopping.  I’ve had too many times were I ran out of something and had to do an emergency run to the grocery store.  Not only is that an extra outing, but it’s done with the stress of having to run out and run back.  Double whammy energy zapper.”

Stocking up on things you need can be a great time saver.  There will be times when you are too overwhelmed, busy, or tired to get things done.  During those times, it’s great to look at your pantry or gas tank and know it can wait if it needs to. Here are some thing to stock up on when you can:

  1. Non perishable food like canned, boxed or packaged goods.
  2. Gas in  your car.  Top the tank off if you find you have time and energy.
  3. Birthday or note cards are great to have when you realize a bit late that a relative’s birthday is coming up.
  4. Stamps just in case you need to mail out a last minute card.
  5. Change.  You never know when you might need to break a $20 bill.
  6. Printer paper and ink, especially if you use a lot of it.
  7. Notebooks and pens. If you are a writer or love to make lists or even just need to write things out to figure out what to do about something, it’s always nice to have a supply of extra notebooks and pens/pencils.
  8. Batteries.  Nothing like getting caught in a black out with no batteries for your flashlights.  Especially the sizes you use most: AAA, AA, and C.
  9. Specialized batteries for things like your mouse, wireless keyboard, and hearing aide if you have one.
  10. Meds.  Make sure you keep track of your meds and order them long enough in advance before you run out.
  11. Wood for the fire place, especially in winter.
  12. Matches, candles, flashlights…

Those are just a few suggestions. Think about things you use the most or would present the most problems if you didn’t have enough.  Make sure to plan ahead and stock up on those items that will allow you to live a bit more stress free.

 

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

If you’re not already subscribed to my mailing list, click here to learn why you should be!

Step 12

Written By: JoJoisms - Nov• 13•17

Just a few more weeks to go on our 18 Steps to Getting Out of Survival Mode series!  This week is step 12.  Here’s what I said in the article:

“12. Spread out outings

Have a few days when you don’t go anywhere to recoup and regroup.  Don’t try to go too many places in one day.  Even if you aren’t the one driving, it can zap your energy to do the shopping, look for a car, meet up with a friend for dinner and pick up your prescription on the way home.  Ask me how I know.”

If you’re struggling with health issues, you’ll find that going out, running errands, and visiting friends can be draining.  The best tip I have for you on this issue is to spread out your outings.  If you’re like me, you’ve got a bunch of doctor appointments scheduled. Maybe some physical therapy, a lab test, and maybe an ultrasound or two…  

This in and of itself can be draining, but to add food shopping, a department store to buy a gift, and a three hour drive to mom’s for Thanksgiving and you’ve got a recipe for a week in bed if you do it all in one day.

Spread out your outings or consolidate them if you can.  This helps keep the traveling and walking to a minimum.  Here are some ideas for how to do that:

  1. Buy what you need for gifts online.  Amazon is FABULOUS for this!  We use it for birthday and Christmas gifts because we don’t need to go anywhere and they’ll ship it so we don’t need to go to the post office.  They’ll even include a card from you so you don’t need to buy and send a card!
  2. Have family help with the errands.  During the time I’ve been in a cast or boot, I’ve not been able to walk much so my dh and son have been doing the grocery shopping.  (By the way, soon and very soon, Amazon will be able to help with perishables as well!)  This cuts down on the errands/outings I need to have in any given week while my foot is taking its sweet time to heal.
  3. Ask Aunt Alice and Cousin Fred to come to you instead of you having to travel to each of them.  This cuts down on the traveling you need to do and you can even ask them to bring pot luck so you don’t have to prepare as much.
  4. Discuss, if you can, with your family where Thanksgiving or Christmas will be hosted with yours (and possibly other family members with health or financial issues) in order to minimize the traveling for all involved.  Make sure to do this way ahead of time, especially if there is a long distance car ride or plane fares to be included in the decision.
  5. Seek out rides where you can.  I have no family nearby and my church family and friends have moved to other states or are 30-45 minutes away.  So I’ve recently found a ride program that helps people get to their physical therapy appointments for just $5.  Maybe there’s someone willing to ride share with you or maybe you can find something similar in your area for where you need to go.
  6. Work around your main appointments for other outings so your travel is less.  While you are in the area for your doctor’s appointment, you can stop by the grocery store which is on the way home, maybe? If you have enough energy left after that appointment??
  7. Ration your energy you have for outings.  If you know that the Thanksgiving trip will be quite draining, you may want to put off a trip to see your friend until next month.

When you have to ration your energy and time, you need to make the tough decisions on how many outings your body can handle.  Hope that helps as we head into the holidays.  Let me know!

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

If you’re not already subscribed to my mailing list, click here to learn why you should be!