Tag Archives: Living

New Year resolutions or a joy jar?


A new year means new resolutions for a lot of people. Some have a long list of things they want to change, fix or just not do. Count me in as one of those folks. It’s so easy to fall into this trap and with a brand new year it is easy with the feeling of hope that anything is possible.

I now stick it to three things, no more no less. If I can do one I am happy and if I can do two I am ecstatic. I am realistic in knowing I won’t get all three done.

A unique take on a New Year tradition is the joy jar. Where any time there is a reason to be extra grateful or something that is just place nice occurs you write it on a small piece of paper and place it in a jar. I tried this once but it lost steam halfway through the year. I saw online a different way of doing this. For each week that we are blessed to have this year write something down that you are grateful for that has happened. I think I can handle that. I have already prepared my joy jar so I am leaning more toward this then resolutions.

But it is a great time of renewal, hope, believe in change no matter how big or small. Whether you make a list or not I want to wish you all a Happy New Year for 2016. May it be better than 2015, may your health, spirits, and being be things that are on the rise.

And if you do make some resolutions, good luck with that. But don’t beat yourself up. Life does a good job of doing that to us anyway.

My speech to an ALS support group

2013-09-30 13.43.03

This past Tuesday I did a speech on Pet Therapy to a local ALS group. I had been practicing for weeks as I gathered information to convey to the pals and cals which are patients of ALS and caregiver of ALS. I did draw from experiences as a patient, as a caregiver and having animals in the home who have helped me so much since I first became sick so many years ago.

The group was small and very laid back. It helped that the coordinator of the group is a good friend of mine so she was there to help prompt the members to ask questions as she did herself. But than something interesting happen. She told me that they are very quiet and might not interact. Boy was she wrong. They asked questions, they talked about their experiences and helped move the meeting along. The group consisted of patients, caretakers and a health professional. This is the feedback I received.

Peggy: “Joanna, did you bring Sharon here to just talk to me? She gets what I am going through.”

Ken-health pro-“You did a wonderful job. Very informative.”

Margie-“Could you come back and speak to us again?”

Plus multiple hugs from the ladies.

Before I knew it I was being told I just had five minutes left to wrap it up. I was floored how fast it went. Every bit counts, as far as I am concern, regardless of the size of the group, size of the presentation and the overall reactions I receive. But more importantly it was nice to give back to the community , in a small way, and that for me personally made it worth the work and time it took to do this.