All posts by Jo

Hi! My name is Joanne. Also known as Jo to many. I am 44 years old and a new Blogger & Social Media Specilist. I am married to an absolutely wonderful and supportive man named Andy. We will be celebrating our 20th wedding anniversary in September 2017. I have 2 awesome kids: Molly -16, senior in High School, Film Maker & Photographer Connor -14, freshman in High School, cartoonist & logo designer. We also have 4 Canine family members & 4 Feline family members: Dogs: Boomer, Bandit, Dobby & Izzy Cats: Inky, Fluffy, Eddie & Timmy Our household is crazy, zany & chaotic but it is filled with so much love & laughter and I wouldn't trade it for the world!

Kindness Challenge

I am issuing a Kindness Challenge out to each and every one of you that reads this post and/or receives the above card!!

**This post contains an affiliate link to Amazon. If you were to click that link and purchase anything from Amazon, I may receive a small payment at no additional cost to you (and I would be extremely appreciative!)**

You don’t need a reason to help people.

So, the holiday season has come to an end.  Everybody is back to the old, stale routines…Go to work/school, homework,  get dinner made, grocery shop, run errands etc.  It’s often times a busy, boring predictable schedule with none of the relaxation, happiness & giving and friendly attitudes that are often felt during the holiday rush.

Don’t get me wrong.  I think it’s great that around November and December so many people are willing to donate food, money, clothes, toys and even time to help others. Everybody seems to be so much nicer to each other in the spirit of the holidays.  Smiling at strangers in the mall, holding doors open, helping somebody carry shopping bags etc.  The part that saddens me each year is the time after the holidays.  Many people just go back to their own little world,  smiles and conversations between strangers are few and far between.   There doesn’t need to be a specific time of year, season or holiday to spread kindness.  Imagine how great it would be if we all were kind to each other every day!

Kindness is Contagious

I really feel this to be true!  People that are shown kindness and that are helped are much more likely to turn around & be kind to or help another person and then it just keeps going on like a domino effect.  If we all could do one random act of kindness daily, we may just set the world in the right direction.  It starts with each and every one of us!

Kindness doesn’t have to cost a lot of money or time.

This is so true.  Kindness can be as simple as helping a neighbor carry their groceries inside or telling somebody that they have a beautiful smile.  Giving a compliment like that to somebody may be nothing to the person giving the compliment, but it could mean the world to the person receiving the compliment.

Suggestions for acts of kindness

Anybody can do a web search to get hundreds of ideas for spreading kindness.  I’m going to list below several ideas that I have done or will do soon, some cost money, some cost time & others cost nothing.  Please accept my challenge to start a Positively Jo Kindness Movement!  Print out the Random Act of Kindness cards here. Choose one of the ideas below or do your own thing, hand out the card so the recipient of your kindness can pay it forward.  Then come back here to leave a comment about what you did or what was done for you!

Ok,  here are a few suggestions:

    1. Compliment freely.  If you think something nice about someone, say it!
    2. Send at least 1 email or text a day to a friend or family member that you don’t see very often, just to let them know that you are thinking of them
    3. Check in on elderly neighbors, especially after bad weather.
    4. Carry $5.00 gift cards around, so you can hand them out to people that do something great!
    5. Leave a bag of groceries & a gift card on the doorstep of a family you know is struggling financially.
    6. Hold the door open for a stranger.
    7. Pay for a stranger’s coffee or meal.
    8. Deliver donuts or bagels to local police and fire stations.
    9. Buy a meal for a homeless/hungry person.
    10. Pack some backpacks with miscellaneous hygiene items, a bottle of water and a warm blanket, then hand them out to homeless people.
    11. Tape a package of microwave popcorn on a Redbox.
    12.  Put $4.00 – $5.00 in quarters in a plastic bag & tape it to a washing machine in a laundromat.
    13.  Give somebody a gift for no reason at all
    14.  Post positive signs up around work, home or community boards.  Ex:
    15. Babysit for a young couple that may not be able to afford a sitter.
    16. Put a surprise note in your children’s or spouse’s lunch, telling them that you love them.
    17. Pay the toll for the car behind you.
    18. Smile at people you pass in the store.
    19. Attach a bag over somebody’s car window, if they left it open & it started to rain.
    20.  Give spare coats to homeless people.
    21. Lend an ear to somebody that needs to talk.
    22. Lend a shoulder to somebody that needs to cry.
    23. Welcome new neighbors to the neighborhood with flowers or baked goods
    24. Hold the elevator for somebody
    25. Use your network connections to introduce people that can help each other
    26. Invite somebody that is alone over to dinner
    27. Make everybody feel important….cleaning staff, security guard, front desk person, parking attendant… get to know their names and say hello.
    28. Go to the park on a hot day & give out cold bottles of Gatorade or water.
    29. Bring hot chocolate to crossing guards on really cold days
    30. Encourage somebody to follow their dreams and help in any way you can
    31. Tell a manager if you receive great service
    32. Order multiple rain ponchos from Amazon and give them away to people on rainy days  (# affiliate link):<Emergency Rain Poncho with Hood – 5 Color Assortments One Size Fits All – Commuter Friendly Rain Poncho Survival Kit Accessory for Travel Trailblazing Picnics Camping School Sporting Corporate Events“>
    33. Visit elderly people in nursing homes and ask them to tell you some of their favorite memories
    34. Volunteer at local soup kitchens, shelters or other organizations.
    35. Donate money to charities.  Click here for a list of the charities we donate to.

My family & I will be doing some of these things this weekend and I really hope that all of you will rise to the challenge as well!  Let’s get this kindness movement flowing freely and let’s keep it going.

Be the change you want to see in the world.  It starts and continues with each & every one of us!!

I am looking forward to reading your comments.

Remember to put them on this post!

Thanks!

Jo

 

 

 

January 1st is not a Magic Reset Button

There is no “Magic Reset Button” that all of a sudden appears on January 1st of each year.

10, 9, 8 …….Happy New Year!!!  Adios 2017!  Welcome 2018!!!  Now magically, starting  January 1st, I am going to:

Eat better

Excercise more

Start saving money

Learn a new skill………

Sound familiar?  The list of resolutions is often very long and very ambitious.  We think, just because it’s a new year we will magically be able to accomplish all of these changes & our lives will be completely different because it is a new year after all.

We all think that we should make all of those changes at once, on January first.  Unfortunately, when we try this and expect it to all magically happen, we are setting ourselves up for failure.

Change is not easy and when we make big changes all in 1 day, it’s just not going to work.  Trust me! I am 45 & I have been doing this whole New Year’s Resolution thing for many many years.  Yes, we may start everything on January first, but if we stop budgeting after 2 weeks, we’ll be upset with ourselves for not sticking to it & for spending money that we should’ve saved.  Before we know it, that clean & healthy eating is being compromised by the fourth week in because of the emotional eating.

So, we start binging to try to feel better about the failure with the budgeting.   Now we feel guilt and hopelessness about failing with the budget & with the binge eating so we start feeling a bit disappointed in ourselves and we feel really down on ourselves.  Next thing we realize that we missed our kickboxing class that we’ve been going to twice a week for about 8 weeks now and we feel like we blew it completely and we can’t accomplice anything.  So, here we are in the last week of February and we have broken each resolution.  We are feeling disappointed, hopeless, guilty, ashamed and no good.

UGH….now what?

Do we have to wait until January 1st of the next year to make these changes again?   NO!  Absolutely not!

The great thing about life is that every second is a chance for a new beginning!!!  There is no rule that says we must wait until the January 1st to make a list of changes that we want to implement in our lives.

 

We have the opportunity to make a change whenever we want & however many times we want!  That is the beauty of life!!

If we don’t like something about ourselves or something in our lives, we can each choose for ourselves to make a  decision to change what we don’t like.  Every second of every day is an opportunity for a new beginning. It doesn’t have to be an all or nothing either.

I don’t have to decide today, on January first, that I am going to eat right, exercise,  budget, learn new skills, grow my business, grow spiritually, take up a new hobby etc.

I can decide each second of each day what choices I will make to improve my life.  Maybe I’ll just start off with deciding to walk for 15 minutes today, right now and then I can decide to do that again tomorrow and/or the next day.  Soon enough, that will just be what I do.  Then I can decide to spend 10 minutes today reading & meditating on scripture and again I can just keep deciding to do that each day.  The great news is though.  If I miss that daily walk or the daily meditation, it does not mean that I failed, because there will be another second during that day or the next, or the one after that where I can decide to just do it again!

Each second of each day is an opportunity for a new beginning!  Remember that!

At any time in your life and at any time during the year you can change what you don’t like about yourself & your life.  You can change a little bit at a time to make it easier or if you can handle it, you can make a big change all at once.  Whatever way you choose to do it, just do it.

In 1 year, you will have 31,536,000 opportunities for a new beginning.  Obviously, none of us will make that many changes, but don’t let all of these opportunities slip away either.  At least take advantage of some of them!

Little decisions lead to little changes which lead to bigger changes which leads to transformations.

We Got This!!!!!!

Use those seconds wisely!  Make the most of your lives & become the best YOU that YOU can be, one second at a time!!

Peace and love to all of you!

Jo

 

OH NO! One Week Until Christmas!!

One week until Christmas!!!

Wow, time flies and holidays sure can sneak up on you!  That’s exactly what Christmas has done to me this year. Christmas is in exactly 1 week from today & I haven’t baked any cookies, decorated or purchased any gifts yet…ugh!  All I can say is Thank God for Amazon Prime :-)!

By the way, the beautiful decorations in this post are iPhone photos of my sister, Barbara’s house!  Her place is beautifully decorated whereas mine, you wouldn’t even think we celebrated Christmas :-(. We’re working on it this week….better late than never right?

**This post does include some affiliate links. If you click on any of the links & purchase anything, I may receive a small commission (THANKS!) at no additional cost to you. Thank you!**

Amazon Prime to the rescue!

Ok, so I have always been a procrastinator, for as long as I can remember.  Many years, I would have to be getting pushed and shoved around the stores during this last week of Christmas.  Not this year!  It’s true, I haven’t purchased any gifts yet, but I’m skipping the craziness & the lines & I’m just going right over to Amazon!

Are you a Prime Member?

If not, you really should join!  It is so worth.  So many items are free same day or 2-day shipping, you also get Amazon music and Amazon Movies, as well as the subscribe & save program, among many other benefits.  Click the banner below for more information or to sign up now!

#affiliate link

There is still time to join & purchase all of the gifts you need & still get them delivered before Christmas!!

One of my favorite, cool gifts to get for people, is this little tool that fits in a wallet. Check it out! It is so handy!!

#affiliate link

Another nice gift that I just saw on Amazon, that will be delivered before Christmas,  is this Bonsai Tree kit:

#affiliate link

Caring for a Bonsai tree can help reduce stress.

To see other health benefits that can be achieved by caring for a Bonzai tree, please see
this blog post by Alternative Daily.

Don’t forget the cozy, comfy gifts too!  Check out this plush robe! This will also arrive before Christmas if ordered on time.

#affiliate link

 

Now, if you know me & read my blog, you know I like writing and I always have.  I used a diary/journal for many of my teenage years because I found it to be very therapeutic to write things down, everything that upset me or angered me, all of my hopes & dreams, even my first date & first kiss.

Because I gained so much from having a journal, I am a strong advocate for all teenagers to have one.  On Amazon, they have several types of journals, many different types & colors.  Most can be received before Christmas!  Check this one out:

#affiliate link


So, here is your checklist for this coming week:

  1. Decorate for the holidays, if you haven’t already done so. 
  2. Get those Christmas cards mailed out if you still do that.
  3. Volunteer your time to help others
  4. Count your blessings & thank God for everything
  5. Bake those cookies!

    Image from internet
  6. Join Amazon Prime & Buy those last minute presents or even give your loved ones the gift of Prime so they can enjoy the benefits of membership also! #affiliatelink

7. Remember the best gift of all is time!  Spend a lot of fun, loving quality time with friends and family!

Merry Christmas everybody!!

Love you all,

Jo


 

 

 

 

 

 

Human Rights Day 2017

December 10 is Human Rights Day!

Why is it that I never heard of this before today??

On December 10, 1948, The United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.  Then in 1950, the assembly passed resolution 423 (V), inviting all States and interested organizations to observe December 10th of each year as Human Rights Day.

As a strong advocate for equal rights for all Humans, I find this to be a very important day and I don’t understand why it’s not better known.

What are Human Rights?

Human rights are rights that inherently belong to all humans.  Rights such as freedom of speech, freedom of worship, freedom from want and freedom from fear.   In Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, it states “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood”.

iphone picture taken by me

 

Yes, it says ALL human beings!

That means regardless of race, nationality, religion, sexual orientation,  gender, political views, age, weight, economic status or style choices.

We all are entitled to the same rights & we should all allow each other those rights without judgment and hate.

” NO HATE” iphone picture taken by me

I have raised my children to know that people are people and that they should always treat other people with respect, even if they don’t agree with them or their views.

I have never cared if people were a different color, nationality, religion or sexual orientation from me.  Those differences are what makes the human race wonderful!

How boring would it be if we all looked the same, thought the same, spoke the same, dressed the same, worshipped the same and had the same interests?  That is not a world I want to be in.

I am Christian and my best friend of over 25 years is Wiccan, yet we have been & will continue to be best friends for the rest of our lives.I am very interested in other religions, so I read about them & ask friends about their beliefs.

I am in my forties, does that make me more deserving of certain rights than people in their 20’s or maybe in their 60’s? No!

I am overweight, does that make me less important & less worthy of these rights? No!

My family is currently on the lower side of middle class, does that mean that people with more income than my family should have better rights or more rights than I do?  No!

I am a heterosexual, but I have friends and family members that are homosexual or bisexual.  Am I any better than them, just because I fell in love with and married someone of the opposite sex?  NO! Not at all.  Members of LGBTQ community should be accepted & entitled to every right that heterosexuals are entitled to.  Love is Love!  It is not up to me or any other human to judge who is worthy of these rights!

Love is love – iphone picture taken by me

Can’t we all just get along?

I want so badly for all people to just realize that we don’t all have to agree with each other’s opinions & lifestyles to co-exist. We can still have our own beliefs and get along with people that don’t agree with us.  We can be a specific race and live peacefully with other races. The same applies to all other demographics that I’ve listed, For example,   Just because a heterosexual befriends a gay person, it does not mean he or she is gay.  That person goes on living a heterosexual life, while the gay person lives a homosexual life, but they can live in peace with each other. There is no race, culture, sexual orientation or gender that is superior to any others.

All we need to do is Live and Let Live!!

Photo & text credit: Rumi, Saadi, Hafiz (Poems and Quotes) https://www.facebook.com/RumiSaadiHafiz

Love and accept each other! We are all worthy of it!

Happy Human Rights Day 2017!

 

—Jo

 

 

I AM Important and I Deserve Respect

I am important and I do matter!  We all do!

Hi everybody!  That picture above is me smiling.  That’s from today.  Yesterday that picture would have looked completely different.

Yesterday was a bad day for me.  A very bad day.

Positively Jo has bad days???  Who knew??

So, some of you know that I have struggled my entire life with self- esteem and self-worth issues.  Now I also struggle with Fibromyalgia pain and depression.   Friday was a day where I was in a lot of physical pain as well as a lot of emotional and mental pain.

I was feeling a little discouraged about the decisions I’ve made that have brought me to where I am right now.  OK, I lied…not a little, a lot…. I’ve been feeling a lot of discouraging feelings.

My freelancing and blog have not been providing the income that we had hoped for and needed yet.  I started missing that consistent biweekly paycheck I used to get.  For the first time since leaving my job back in June, I felt a twinge of regret.

I was a mess!!

I felt like a failure, I felt worthless and I felt like I destroyed my family because of the financial strain we are in now.

There was so much negative self-talk going on in my head that I was sure others could hear it LOL.

Once I start feeling like this, I can very easily slip back into my old ways.  That’s exactly what I did.  I allowed the way another person treated me to reinforce the negative talk.  I allowed a stranger to make me doubt myself and knock my confidence.

In comes more negative self-talk

It was a potential remote client that I was really looking forward to working with.  We hit it off instantly during our first conversation and I thought for sure that we would work well together.  He said he did as well.  He also said that I would be hired for some future projects.  That’s not what ended up happening though.  We had several conversations that I was to receive payment for. I never received the payment.  He also kept stringing me along regarding the other projects.   I allowed it to go on for way too long.  I kept thinking that I needed this client because I needed the money that was owed to me and I needed the pay for the additional projects.  Then I started internalizing everything.  I started telling myself that the reason this was all happening was that I must not have been good enough to work with his company.

Why did I assume I wasn’t good enough?

If I hadn’t already been feeling so low already, the scenario above and my reaction to it would’ve been completely different.

I would not have automatically assumed that I wasn’t good enough for the job.  I would have gotten payment up front & I would have walked away much sooner. I would’ve just chalked it up to the client having some issues. I would’ve had more confidence and I would’ve remembered my worth.

I got to my breaking point on Thursday evening and I decided to accept the fact that I wasn’t ever going to see the payment owed to me & I wasn’t going to be getting the additional projects either.  It was time for me to put an end to this.   Then I spent yesterday crying, feeling like a failure, regretting my decisions, worrying about my family, worrying about the finances and worrying about whether or not I will get more clients and if so when.

Rescued by my faith and my hubby.

My husband:

Poor Andy.  He is the one that has to deal with me when I get to feeling down like this.  I honestly don’t know what I would do without him, the kids and my faith.

Andy came home from work and saw my eyes:

He immediately knew that I was upset.

He asked me what was wrong & I started crying a lot, borderline sobbing, as I told him how I was feeling & I let all of the negative thoughts about myself just spill out rapidly. He held me for a while & then started talking to calm me down.  He put our situation into perspective for me.  He reminded me that our family was together & we love each other.  He also pointed out that we have shelter, food and clean water and that so many others were not so fortunate.  He also tried to build my confidence back up by reminding me of situations I’ve succeeded in & achievements of mine through the years. Reminding me that I am good at what I do & I will succeed if I keep focusing on my goals.  Great Guy, isn’t he??? I told ya! LOL  He is always my biggest fan and I really needed that yesterday.

My Faith.

I can do all this through him who gives me strength.  – Philippians 4:13

For the LORD will be at your side and will keep your foot from being snared. – Proverbs 3:26

Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. – Mark 11:24

Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. – 1 Peter 5:7

I concentrated on praying & meditating and got to a place of peace.

I can move forward with confidence and a feeling of self-worth again.

I need to keep the focus on my faith, my family and my blessings.

Have a plan!

So, I know I am not the only person that hears negative self-talk & has times of weakness & struggles with confidence & self-worth.  I would probably be correct if I said everybody has those times.

We all need to have a plan to overcome it

We need to have lines of scripture or encouraging quotes compiled and readily available so we can read them for comfort during these times.  We should also have somebody to talk to, just to put things into perspective for us and to be our cheerleader.  We also need to be available for others in our lives that may need that.

That is one of my goals with Positively Jo.  I want to let everybody know that we all have struggles and doubts, but we also all have it in us to conquer and overcome the negativity.  We all have the ability to make decisions to improve ourselves & our lives.  We are all important & deserve respect.  We are all worthy of and deserve happiness and success.

Don’t allow the lows to take over your life.  Accept it, face it, deal with it and move on to improve it.

The way I felt for those few days reminded me all too much of how long I had allowed myself to live in that low place during my lifetime.  I’m done with that and I will not be a prisoner of fear and self-doubt anymore.  I hope none of you will remain in that dark, desperate place either.

Take action!

Today is the day to decide to break free from those chains of hopelessness.  Make a decision to do something to lift yourself up.

YOU are worthy, YOU are beautiful,  YOU are important, YOU are strong and YOU are loved!

Please click here to be added to my email list. I will send you a list of inspirational and encouraging quotes to download & look at when you start feeling discouraged and down.

I am also available for 15 minute ($10) and 30 minute ($18) encouragement calls.

If you don’t feel comfortable talking about your fears and self-doubts with someone you know, it may be easier to talk to someone you don’t know.

Please note: I am not a counselor or psychologist.  I am just an empathetic, caring, good listener that wants to help people come out of the dark & live the happy life they deserve.  I’ve been through a lot & I understand a lot.

If you are interested in talking to me, please click here. I will respond to you with my availability and method of payment accepted, then we can schedule the call.

Remember to take care of yourself and love yourself!

God bless you all!

 

 

 

 

 

The Box

What’s with the box?

I’m glad you asked!

 

It’s actually a sad story, but don’t worry, it has a happy ending.   🙂

My husband, Andy, was on his way home from work on Friday and he decided to stop at the store on the way home.  This is not something he normally does, but Friday he needed oil for his car & decided to just pull in to the store real quick.

So, Andy parked his car & started walking towards the store.  On his way, he saw a box, right there on one of the little grassy islands in the parking lot.  Now, we all know that nowadays, it may not be safe to open up a random box sitting in the middle of nowhere, so it was not even a thought in his head to go look at the box.  That is until he heard the box cry and whimper.  Yes, you heard that right. A small whimpering, crying sound came from that box.  Now, obviously,  Andy felt he had to check it out. So he slowly approached the box as the whimpering continued.

So…..What was in the box?

A poor, little, abandoned puppy 🙁

This poor little girl was shivering as she sat so sad looking,  covered in her own drool & pee.

Absolutely heartbreaking, I know!

Obviously, if you read my blog or know us at all, you know that we are EXTREME animal lovers.  So Andy did exactly what I would hope any person would do.  He forgot all about going to the store, he took the box & brought it home.  As soon as he got home, I gave this poor little girl a warm bath.  She just sat in that warm water, with no struggling, no fighting and no sound.  I got her all cleaned up and put her in a nice warm fluffy towel & just held her close as Andy called our Vet’s office to see if we could get worked into the schedule.  Thankfully, they were able to see her in 1 hour.  They checked her out, estimated that she was about 6 weeks old, believed her to be a Yorkshire Terrier, confirmed that she was not malnourished, and confirmed that she was worm & flea free.  They gave her a completely clean bill of health! We were so happy.

So, What now?

Yep, you guessed it, we have added a new member to our family.  We felt it was meant to be and since Andy found her, he feels personally responsible for her welfare now.

We have had her for 2 days and she is doing great.  She has perked up since that first day & she is now jumping right into the mix with us, our cats & the other dogs.

Here she is playing with a few of the other dogs:

Muffin playing

Oh, yes, her name is Muffin.  She picked that name herself.  Andy, Connor & I were sitting around with her trying to come up with the perfect name.  We were saying names like Gizmo, Gadget, Angel, Lily, Cookie, Magic, Midnight and we couldn’t agree on one.  Then one of us said Muffin and her little head popped up & looked around.  We said a few other names with no reaction, then circled back to Muffin, and again her cute little body & head perked up.  So we all agreed that Muffin would be her name.  She really seems to like it!

I just don’t understand!

I am so happy that Andy found her.  Honestly, though, it makes me sick that there was somebody or maybe even more than 1 person that made a decision to abandon that poor, defenseless, scared little puppy in a cold,  dark closed up box on a very cold day, in a parking lot.  I mean really….what is wrong with people?  I get it that there are situations where people may not be able to keep a dog.  In fact, we were thinking that we were going to have to re-home Izzy, our 90 pound Great Pyrenees, we’ve since decided not to & we’re going to try something that may help us with her, so hopefully, it works out.  Anyway, the point is there are ways to find a home for an animal.  There is no need to pack them up in a box & leave them to die!

People can surrender pets to any local humane society.  She is a puppy, she would’ve been adopted. Now, I understand there is a fee to do this, so maybe there is no money available.  If that’s the case, there’s always Craigslist.  There are so many re-homings of pets on Craigslist.  I’m sure there would have been no problem re-homing a small 6-week old terrier.  Ok, maybe the situation called for an immediate removal of the puppy and they didn’t have any time to post an ad & wait.  So then, they could’ve at least stood outside the store and asked anybody if they could provide a loving home for the little cutie.  They didn’t need to abandon her & leave her to die.

Anyway, enough ranting.  Somebody else’s bad decision ended up being a blessing to this little puppy and most of all to me and my family.

She will stay with us so we can care for her and keep her safe.

Welcome home Muffin!

 

 

Over 100 years of PT experience!

Physical Therapy at it’s finest!

The team at Greg Ott Physical Therapy has over 100 combined years of experience in Physical Therapy, Orthopedics and Sports Medicine.  They are the experts in this field and I am so glad we found them, I only wish we had known of this center years ago when my daughter was playing soccer!

*This is a sponsored post, however, all comments & opinions are my own.*

High School Injury Clinic

The High School injury Clinic is the reason that I wish we had known about Greg Ott Physical Therapy years ago.  My daughter, Molly used to play soccer.  She was a goalie, you know….the position where her job was to actually get in harm’s way to stop the ball at any cost.  Yikes! Talk about a nervous mom!  Anyway, she played for many years.  Needless to say, there were a few injuries during that time & a few Urgent Care visits as well.  Had I known about the High School Injury Clinic at Greg Ott Physical Therapy at that time, It could have saved us a lot of time & given us peace of mind.

What is the High School Injury Clinic?

I’m so glad you asked! The High School Injury Clinic is a program they run at Greg Ott Physical Therapy. The program helps eliminate the need for long Emergency Room wait times when your athlete gets injured.  There is no appointment necessary.  Most athletes can be seen the same day they call.

The Physical Therapists and Athletic trainers can:

  • Assess the injury
  • Advise Further Intervention
  • Make Referrals
  • Facilitate Appointment with Physician

Shorter wait time than the ER & providers that specialize in sports injuries, what could be better? I certainly would’ve rather brought Molly here instead of the ER for her strains & sprains through the years.

But Wait…..There’s More….

In addition to the High School Injury Clinic , they offer many other services, such as:

Dance Physical Therapy: They have the experience & knowledge to get dancers on a customized program specific to their body & goals to get them back to dancing pain-free!

Sports Physical Therapy: This includes, but is not limited to the following-Pain Relief, Muscle Strengthening, Endurance Building, Range of Motion Training.

Back Pain Physical Therapy: Evaluation and treatment, Various Modalities, Manual Techniques, Posture and Body Mechanics and Excercise and Wellness.

Orthopedics: Treating injuries and disorders of the muscles and skeleton, ligaments, tendons, tissues throughout the body.

Orthotics and Bracing: Their custom Orthotics and Bracing is not a one size fits all. They use a 3D laser scanning system called VeriScan Podiatric Scanner to ensure everybody’s orthotic device fits perfectly.

Questions?

For any information on the services above or questions about other ways that Greg Ott Physical Therapy  can help you, please click on the green links to go straight to the website or call the office at 704-366-7723.

Thank you, Greg and Staff!

The AWESOME staff at Greg Ott Physical Therapy

As I mentioned in a previous post the staff here are professional, friendly, caring & knowledgeable and the office atmosphere is relaxed, warm and fun. I really see no reason to even consider another Physical Therapy Center in this area. This practice has perfected every aspect of the physical therapy experience. I would like to express my sincerest appreciation to the entire staff for how they worked with and helped my husband for the last few months. They are all wonderful!

If you need a Physical Therapist, this is the place to go!!

 

Change can be AWESOME!!!

I used to hate change, but lately, it’s been pretty AWESOME!!

Hello Everybody!  I am so sorry that I have not been posting on a regular schedule.  I have been so extremely busy with so many things going on in my life right now.

I promise that I am going to try to post at least 2 times a week from this point forward.

Right now, I am going to fill you all in on the wonderful & amazing things going on in my life, that have been keeping me busy.

Change 1: I’m back in college!!!

As those of you that know me, have been following me or have read my first couple of posts, In June I left a steady, well-paying job to save my health.  The stress was horrendous & it was all stemming from 1 manager that was just polluting the work environment with negativity, nitpickiness & lack of respect and appreciation.  I was getting sick from stress, so I took a leap of faith, trusting that God would lead me down the right path & would provide for me & my family.

Since that time, I have been led to return to college so I can work on finishing my bachelor’s degree. I already had 69 credits from when I was in my 20’s, the great news is, ALL of those credits were accepted for transfer credits! I can now proudly say that I am a junior in college!

Change #2: I am starting my own freelancing business!

I have also been led to an absolutely amazing freelancing class & coaching program called The No Pants Project.   I have to say, if you are looking for a way to start your own freelancing career, THIS is THE program to sign up for!  Mike Shreeve and his staff are very passionate & dedicated to helping us all achieve our dreams of becoming successful freelancers & the people in the program are so supportive!  I am so thrilled to be a part of this program. I am learning so much from all of them!

Change # 3:  I have an awesome part-time job!!!

Last, but certainly not least is my new part-time job until I get the freelancing going strong.  I have been fortunate enough to be hired as an instructor with KidzArt!   I get to have a great time teaching elementary aged children how to draw & how to tap into their own creativity.  It’s a great job, brings some money in & still leaves time for my family, my school work & my own business.

Life is beautiful! Change can be great!

I urge all of you….if there is something in your life that is causing you stress, not good for you, leaving you with a feeling of disappointment or a feeling of unfulfillment, MAKE A CHANGE!!!

We all have within ourselves, the power to improve our own lives & to improve our own mindsets!

It starts with YOU…..Yes YOU!

Evaluate what is working for you and what isn’t working for you then make the decision to change what isn’t working.

Start by:

  • Writing the good & the bad things down.
  • Look at the good & do more of that!
  • Look at the bad & start brainstorming about what you can do differently.
  • Write your ideas down.
  • Start with the first idea, try to put a plan together to make the change needed.  It is OK if you start with little changes. Every little thing helps you start to move in the right direction. As the saying goes… Even slow progress is progress!
  • Move on to the next idea & get a plan together. Continue down the list of ideas.
  • Choose the plan that you feel is doable for you.
  • BELIEVE in YOURSELF!! Follow the plan that you created and after a while… a few days or weeks (whatever works for you), add in another one of your plans.
  • Watch how the changes you are choosing to make, continue to improve your life!

I believe in all of you, now you need to choose to believe in yourself.

You can do this! I know it!

Let me know in the comments or in an email if you are going to start making good choices & changes in your life!! I’d love to be on the journey with you!!!

As always, thanks for reading!!

Jo

Back to School Tips and Cute Cat Pics!

Back to School!

Yes, it’s that time of year again.  Many of our kids (and possibly ourselves) are back to school now.  If they’re not, they’ll be starting soon enough.

Getting back into the swing of things after a Summer break can be a bit challenging.  I thought I would share some tips that we follow to make it a little easier.  I hope this can help some of you out there.

Homework / Study Tips

  1. Communicate with your child’s teacher: 

    My son has ADHD & ASD.  He has always seemed to have “good hours” during the day & traditionally through the years, he starts losing patience & focus about 5:00 pm, no matter how much sleep he has, what he eats, when he takes medicine… Nothing matters, he enters “the witching hour” in the evenings.  One year, when my son was in Elementary School, his school started later in the day.  He would get home about 4:30/4:45.  Trust me when I say, there was NO  homework getting done at that time.  It was just way too late for him.  So I spoke with his teacher about the problem & asked if we could have his homework the weekend before the week it was due.  She was completely on board with it!  This gave he & I the chance to go out to a library or bookstore early Saturday morning & knock his assignments out for the week.  When he can focus & hold it together he is a very smart kid & the homework was extremely easy for him.  This worked great for us & may be worth a try for you.

  2. Allow “Brain Breaks” during studying & homework time:  

    ADHD or not, I think everybody, even myself, as an adult that just returned to college in my 40’s, needs to take “Brain Breaks”.  For those of you that have never heard of them, basically a “brain break” is exactly what it says.  It is a 2-4 minute break from the homework to do something fun & energizing, a chance to shake the wiggles out & return to the homework with a fresh new focus.  Some activities to do are a quick dance party, yoga stretches, hopping on 1 foot or watching a brain break video.  There are so many options, just google Brain Break and you will be amazed at the great ideas out there!

  3.  Provide a clean, uncluttered area with no distractions:

    It is so much easier to focus on the homework/ reading when there is nothing around to look at or play with.  Nothing to start a conversation about, just the books/ notebooks/ worksheets that’s it!

    Eddie Spaghetti reading
  4.  Allow time to rest, if needed: 

    Being in school all day & then coming home to more work is really tiring!  Sometimes they will just need time to rest their bodies or even just their eyes for a bit.  That’s ok, let them.  Agree upon an acceptable rest time & set a timer, let them put their head down, eyes closed for that time.  Hopefully, when the time is up, they will feel a little more rested & ready to tackle the work again.

    Eddie Spaghetti taking a little break

     

  5. Provide a healthy, inviting snack that can be eaten during homework:

    A lot of people like snacking while reading or doing homework, but let’s face it, snacking on candy & junk is not healthy at all.  I try to have a bowl of grapes, apple slices or carrot sticks right there, ready to grab.  It helps keep the energy up & satisfies that munchy feeling in a healthier way.

    Healthy homework snack

Early morning tips

  1. Prepare clothes the night before:

    This has been said over & over again in every article I’ve read & every conversation I’ve had.  It is one of the oldest bits of advice out there…..but, it works! Get your child & yourself in the habit of preparing clothes the night before.  This includes shoes, backpack with all books & assignments, sports or work uniforms, instruments, PE uniforms…anything at all needed for the next day.  Trust me this prevents a lot of craziness in the mornings!   Where are my shoes?  You have to sign these papers! I forgot to wash my shirt for work!  Can you drop my soccer bag off to the school, I forgot it?  The list goes on & I’ve heard them all through the years.  I am definitely getting smarter as I am moving through the years with my kids! 🙂

  2.  Prepare lunch ahead of time:
    I don’t just mean the night before, I mean for the week.  When my kids were younger, I had a lunch bowl for the week, 1 in the refrigerator & one in the cabinet.  The refrigerator bowl would hold all the refrigerated items that they needed for lunch in 1 place – For example each day they would grab:  1 bottle of water, 1 bag or container of cheese cubes or a cheese stick and pepperoni (if that was lunch for that week), 1 bag or container of either carrot sticks, green peppers or cherry tomatoes, 1 yogurt  and 1 apple, clementine or bag/ container of grapes or melon.  From the cabinet bowl, they would grab 1 bag or container of crackers (to go with cheese & pepperoni) and 1 bag or container of cookies, chips, pretzels etc.  Boom! Lunch is done!  This worked so well for us.
  3. Set alarms on phone for things your child needs to do in the morning:

    Many kids nowadays have a smart phone.  For my son (remember: ADHD, ASD), we use the alarm function for everything.  Even now at 14 he uses it & sets himself reminders of all sorts of things.  The alarms he has set for the morning are the “get dressed” alarm, “eat breakfast” alarm,  “brush hair & teeth” alarm,  “take medicine” alarm and the “grab backpack & go to the bus stop” alarm.  This keeps him on track & focused on what he needs to do & when he needs to do it.

  4. Play music:

    We try to play happy, energizing music in the morning.  This helps to wake everybody up & set the tone of the day to a positive & fun vibe.

  5. Get up early: 

    Last but not least, get up earlier than you think you need to. No, I’m really not crazy. 🙂  This is especially hard if your kids have to start school early like mine do.  Connor has to leave at 6:00 am & Molly has to leave around 6:15 am.  We used to get up about 1/2 hour to 45 minutes before they had to leave, just enough time to get dressed, eat something, brush teeth & go.  It was always so rushed though & it was full-on chaos & stress if something didn’t go smoothly like they didn’t realize the clothes they picked out had a stain, they spill their drink on their clothes, they struggled a bit getting up & actually got up 10/15 minutes after I woke them, or even one of their pets got sick & they had to clean it up.   So, we have found that just getting up 15 minutes earlier than we used to helps eliminate some of the unnecessary panicked feelings if there is a wrench thrown in our morning somehow.  We get up at 5:00 am – it is early, but the mornings are going pretty well now & if there is extra time, it gives us that 10 minutes or so to pray together, talk about the expectations for the day,  give a pep talk for an upcoming test they have that day or just let them cuddle with one of our pets for a few minutes.

    Connor chillin’ with some of our furry family members
    Molly hangin’ with Boomer

     

    I hope these tips can help decrease or eliminate the back to school craziness that happens to so many of us this time of year!

    Please comment below if any of these work for you or add some of your own tips to help each other!

Remember: Each day is another opportunity to be the BEST YOU that you can be!!! Don’t waste that opportunity!!

Love ya all!

Jo

 

 

Need A Physical Therapist in Charlotte? Greg Ott Physical Therapy is the place to go!

The AWESOME staff at Greg Ott Physical Therapy

Physical Therapy at its best in Charlotte NC!

This is a sponsored post, but only because I was so impressed with Greg Ott and his staff that I asked him if I could write this up.I promise all observations and opinions written below are entirely my own.

 

Let me start off by saying that I have worked in the Healthcare Industry for about 25 years.  I am not saying this for any reason other than to assure you that I am very knowledgeable & experienced in this area.

My husband, Andy, is currently a patient at Greg Ott Physical Therapy. He had shoulder/bicep surgery at the end of April and started physical therapy the day after the surgery!

People need to see a physical therapist for a number of different reasons, ranging from sprains/strains to postoperative care.

Greg Ott Physical Therapy handles it all with the same level of expertise and compassion.

The Atrium:

From the moment you walk into this medical building,  you start to feel a bit better as the anxiety starts falling away. The atrium is full of beautiful trees, flowers, garden statues and picket fences! It is absolutely gorgeous!

 

Beautiful atrium inside the building

Once through the front door, you go over to the right to find Greg Ott Physical Therapy.

Suite B

The Front Office:

One of the first things that stood out for me, when I went to this practice with Andy for the first time was that everyone was so friendly.  We were greeted with huge, welcoming smiles as they asked Andy his name & verified his insurance and copay amount.  That was the last time they needed to ask his name.  From that point on, they remembered him!  They seemed to know every single person that walked through their door.

The second notable impression I had was that we didn’t have to wait long at all.  In fact, there has never been a wait during the entire time Andy has been going there. He pretty much walks in, they say hi & send him right back.

The Clinical Staff:

When Andy goes back, the first thing they do is apply heat and electrical stimulation to his shoulder & bicep.  Andy sits there for a while and chit chats with the staff and other patients.  It’s like he’s just hanging out with some friends.

Andy hanging out with heat & electrical stimulation on his shoulder

Once the time is up, Andy is released from the heat & electrodes.  The next step is for Andy to go through an individually designed circuit of activities that was created specifically for him.

After the circuit is completed, Andy heads to one of the tables to get worked on by one of the highly skilled physical therapists.

This is the time when the physical therapist needs to stretch, push, pull & rotate Andy’s shoulder & bicep.  For Andy, unfortunately, this part is painful but very necessary to get him back to where he needs to be.  Thankfully, all of the physical therapists at Greg Ott Physical Therapy are experienced experts in their field as well as very caring and compassionate.

In my opinion, speaking from personal experience with other local Physical Therapy Centers, they all pale in comparison to Greg Ott Physical Therapy.

The Office Environment:

The last thing that was so evident to me as I was just observing the center when I was there with Andy (I know, it’s weird that I was observing everybody and everything….it’s because I have so much experience with medical offices & how they should be running, I just can’t stop myself 🙂 ).

Anyway, the last thing I noticed was how efficient they work & how well all of the staff members communicate with each other.  They all just rely on each other & chip in where needed.  The practice runs like a well-oiled machine – flawless!

I know, without a doubt, anytime I or a loved one needs physical therapy again, we will be heading straight to Greg Ott Physical Therapy. No question about that!  I hope that all of you reading this will do the same!

The Location:

The Center is located in Park Place on Wendover Road.

Park Place on Wendover

Please check out their website by clicking anywhere above where their name is in green or by clicking on their logo or name on my recommendations page for healthcare practices in Charlotte: here.

Thank you so much for reading!

— Jo

Remember: Take time to take care of yourself each & every day! You deserve it!!!