Dimwit Blogger’s Reality Check

by Jan Geronimo on January 16, 2010

What happened to me last January 14 was comical if it weren’t a bit serious.  I just got off from the van that  took me to Calapan City.  I had papers to follow up at the regional office of the Bureau of Internal Revenue  (BIR)- something to do with the small family business.

What’s funny about it was that I couldn’t cross the street .  Dizziness overcame me that I had to stop walking.  Minutes  passed by.  Took me a while before I convinced myself I’d not topple over and crack my head on the pavement or something.

I was able to file important papers with the BIR without an incident though.

When I reached home my sister checked my blood pressure.  It was raging in the 160s.

Well, what do I expect really?  A normal reading?  Not if you’re like me whose sole form of exercise is to read blogs and hit the retweet button,interspersed with pretend farming on the side.  Yup, I’m  a prince of sedentary living.

Last October, I swore off smoking in response to Holly’s friendly challenge. I spoke too soon.  While Holly is making head way with her weight goal.  I’m not.  I more than made up for my lack of success though with my deviousness. In a blog meet up which served as a send off party for Doc Z, I’ve not only managed to fend off requests for me to take my turn at videoke, I’ve also sneaked in a few puffs in the bushes and in the comfort room.  Bonie of ThirdWorldGeek, a renarkable blogging tips blog hereabouts, had a picture of me alone, staring off into space, with my back to the camera.  He called it instrospective Jan. You gave me too much credit, Bonnie.  It was just me getting my nicotine fix.

If anything, I’m lucky I got away with a minor scare.

Guess this scoundrel has to seriously rebuild his lifestyle this year to be around much longer, huh.

Concern about my health obviously takes precedence over any other issues this 2010. At least for me.  How about you?   Care to share what challenges which are likely to preoccupy you this year??

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  • Jan, just read this now. And it's pretty interesting. Would you dare challenge me to have a sexy stomach? Or run a half marathon? In return, you should take good care of yourself :)
  • I'd have to cook up something harder. Running, marathon - these are a walk
    in the park for you already. :)
  • No real challenge. I pretty well take things as they come. What I wouldn't mind doing, once it cools down, is to hit those weights again. I could do with losing a few pounds, but it's not a goal or anything, I don't believe in those. Still, it would be nice :)
  • ajchtar
    I'm looking forward to this year being good for me, I'm just wondering j, what is it that usually passes through the minds of everyone that likes staring into the night sky? do they have the same thoughts? definitely not, unless someone says otherwise, people usually say they'd give up something like smoking or drinking when they start feeling they need medical attention, luckily I've devoted myself to never trying, even so, curiosity, as based through my methods, can be overcome by a good and healthy lifestyle doused down in fun!! fun can be anything that pleases the doer, so it would be important to make sure that "fun" is something good, that way we wouldn't have to worry about getting dizzy or danger in relation to getting a stroke, hope to read more interesting stories from you. :)
  • That's one of my biggest regrets - starting that awful habit. I'm glad
    you've the good sense to steer clear of these things. And you're right.
    Lots of good and fun stuff to do without wreaking havoc to one's health.
    Thanks for dropping by. :)
  • Hi, lolo Jan and Jens!

    I'm glad that you now know what you really want to to. I just want to share a story about what happened to me a few days ago.

    I'm passionate about music. :D I love playing different musical instruments and I enjoy singing along with other people. Last week, I stayed with my grandmother for an hour and helped her transferr some furniture on her house. Our conversation was like this:

    Grandma: What course would you like to take on college?
    Camille: I'd like B Music. :D
    Grandma: What? B Music? There's no money there. What what will your job be if you take that?
    Camille: A music teacher? I want to be a music teacher on a university someday
    Grandma: Neh.. Just be a lawyer. or maybe a doctor. Either of the two would be great!

    then I did not respond. That time, I wanted to tell her "you were a musician when you were young, right?" But that would be really bad if i told her so I just remained silent. Anyway, she cannot do anything about it. I was just disappointed that she's not even proud of her musicianship.... that she was the first person who taught me how to play the piano....

    I'll still take Music. :D It's my passion. :D yay.
  • Wow, Camille. Thanks for sharing your conversation with your grandmother.
    I'm sure she just wanted you to see the practical side of things. She wants
    you to have a good life as all good Lolas do. Don't worry. I have a
    feeling she'd come around and support your passion once she recognizes it's
    not a passing fancy for music on your part. Buti ka pa nga you know your
    passion at an early age while many people go through life clueless.
  • nagkamali ako ng pagpost. :)). sa latest post po dapat to e. hahah. e kaso na close ko yung tab. tapos eto yung naclick ko. di ko alam. hahahah.. :D. okay lang. :)) basta nashare. :D hahhah.
  • haha. :D
  • Okay lang yun. Di naman napunta sa ibang blog eh. Ahehehe
  • a 160!?! that's scary stuff, jan. better start listening to that nagging voice in your head. ;)

    hey, only four new posts since we talked last. must be a laziness epidemic in the blogosphere, no?

    basta. feels great to be back. :)
  • Yup, I'm one of those whose whose blogging chair needs to be outfitted with
    a rocket. Thanks, Deejay. Great to have you back again. :)
  • hala! Buti na lang you did not topple over. Stop Smoking na. It wont do you any good and you know that! Parang Mama ko, 62 na sya at minsan tinatago nya na nag smoke pa rin sya. We would convince her to stop, kaso yun minsan, lumulusot. :( kaya di na ako nagtataka kung bakit makulit ako hehe.
  • A reversal of roles. It's now the daughter fussing and sometimes giving I presume a lecture to her own mother. :)
  • Hala ka, friend. Stop puffing na nga. That's suicide by piecemeal. We can't lose a friend with that as the culprit. Get heroic by winning the challenge to quit puffing. ",)
  • Thank you, Joji. :)
  • You better fix your nicotine habit. My father suffered because he could not quit puffing those Vitamin "C" (C for cancer). And we suffer because we can't bear the pain of his suffering. Up till now, I can't get over the suffering I have witnessed as my father slowly falter's with a disease that painfully took his life. I'm sure you would not allow the people who loves you to see you in such a scenario.

    On the lighter side, my plan for this year is just to do my best at everything I do, and express my love to the people I care. :-)
  • Excellent point, Walter. That's a powerful motivation to get one going.
    It's inconsiderate and unfair to subject one's loved ones to such harrowing
    ordeal. Ugh.
  • Wow, that must have been scary. I believe everyone has some sort of addiction, some of us just don't want to see it. Good for you for realizing slip-ups don't mean utter failure.
  • Thanks, Madz. Buti ka pa your compulsion is to run. Gives you a natural
    high on top of good health. :)
  • Luke
    Also, don't forget laughter. It truly is the best medicine. :D Take care of your health. Challenges? A lot. Where do you want me to start? lol
  • Hey, Luke! It must be my lucky today. Ahehehehe. Thanks for dropping
    by. We miss you a lot already. Still lots of stuff on your plate these
    days? Well, here's hoping you can cut through the whole lot of them with
    dispatch. Okay, at your own pace, all in good time then. No pressure at
    all. :)
  • :D. eee. nasan po yung picture? :D i wanna see it. :D
  • You can check out some pics in Roy's blog:
    http://thestrugglingblogger.co... Gem has
    posted wonderful pics which you can find here:
  • Oh, you are MORE than welcome to join me in the exercise and healthy diet, too, Jan. I gave you the links to SparkPeople. If you've already joined up, let me know who you are there. If not, did I mention they have a number of support groups for people who have made up their minds to quit smoking, or change other habits, or meet other health goals and challenges, as well?

    Grown men shouldn't need to sneak a smoke, Jan - you are truly among friends. We all want to see you succeed at this. I know (and my husband and dad - both nonsmokers - understood this as well, thank goodness) that scolding and disappointment and lectures and raised eyebrows do nothing but drive us to be sneaky, rebellious, and filled with guilt. And to smoke. More.

    You'll quit when you make up your mind that you are a nonsmoker. I am sorry that you had this scare to make you think - a very dear friend of mine actually had two heart attacks before she quit, but quit she did. I think she'd tell you that a heart attack is just too damned painful as a "wake up call." TWO heart attacks within months of each other - well, we won't go there. I'm just glad she's still with us.

    I'm glad you are, too.
  • fifi
    that rising blood pressure may have been caused by getting too little sleep so you could spend more time on your villa online! but that incident was great, at least, it gave you new zest to get back to writing again. take care of your body, jan!
  • Thanks, besprend. Can't browbeat father time. Of course, we can cheat a
    little here and there. But ultimately he wins. :)
  • Health is always a big issue for bloggers, we could easily sit and stare and one spot for more than 10 months. What about exercise or living a healthy lifestyle? It's really quite hard to do but we must. Your story is a great alert to me and I believe, everyone who's reading this as well. Jan, you must take very good care and start looking after yourself very very well ok?

    The new year challenge may be same here, to be healthier and hopefully work smarter in blogging.

  • Ease into it. Grab a camera and think "photo essay." Get up off your duff and get OUT. (I turned this little exercise into a little extra pocket change - started selling some of those photos at Shutterstock.com)
  • Photo essay is an incredibly good idea, and I was thinking about just such last week. I already have the name for it. Just have to go do it.

    Actually, I need to figure out how to structure the essays too, and that's going to take some work.
  • A balanced outlook. That's something to strive for. Makes good sense to
    temper one's passion with concern for good health. Thank you. :)
  • Ano ba Lolo Jan! Take care of yourself! dito lang ako for support!

    AS for teh challenges that await me...Job hunting!
  • Thanks, apo. And good luck with the job hunting. Slay them with your
    awesomeness. :)
  • Oh yes, I will. :)
  • Roy
    good luck on your job hunting, Badong!
  • thank you very much, Kuya Roy!
  • take care of your health my friend. we still have a lot of meet-ups to attend.
  • It used to drive me anxious, these blog meet ups. Now, I've taken a great
    liking to them. Thanks for being a part of my first few marvelous
    experiences with it. Di nakakadala.
  • Jan, You still haven't answered our question, he he he...Mindoro would be a great place for a blog meet-up , right? I mean, in YOUR place. Ayan, wala nang kawala...he he he..
  • *Of course, puede. Mapapag-usapan naman iyan eh. :)*
  • Roy
    Novz, make that "you still have a bloggers' meet-up to host"

    right Jan?

  • That's scary stuff. I have felt the dizziness, a few years ago. I think it's because I'm a vegetarian and I didn't get enough of something, probably either vitamins or minerals. I'm not too picky about what I eat, as long it's not meat. I love pizza, and eat as much of it as possible. My wife is not happy about that.

    So, pizza seems to be my passion for the moment, and about a decade ago, I was actually rather fit. I'm not fat or anything, but I miss being fit. My goal this year has been to start jogging again, but so far, it's not happening.

    Another goal is to do something with my blog and my work-life, I miss the passion. I want to do something that I really care about, something that makes me jump out of bed in the morning and never want to go back to sleep again in the evening. I'm not sure what, but I'm going to find the passion during 2010.
  • What a fantastic goal, Jens. I'd be interested in hearing about your quest and your success. I'd like to find that, too. Some days, though... some days, I think I've found it.
  • I'll be writing some blog posts about it soon. I've experienced a lot lately, and my biggest achievement when it comes to happiness this week, was from helping to fund two entrepreneurs. One living in Iraq and the other in cambodia.

    I didn't pay much, only $25 for each, but it was what they needed to achieve their goals.
  • Both my parents back then had hypertension. My mother had a stroke and had
    to be fed and attended to. That played heavily in my mind.

    Ah, you described it so well. Looking for the passion that makes you
    literally jump out of bed in the morning and finding it? Wow, that's a
    perfect gift you can give to yourself. As for me, it's a matter of
    rekindling the old one. :)

    Thanks, Jens
  • Oh, yes - it's not Death that really scares us, is it, Jan? Death is...death. But a slow, painful process in which we are utterly dependent on, and at the mercy of, other people - whether they love us or are merely paid to do it - THAT is terrifying.
  • Then to put it bluntly, you are a nonsmoker - you need to be, as of this minute, because in my experience, such "luxuries" are not allowed the smokers. COPD is an ugly way to die, as is cancer. Neither kills quickly.
  • That's very true. I need to have that ability to wipe my own ass and put
    food into my own mouth till the very end.
  • What's your old passion?
  • It's not as easy as people make it out to be, I'm sure. And I understand, although I do hate the smell of smoke. Heh heh. :p
  • It is incredibly hard - and incredibly easy.

    I'm not kidding - I think psychological addictions are WORSE than physical addictions, and smoking (after the first 72 hours without nicotine) is strictly psychological.

    But here's the easy part - and it's so easy that Jan's not likely to believe me - once you say to yourself, "I'm a non-smoker," and you believe it (as opposed to "I'm trying to quit. It's hard. I probably won't succeed. But I'll just keep on trying until I do!") then it becomes easy. Really. Each craving passes - as someone wrote, when I first gave them up - whether you act on it or not. Hold the thing at bay for 5 or 10 minutes, do something else, and it goes away. You can do that. Hold off for five or ten minutes. Every time - just hold off another five or ten minutes. When the time's up, the craving's gone. Even if it hits again in 5 or 10 minutes, well - you held it off last time, just do it again. It's only a craving - the memory of what your body thinks it wants. It doesn't really want that. You know it doesn't, but it's become a habit, like picking at a fingernail. Be mindful of it and say, "That's so not me. I don't smoke. Go pick on someone who does." Before you know it, all thoughts of cigarettes have been replaced by other thoughts.
  • I agree in a way, Holly, and I suppose you know more about it than me (I don't even smoke lol) but what I think happens sometimes is people think it's easy and try to quit, but then starts smoking again because they were not psychologically prepared for the worst.

    I mean, maybe it will help if they really prepare for it physically and psychologically. Accept that in the course of his transition, it will be difficult - very difficult - and make the necessary preparations.

    It's not called an addiction for nothing, and overcoming it will not be easy. So prepare for it, make a plan. If you get a craving, what will you do? Holding it off can be good if you can do it, but if you can't, what do to then?

    Take a shower? Watch "Constantine"? Call a friend? Eat some pie? Chew on a gum? - well, then have some ready!
  • That's a good how-to right there, Rey. Right along Holly's winning the
    battle over addiction by holding off the urge five, ten minutes at a time
    and reinforcing it with the"Im non-smoker." That instead of thinking of
    yourself as a quitter. Thanks.
  • You're a good Boy Scout, Rey - always BE PREPARED! Those are some good suggestions, there, too. Watch Constantine...hehe, that could do it. Gum, well, that just gave me a sore jaw. (I tried chewing on golf pencils, once - you know, they're about the same size as a cig, right? Well, when you have a mouthful of wet splinters and graphite, you realize it's time to rethink that strategy.) Taking a shower is good. Sniff a tee-shirt you were wearing when you smoked heavily (or a coffee can full of old cigarette butts - helps if they got wet at some point, too).
  • Well, it's not me. Must be the dog. It has to be. Yeah, Puerto Galera is
    in Oriental Miondoro. Ahehehehe. Is this going somewhere?
  • Mindoroooo! *cough cough ehem ehem wink wink....
    Malapit na ang summer! (well, not really... hehe)
  • Moo
    You know what, in my case, the BIR oftentimes had my BP rise.
  • Because of your unexplained wealth? :)
  • Moo
    Whoahahah, whammy! The BIR is just so taxing, you know that! lol
    Seriously, Jan, Cerge is trying to get his message across to you - stop smoking!
  • Waaah. But I don't see dead people. And unless it comes via FB update or
    tweet di ko siya ma-accept. Thanks, friend. :)
  • Moo,

    Perhaps, your farm at Farmville needs to donate those three villas...lol
  • I got over FarmVille na. Puede ba i-gift ang villa? I will if I can. I
    don't keep up with the Joneses in FV anymore. :)
  • Moo
    I might as well keep one, I want to host the next bloggers meet-up there, lol
  • Man, take care of your health, if only reading blogs and retweeting posts could lower down your BP and and slash off excess weight, I am for it. Need more exercise maybe? (physical one of course), sweat it out in the open, lessen your coffee intake...eheheh!

    For me, hmmm...challenge? Well, maintaining my strings of blogs... a lot of them lately...but so long as what Roy said, "you're with friends", everything is just fine. :D
  • Oh lardy lardy Jan, me too. I'm a pasty white flubbery mess. Every time I turn my head I wrench my back. What is UP with that? I'm 40, not 80.

    So sorry to hear about your blood pressure. I'm so glad you discovered the problem and are being treated. Blood pressure is nothing to mess around with.

    How about we start with small changes? Not cut out the things we like at first, but start by adding things that will be helpful. Like a walk a day, or eating a lot of fruit and vegetables. Stretching. Maybe a Tai Chi or Yoga video. We need to find something to get us out of our heads and back into our bodies from time to time. When we only blog and read and write we start to feel so disconnected from them, and that's when the problems can deepen.
  • Oh, Heather's going to make huge strides this year - she's got the right mindset already!
  • I agree, the correct mindset is really the key to action.
  • Hi Jan,

    Ahh, being human sucks. You'll do the best you can and that will be good enough. My laundry list is too long to go into here, but I've got some gremlins I need to chase around the room with a baseball bat.

  • I like that picture, George.
  • It took a while to recognize I"VE CLAY FEET. But there it is. Have to
    adjust accordingly now. Thanks, George. And good luck with the gremlins.
  • Oo nga, Rey, Puerto Galera in Mindoro, yehey!!
  • Naku, signs of old age. Huwag mong sabihin na nahawa ka sa akin? he he he...Pa-consult ka na, bago umalis. Ako, okay na ako.

    Siguro you need also to relax , with us there...he he he...and we need to get away from Pampanga too for a while..right Gem?
  • Wala na, Jen. Di na maipagkaila. I'm indeed old. Oh, we did some consultation via email already. :)
  • Gem
    Kakatamad.. sarap na lang talaga mamasyal :-D
  • Puerto Galera is IN Mindoro right? right? right?
  • Gem
    Siguro. Rainy season pa ata doon, wireless internet doesn't work well when it's raining. hehe.

    Kung matuloy ako ng Mindoro, then it'll be my first trip outside Luzon! Naks! But it's true!
  • Gem
    @Jan - layo ng Micronesia. Di pa nagpaparamdam ang duktor - wala nga atang internet... Gusto ko sa Mindoro na lang.. at least me internet at videoke doon!
  • Baka naghahanap pa ng signal sa mataas na lugar or sa dalampasigan.
    Ahahahaha. Wow, okay, that can be arranged of course.
  • Tara sa Micronesia! Ahehehehe
  • i can think of a lot of things that I should take up as a challenge this year but I'm too afraid of change to really start them... although better health should always be something we should strive for
  • Rygel, all goals should be SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-bound). Pick one thing to start - you've heard the old saying, "How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time..." If you don't start now, then ALL of your challenges will STILL be there next year, at this same time, and you may be saying this same thing... So just pick one thing to work on for now. When that one's taken care of, pick the next.
  • wow! that's exactly what the goals in nursing care should be also - SMART... i didn't know it wasn't just taught at nursing :D
  • It's taught everywhere, as far as I know. It originated in project management, I think.
  • Maybe It's ike messing with a hornest nest? :) Some challenges don't lend
    themselves to cut and dried formulas. Take your time. Maybe you need to
    sleep on it a bit more. Ahehehe
  • You're sounding like the Magic 8 Ball, there, Jan.
  • Gem
    Oh.. you have to really quit! That sign.... :-D

    Let's take care of our health together. I'm also trying to regain my weight. I hope this year is a favorable one to me.
  • Old age na yan...quit, quit, quit....
  • That's great. We'd pull together towards meeting our goals this year. Holly is a great cheerleader and supporter.
  • Slow, some days, to reply - but I'm glad you know that I'm here for you. And for Gem, as well. We will achieve what we intend to achieve this year, all of us.
  • You've made me realize early enough not to begrudge friends when they become
    busy with their own lives. Besides, commenting out of a sense of duty might
    pass muster for some, but I'm honestly uncomfortable with it. Takes the joy
    out of conversations. Sure I ache for the presence of friends, but
    scratching my back when it itches is something I'm loathe to impose on my
    friends. Door frames will do. Friends have earned the right to go and come
    back as they please. :)
  • Gem
    I must be sleepy.. lose weight.. I mean. Haha. It's helps to really work out our goals together. I'm sure it'll be fun!
  • hahaha...I scratched my head at the way you phrased it, but in a sense, "regain my weight" could be accurate: Regain my ideal weight. I like to think of it as being the angel in Michelangelo's stone. Just keep chiseling until you find it.
  • Roy
    actually, i read it as "to regain my 'old' weight" ;)

  • You've got puzzled there, Gem. Good, I have not sounded out the call to
    raid once again Pampanga's delectable dishes to humor your fancy. Ay sus
    ginoo, lose weight pala. Ahehehe.
  • Roy
    no need to hide Jan, we can accept, understand, and tolerate everything... like what you always say, "you're with friends"

    as for me, I'm really going through a very stubborn personal challenge lately... and it seems I am losing...
  • You've not written about that in your blogs. Then I must not pry further here. But if it's something sinful then you must tell me one way or another. Ahahaha. Kidding. It's not over until the fat lady sings, you know? :)
  • Roy
    nope! it wasn't written... not yet. but I doubt if it will ever be hehe...

  • Roy
    Thanks, but don't bother. The problem is as insignificant as the one who owns it.

    I got good news for you, looks like there's internet in Micronesia. We can all celebrate now... yippee!

  • Gem
    Yeah.. andyan sila... andito ako sa Baguio.. A comment or a post away! weeeeh!
  • Yep, dito lang kami bro :D
  • Roy
    thanks. but some things are better left unsaid...

  • I"m not exactly a master of that - leaving some things well enough alone.
    But I understand the need for that. All righty. :)
  • Roy, as Jan said, andito lang kami sa tabi-tabi. We're just here anytime you'll be needing an ear. Both ears pa...lol...sino pa bang andito si Paige.
  • Roy
    hehe... thanks Jan. That's all I can say right now ;)

  • Ah, the plot thickens. As friends, we can be helpful or we can just add to
    the noise, confusion. You may struggle this way and that, but it's your
    call eventually. When you make that call, I'd be there. If only to exclaim
    "WTF, Roy!" Kidding, Roy. You're a friend. I'd be there for you.
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