Sunday, January 29, 2023




There are many different ways that people view their birthdays. Reflecting on how the next 365 days should be and what I wish to achieve is a great way to view it, in my opinion. Celebrate living, even while I am aware of all the twists and turns that may come my way. Some for the good and some not so good. The trick of it all is to figure out how I can make the not so good work for me. It is not always an easy task. 

A birthday is the beginning of my finest chapters yet to come and I have no way of knowing how these chapters will reveal themselves to me. All I know is that I need to accept the challenges and keep my expectations high. Visualization is a powerful tool. I like to imagine myself doing something that can actually help me improve at whatever task that I am working on. Athletes do this; actors do this! Why not me?

Entering a new phase can be challenging and exciting. Learning to let go of the present and embracing the future is a good way of moving ahead. A birthday age is just a number. I don't feel any different. However, I am not one that wants to make a big deal of it. Steve and I had a promise to one another. NEVER have the waiters and waitresses come over to our table at a restaurant and sing Happy Birthday. As badly as I wanted to put out a certain number of pink flamingos in the front yard, I knew better. My birthday would come a few days later and there is no telling what the "pay back" would be. All in fun, of course. Just remember, I am the one who can't remember my real age. I have told so many different numbers that I don't know the real one any more. (I took after my Mamaw that way!) Birthdays are not about the particular number. They are about what a person has achieved and where they have grown and where they are headed. So who cares if I shave off ten years or or more? 

A birthday is so much more than just blowing out the candles on the cake.

Birthdays symbolize how far I have come. It is a day that is special and I will always be thankful for the actual celebration. I just want to remember that the most important days are the days that I take the time to reflect and be grateful for my achievements and to evaluate and set new goals for my new age - whatever it may be.

A birthday wish is as simple as blowing out the candles and that leads to another path to take in my life.  Reaching a new milestone is beginning again with a  sense of purpose using my wisdom and experience to move forward. A birthday is time to celebrate.

Sunday, January 22, 2023



Now that we are well into January, I am taking the time to do a quick reset for all of the opportunities available to me. It is a fresh start - a do-over sort of. I believe there are too many times that I just go on autopilot and don't think things through and all of the what-ifs. Sometimes I just need to go back to my word of the year - HOPE  - and not be sarcastic to myself. Resetting a hopeful message to ME.

Getting rid of any negativity and working with the positive is a great method of reconnecting with the real me. The me that I want to be most all of the time. It is a way to show me my strengths and even come up with new ways of connecting with my strengths.

Even to a point of reimagining an easier way to accomplish what I wish to achieve; creating new ways to open my mind up and think more outside of that little square box. And then act on it. 

Sunday, January 15, 2023



Yes, there are many words that I could focus on. For this year, I have chosen 'HOPE.' Many other words go along with it such as faith, love, believe, however, I am focused on HOPE.

Ways that I have found to work on this word in my everyday life I have listed below.
  •  Some ways that are my favorites are to reread books that make me happy or watch movies that put me in a good and hopeful mood.

Another way is to take control of only what I can control. Be realistic. Examples that I can control is how I treat other people, how I show up for work, etc. I can't control what happens within my own body except for what I put in it and get it moving. Just trying to remain positive is about the most I can do at that stage. Feelings are definitely valid but that isn't  an area to obsess over. What I do have control over is where my focus should be.

Another example is to draw, sketch, or doodle.

Think about talking to a child. They have a mind that is focused in on specific facts on what they have been reading about. 

OK...this could sound boring to some of us. But it really will help us in the long run. Check out what your phone possibilities will accomplish if you only knew how. Find out. 

This may surprise you but a nap is a great way to feel better and help me put things in a better perspective.

I feel that focusing on HOPE  helps me look more on the bright side of life and what is going on in the world. It helps me control anxiety and stress and to work on a change for the better each and every day. It starts with each one of us.

  • A new year brings new hope and new memories. Enjoy it.

Sunday, January 8, 2023



Written in the New England Journal of Medicine in 1985 was an article titled Seasons of Survival: Reflections of a Physician with Cancer which was aimed to transform cancer 'victims' into cancer 'survivors'. Then a few years later in the Atlanta Journal Constitution an activist named Sharon J. Lang wrote an article titled Women with Breast Cancer Are Warriors.

Based on a story by Jessica Zucker and Sara Gaynes Levy that I read, I felt very moved by their words. Anyone who has had breast cancer knows how quickly the comments start. Actually, the moment that I received my diagnosis from my doctor and started telling others, I started hearing the words that I was a warrior and I will beat this, etc.

I know that I did not feel like a warrior. In truth, I felt very vulnerable. I had something that I had no control over, no matter how hard I wanted to go into battle with cancer. The fact was that to me breast cancer was not a battle to fight. I was not comforted by the warrior language and just trying to keep up with the language of being a fighter was totally exhausting. 

Yes, I felt like saying, "F__ uck cancer." I was just not feeling like fighting my body. I did feel like remaining positive and staying on track with what my doctors were telling me. However, I am not one of those who assumes that my positive attitude alone can actually defeat the cancer. I know that is not true. What I do know is that it can't hurt the situation at all. There was a time after radiation when the oncologist was trying different medications that I just wanted to curl up in bed and pretend that this isn't happening. It felt like a nightmare.

To remain positive was really not a choice for me. I am a positive person just by nature. However, it made me feel overwhelmed when others called me a fighter. In my mind, I turned it around and just knew that it made them feel good letting me know that they had faith that I would overcome the "C" word. 

It all boils down to how the person who has the cancer feels about how to talk about it. What feels right for you? And know that your way of thinking can be changing as you go through your treatments. For me? I did not want to be called anything. Vulnerability is medicine. Openness is medicine. There are other ways than trying to be tough. Just be soft. As one cancer survivor, Rasee Govindani said, "Being broken open and being met right there is a kind of magic."

Patients say over and over again that they just want their ongoing instability understood compassionately. 

Monday, January 2, 2023



New Year's is here. Goodbye 2022 and hello 2023. Lots of people either just move on through it as if it is nothing to get excited about and others make New Year's Resolutions. Then they seem to get all upset when they can't seem to keep them. 

I was one of those people. Then, I discovered a new way to go into the New Year. I pick a word to live by throughout the year. No matter what comes up, I go back to that word and figure out where I will go from there based on that word. Some words that I have chosen in previous years have been perseverance, serendipity and gratitude. All based on what is happening in my life or what I would like to work on to see more of in my life.

A friend of mine gave me the grand idea of the word HOPE. She is pregnant and already has two boys. She said that as she was driving thoughts from above calmed her and said to have hope and to name her Hope. Even though she does not know the gender yet, she is holding out hope that it will be a girl so that she can name her Hope.

That is when I had a thought of my word for 2023. After the devastating loss of my soulmate and love of my life for 22 plus years, I made it though some really tough holidays such as Thanksgiving, our two birthdays just days apart, Christmas/Boxing Day and New Year's. Next will be the following month on Valentine's Day which is also would have been our 21st wedding anniversary. 

I will continue to have HOPE in knowing that he is here with me. I can feel him. I can even hear him talking to me. Even reading his words on cards and journals tells me that he is watching over me and will never let me go. We both had a special kind of love for one another and had no problem in sharing it. I know that between the two of us the words, "I Love You" were said at least a dozen times a day. And they were most definitely heart felt. It was just so many little things that he did. Such as bringing me morning coffee, making sure that I had roses around me, always picking up after himself and sometimes me and he cooked - many times being the major chef. I was his sous chef and cleaned up along the way. Even the laundry was a total teamwork project.

A quote from Barbara Kingsolver that states that the very least you can do in your life is figure out what you hope for. And the most you can do is live inside that hope. Not admire it from a distance but live right in it, under its roof. That is what is part of my 2023 HOPE: to live inside my HOPE, not just admiring it. LIVE IT!

This quote reminds me of just how Steve felt. Never live in fear for it will not help guide you. HOPE is what will guide you to a bright future. So that is what I want to work mindfully on in 2023. Hope is the one thing that can get us through the darkest of times. Since Steve's passing, every once in a while I can go into a dark place. Thankfully, I have family and friends who help to pull me out and with HOPE, I should be able to work on this in my own mind. Although, I will always be grateful for those who help support me through the tough times.

One particular quote from an author that we all know totally fits how I feel. HOPE is a good thing and no good thing ever dies. So I will always have Steve about me.

My youngest granddaughter wants to tell her 'Smiley,' Steve, something every once in a while. She closes her eyes, puts her hands together under her chin and talks to him. So I do know for a fact that he is here with all of us. Never doubt a 6 year old's wisdom. It just takes HOPE. What a good word to live this year by!