Turning the page but not losing sight of the old

It’s January 1, 2018. You may be rolling your eyes and thinking, “well, duh.” Our resolutions to lose weight or become a marathon runner quickly escape our grasp as we reach for the last cookie from Christmas. Well maybe not that quick…I’ll give you a couple more hours.

Yesterday someone had a very valid point. Resolutions can be challenging in themselves, but add on multiple chronic illnesses and it turns into a tightrope course. Personally my balance sucks (I’m not even going to attempt to figure out how many times I fell in 2017). What if instead of resolutions, we set a goal each day? To me that seems manageable. We do it all the time already. Why not stick with what we know? There is nothing written in stone that says, “you MUST declare a resolution on Jan 1…or else!”

Let’s make 2018 the year for us. If we aren’t caring for ourselves, then how can we be expected to carry out multiple roles that we occupy on a daily basis. That seems like an obtainable goal. Let’s get better at self care and let go of everything that is holding us back. We only live once, so we need to make this life something that we cherish each and every day.

Putting yourself first is not selfish. It is actually a gift. Others take care of us too, but we need to start the process. Hold yourself accountable for your actions.

Before we completely start a new chapter, we need to finish the one we were just on. What was 2017 like in your book? I know for many of us, it was a rollercoaster ride.

My year was a whirlwind of good and bad. I have more insight into my medical condition and have a booming blog (thanks to all of you)! Most important in the good column is that I’m sitting here breathing. That is something that we should all be thankful for.

2017 was also a year of losses. Several very close friends of mine passed away. The world somehow seems a little smaller without them in it. Even though they will live on in our hearts forever, the physical emptiness is profound. One of the hardest things about doing Christmas cards is taking names off of the list.

This was a year of exploration and discovery. It seemed like opportunities have been appearing around every corner. My disease finally gave me something to really be grateful for. I didn’t think that would ever happen. Good things can come out of bad situations. They may not be in the way we thought. But, ultimately the man upstairs has a lot in store for you and I.

As we turn the page. Don’t forget to sign on the dotted line. 2017 deserves your autograph. 2018 is just getting started. So here’s to goals, self care and putting yourself first. You’re armed with an assignment….now get going! The minutes are ticking away.

When you call on me
When I hear you breath
I get wings to fly
I feel that I’m alive
When you look at me
I can touch the sky
I know that I’m alive
When you bless the day
I just drift away
All my worries die
I’m glad that I’m alive

~Celine Dion


The things you thought you knew

I woke up this morning to a text message saying that a good friend of mine who coached basketball for many years in our community had passed away. He wasn't even 60. I've been sitting in disbelief today and have been reflecting upon the things we take for granted.

One of my high school classmates and best friends is sitting in an intensive care unit waiting for a new heart. He almost died Friday night. He's 32

Those things we take for granted, like knowing that a friend is always going to be on the other end of the phone, knowing that when you go home you will see a person, just knowing… But what about when all that changes? What about when those moments become memories?

The power of a moment, a second, a chance encounter. Tonight when you kiss your spouse goodnight and tuck your children in, take an extra moment to take it all in. What if we didn't have these things? Take advantage of every inkling of time. These moments all go into the history books. What moments would be memories in your book?

I've had a lot of losses in my life, especially in the last couple years. Each one strikes you differently, each one feels like a piece of you has been lost. But the reality is that all of the memories, love, voices, smells, laughter, and everything else actually lives on in our hearts. Our hearts feel the loss for a long time and during that time the memories are stored and become a part of who we are. We change with each loss.

I've changed today. My heart is remolding again. The history book has more memories added to it and each one I think of goes into that book. Today the book has become more vibrant; filled with laughter, crazy hair, and Hawaiian shirts. That's the way our books should be…colorful, fun, and filled with good memories.