It’s Up to You – The Choice to be Happy

I used to know someone who constantly talked about how things would be better when [insert anything].  She would look to the next thing that was supposed to happen in her life (a job promotion, her children getting to the next stage in life – anything really) and she couldn’t wait to get there.  She was certain that next “thing” would make her happy.  But happiness never came to her. I’ve also known people who go on and on about the “good old days” – often referring to their high school and/or college days.  People who never let go of […]

Continue Reading

On Being Grateful

Since this week is Thanksgiving in the United States, my mind is on the subject of being grateful. Although I was definitely thankful for many things prior to being diagnosed with cancer, my cancer journey changed the way I view gratitude. It broadened how I think of gratitude and made me realize that I am grateful for many things that I wouldn’t have previously thought to be grateful for. For example, I’m grateful for my cancer journey.  Not that I had cancer, but the journey that I went through that has forever changed me and, I hope, made me a […]

Continue Reading

Dangerous Assumptions (And How Listening Can Cure This Mistake)

Mom, are you even listing to me?  This is a question that Zachary (my oldest son) asked of me last summer.  He was trying to tell me something that was important to him and I was trying to “listen” to him while doing a million other things.  The unfortunate answer to this question was “no”.  I looked into his face and saw how important it was to him that I truly listen to him (and that I stop thinking about everything else).  On this particular day, he truly caught my attention.  So what did I do?  I answered his question […]

Continue Reading

Stop Justifying Bad Behavior (Instead, Raise Your Personal Standards)

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know that we are at the end of the presidential election season here in the United States (and if you are lucky enough not to live in the US and not know anything about it, you can be thankful for that – but I promise that this post is still applicable to you).  People are obviously fearful and quite worried about the outcome of this election.  I get it.  We have two candidates that, if I do say so myself, pretty much suck.  Neither is good.  I’ve heard all of the arguments […]

Continue Reading

It’s Not About You

One of the things that you learn when you have cancer is who your true friends are – and aren’t.  You find out who will do anything for you when you most need them.  Unfortunately, some people don’t quite measure up.  Even people who you would have sworn would be there for you through absolutely anything – no matter what.  But they aren’t.  At all. I found out the hard way that some people just can’t handle it.  They cannot deal with the ickiness of illness – that someone might die.  They are too afraid of what to say and […]

Continue Reading

The Impossibility of Going Back

Have you ever felt like your life wasn’t real – but that it was instead a movie playing out in front of you?  I’ve had that happen to me a few times during my life.  If you haven’t ever felt that way, let me tell you it’s an incredibly jarring feeling.  I felt this way at the time I was diagnosed with breast cancer.  It lasted for the first few weeks after my diagnosis.  Luckily it went away soon thereafter because I went into fight mode and absolutely had to focus on living.  But after treatment, this weird feeling came […]

Continue Reading

Why I’m Not a Big Fan of Breast Cancer Awareness Month

This may come as a complete shock to you, but I am not a big fan of Breast Cancer Awareness Month (also known as BCAM).  Why?  Have a seat and I will lay it out for you (assuming you aren’t already sitting, that is). For starters, I’m pretty sure that most people are aware that breast cancer exists.  I don’t see a need for more “awareness”.  What I do see is a need for money to go to research – both for treatment and for prevention.  Especially prevention.  Don’t even get me started about how much money is “raised” versus […]

Continue Reading

Dealing with Uncertainty

  I wanted a perfect ending. Now I’ve learned, the hard way, that some poems don’t rhyme, and some stories don’t have a clear beginning, middle and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what’s going to happen next. Delicious Ambiguity. — Gilda Radner       Uncertainty.  It is one of the most difficult things about living.  We like to plan everything out and live according to our plans.  However, life has a tendency to get in the way of our plans.  A lot.  And with […]

Continue Reading

Be a Part of the Answer: Connect, Love and Choose to be Beautiful

This past weekend, my kids’ school (The Westwood School) hosted Ruby Bridges to speak to our community.  Ms. Bridges was the first black child in New Orleans to be integrated into an all white school.  Her speech was beautiful, uplifting, insightful, saddening, frustrating and poignant all at once.  She said something that I found interesting and got me thinking. Ms. Bridges said that just because someone looks the same doesn’t mean that they aren’t evil (implying also that just because someone looks different doesn’t mean that they are evil).  She spoke of loving one another and not allowing us to […]

Continue Reading

Find Joy in the Journey (and Learn to Dance in the Rain)

    Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass…It’s about learning to dance in the rain. — Vivian Greene       Life is hard, depressing, terrifying, heartbreaking, and messy. It is also joyous and beautiful. It certainly is interesting. If I’ve learned one thing through my life, it’s that life tends to present to us “opportunities” when we least expect it. And when I say “opportunities”, I’m not talking about the good stuff. I’m talking about extreme challenges. A cancer diagnosis. A parent diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. A good friend passes away unexpectedly and too young. There are […]

Continue Reading