So close…

Ever feel like this pool ball? So close… just on the edge, but not quite there? Sometimes are aren’t ready yet. Sometimes we don’t feel safe. Sometimes we need support in order to make that last push forward. Just a small tap to get to your goal. New year’s is just around the corner and I’m not ready for more goal setting.

Somehow, it’s already December. Calling it a strange year is a monumental understatement. I’ve run through a variety of emotions, sometimes all on the same day. I have been the highest weight ever and have shed 20 lbs. I frequently have no idea what day it is, and I really want a vacation. I sent out some Christmas cards, but I haven’t done much baking. I put my tree up much earlier than normal. I grew to love yoga pants. We had a successful farmers market, despite a late start and obvious challenges. We planted earlier than we have in many years. We got rid of our roosters, but our hens are doing well. I was able to go to Texas in February and the rest of the year’s trips were canceled, postponed or modified. I sewed hundreds of masks. I baked more pies than ever before. I have a senior in high school and an 8th grader. We are managing through distant learning, then hybrid, then distant learning all while working from home (and then not, and then home again.) Oh and figure out what the senior will do after school. We’ve seen people come together and people more divided.

Did that seem random? Yep, that’s how the year has been. Celebrated 5 years cancer free, but learned of my dad’s cancer diagnosis and diagnosis of a friend of mine. Celebrated 25 years of marriage but couldn’t really celebrate. Some days I tried to work on personal growth and other days I was just trying to get by. Even though it’s early December, I feel like the New Year’s resolution time will be here before we know it… or maybe it will seem to take forever.

I frequently feel like the pool ball… On the edge of “ok” or not ok. Anyone else? I think we will all remember 2020. Nothing is normal and so much has changed. I still have a lot to be thankful for. I try to focus on those things when it feels like I’m walking uphill in quicksand.

I wish you peace on your journey of enough. Just keep in mind… someone else may be having a “pool ball” kind of day. Show them some grace- you don’t know what they are going through. If you are having a pool ball kind of day yourself, hang in there. You have a purpose & you are loved.

This year, be you…

When I was in college, I was a server at Red Lobster. The tips were good (except if you had to work lunch), and the schedule worked around my college classes for the most part. We had at least 3 managers who kept an eye on things. One gentleman took me off to the side and said, “You need to smile more. You need to look happier.” One other manager was more interested in how we looked and if our white shirts were clean. You could tell she was not listening when you talked to her. It was one of those periods of time where you look back and realize it shaped part of who you are… or who you thought you should be. I was told I wasn’t good enough. I seemed too serious, thinking, trying to remember who needed extra butter and who needed tartar sauce and which table was #73. I wasn’t “Mary Sunshine.” I was me… a college student, not sure of who she was yet.

Since it’s the New Year, you may be bombarded with resolutions or things you need to change. What if you were just the best version of you? Not a number on a scale or a grade point average or a picture perfect version – but an unapologetic, thankful to be here, awesome you. I’m not saying give up or don’t try… just be kinder to yourself. Focus on the things you are great at, the things that bring you joy, the things that bring joy to others. Don’t beat yourself up over the rest of it. I know when I’m focusing on all things I shouldn’t eat or can’t eat or how heavy I am, I feel worse. It’s not motivating to me when I think about the can’t(s) and should have’s.

So, here is my resolution: this year I will be me. I will be happy, healthy, committed and helpful. This year I will go on trips with my sisters, my family, my hubby and by myself. I will drink more water and spend time with my chickens. What am I good at? Writing, baking, giving to others, painting, sewing and planning trips. Those things (in addition to my family of course) bring me joy. This year, I’m going to do those things and I’m going to be me. I know I should lose 40 lbs, get back to running and be more successful… but what if the focus on the things that bring joy also brings new opportunities, experiences and joy to others? Then I’d say it will be a pretty good year.

My sister gave me a plate that has this saying on it and a co-worker gave me the mug. “My chickens think I’m amazing.” I love it, it makes me smile. I think you’re amazing too. You have the ability to do great things. I wish you peace on your journey of enough. May 2020 be a great year for you.

I hope you find your people…

It’s the season of getting Christmas or Holiday cards from friends and family. Some send cards or pictures right after Thanksgiving, some wait until New Years & one friend sends a Halloween card. There are some people I’ve sent to for years and others just recently added. Aside from the year I was diagnosed with cancer (& a little too distracted to get them all sent out), we’ve sent Christmas cards or New Years greetings almost every year. The amount we send out doesn’t equal the number we receive. Some people don’t send them at all, which is fine. I do feel kind of bad when people that I send cards to have sent cards to other people but not to me. It kind of makes me feel like I’m not important enough... Am I not worth the stamp? Not worth the card? I’m not sure of the reason.

Instead of worrying about it, I’ve decided to just focus on the people who give the positive energy back to me… The people who show up, who love me, scars and all. I spent some extra time with family and friends over the Christmas break. We traveled a few different times and tried to make some memories. We ate lots of treats, played games, went skiing, made lefse, drove go-karts and rode roller coasters. As we say good bye to 2018, there will be a lot of “reflective” posts. I don’t have a top 10 list. Many people I care about lost loved ones this year – some unexpectedly & some had been struggling for a while. For myself, I chose to focus on the positive. I learned a lot this year. I grew, I shrunk, I laughed, I cried, I gained new friends and some fell off the radar. Some of them are like the “return to sender,” but that’s ok.

I will look back on 2018 and remember the times I spent with “my people.” Not just one person, but groups of people who get me. Groups of people who think I am enough. All are different… yet all are meaningful. Family, friends, people at work, people I met at classes or retreats, people at church, people at the grocery store… all bring something magical to my life.

For 2019, I welcome in magic, fun, laughter, prosperity, writing, growing, loving, adventure, kindness and vulnerability.

Whatever your new year brings, I wish you peace on your journey of enough. With peace in your heart, you can survive the ebbs and flows of life. I hope you find your people on your journey. Be thankful for your breath and blow the noisemaker!

I’m sorry but we’re breaking up…

It’s New Year’s Eve, but we’re breaking up. Me and Fear. I’ve decided I’m done with Fear. It is no longer needed in my life. Oh sure, I will still be appropriately fearful of dangerous things… but it’s not going to rule my life. No longer will I fear a breast cancer re-occurrence. I’m done with it. Please don’t fear it for me either. It’s not healthy. It does neither of us any good.

I’m debating whether or not I will keep my pink ribbon shoes (pictured above). I don’t necessarily want to forget my previous cancer. Perhaps I will wear them as a reminder of what I’ve overcome instead of a reminder of what might return. That seems more healthy.

It’s the time of year when lots of people come up with resolutions. I admit that I’ve had the whole “weight loss resolution” more than once. This year, I’m resolving to experience life. I going to try to be more present. I’m going to try things I haven’t done before (winter camping is the first thing on the list.) I’m going to set fear aside and live my best life.

I hope you can do the same. Whatever thing your Fear is tied to, let it go. Hand it over to God or the universe or whatever you believe. Make 2018 be your best year in your journey of enough. Peace be with you in the new year. Thanks for being with me on my journey!

Turn over a new leaf…

Happy New Year. January 1st is the biggest “Monday” of all. Time to turn over a new leaf. Time to start a new good habit and lose an old bad one. “I’ll start my diet on Monday or on January 1st” – similar ideas. January is typically the time for new resolutions, when we think that somehow things will be different. It’s just a day. Or is it? This year it falls on Friday, which makes for a nice long weekend.

What are your New Years resolutions? What new leaf do you want to turn over? I’m not sure that I’ve decided what mine are. I’m kind of running out of time, huh?  I’m guessing I can come up with something. Here we go…

I will train for and run my 4th half marathon.  

I’m not sure if this counts as a resolution, but it’s something big that I’m planning to do. I start training the end of January. In the early morning. In North Dakota. What was I thinking? I’m not much of a morning person. Even though I’m typing this in my bed, on my phone, at 5 am, I’d rather be sleeping. Every Saturday for 16-18 weeks I will need to be up at this time to drive into Fargo (15-20 min) to run. I’m also not a big fan of winter. We run outside the whole time. And I’m not a fast runner. I jog and walk. I don’t do 8 minute mile pace runs. I’m more of a 12-15 minute girl. So, you may be wondering why I signed up for this. I kind of am too, but there are lots of reasons. Listing them will also help me to remember my motivation. 

1. Because I can. I can run. I lived through cancer & broken foot & hysterectomy. I should be able to go 13 miles.

2. I can be an advocate & raise money for Lend a Hand (an organization in Fargo who helps people with the financial struggles of medical costs)

3. It’s another time where I will get to wear lots of pink & raise awareness for young women – Get your mammogram!!

4. I will have a big cheering section. (I hope) This year, I’m requesting my family & friends to come out and cheer me on. I’ve run the Fargo Half Marathon before, but didn’t specifically ask people to come out & cheer me on. This year will be different. I want to see those people who cheered me on through my cancer struggle to cheer me on to this finish line. And, if you’ve never witnessed a marathon before, you will be inspired. Trust me.

5. My 3 biggest fans will be there. I want to show to my kids that I can do anything – and so can they. I also want to thank my husband for believing in me. (He will be the one with the megaphone & super loud cowbell)

So there. I have declared it. I also plan to lose some weight along the way and get healthier.

2016 will be a great year. Day 1 of the rest of my life. Cheers to you on your journey & whatever “finish line” you are looking to cross. We CAN do it!!