Hello, July!

As I take time to reflect on the fact that 2016 is half over, I get a little discouraged.  All those things I set out to do at the beginning of the year…well most of them still remain undone and I feel like my time is running out.  The enthusiasm I had in January is no more.  Then I ran across an article that characterized July as the new January.  Wait…I like that!

July is the new JanJuly is the new January in the sense that it is the perfect time to reassess, reevaluate and regroup on my goals.  I don’t have to dread the fact that the year is half over.  Instead I can view it as I still have more time to accomplish what I set out to do in 2016.  So instead of dreading July, I welcome it.  Hello, July!  Let’s begin again!

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“When”sday

When I turn XX I am going to….. When I save $$ I plan to….. When I find Mr. Right I know I will…. When my kids get older I’ll finally be able to….. When I find out he is acting up I will… When my boss calls me in to her office I will… When I get back from vacation I will… When Monday get’s here I will…

WhenEverything is “when” as if there is some perfect moment to make a move, make change and be better. Like we must continue to cope with, put up with, deal with other people’s mess, fears, let downs limitations, expectations and make them our own. As if tomorrow presents a more favorable season than today.

Why not make today “When”sday???? ‪#‎perspectiveiseverything‬

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Be Glad It’s “Today”

We Passion, Purpose, Positivity's photo.made it!!! Monday is gone and we are one day closer to the weekend – a long weekend at that! While each day represents one day closer to what many feel is a more enjoyable part of our week, why not take a moment to see the value in every day. Each day of the week is called something different when we are in expectation of it but when in the midst of each day they are called the same – TODAY! Try not to rush through and away today in anticipation of tomorrow or you will end up with nothing but yesterdays.

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Success

SuccessFar too often we get caught up in the social media hype of looking at everyone else’s highlights and envying their presumed station in life. I say, be less concerned about the surface of a person’s life and more concerned about the depth of your own. #thinkaboutit #perspectiveiseverything

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Why?

You’re in full swing, extra motivated as you travel this journey to a new and improved you.  You know what you want to accomplish, whether it’s to lose a few pounds, inches, tone some trouble areas, eat better or learn how to work out consistently.  It’s great you have set those goals for yourself but what’s most important is the why.  Not the “I want to fit into a bathing suit or a new pair of shorts” why but the “deep down, sentimental, heart wrenching” why.

I’m going to share mine.  It was November 2005 and I was at the peak of life.  My daughters were growing older and needed me less.  I had just finished my B.S. in Legal Studies the year before and had a promising career in a corporate legal office.  I was driven and knew I had so much more to offer so I decided I would take the LSAT (law school entrance exam) and go to law school. WhyI had it all mapped out.  And I did it.  I sat for the test, received my scores and by February of 2006, I decided to apply to a local law school.  Then came 10 pounds.

In March of 2006, I noticed I was overly tired for no reason.  My usual anal retentive self started to be less organized and driven.  Housework and chores started to slip.  I just wanted to sleep.  Then came 10 more pounds.  In April I had my yearly gyn appointment and my doctor suggested I see a specialist about my ever growing thyroid. In my mind I was like “here we go again.”  I had blood work done repeatedly and it always came back the same – normal. I told her I would think about.

In May, I received a new opportunity at another company with a 50% salary increase so I took it.  While shopping for new clothes for my prestigious new role, another 10 pounds came.  Wait…what is going on here????  Then I thought back to my conversation with my doctor and decided to move on her suggestion.  I set up an appointment at a world-class teaching hospital but had to wait months to be seen.  “No big deal” I thought.  It’s nothing serious.

Fast forward to September – first visit with the endocrinologist.  First the student examined me.  Then the real professional came in.  “Swallow” he said.  “Hmph”, was his reply.  Then he said he needed me to go for an ultrasound right away.  He explained that he felt four nodules throughout my thyroid and that he needed to rule out something serious.

Now, I am a “cup half full” kind of girl so I sashayed my way to the radiology department to set up the appointment. A week later, I was laid flat on a table with a technician and radiologist looking at the pictures on the screen, making funny noises and talking about my nodules.  It was all but confirmed that I had thyroid cancer but I would need to come back for a biopsy.  Wait, what???

I won’t belabor the rest of the details but a week later I found out I had malignant papillary thyroid carcinoma and two weeks after that I had my thyroid removed.  During the course of that ordeal, I had to stop and ask myself how I got to that point in my life.  I reflected on all the things I may miss in my kids lives if it I couldn’t be treated.  It was then that I slowly started to realize my why.  Accepting it has been a struggle but I am finally at a place of sharing it and working with it.  So here is my why:

Because I know what it feels like to waste precious moments not knowing if you will get any more chances to make memories and to leave a lasting impact on this world.  My ability to help others feel good about themselves starts with me feeling good about myself.

So there you have it…that’s my why. It’s not flashy or over complicated but is meaningful to me.  What’s yours?

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It feels good to be alive

I am almost afraid to say it…but why not? I FEEL GOOD!!!! Not the “fairy-tale nothing in the world can bring me down” good.The realistic today will have it’s challenges but I feel better than I did yesterday” kind of good. feels good to be aliveThis last week has been challenging physically, mentally, and emotionally. Routine is my everything and I haven’t one because I have been at the mercy of my body. And while I am still far from 100% and can’t fully immerse myself back into my full routine…there are pieces of it that are fulfilling and that today, I actually feel like picking back up. So that’s why I am posting today’s quote. Because living is a process that begins again each day with one small thing – we open our eyes. With the right perspective, everything after that what we make of it. Here’s to taking it slow, finding joy in the small things and appreciating EVERYTHING.

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My #FemaleRoleModel

8009107494_1ff985e232_bMarch is Women’s History Month. A time when we reflect on the monumental accomplishments made to society by women.While many choose to elevate public figures like politicians, movie stars or musicians to the highest levels of esteem and reverence, my choice lies in my heart. I am placing on a pedestal someone that society often says should be thrown away.  Not because of her lack of contribution.  But because of what plagues her mind – mental illness.

Ellevate Network has asked that we recognize and celebrate #FemaleRoleModels.  I can’t think of anyone better suited to celebrate and pattern my life after than my sister and closest friend.  Her start in this world was not ideal. As a child she not only suffered from physical bumps and bruises but, through ignorance, was exposed to traumatic situations that would later manifest themselves in the form of a serious, potentially debilitating mental illness.

When I came along, she went to great lengths to protect me from suffering the same trauma.  Her over-protectiveness annoyed me.  We barely got along as younger siblings because there were some things I just couldn’t understand.  Things I just couldn’t appreciate about her or see in her.  All of the “episodes” and illnesses…I thought she was faking.  I viewed her presence as a total inconvenience in my life and at times our relationship was seemingly non-existent.

In spite of it all…in spite of all the daily noise, stupid comments, ignorant remarks about the mentally ill, and me…my sister persevered.  She always knew something wasn’t quite right and she persistently sought help. Early on, there were days when I could see the struggle in her eyes and could tell that the will to go on was fading.  All of the medications, misdiagnosis, physiological symptoms without explanation…yet she never gave up. Even when family refused to believe that what troubled her was real and denied her access to care, she insisted on being the best possible “she.”

Forced to live in a closet most of her life, everyday she would try to shut the door on her issues and would go to work to appear “normal.”  All the while, the noises getting louder and louder inside her head making it hard to concentrate. Making it hard to breathe.  How can anyone exist in a world like this?  How can anyone navigate through life never hearing silence? Never hearing peace? But always wearing a smile.  And always giving from the heart in spite of the unwillingness of her mind.

She fearlessly fought for help.  It took her 30 years to find the right answers to a test she never asked to take.

If I knew how she did it, I would tell you.  But I don’t need to know the how to know that watching her navigate through this life is truly amazing and inspiring.  As my understanding of her and of her diagnosis increased, I was able to take a place by her side as a supporter, a shoulder, a friend and finally…a sister.  A sister who would understand and not see her presence as a total inconvenience.  A sister who would come to appreciate the many lessons she taught me then and continues to teach me every day. As a toddler she taught me how to tie my shoes and to read and write.  As a woman, she taught me it’s not enough to see an issue, the value lies in doing something about it.

In reality, the polish and shine of public figures, movie stars or musicians don’t appeal to me. Those lives come with silver spoons, privilege and only a fraction of the difficulty people like my sister face on a daily basis.  I don’t discount the contributions of great women that came before me, but none will ever contribute to my heart and soul as my sister has.  She is my #FemaleRoleModel.

photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/87222948@N08/8009107494″>Up on the attic</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/”>(license)</a&gt;