Posted in about shae, badassery, photography, Uncategorized, Writing

One Word 365 “Roar!”

In the past, for the One Word 365 Challenge I’ve chosen words like, “Imagine,” “See,” “Adventure,” and “Hope.” One of my favorites that still resonates is, “Fearless.”

As I’m completing my fiftieth birthday year, it is now almost 2020. I set out to have certain goals met by now, some I’ve just squeezed in at the last minute. I am now living my most authentic life, still evolving and learning, but the most me I’ve ever been.

My word for this coming year is, “Roar!” Now that I feel the most me, the most authentic, it’s time the world heard my voice, my thoughts, my stories (visual, written, and verbal) and my truth.

Stay tuned. You are about to hear me roar!

Roar, by Katy Perry

I got the eye of the tiger
A fighter

Dancing through the fire
‘Cause I am a champion and you’re gonna hear me roar
Louder, louder than a lion
‘Cause I am a champion and you’re gonna hear me roar

Posted in fearless, photography, Push, see, Uncategorized

ONE WORD 2017

Last year, I chose the word, “Push” for my One Word challenge.  Push did not affect me like fearless did, though I did push through many challenges in 2016.  I have decided that it is time for a new word, a new focus.

I have chosen “see” as my word for 2017.  See encompasses so much simply by definition. I will see with my eyes, my heart, my soul, through words and photographs and so much more.

What is your one word?

 

Posted in creativity, photographers, photography, Uncategorized

CREATIVE MOJO

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I truly, madly, deeply love photography. I love being a photographer. I feel alive in the creative process from beginning to end.

For the last couple of years – through my ups and downs with cancer and hypothyroidism – I lost my creative drive.  Most people do not realize how much energy creativity takes, especially for someone who has to measure out, sometimes selfishly, how she spends her time and energy.

I decided it was time to reclaim my creative drive and ramp it up.  I have been participating in the FMS Photo a Day, a photography challenge that has a daily word (a color, food, “right now,” etc) you must snap a photo and post.  I asked some friends to join me in October’s challenge and it’s been interesting to see “orange,” “stuff,” and “good vibes,” through their eyes.

Today, my friend Kim picked me up this morning and we headed out to parts unknown, to me at least.  We ended up in small towns like Shiner, Flatonia, Schulenburg, and LaGrange, Texas.  We’d occasionally stop, snap some photos, and continue on. It was a perfectly creative day with a good friend. I can’t ask for a more creative and satisfying Saturday.

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I can feel the creativity boiling in me now. For example, as Kim and I were talking, I noticed this reflection in her wine glass, stopped, snapped the photo, and continued talking. It’s one of my favorite shots from the day.

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Grateful for days like this! Getting my creative mojo back one day at a time.

Posted in Ocean, photography, pics, travel, Uncategorized

BEACHED, PROPERLY

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South Padre Island, Texas

I’m sitting on a somewhat comfortable couch in a hotel in Corpus Christi, Texas, with football on the tv (muted) and iTunes radio playing some totally incredible jazz. I feel totally relaxed and accomplished, since what I came to Corpus Christi to do for work went really well and I completed my task.

One of the perks of traveling for work is that we have offices in some beautiful places and sometimes I actually have enough time to go enjoy some of the local sights or cuisine.  Last night, I went for a walk on a lovely beach on South Padre Island.

I love the ocean. I especially love the beach. When those two things are paired and the water is less brown than other places on the Gulf Coast, I get a tad camera crazy.  The lighting was perfect (we were out there around six) and the tide was coming in. There weren’t many shells and the waters were very stirred up (TS Ingrid) but the whitecaps were beautiful.

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South Padre Island, Texas

I did, however, find a couple shells to shoot. I left them there so someone else could enjoy them.  I went to a souvenir shop and bought some polished ones there instead.

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South Padre Island, Texas

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South Padre Island, Texas

I can’t describe how good it was to take the camera out and do something fun and creative. I have a new appreciation for my camera since my first DSLR was stolen a couple of months ago.  I’ve vowed not to let this one go to waste.  I will leave you with a few more photos from last evening’s walk.

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South Padre Island, Texas

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South Padre Island, Texas

South Padre Island, Texas
South Padre Island, Texas

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South Padre Island, Texas

Posted in breast cancer, health, photography, Yahweh's fingerprints

A NEW YEAR POST CANCER: THE ART OF SPOON MANAGEMENT

I went to see my beautician last week, the wonderful Nora who has cut and colored my hair for almost 10 years.  I asked her to do something that absolutely irritated her.  I asked her to cut my hair very, very short.

At first, she didn’t understand why a “bob” cut wasn’t going to be enough. Finally I defaulted to an analogy that a friend of a friend had used before to illustrate how she has to handle her energy management.

“Let’s say I have ten spoons of energy a day,” I told her as she tried to reason with me that short hair was not going to…cut it…so to speak.  “My meds take 3-4 spoons of energy away a day. That leaves me 6-7 spoons of energy to get dressed, work, cook, clean, run errands, and try to get out and do something once in a while.”

I could see she had begun to understand when I said, “I need one of the spoons back from my hair. Don’t make me cut this myself.”

I’d finally convinced her I needed my hair to be wash & go and that short was truly the only way to accomplish this task.  Honestly, I think Nora thought I would be unhappy when she finished and that’s the reason she didn’t want to cut my hair.  I felt desperate for this haircut and was thrilled for the results.  My hair is short, wash and go, and it looks great.  I knew Nora would come through.  She’s too talented to give me a haircut, no matter what length, and have me walk out unhappy. Has never happened. 

I had an overwhelmingly positive response to my hair, which reinforced my drive to get my energy management under control.  I know many people worse off than I am in this department, who charge through what they have to and fall exhausted into bed every night. Anything frivolous and extra just doesn’t happen often, or at all. 

I’ve spent the week thinking about my spoon (energy) management.  I know I can do this.  Prioritizing is essential if I hope to pursue more photography and other creative pursuits.  I want to challenge myself to a photo a week in 2012 to build my portfolio and my skills.  To do this, I have to save some of my spoons and choose not to do other things.  It’s difficult, at times, to make those choices, but choose I must.

Everything boils down to this: I have to accept what is, and make the most of what is. If anything 2011 taught me that if God chooses, he can take me in an instant, and I wouldn’t have to worry about any of this anyway.  God also taught me in 2011 that, though cancer is a complete game changer, it does not mean that the game is over, or that I still can’t accomplish what I dream to accomplish.

All that’s changed is that I have to manage my spoons better to get the results I want.

I don’t make New Year’s resolutions often, simply because I choose goals that are based on feelings or superficial notions.  I have decided to choose to pursue actual obtainable goals in 2012.  I need to be able to check things off the list and make everything I’ve been through this year seem a distant memory.

In 2012 I will:

* keep myself open to new adventures and manage my spoons to maximize the adventure

* learn as much as possible about photography and editing and not buy any new equipment (deals are off if I get to B&H this year)

* read more, for pleasure and business

* do what I need to do so that breast cancer does not return so I don’t have to go through this again (and this includes many things, like make friends with Tamoxifen, which has had another side effect manifest itself this week!)

I think four goals is enough right now (making friends with Tamoxifen may have to be a goal in itself).  I think that may use all the spoons I can find.  What ultimately needs to happen is that just having four goals and utilizing spoon management and accepting my new reality has to be okay.  I think that may be my biggest adversary – my mind.

My mind is still here, still relatively sharp, still active. It’s the body that can’t keep up right now.  In order to move forward I have to work harder to do it, plan better, manage my spoons better.  I will accomplish quite a bit if I can do these things.

Welcome, 2012. I am going to learn to manage my spoons and maybe even learn to play them to make beautiful music while I’m at it.

 

Posted in breast cancer, photography

KOMEN FOR THE CURE, HOUSTON 2011


Today I walked the Komen 5K in downtown Houston.  My friend Jene’ has done this walk many times and asked me if I wanted to walk it with her this year.  I decided, after my current struggles with Tamoxifen, that it might be a good idea to reinforce my resolve with this walk. I had to prove to myself I could do this short walk and hope to use it as a springboard into walking for more weight loss.

Jene’ very graciously picked me up this morning at 6:45. Anyone who knows me is aware that mornings are a struggle and my uncoordination is amplified by trying to do anything complicated before 9 AM.  I have learned, however, I could get anywhere by 7 AM and function if I had a chauffeur.

Though I registered before the deadline, my registration packed did not arrive (and still hasn’t) so Jene’ let me out to go get my t-shirt and bib number (and hers) while she tried to park. After a half hour, we finally found each other again and started to walk toward the start line.

Jene’ had hoped to meet up with her friend Stacy from The Container Store. We walked toward the start line and still hadn’t found her.  If you know Jene’, you know that she can walk into an ice cream store in South Carolina, strike up a conversation with a person and in no time, find that they either know mutual people or know each other.  We call it Six Degrees of Jene’.

Find it no surprise, then, in the midst of nearly 40,000 people, Jene’ found Stacy.

The walk started late, and the sea of humanity moved slowly toward the start line.  Because we were walking so slowly, I was able to get some shots of how people celebrated the race with costumes and t-shirts.  Yes, the photographer carried her camera over three miles. I carry the camera every day and I hardly notice it.  Besides, I wouldn’t have gotten shots like these with my phone’s camera.

 

This is the sea of humanity as we walked under the Montrose Bridge.  It was an amazing sight to see all of these people walking for a cause, a mother, a sister, a grandmother, a friend.

This man held this sign up for nearly the duration of the race.  I am going to assume it was his wife. I know many people walked for people they’ve lost and saw many “in memory” tags on people.

 All along the route were organizations and volunteers cheering people as they walked.  At one point there were several that were cheering directly to me, a survivor.  I almost started crying but managed to not let my emotions get the best of me.  I know I still haven’t fully wrapped my brain around what happened to me this summer.  I think I’m still numb and still trying to decipher what getting and surviving breast cancer means to me personally.  I know what breast cancer has meant to me when it has involved people I love in my life, but I am still not sure what to think or feel about walking this road myself.

After crossing the finish line, I walked through an area specifically for survivors. They said your number of years as a survivor over loud speakers.  Five, seven, twenty years… and I said four months (because I am using my surgery date as the day the cancer left me).  As I walked along the line of people cheering at me and giving me high-fives, I almost choked up again.

I was given a carnation and then, after emerging from that line of people, I picked up a couple of things from Ford (I love their Warriors in Pink collection).

The newspaper said there were 2000 registered survivors of the 38,000 + registrants (I expect that number to climb because so many people signed up at the last minute and there were people walking without bib numbers). Again, seeing so many people walk in memory of someone and realizing how few survivors were walking in relation to how many people were registered hit me harder than I thought it would. Like I said, it’s still something I have to wrap my brain around.

Jene’ and I went to the car at 11:20.  The 5K took over an hour because it was difficult to get to Jene’ speed (petite woman with a cane will walk your legs off!) because of how many people were trying to walk in the same space with children, strollers, wagons and people stopping in the middle of the street to take photos.

Jene’ had to go to work all day at The Container Store after she dropped me off.  Jene’ walks more than a 5K when she works.  I imagine her legs are a lot more tired than mine!  I am grateful for her persistence in getting me to do the Komen walk this year!