Posted in commentary, Ocean, travel, travels, Uncategorized, value

BEACHES

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Work has taken me to Florida again.  This time, I planned a trip to the beach as it will likely rain the rest of the week.  I wanted to get some sand between my toes before I dive into work tomorrow.

After dinner, I sat on the beach for a glorious hour, listening to waves crash and watching a dad bury his two girls in the sand.   I received a text that my parking meter was running low, so I reluctantly headed back to the MINIVAN the rental place gave me.

An old man (and by old, I mean way older than my father), was sitting in a row of chairs in the plaza by himself. He made eye contact so I went over and introduced myself. Carl is no longer able to get down to the ocean. Bad knees, bad hips, bad everything, so he comes down and sits as close to the ocean as he can.

He asked how it was down on the beach and if I put my toes in the water and the sand and what it felt like, so I told him. This particular beach had damp, coarse sand that actually flaked off easier than powdered sand. He thought that was a great description.

We talked some more, then he said, “go while you can. You never know when you won’t be able to feel the sand between your toes anymore.”

He was still smiling, but my heart broke a little bit.  Clearly, he loved the ocean. Those chairs were as close as he was going to get to it at this point in his life as far as he was concerned.

I’m not old by any means, but I know I am at the end of the summer of my life. I can’t imagine a time when I won’t be able to do simple things that give me pleasure, but I know it’s inevitable.

“Enjoy everything while you can,” he reiterated.  “Was it a good trip to the beach?”

Yes, Carl, it was.  Thank you for the reminder that I need to squeeze everything I can out of every moment I can.

 

Posted in breast cancer, femininity, travel, travels, weight loss

FIGHT LIKE A GIRL, KICK ASS LIKE A WOMAN

I have passed the middle of one of the busiest years of my life. I am tired, for sure, but I’m so grateful to be on this journey. 

My travels started in March with a trip to Maui, and with work, I started in May with a trip to Philadelphia, followed by a trip in mid-July to Los Angeles, and I just got back from New Jersey and will leave again for Los Angeles again this Sunday. 

Fortunately, I am fond of traveling, even for work. I just bought a new suitcase for the half dozen or so trips I have left this year, and the half dozen or so I will have next year. 

Daisy, the best suitcase ever!
Daisy, the best suitcase ever!

Daisy already has road wear, but whatever.  She is easy to maneuver and she is easy to spot and forces me to pack lighter. I love my work shirts – they help me pack lighter too. They don’t wrinkle either. 

I am on the quickest pace I’ve had since I had breast cancer. I’m not kidding – sometimes I wonder where the energy is coming from (right up until the point it absolutely disappears).  I am balancing two huge projects at work – which I’ve likened to juggling two burning bowling balls and trying not to get burned – and I’m surviving.  

I say “surviving,” and I am. Not always as gracefully as I’d like, because, well, this is me, and I have hit bumps in the road and found myself crying in frustration when I physically and mentally collapse in exhaustion, but I’m still going. Still getting better. Still figuring out what life is supposed to be like after the breast cancer/hysterectomy/RNY gastric bypass clean slate. 

I haven’t lost a pound in about 6 months. That’s been about as frustrating as anything. I’m still on the medicine that makes me gain weight, but I didn’t think I’d come to this plateau so soon. I’ve fluctuated the same 5 pounds since March. Up/down. Up/down. I’ve not gained any weight back per se. My measurements are still the same or even less. I feel no pressure to move the scale, but I’m still frustrated. I refuse to go back to being morbidly obese. I refuse to return to what was.  Getting the scale to move again is not my focus right now, but if it did, I’d be thrilled.

I have zero chances at establishing any sort of routine between now and next June. This is where I am challenged to find routine in the spontaneous demands of my job until these projects are finished.  I’m trying to see this as an opportunity rather than a hinderance. I know I am capable. I can do this.

Finding balance has never been my strong suit, but I’m getting better at it. I hope to have more tales to tell as the time goes on, more tales where I’m not just fighting like a girl, but kicking ass like a woman. What got me through the challenge of breast cancer must mature into something that can sustain me as I keep moving forward.

I fought like a girl and won. Life has gone on. Time to kick ass.

Posted in flowers, travels

TRAVELS – FLOWERS

Tiger Lilies – Cleveland, Ohio
Bridal Bouquet (after a long day)
Rose of Sharon – Huntington, Indiana
Black-Eyed Susans – Huntington, Indiana
Field of Flowers – Huntington, Indiana
Black-Eyed Susans – Huntington, Indiana
Rose of Sharon – Huntington, Indiana