Join The Fight

Cancer

Cancer.

It’s a scary word, made even more frightening when coming from the lips of your doctor.  But the diagnosis is only the beginning.  What follows are overwhelming statistics, painful surgeries, poisonous treatments, and a life changed forever.  A person can do everything right in their life and a tumor shows up on a scan, forcing them to confront a terrifying new world of IVs and head scarves.

It’s rare to find someone who hasn’t lost someone from cancer.  My grandmother bravely fought and conquered colon cancer, only to have it return ten years later, ultimately claiming her life.  My healthy uncle succumbed to squamous cell carcinoma within a year of his diagnosis.    Just two years ago, I attended my grandfather’s funeral on the same day as William and Kate’s royal wedding.  I’ve lost two co-workers to various cancers in the five years since I’ve been at my job.  After a while, it all makes you feel powerless.

But you’re not.  There’s a lot that you can do to help.

The Wonderland Registry (May) Continue reading

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What Have You Done For You Lately?

They say that the most important relationship you will ever have is with yourself. And they’re right. Your relationship with yourself is vital to every other relationship in your life. It is said that you can never truly love another if you cannot love yourself. How can anyone expect to be in an honest and healthy relationship if they are not happy with themself?

Having been single for far longer than I’d like to admit, I have definitely cultivated the relationship I have with myself. I have explored new interests and gotten to know who I am as an individual. And I am here to tell you, I like me!

Correction: I love me!

As much as I love my friends and family, I am happy with just being by myself sometimes. There is something comforting about enjoying a quiet day alone, strolling down a sidewalk with nothing but an iPod and thoughts to keep me company or cuddling up on the couch with a trashy magazine and a glass of wine or soaking in a tub of fragrant bubbles after a hard workout. Being alone for just five minutes allows a person to collect their thoughts and revive their energy so they can tackle all that life has to offer.

Continue reading

The Satisfaction Of Crying Your Eyes Out

Sobbing. Boo-hooing. Bawling. Weeping. Bursting into tears. Blubbering. Wailing. There are so many names for the act of salty drops of fluid flowing from one’s eyes as a response to an emotional state.

You may need these.

Crying has many monikers and is the result of a plethora of different feelings. Some are sad, others happy. Sometimes the result of a delirious state following a sleepless night with a sick baby. Other times the reaction to the pain dropping a television on one’s bare foot or the relief that a loved one is safe. Tears can form in times of stress, happiness, anger, hopelessness, excitement, panic, grief, frustration, loneliness, hilarity, pride, and about a thousand other emotions.

Your nose starts getting stuffed and then turns runny as your sinuses sense that something is about to be unleashed.  A lump forms in your throat as big as the jaw breaker you once tried to devour when you were six.  Eyes start to stare at objects in a fruitless attempt to ward off the excess moisture that is suddenly threatening to spill out over your lashes.  The muscles in your face tighten in order for your face to keep its composure.

And then you lose it. Continue reading

Embrace The Fabulous

How many times have you felt like the life you lead wasn’t the life you wanted?  How many times have you let an opportunity pass because you didn’t feel good enough about yourself to take it?  How sick and tired are you of making excuses as to why your life isn’t consumed with the sparkle and shine of a thousand disco balls?

Disco may have died, but the sparkle lives on.

I’ve got three words for you: embrace the fabulous.  You heard me.  Embrace.  The.  Fabulous.

Confused?  Let me explain myself. Continue reading

A Love Letter To Richard Simmons

Dearest Richard,

You have been a part of my life since my mother ordered your Sweatin’ to the Oldies VHS tapes so that she could work out in the living room without needing to get a baby-sitter to hit the gym.  To a five-year-old me, I was eager to join her.  How could I not?  It looked like so much fun with the colorful outfits, the great music, and the smiles on each of the dancers’ faces.  I knew every word, every song, every routine—still do.  Even now more than two decades later, I still catch myself going through the exercises when I hear songs like “Locomotion,” “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” and “I Get Around” much to the embarrassment of those around me. Continue reading

Motivation’s Leave Of Absence

By its very definition, motivation is the general desire or willingness of someone to do something.

We all have something that drives us to achieve.  For the woman who spends hours at the gym and counts every calorie, it’s fitting into a pair of jeans that was worn in high school and has since resided in the far recesses of a closet.  Others slave away at the office in order to buy a dream house or a lavish vacation for their family or even to stay afloat in the current economic state.  A father pitches ball after ball to his son in preparation for the one day he hits a home run.

Motivation is wonderful when it comes to giving you just what you need to move forward, to reach a goal, to take a risk.  It lifts you up and makes you believe that you will hit your target.

Unfortunately, motivation can sometimes be a neglectful character in our lives.

I started this blog as a New Year’s resolution and vowed to write something at least once a week.  When I began, it was incredibly easy.  I had a ton of topics I could dive into and I was eager to share my thoughts with whoever would bother to read them.  The novelty was like a bright and shiny new present in my life and I couldn’t get enough.

And then I hit a slump.

Yes, dear reader, you may have noticed the infrequency of my postings.  I have yet to break my New Year’s resolution, but I have begun to regard this blog as homework, something to be pushed off until the last-minute and then half-assed just to get it done.

It’s like that episode in Sex and the City where Carrie is going through a dating dry spell and resorts to writing about her sock drawer.  Yeah, that’s about how I’m feeling these days.  My blog has become my sock drawer.  My muse has gone and has left no trace of the sparkle she once bestowed upon me.

Should I cease this silly little blog or should I press on hoping that something will propel me into interesting thoughts once again?

I choose to keep going.

I find that I have been drawn to the Freshly Pressed section of WordPress and the plethora of new blogs I have been introduced to.  There are so many people out there who question life the way that I do, travel to places I long to see, and cook food that I would love to eat.  Plus, it is inspiring to see that others also struggle with writer’s block and the motivation to keep their posts coming.

Therein have I found my new motivation.

It’s not about what is not moving you along, it’s about what is.

The key to motivation is to keep going no matter what.  Maybe motivation camped out on the bleachers when you were running laps around the track.  Maybe motivation grabbed a tub of Ben & Jerry’s after that last horrible first date.  Maybe motivation was out sick the day you couldn’t finish the report at work.

The wonderful thing about motivation when it’s gone: it always comes back.  And it usually returns like a power surge.  All of a sudden, words flow again.  Ideas that once seemed completely lame appear to be relevant.

I found this to be true when I started spinning.

The first several classes were brutal.  The exercise was intense and I felt like the bottom of my pelvis would never fully recover from those brutally uncomfortable seats.  Months later, I am still spinning two days a week and everything has changed.  My endurance has increased, my speed is faster, my legs can push through tougher resistance, and my bottom is no longer bothered by the seat.  Plus, I burn at least 600 calories in each hour.  Not too shabby.

I guess what is important to remember is this: there are times when you will not find the motivation that you need to reach a particular goal, but pushing through those rough times will bring it back in full force.  You can hate the entire workout or day at the office or the time spent struggling to teach someone a new concept.  You’ve just got to keep going to reach that goal.

As Nike’s slogan says, “Just do it!”