To a Happy and Healthy New Year

Life is all about perspective. You see things in a different light based on your perspective. For example, as I sit here in sunny Florida over the holidays, I have the window open to let in the wonderful sunshine and GLORIOUS weather. I spent the day in jeans and a t-shirt on the beach with my family for a wonderful lunch.

Toes in the sand, face to the sun, soaking in the weather that isn’t in the single digits (sorry about that rub, New England fam! I couldn’t help it!)

But next to us at lunch, I heard some local Floridians complaining about how *expletive* cold it was. They were bundled up in sweatshirts and hoodies.

I almost laughed out loud. I couldn’t believe that ANYONE would complain about weather in the 60s and not a cloud in the sky.

But it’s all about perspective. If you’ve lived in Tampa your whole life, then 60s WOULD be chilly. But compared to New Hampshire, this weather is a dream.

Listening to my lunch neighbors made me realize how much my own perspective has changed in my life. I have a different perspective than many people; cancer will do that to you. But it’s this extreme health experience that has made me so grateful for everything that I have in my life. My health, my family, my career – I have so much that I’m grateful for every day.

I don’t want this to change next year, or the year after, or the year after that. I feel happier when I open my heart. I feel more connected when I show my gratitude.

So 2018 is going to be the year of gratitude. I’m not one for New Year’s Resolutions – but I’ve also never (ever) set one that truly MEANT something to me. So this year is going to be different. This year, I’m going to set my heart into ‘grateful’ mode and see where that leads me.

I wish you all a happy and healthy year ahead.

Happy New Year!

Journaling with Cancer

I often talk about the stress and the mental battle I went through with my melanoma diagnosis. Being diagnosed with cancer is INCREDIBLY stressful – nothing else compares, really – and it forces you to reevaluate your life. At the ripe old age of 31, I was trying to come to grips with all of life’s deepest questions. Why me? How did this happen? When all this is over, what do I want out of life? How is this going to change me? Am I living a life worth living?

My head would spin with questions every night, and instead of sleeping, the worry would take over. I knew my thoughts weren’t helping my mindset. I needed an outlet to clear my head.

I didn’t want to go to a shrink, though. I mean who does?? I’m not having suicidal thoughts and I’m not on the verge of breaking down. If my family found out, they would think that I wasn’t handling it well, and THAT would be a whole other stress-inducing problem. I just needed to vent.

So I started to write.

I started this blog as a journal. I started a garden journal. I started a ‘journal’ journal. And I started to write every chance I got.

It was such a relief to get allllll those thoughts out of my head. Writing them down seemed like instantly unloading all my crazy thoughts onto the paper – like cutting and pasting them from my head to the journal. It became my external hard drive, where my all my deepest thoughts were safe and sound.

Don’t know where to start? More info to come!

And slowly my mind felt more clear. I felt as though I could really face the day without those constant fears chirping in my head. My therapist became my journal – I could openly examine my thoughts and writing them down made me accept my own point of view more freely. My goals and aspirations became clearer. It was like venting to my best friend that would never tell another soul about what I had complained about that day.

You may think “this journaling stuff is only for teenagers to relieve their emotional angst”. Heck, when I started I thought it would save me the trouble of seeing a mental health professional. In researching the effects of journaling, however, I discovered it’s a lot more than both these things.

Journaling has been a habit of highly successful people for ages. Mark Twain, Benjamin Franklin, Tony Robbins, Tim Ferriss, and Oprah, just to name a few. Journaling their thoughts, ideas, dreams, and daily goals has helped them all attain amazing lives.

And my goal is to have an amazing life. I want to make my life worth living. Every day is a blessing, and keeping a journal is a way for me to reflect on what I have, where I’ve been, and where I’m going.

Do you keep a journal? How does it help you? Let me know in the comments!