Finding sunshine

We all go through moments in our lives when we take a step back and really start to wonder about where we are and what we’re doing. At least, I hope we do. I don’t think I’m an anomaly. But then again, it wouldn’t be the first time.

I will admit that since last July, things haven’t really been the same. And not that I expected it would be, but it’s amazing how quickly one word can change your outlook on a lot of things. Even if it’s the “good kind.”

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Cancer. Not a word you ever want to hear.

Sometimes I think back on the last almost-40-years of my life, and I wonder how I managed to survive it as intact as I am…and then I wonder if I really am. But the beauty of it all, is that no matter what you’re faced with, the only thing that matters is how you handle it.

And there’s only one person that gets to determine that…and that’s me.

My life growing up wasn’t easy. I learned quickly what it meant to love and lose. Death is nothing new to me. I’ve said goodbye to many people that I’ve loved…classmate, friends, family and more. Some of those goodbyes were difficult to get through, but I knew that it was a temporary goodbye.

I’ve seen medicine at its best. I’ve seen it fail as well. I watched my dad get a new lease on life with breakthrough treatments, my brother as well. I see what advances do for George every day. But I also know its limitations.

I know the miracle of birth, first hand. But I also know the pain associated with it. I was blessed with a “natural” birth for our first child, with an amazing epidural. But remember every second of a c-section that included a failed spinal. Which meant I felt every minute of it, until after our last son was safely born.

I’ve won some battles. And I’ve lost some. I’ve lost loved ones, I’ve gained a few. I lost my voice, it came back…just different.

But as I turn this page (yes, there’s a milestone birthday coming up soon), I realize that I need to focus on more sunshine. I need to find my joy in life and feed it. No one remembers your bad days, but you can influence people with good ones.

As I look to the future, I want my children to remember me as their ray of sunshine. And in order to do so, I have to find my own.

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You can hardly see my scar today. I’m blessed beyond measure.

And so here I am…wondering if the path I’m on will lead to my sunshine. The clouds outside do not deter me. I know what I’m destined for. I just need to outshine the rain clouds.

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What keeps me away?

Yikes…a little more than two months. I’ve missed you all. Really and truly. And I know you have a ton of questions, so ask away, and I promise I’ll answer them…all of them.

But before you start rambling them off, let me give you a quick run down of what’s been going on, so you can get a brief picture of what’s been happening, and what’s been keeping me busy…here’s my top 10 list:

  1. I finished my paralegal education. Finished. Done. Complete. That’s right, 18 months of education, finished with honors. My advice? Do it when younger. Yes, I was more focused, but my energy levels were lacking. And staying up until 3 finishing projects is not for someone on this side of 35.
  2. I was bit by a spider…or some sort of bug…at the end of November, which led to an infection and a whole mess of doctor’s appointments. And medicines. And not feeling so hot. Yep, I was a hot mess.
    The "tattooed" marker line showed the doctor if my infection spread at all. They should have used Z-tag marker.

    The “tattooed” marker line showed the doctor if my infection spread at all. They should have used Z-tag marker.

    The doc sliced an "X" in the wound to get it to drain...and although I have a scar still, I'm grateful for how well it healed now.

    The doc sliced an “X” in the wound to get it to drain…and although I have a scar still, I’m grateful for how well it healed now.

  3. My oldest son tackled his first set of semester tests as a seventh-grade student. And neither one of us required therapy. I’m making no comments about the number of glasses of wine I may have consumed.
  4. We all own a calendar and realize there were approximately three holidays in there, right?
  5. Since I was already seeing the doctor so often, I decided to do something drastic about this extra weight I’ve been carrying. It’s a work in progress, but it’s been a pretty successful one so far. I consider that a win. (And see #4 for the difficulty factor in this.)
  6. Science fair finished last night. I don’t think I need to explain any more.

    Big brother tested the staining effects of different non-dairy "milk" on egg shells. Lesson learned? Brush your teeth.

    Big brother tested the staining effects of different non-dairy “milk” on egg shells. Lesson learned? Brush your teeth.

  7. We lost a very close neighbor and had a close friend have two children involved in a tragic bus/train accident. One child did not survive. It’s hard enough understanding these events as an adult – trying to work through them with a pre-teen takes skills that I did not possess as a mother. But I have some amazing friends that can pull some amazing resources from out of thin air. And provide support for me as well. I owe them more than I could ever repay.
  8. Meetings. Winter is meeting season. And it’s not slowing down through February. But I’m going to do a better job of writing and scheduling.
  9. I took a time-out to spend some needed time with my kiddos. We spent Christmas break doing a whole lot of nothing – and it was the best schedule ever.
  10. Leaning in. I’ve been working on leaning in. Leaning in to my church. Leaning in to my boys’ schedules. Leaning in to my health. Leaning in to my hobbies. Everything has its season and time. And the last few weeks have been my time to reconnect – to real life.

But I must admit, I miss blogging. And I have no intentions of staying away. It’s a great tool, and one that I use as much for my benefit as anyone else’s.

So here’s to a great 2015. One more engaged.