Tag Archive | health

Festival Express

The summer is completely zipping by! It’s been a full 4 weeks since my “retirement” and I wonder how I ever found time to work. It feels like I’ve been gone even longer than 4 weeks and my life is as full as ever. The list of household projects sits barely touched, with only one room (my son’s) having been ripped apart thus far. At this point, I think most of it will have to wait until school starts at the end of August.

Yesterday was one of those very full days… a fun day of festivals (“fests”).

The day started with “Elite Fest”. This was a health-focused event at the fitness center (Elite Fitness, hence the name) where my step-daughter is a personal trainer. This event started at 10:00 a.m. with an hour-long metabolic workout. Ethan and I participated and  both thought we would die about half-way through — but we were proud of ourselves for having completed the challenge and doing ALL the exercises!  We did exercises on equipment that I didn’t even know existed!  (TRX machine… air assault…?) There were also contests and a relay race, but I was pretty much done by that point. The event ended with a super healthy lunch with lots of veggies and whole grains! I am a little sore today, but in all, I really enjoyed the work out.

After running home to shower — and drink another large coffee (I was exhausted!)… we were off to “Jazz Fest”.  This was the 13th annual Jazz Festival in Scranton and my son was participating. Ethan had a prior gig Friday night where he was allowed to play with the professionals at a coffee shop. I was so proud of him stepping out of his comfort zone, sight reading and improv’ing on his trombone.  Yesterday was the official event where the students of Marywood University’s Camp Crescendo were the opening act of the evening’s performances. Ethan had two improv solos during two of the pieces and I was one proud momma (complete with tears in my eyes). He did fantastic and I’m so glad we opted for this camp this year.

Following the concert we were off to “Corn Fest”!  (Seriously… these are the legit names!)  Friends of ours have an annual party, complete with lots of corn cooked on the fire and free-flowing adult beverages!  It’s always a great time and this year was especially nice, because I got to see so many of my (former) co-worker friends. It’s nice to be missed and all the hugs made me feel loved!

The night had one last stop… to drop Ethan off at a camp-out at a friend’s house. I’m not sure how he still had the energy to stay up late, but I guess that’s the benefit of youth.

So here’s to a great day of celebrating fitness, music and friends! May we have many more festivals to celebrate in our future!

IMDb: Festival Express (2003)

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Reflections

I always view the New Year as a time of reflection — on both the year that ended, and the year to come. I count myself as one of those relieved that 2016 is over. It was a tough year, complete with disappointments, uncertainty, fear and loss. Many of these things have distracted me from focusing on my health, and I found myself a bit stuck in negative feelings.

To be fair, 2016 had a lot of highlights as well: parties, dinners and game nights with family and friends, volunteer activities, vacations and trips (New Hope, Cleveland, Lake Placid, Virginia, Brockway, NYC), music events (recitals, concerts, football games), Marina’s engagement, Mikayla’s off Broadway play, and a few weddings. We had a year of continued good health, with me passing cancer-versary #4, and blessings of all sorts. I am grateful for so much in my life, but the ups and downs of the past year were draining.

So where do we go from here?

I’m not necessarily a big “resolutions” person. I’d like to think I am reflecting on my life all year long, continually looking for ways to be a better person and to improve our lives. But as we start the new year, I wanted to think about the areas that should be priorities.

Yesterday I watched a video produced by our church about having your Best.Year.Ever. (Watch here.) The first principle is to start with the end in mind, meaning: think about where you want your life to be at the end of 2017 and create a blueprint of how to get there.

I’ve always struggled with long range plans and answering questions like “where do you see yourself in 5 years?” Or even 1 year.  I’ve been around the block enough to know that life doesn’t always go the way you plan or expect. Those curve balls keep coming so I find it hard to be very specific on where I want to be in a set period of time.

That said, here are my high level areas of focus for 2017:

  • Re-commit to my Health (and that of my family).  This includes getting back to clean eating (no oil, no processed, etc.),  cooking more and eating out less, juicing, more water, and exercise. I need to get back on the treadmill, and I really miss yoga.
  • Spend more quality time with family and friends. Laughter is good for the soul, and so is time with the people you love. Combine them, and it’s nothing short of heaven. 🙂
  • Read more. Write more.
  • Be grateful and look for the little joys in life.
  • Declutter. Simplify.
  • Pray more, and accept each new challenge with grace and strength.

As you reflect on 2016 and starting anew in 2017, what’s on your list?

IMDb: Reflections (1984)

New Year’s Eve

Is it me, or did 2013 fly by?  It’s been quite a year.

2013 saw the end of chemotherapy in January, radiation in February and March, and the start of Femara in April.  I got my portacath out in May and that signaled the officially end of treatment for me.  I debated the benefits and risks of the Femara for months on end, and came to what, at least for me, was the right decision.  In October, I officially stopped.  Since then I have felt remarkably better.

I started my plants-based journey in January and developed a great repertoire of recipes.  It got easier and easier to do as the year went on, and even David and Ethan are (relatively) on board.  (It’s not like they have a lot of choice!)  I experienced measurable improvements in my health as a result, including a 13-pound weight loss, and reductions in triglyceride and cholesterol numbers.  I look forward to shedding the last 10 pounds in 2014.

We got Dad through radiation for cancer, and we started on the road to wellness for my Mom in 2014.

During 2013, we enjoyed trips to Newport, Rhode Island, Niagara Falls, and the Finger Lakes in New York.  I got back involved in music after joining Crystal Band with Ethan, and we enjoyed lots of laughs with family.

Through the Ladies in Pink Party and this blog I had the distinct pleasure of sharing my story — my challenges and successes — with all of you.  As I have said before, this blog has taken on a life of its own, becoming much more than I ever anticipated.  Here are some fun facts from my WordPress annual report:

  • The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 17,000 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 6 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.
  • In 2013, there were 211 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 322 posts.
  • Viewership came from 57 countries!  Most visitors came from The United States. Singapore & Canada were not far behind.
  • Those who commented the most frequently on WordPress are:  my blogger friends Helen (http://lymphnodetransplant.wordpress.com/) and Dr Lisa Marie (http://drlisamallen.wordpress.com/), and Gina H.  Thank you!!  And for those who comment on FaceBook, thanks to you as well.  Your encouragement and the ongoing dialogue are what keep me going!

I thank you all for your continued readership and walking with me on life’s journey!

Here’s to love, happiness, prosperity, and, most importantly, health for us all in 2014!

*****

New Year’s Eve (2011) – http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1598822/