2016 Year in Review

mauiprettypic

Playing in the rain on my wedding day

2016 was a great year overall for us. We had our ups and downs as anyone does, but we had so many wins this year it made all the crummy stuff worth it.

Some of the things from our family vision board manifested themselves into reality this year. I’m totally into what many refer to as woo woo; I believe in visualization and I look at my vision board every morning before I meditate. In February we traveled to Arizona for a week to check out potential places to live and scope out the local scene. In December we married on Maui next to the ocean underneath the beautiful palm trees, something we had dreamt of for many years. It was such a fun week celebrating with family and friends on one of the most beautiful islands in the world. If you had told me ten years ago all these things I wished for would actually happen, I probably would have told you, “You’re crazy!”. My life was just stumbling along until I discovered and added in some of these success habits and goal setting techniques. I also began writing my future book about my cancer story and how I recovered from treatments, which I can’t wait to share with you!

This year also marked an important milestone for me. 15 years that I have been blessedly cancer free. I feel like that is a reason to celebrate! I have made it this far with no chronic illness besides my hypothyroidism from radiation therapy. It does not mean much to life insurance companies however, they think I will die soon apparently so they refuse to insure me at any cost. It’s quite unfortunate that you get treated like some kind of defective human after cancer. I can’t donate blood either. I’m just going to keep living as healthy a lifestyle as I can so I can live to 100! (My current goal) I’m still thinking about ways I can help and inspire other childhood cancer survivors that being healthy can be accomplished after cancer, I do not like the current statistic that 80% of childhood cancer survivors have a chronic illness by age 40. I want to lower that number.

mycancer

Myself all puffed up on steroids during treatment in 2001

We’ve also been dealing with the toxic black mold situation that has progressively gotten worse the longer we are living here. It’s such a nightmare to try to get out of if you don’t have a safe place to go and a wedding already planned and paid for with non refundable plane tickets. I have read multiple books on minimalism over the past few years and made it my goal to lose the materialism and stuff that doesn’t bring me joy, but I’ve floundered at it quite honestly. I seriously cut back on buying things, but I felt like I couldn’t ever get rid of enough stuff! Well, now we really don’t have a choice. The universe has brought me a lesson on the importance of minimalism and shedding excess stuff. We can bring what we deem safe and the furniture is all going. A new mattress on the floor in an empty room is better than being ill!

Myself now with my family

Myself now with my family

This next year will be super exciting as more things manifest into our lives from our vision board. Currently we are packing, selling and donating in preparation to move to Arizona. I’m immensely excited about this as I have dreamt of moving to a warm climate for a decade now. It’s finally happening! When you evaluate your life and gain clarity on what you really want it can happen. Years of hard work eventually do pay off. When we looked at the current environment we live in (weather included) it was not conducive to the type of lifestyle we’d like to lead, so we made the decision to move across the country. It’s interesting how it all came together in the past few years, as if it were simply meant to be. The universe works in mysterious ways indeed. Have a happy, healthy, amazing New Year!

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Detox, Simplify, Organize

Since becoming a mother has stripped me of all that precious free time that I used to have, I decided that my life needs another overhaul. I had the pre-baby overhaul: switching to more organic food, becoming a devout yogi and pescetarian, exercising regularly, reading the baby books, watching less television, playing less video games, etc. Now my schedule needs further trimming to allow me lead a sane, happy life.

I started by going through my wardrobe and donating a lot of my clothes that I really no longer need. I have accumulated so many things over the years it was starting to suffocate me physically and mentally. I looked to the advice of William Morris who said, “If you want a golden rule that will fit everybody, this is it: Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.” I took this as love it or leave it. If I don’t absolutely love the item in question, then I should part with it. I got rid of about 50% of my wardrobe via this method. It actually felt pretty good to purge everything out of my closet, and the things I parted with found their way to new homes.

I found this in an article on one of my favorite websites, Mind Body Green, it is a list of ways to simplify your life:

Popular culture: Watch, play, and listen less; don’t buy stuff you don’t need; don’t believe anything it tells you; don’t care too much about it

Technology: Opt out, delete, uninstall, don’t update, don’t click, don’t save, don’t friend, follow, or like, disconnect, unplug

Your world: Throw out, empty, clear, sell, donate, give away, reuse, recycle, reduce

Time: Un-schedule, don’t plan, don’t over-commit, say no, do nothing, slow down, take off your watch, be spontaneous

Your social life: Be selective, choose quality over quantity, spend time alone

Your mind: Clarify, prioritize, simplify, tune in, zone out, read, meditate

Your body: Eat nutritiously and in small portions, exercise frequently, go outside, relax often, nap regularly, go to sleep early

I am far from perfect with this list of course, but I work at it a little at a time. The technology part will be hardest I think, it’s a weak spot for me. I need more peace in my life, I think we could all use that. Here’s to my new calm, organized, simplified life!