It’s been said that the only things certain in life are death and taxes but there is definitely a third – change. The topic of change has been coming up a lot among my circle of friends and family and for many, change and the resistance to change can be one of the toughest life challenges. The truth is, we are never in control in life and often just when we think we have it all together or are way off our path, we need life to shake us up to remind us of this fact.
This week I hosted a “girls’ night” which included the usual food, drink, games, and conversation well into the evening. I enjoy cooking and opening my home to family and friends, but most importantly, I know that regular social gatherings with your tribe are important to overall mental health. Feeling like you’re part of a community and being able to share stories with others, allows people to connect on a deeper level – different from your day-to-day interactions.
Halloween marks the first holiday in a festive string of Fall events. This fun family evening is known for dressing up as your favorite alter ego and for kids in particular, collecting a slew of candy. For some parents and kids, this night can be a nightmare of its own. Worries of too much candy, blowing a diet or exercise routine, sugar highs, stranger danger, and even additional after-school time commitments are all valid. More importantly, this holiday can be a true danger to kids’ health.
I used to love the show “Fear Factor.” Joe Rogan was a perfect host choice for this stimulating and disgusting show. I was so turned off, yet I tuned in to watch the gross concoctions of blended bugs and maggots that contestants would drink for a CHANCE at winning $50,000. I used to sit in my comfy chair, red wine in hand and wonder if I could do it. Would I drink that stuff, would I sit in a bed of snakes, would I try to escape from a submerged car? The odds weren’t in my favor of ever winning, it seemed like the show would make sure of that, so I enjoyed the show from the A/C with my bug free dinner, usually mentally forfeiting after round 1. Of all the stunts they pulled on that show the one I could not bare to watch was the highlighting of the needle phobia or trypanophobia.
I’ve had the fortunate experience of being close by to witness several people passing. I’m sure it seems off to think of this as a positive experience. However, the reason I am grateful to have been in the presence of the dying is because it reminds me to not take for granted the time I have on this planet to live.
Having cancer was a learning process for me. I learned a lot about my personal limitations but maybe most important, I learned there was plenty I thought I knew about my body and overall health, that I was completely clueless about. I always believed I was healthy and in fact the adjective “healthy” was one I would use often to describe myself. When asked in a group setting icebreaker game to name three words to describe yourself, I would say “understanding, caring, and healthy.” I would go to a health food store before a candy store any day. I truly loved frozen yogurt; I knew kidney beans were high in antioxidants; and washing off pesticides from your food was a must. I wasn’t necessarily wrong or being inauthentic when using this term prior to my diagnosis, I simply wasn’t aware of everything “health” encompassed.
I finished my last chemo treatment March 4, 2005. For years after, my family and friends celebrated that day as my “Carpe Diem” day.
In honor of National Blood Cancer Awareness Month this September, I wanted to share my story of being diagnosed with cancer and the hard decisions that come with this, including treatment and medication options. This article is the first in a three-part series.
I recently sat down to read a Fortune magazine article about a new smart drug start-up called Nootrobox. The article was about an interesting company-wide culture they have adopted - starving themselves! They fast up to 36 hours a week to increase productivity. The company co-founder Geoffery Woo says, “It’s hard at first” but they claim they are literally more focused at work and productive.
I recently flew to Maui with my 14 year old nephew, Trey, for some bonding time. I don’t have children of my own so I had a mix of emotions as the time grew closer to my one-on-one adventure with a teenager. I wanted to make sure I got his adrenaline pumping, taught him about a new culture, and most important to me, I hoped I could instill in him some healthier eating habits while he was under my care.