Sunday, December 29, 2013

Reflections of 2013

M.C. Escher
December has been a whirlwind of activity; all of it good. As a result, I did not write much, but it has been on my heart and mind. So today I thought I’d reflect on the past year and share some thoughts. Usually at the end of the year we have an inclination that with the New Year comes new beginnings. Many people make New Year’s resolutions. My husband and I don’t. We set goals.

At the beginning of 2013 I set some goals. One was to write weekly. I did not write weekly, but looking back on my archive I actually wrote more than 52 entries for this blog. I must have had some active writing weeks to make it that far before the end of 2013!
Another goal was to lose another 20 pounds and reach a healthy weight. I didn’t reach that goal.
My third goal was to walk a marathon (26.2 miles) in the Avon Walk in San Francisco. Not only did I reach that goal, I actually bested my mileage by walking 31.4 miles. I hope that doesn’t set me up for failure when we walk in Chicago in 2014.
A goal that I achieved that I hadn’t realized I set was to not pass up an opportunity. Upon reflection I realize that I said “yes” to opportunities because I could. Unless it is a medical appointment there is nothing in my life that cannot (or should not) be rescheduled. And so I went on last minute visits; I went on hikes; I saw a friend share at a Christian women’s gathering; I got to see my brother even though it was only for a couple of hours.
Over this year I have had some amazing experiences. I have made some new friends. I have reconnected with dear friends from high school. I walked across the Golden Gate Bridge with extraordinary friends. I hung out in Texas with close friends. I have been blessed with being the part of some exceptional lives. And I have the opportunity to do what I love.
For 2014 my goals are pretty much the same:
1.     Write weekly for my blog.

2.     Exercise, eat well, and get to that healthy BMI weight.

3.     Walk a marathon (or more) in the 2014 Avon Walk for Breast Cancer – destination city: Chicago

4.     Say “yes” to opportunities.
Stay tuned for my first post of January 2014 when I share my “Gratitude Jar” with you.
If you enjoy my blog and would like to follow me on Facebook, I can be found at The Reluctant Survivor. Now on Twitter @relucsurvivor.

Sunday, December 15, 2013


I’ve never really believed in coincidences. I used to explain the phenomenon as fate or “meant to be.” Then I learned of Albert Einstein’s statement that “coincidence is God’s way of remaining anonymous” and I thought, “That’s it!” But the truth is that God isn’t very anonymous when He performs the miracle that is a coincidence.

I’ve written about my friend Shelle before and how we connected in 2009 when it seemed impossible that I would see her. I have also wondered how my two worlds, my professional life and my personal story, could possibly connect. And then I meet Robyn.

I was away at a professional conference the week after Thanksgiving. It is held the same time every year so I simply put it in my calendar. This year the timing seemed inconvenient; only two and a half weeks until Christmas when I got back. Professionally, it’s a perfect time of year for the conference. Personally, it cuts into the Christmas season and adds some additional stress. However, I knew I’d get to see Shelle and that made it worthwhile. (Yes, we spent a couple of evenings together in Vegas, and that’s all I’m going to say). The conference was great, and seeing friends from around the country was wonderful.

One of the nice things about being at a professional conference is getting to see friends in the industry that I’ve worked with over the years but we are now at different colleges. We don’t get to see each other unless it is at a conference. And while Facebook is a great place to stay in touch, it just isn’t the same thing. One of my lunch dates was with a former colleague and dear friend, Rebeccah. Rebeccah brought her co-worker Robyn with her.

We chatted about people who were still at Rebeccah’s institution; catching up on various changes. I asked about a mutual friend who is undergoing treatment for breast cancer. My question was posed in such a way that I realized it would be out of context for Robyn. So I turned to Robyn and said, “I’m a breast cancer survivor, just so you know where this is coming from.” Our exchange then took a different route.

Robyn had recently lost a very close friend to breast cancer and she wanted to know about mine. We shared our stories and our knowledge. I disclosed how Rebeccah was part of my story. Rebeccah told of her experience with me. In the end we talked non-stop for over an hour.

Again, my two worlds collide. Coincidence? I think not.

If you enjoy my blog and would like to follow me on Facebook, I can be found at The Reluctant Survivor. Now on Twitter @relucsurvivor.