Our family had the most amazing summer in Michigan. We all agree, the best yet! (which is pretty remarkable given some of our adventures.) Wide open days filled with swimming, fishing, boating, climbing sand dunes, spending time with dear family and friends. 10pm dinners. Barely ever knowing what day it is and certainly not paying attention to what time it is… A summer sabbatical. How blessed and lucky we are.
As we transition back to reality it’s agonizing to think this precious time is already behind us. 7 weeks seemed like 10 minutes. Not because we didn’t treasure it… but because we were having so much fun. You know… time flies.
I focus on gratitude for the moments we shared instead of tearfully wishing I could be back on my paddle board listening to the laughter of our kids jumping the crashing waves. I focus on the blessings here: My health is stable. Our children are happy and healthy. My brother is getting married this weekend to an amazing woman (and we are on our way to Michigan- squeal!) We have a project to pour our hearts and time into in Kentucky, K bar M, a 125-acre farm with a 100+ year old farmhouse to renovate. Big things are happening at Hope Scarves and I’m eager to spend time with the people involved in our sisterhood of the traveling scarves.
I’m excited to see what lies around the next corner…
The corner… I’ve lived in fear of looking around it for nearly 5 years. Since I got the metastatic breast cancer diagnosis I have lived terrified of the future. Over time (and help from a counselor) I learned how to live more fully present instead of worrying about the perceived future. That’s why transitions are hard. By its very nature, a transition is a time to look ahead, anticipate and plan. So, I nervously sneak up to the corner and peek around it. As I set goals and plan for the coming year I have a little less fear then I’ve had in the past. A little less anxiety, confident that we truly are living our best life. But, I’m cautious not to let my guard down too much. We never know…. None of us. But, we peak and we hope.
As you make these transitions in your life – start of school, getting married, changing seasons, changing treatment plans… I hope you too find the balance between living fully present and peaking around the corner. For some (like my brother and his soon to be wife) this is exhilarating. Yet, I know many are burdened by fear and face a scary darkness around the corner. To you, especially, I am thinking of you. May you find light in your darkness… a treatment that works, a kind doctor, a loving embrace.
This time last year I was in a lot of pain as I trained for the Bourbon Chase 200-mile relay race. Scared to find out if the pain was progression, I let a stress fracture worsened in my femur. Eventually getting a diagnosis and hobbling around on crutches for 6 weeks. Now, a year later, I am more aware of my body and cautious not to push it too hard. I’ve transitioned to less impact exercise and am learning to accept my body for what it is. Weaker, sorer & rounder (thank you surgically induced menopause). But, here. Here!
I face each day with a unique perspective – the precarious balance of a terminal optimist. I’ve felt the life I love slipping away. So, I treasure it more than I ever did before. While many don’t have this perspective, we can all benefit from finding joy in each day of life. Our oasis in Michigan is life giving. Truly. I am working to bring a piece of this to the messy midst of carpool, laundry, doctor appointments and homework. Here’s what I’m thinking:
- Relationships – While our surroundings and daily activities are different – the opportunity for connection is the same. Authentic relationship, laughter, lifting each other up, friendship… life giving even in the midst of chaos. When everything else falls away – relationships are the heart of the joy. How empowering it is to be loved and to love.
- Presence -Take time to be fully present. Observe little blessings all around us.
- Gratitude – Acknowledge and appreciate how precious this life is. Even in the midst of deadlines and doctor appointments – this is our one beautiful life to live.
Live it to the fullest. One day at a time.
Founder, Hope Scarves