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Wednesday, January 27, 2016

A Health PSA: My sedation-free colonoscopy

I am now part of the 1%. No, not the ridiculously rich 1%, I am now part of the 1% of Americans who voluntarily choose to have a sedation-free colonoscopy procedure. Why would I? My main reason was to avoid unnecessary medications but there are numerous other benefits as well.

If I had to describe my experience in a single word it would be: Hilarious

Why am I describing it? Because early detection can prevent you from developing colorectal (aka colon) cancer and increases your odds of survival if found early if you already have it. So, I wrote this post in the hope of making the procedure ok to talk about so that some of you who may be fearful or embarrassed about scheduling an appointment will realize the exam itself is really not a big deal and you'll feel comfortable enough to make the call.


I'll start at the beginning. One of the first things I did just before I turned 50 last year was to call my doctor and ask about scheduling a colonoscopy. It's always stuck in my mind as something you're supposed do when you hit the big 5-0. LOL the few friends I mentioned it to thought I was crazy to call and request one rather than wait for a doctor to tell me it was time.

Over the years I've eaten more than my fair share of gastrointestinal-healthy foods. All of those breakfasts of brown rice, barley, or farro porridge, dark leafy greens, pickled Japanese plums, and pickled radish were both because I think they're equally delicious and healthy meals.

The cabbage, kale, Brussels sprouts, brown rice, beans, and random vegetables many people have made fun of me for eating for years...  It was time to find out if all of my efforts to eat conscientiously were about to pay off!


The Bowel Prep:

I guess I was so excited to have my first colonoscopy I got confused and started my bowel prep a day early by accident. LOL. What the what? Who does that? Me! Fred pointed it out when he realized it (he knew the dates because he was my designated driver) but it was too late. I made the executive decision to stop the prep (I'd only taken some laxatives) and continue with the prep solution the next day on schedule, which meant not eating for 2 days instead of the required 24 hours. This paid off in the end when my Gastroenterologist complimented my prep as one of he best he'd ever seen. It gave my surgical team a great laugh when I told them what had happened.

Because I want you to have a positive experience here are some prep-tips nobody else may tell you about but I will:
  1. You can avoid a lot of soreness by the end of the prep if you follow just this one piece of advice: Do yourself a favor and get a package of baby wipes. Natural ones with no unnecessary chemicals or perfumes because this isn't the time to discover you have an allergic reaction to them. Trust me, you do not want to use toilet paper. Also, blotting is recommended over back and forth wiping motions.
  2. If you live alone and don't mind smelling up the bathroom (hallway, eek gads maybe your whole house or apartment) go for it! If you don't live alone and are worried about embarrassing odors that may be unleashed during your prep try this: Before using your toilet add 2-3 drops of essential oil into the toilet bowl EVERY SINGLE TIME before you use it (any scent will do or buy some Poo-Pourri). It will create a film over the top of the water that holds all odors beneath it. I learned this trick on the Crunchy Betty website.
  3. I brought my camping air mattress out of The Glampette and put it in the bathroom along with a pillow and blanket. It was easier than making a mad dash to the bathroom for the first two hours of the first 1/2 of the prep. When you have to go it's not like a normal bowel movement. You don't think to yourself "Oh, I need to go to the bathroom, after I finish whatever it is I'm doing." No! During a prep it's more like your colon suddenly yells at you: "YOU ARE GOING TO GO TO THE BATHROOM IN LESS THAN 5 SECONDS (and it will take less than 8 seconds to empty the entire contents of your bowel)!
  4. Mix your prep solution (adding in the lemon flavor packet) at least one hour before you have to begin drinking it then put in your refrigerator because it tastes better cold.
  5. If possible place a short stool beside the toilet and put your feet up while your relieve yourself. To sit upright is (surprisingly) an unnatural angle for our bodies to efficiently poop! The Squatty Potty website explains why in depth.
I made this illustration to show you what a colon looks like!


My No-sedation Request:

Spoiler Alert: The next images you'll see in this post are two small photographs of my actual colon taken by the doctor during my procedure. IMO i
t's not gross unless you think the inside of a squeaky clean pink vacuum hose is gross. Plus they were approved by my Mom and Auntie as "ok" to show the world when I ran this post by them first. LOL They're my official content censors. I included the pictures because I think it's important to demystify the process. I did't know what my colon looked like or was shaped like until after my procedure. The illustration above shows the outside, but the photos show the interior view. 

I'd called the doctor's nurse a few days prior to discuss the sedative given during the procedure because I've always had adverse reactions to narcotics (and lots of other medications in general). During the discussion she mentioned I didn't have to have pain meds or sedation if I didn't want them. . . What?????? No sedation? I liked the sound of that simply because I don't like putting chemicals in my body unless absolutely necessary. I know some of you are thinking there is no moment when medications are necessary than moments like this! LOL

After spending time on Google and talking to my procedure team I learned:

  • Most of Europe and some countries in Asia don't offer any sedation for colonoscopies.
  • There are two categories of people in the U.S. who typically decline sedation being those who have struggled with addiction and anesthesiologists.
  • Also, that only 1% of Americans choose non-sedated colonoscopies, possibly because most don't realize non-sedated is even an option.
  • From what I can tell (after reading pages and pages of articles online, here are just a few: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6) is that most hospitals use conscious sedation but some are moving towards deep sedation using propofol which carries increased risks. I didn't like the sound of that. Hmmmm. I'd seen Katie Couric have her procedure on tv years ago. It couldn't be that bad could it?

I broke the news of my no pain meds/sedation decision upon my arrival. Everyone seemed quite shocked (like eyes got big and jaws dropped). They said it was very unusual for anyone to ask for no sedation or pain meds. I assured them I have a very high tolerance to pain by reciting a partial resume of injuries I've suffered through over the years. Though I did agree to an IV in the back of my hand so if I changed my mind they could immediately administer sedation and I'd be out in two minutes.

If you choose a non-sedated procedure be prepared to pass gas as needed. Your doctor is going to pump you up with air or water. If air is used (as in my case) to try to hold it all in will cause unnecessary pain. I had almost no discomfort because my doctor used less air than normal, enough to inflate my bowel for viewing but not as much as he would normally have done had I been sedated. On the plus side I will point out that if your bowel is empty the gas has no odor to it whatsoever so nothing to be embarrassed about in that department. What little I did pass made no sound at all.

My Dr. was also snapping photos as he moved though each section of my colon. After it was over he gave me a a printed sheet of 8 photos. It was like I went to a colon photobooth and had the pictures to prove it :D When I asked Fred to scan them for me for my blog he looked at me like I had a third eyeball growing out of my forehead. As I recall he said "Aw come on. . . You've got to be kidding!" I tried to explain to him the post would be like a healthcare PSA to encourage people to not be afraid of the procedure but he just shook his head and walked away. LOL It took months to get him to do it for me!

So here you go, these are two pictures of my colon. I don't know, to me they aren't really anything other than interesting. I had no idea that I had a body part that looked like the inside of my mom's old Hoover vacuum hose. So, as the procedure was taking place I happily chatted away with the team and watched my innards on the tv monitor. My doctor asked if I worked in the medical field. I'm not sure if that was because I was so relaxed or because I knew more than the average bear about what was going on. I replied "No, I just read Google a lot."


Was it Painful?

Do be prepared for some discomfort. The small amount I felt was mostly around a level 3 (on a scale of 1 least and 10 most). I felt a little discomfort around each turn and on the final fourth turn my discomfort level shot up to a 5-6 for all of about 3-5 seconds. If you've ever had food poisoning, the flu, or menstrual cramps they are usually a 10 and last for hours or days. So this? It was incredibly easy to endure.

• As I laid on my side it literally took less than a second for the scope to be placed. There was no uncomfortable stretching or pain of any kind. Zero. Zilch.
• The first turn going in wasn't so bad.
• Neither was the second turn.
• The third? I felt what can only be described as something foreign to my body pushing against me. I gasped out loud and proclaimed "I've never been pregnant but this must be what it feels like when a baby kicks inside you!" Which made everyone on my team LOL.
• The fourth turn was definitely the most uncomfortable. It lasted several seconds and then the Dr. said "That's it!" Everyone seemed quite pleased and a bit excited that I'd made it though with no sedation. At that point my reply was that it felt like the scope was near my left arm pit. I then realized I'd tensed up during that last turn. As soon as I relaxed the arm pit discomfort went away. LOL
• There was no pain at all on as the doctor began to retract the scope and the show started on the monitor. There was quite a bit of yellow liquid (excess stomach acid) but he said that was just fine. It suctioned out quickly and easily revealing a perfect viewing environment. That was when My Dr. complimented me on having done such a good bowel prep.
• There were a few seconds of discomfort at each turn when the colonoscope was withdrawn. Most were barely significant. The notable exception was the last turn out but then it was all done and the surgical team made me feel like a colonoscopy rock star!

The Results:

Right there in the procedure room I was told I have the colon of a 20 year old and there wasn't anything I need to be concerned about. Later I found out I can wait a decade before my next check-up.

Post Procedure:

After, I was whisked back to the same waiting room I started in. I got to skip the recovery room since I wasn't sedated. One of the nurses who checked me in came by and gave me an inquisitive look from the doorway. I nodded yes (to let her know I made it through with no meds), and she gave me a big smile and thumbs up.

The nurse attending me told me I could leave as soon as I passed gas. LOL


Aside from getting to watch the entire procedure while it's happening (which was pretty cool), saving some money by not using anesthesia, and being able to leave sooner, another great benefit of going sedation-free was I could eat immediately after the procedure was done. Having not eaten in almost 48 hours I was starving and had brought a bag of cheese puffs with me to eat on the way home :)


Also, while the prep is necessary for viewing during your procedure it is hard on your body clearing out probably most of your healthy gut biota (aka microbiome). To help it recover quickly it's good to eat fermented foods (like yogurt, miso, tempeh, sauerkraut, or kimchi), bananas, and fresh cruciferous vegetables like kale and broccoli, blueberries, and beans.

All in all it wasn't bad. Turned out I didn't even need to have Fred go with me. Since I wasn't sedated I could have driven myself home.

I know no-sedation isn't for everyone. We all have different pain thresholds and if you have other gastrointestinal conditions that are already painful I'm pretty sure non-sedated wouldn't be advisable. But for some of us it is not only possible but really not a big deal at all to go without pain meds or sedation. I'm sure you'll know what's right for you. Just please, if you're over 50 and haven't had one yet, I hope you'll consider scheduling your first colonoscopy. It could literally save your life and maybe even give you a few good laughs along the way.



Disclaimer:

This post is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Please seek advice from your physician or other qualified health professionals with any questions you may have regarding colonoscopy or any medical condition(s). This is simply my personal experience that I wanted to share with you to encourage others to be pro-active about their health.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

#WinterCarProblems

The day I attended the artist's reception for the ArtPrize: Second Glance gallery exhibit Fred (being the nice guy he is and because he wasn't going with me) offered to scrape all of the ice and snow off my car since I was all dressed up. Aw. Ok. Thanks, I said. I finished getting ready then went out. As I approached the car he didn't even break it to me gently, he just said straight up: "Your door handle broke off." Um, ok. What could I say? He said he didn't even pull on it that hard but the door had frozen to the frame, again. In his defense the fact that moving to MI, parking in the driveway all winter, and that the plastic door handle is 22 years old may have had something to do with it.


LOL the thing that was really funny (to me) about it was a lady at ArtPrize last fall gave me her advice to avoid having my doors freeze to the car frame: "Don't make any appointments before noon in the wintertime, that way they'll be thawed out by the time you need to leave" she said. Well, this was at 1:00 PM. So much for free advice no matter how well intended :D

Now I'll have to find a new door handle, and have it painted. Or not. Turns out I can open the door, it's just really tricky. Which would be good if anyone ever tried to car-jack me through my driver's side door. No way would they have time to figure out how to get in before I floor it and leave them in the dust. Or slush. Not that there are a whole lot of car-jackings around here so maybe I should just get it fixed.

I tagged this image on Instagram earlier today with: #winter #michigan #midwest #ugh #oops #uhoh #carproblems #iced #badnews #broken #thisneverhappenedincalifornia

Ah, the joys of a Midwest winter :D

Friday, January 22, 2016

I love coffee... Finally!

By now most of you know that I do my best to consume a balanced diet meaning I eat very healthy things. . . And some very unhealthy things :) It's definitely a balancing act. At most I try to consume only one sugary thing a day. Before it was ice cream, a little bit each night but then I saw a news article early last year that said drinking 5 cups of coffee a day had a lot of health benefits. Since then I've traded in my ice cream for a smidge of chocolate sauce in my cafe mocha each morning.


The thing is I've always loved the way coffee smells but not so much the way it tastes. That is until, just like dessert wines, I finally figured out the very specific way I could enjoy it. It has to be very strong (I only like espresso beans), with just 3 TBS of milk or soy milk, and just under 1 TBS of Torani chocolate sauce added to it.


The first few times I made coffee I swiped some of Fred's paper filters for his Melitta pour-over system, plopped one in my kitchen funnel and gave it a go. Once I figured out the type of beans I liked I was ready to take the plunge and get some kind of single cup coffee maker. I didn't want anything that was breakable or had to be plugged in because I wanted to be able to take it traveling in The Glampette with me. I finally decided on a French press so that I wouldn't need to use disposable filters each day.

The Espro press pictured with my mug and a bowl of freshly ground coffee.

After a lot of online research I decided The Espro Press was the way to go. By all accounts it is outstanding and the first press that has a double micro-filtration system so no grounds make it through to make your coffee gritty. It comes in three sizes (8 oz, 18 oz, and 32 oz). I got the 8 oz as it would be my one cup per day which I figured would help keep me from becoming a raging coffeeholic.


Speaking of coffee, while reading about the different types and how to prepare them I learned you can buy raw beans and roast them at home. I ordered some from Mojo Roast online and was quite excited to roast them in my cast iron fry pan on my camping stove out on the back deck when they arrived. I learned to use a whisk to stir with and do it outside for sure because it's a very smoky process.


It's like making risotto. You continuously stir the beans for just over 15 minutes. I wish I'd saved the links to the articles I read (maybe these 1, 2) and the video I watched but I didn't and it was practically a year ago so I don't recall exactly which ones I used when I looked at Google just now. You can also you an air-pop popcorn popper to do the job. But I didn't have one so I stuck used the cast iron pan I did have.

Funny thing was, while roasting them out on the back deck I was attacked by black flies trying to bite my ears. I'd fling my arm up to brush them away and in the process a bean or two would fly out of the pan in the whisk and end up on the deck. As I collected them up after I was done I realized I had a perfect color chart to show the stages of roasting.


But here's the tricky thing. Even though you can find article after article that says drinking 5 cups a day is the magic number, none say how much ground coffee you use or to what ratio of water. This is something I noticed right off the bat because Fred uses less ground coffee than I do but then ends up using probably close to 7 cups of water and drinks weak, black coffee all day long. . .


Where as I like my coffee STRONG! I use 3 TBS of ground coffee to 8 oz of water. That's it. One cup a day but it's rich and tasty.


My new habit has also given me a reason to use the beautiful curlew mugs I found on Etsy years ago.

The bad thing? Oddly I still haven't gotten into the routine of being a daily coffee drinker. There have been a few instances where I forgot to drink my morning coffee and didn't realize, until a few hours later when I was lying around the house like a slug in a brain fog around noon, what was amiss (usually after Fred pointed it out). LOL


I even had a go at making cold-pressed coffee. I'll probably do more of that next summer.


It would go great with the breakfast affogatos (cofee + ice cream) I make from time to time :) See what I did there? Instead of chocolate sauce I add ice cream!


I even took my Espro to the Tearjerkers CRA Teardrop Trailer Rally last summer. Because it's small it was easy to pack and travel with. It's also gone into my carry on luggage when I've flown home to visit my family.

So, after many failed attempts over the years to learn to like and drink coffee, I finally do! Well, except for the days I forget. LOL

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Updating your Feedburner Email Subject Line

Something had been bothering me (for freaking years) but, like so many other things in life, I hadn't made the time to fix it a priority.


If you've subscribed to this blog through FeedBurner and receive an email update in your inbox (like the one below) to let you know when I've published new content you may have also noticed the blog description that shows in your inbox subject line and within the email itself was woefully outdated. I stopped working in the Northern California wedding industry back in 2009 and gave up the name The Flirty Blog back in 2014 but the description still read: Fun and Flirty Wedding & Lifestyle Blog. She's One Very Busy Girl...


To say an update was long overdue would be an understatement. I had gone and poked around the FeedBurner website a time or two but couldn't figure out where or how to update that subject line.


 So I did what I always do when I want to learn how to do just about anything, I turned to Google and chose the very first link at the top of the page.


It took me to Gretchen Louise's blog and a post titled How to Cusotmize Your FeedBurner Email Subject Line which in turn directed me to the Publicize >Email Branding >Email Subject Title field in FeedBurner where I was able to type in the new description I Found the Place a Lifestyle & Travel Blog for my blog.


It took less than a minute! I waited for the next email notification to come in before I posted here to say that it worked. So if you've been holding off on updating your own FeedBurner subject line, wait no more. It's easy peasy.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Smitten with the Michigan Mitten

You may have noticed the little mitten I added to the header of the blog last week. Some of you will know exactly why. Others are probably wondering what it's all about. To be honest I had no idea what "The Mitten" was when I arrived here. It's a Michigander thing.


If someone asks where you're from, and if it's not a well known area or city (like the Upper Peninsula, Ann Arbor, Detroit, or Grand Rapids), you raise up the back of your hand and point to where in the mitten you live. LOL. For real! I point to where the heart is in my illustration because that's where Greenville is :)


See it?


This was a welcome to Michigan gift from Fred's daughter. On the flip side is all of the cities and towns in the Upper Peninsula.


At ArtPrize people see the sign with all of my info like the title of my entry, my name, and where I'm from. Many (even people who live in Michigan) will ask:

ArtPrize Visitors: "Greenville? Where is that?"

Me: "It's just north of Belding."

ArtPrize Visitors: *shaking their head no with a blank stare*

Me: "Um, it's west of Ionia..."

ArtPrize Visitors *more head shaking*

Me: "It's east of Rockford."

ArtPrize Visitors: *Mmmm, unh uh.*

Me: "It's south of Lakeview!"

ArtPrize Visitors: *back to shaking their heads no*

Me: "It's agricultural, you know, apple orchards and fields of corn."

ArtPrize Visitors: *nothing*

Me: "It's about 10 minutes north of Grand Rapids and 30 minutes east."

At that point they would nod their head and say "Ooooooooh, OK." :)

Or I can raise my hand and point to Greenville. LOL


Fred's sister and brother-in-law gave me this mitten ornament my first Christmas here.


Oddly, mittens randomly occur in the kitchen. The first one happened as I was emptying the coffee grounds out of my French Press. I pour them into a strainer so I can add them to the garden instead of the trash. Imagine my shock when one day they poured out into a mitten-shape.


A few days later another mitten appeared while I was making breakfast! Seriously! I don't think I could do this again if I tried. LOL. I'm taking them as signs that I'm right where I'm supposed to be :)

Friday, January 15, 2016

Hello. It's me. I was wondering if after all these years you'd like to read?

No, it's not Adele, and I guess it's barely been a year since I last posted here. . .  But this morning I had an idea to begin posting in this blog again.

Even though I started my new blog at Tinygami.wordpress.com I haven't posted there as much as I used to post here. Part of it is simply because the past two years had been tough ones, and I had gotten into the habit of posting (almost exclusively) positive things so I haven't felt like I've had a whole lot I've wanted to say. The other reason is simply that I miss this blog. Even though it isn't a person, it occurred to me that I do I miss it along with many other things I had to let go of the past couple of years, which only added to the first reason I stopped writing. Do you see it now? It took me a while. It's part of a vicious cycle.

But it's the beginning of a new year and I'm ready to try something new: Write two different blogs! I was lying in bed this morning thinking (you know, when I should have been sleeping) and realized with sudden clarity what I want to try: Tinygami.wordpress.com will be my professional blog that specifically covers my art endeavors. While this blog, I Found the Place, will be my personal blog where I share everything else.

To kick things off I'll begin migrating 18 lifestyle posts over from the new blog to this one. And many of my old creative posts from this blog to the new one.

Good idea? I guess we'll find out together!

And speaking of Adele I love her music and adore her spirit. She is so fun! I saw this yesterday and it made me laugh and laugh out loud so I wanted to share it with you today :)

Monday, January 4, 2016

Losing my dad


I had just been home to visit my parents in December when 9 days after I left my dad had an unexpected stroke and passed away several days later. At 84 years old he wasn't on any prescription medications, didn't have high blood pressure or high cholesterol, and with the exception of when he was an MIA-Prisoner of War as a young man, had enjoyed good health all the way up until his last five days of life. His physical health had been so good for so long when it failed him it was a shock regardless of his age.

I was grateful to have just been there, to have spent time with him, to have made him laugh, and to have had that one last opportunity to create new memories with him. When I left I didn't imagine for a second I wouldn't ever see him again in this lifetime.


Phone calls and text messages coming from various family members all at once while I was eating dinner made me instantly realize something was wrong. Representing us as tiny origami cranes was the easiest way for me to share my feelings in that moment. Online I posted this picture and these words the following morning:

Last night my dad's soul took its next step on a journey we will all make someday. Knowing our time here is limited, that we'll only have so many opportunities to show people that we care for them and love them, should be the only reason we need to live in the moment with as much compassion, patience, and acceptance as we are capable of.

I will miss him, his stories, him playing his harmonica, seeing him putter around the house and yard. I will deeply grieve that he is gone. But I won’t have any regrets because he lived an extraordinary life and I know he knew I loved him. He was a man of true unwavering integrity, of common sense, and generosity. Each day I do my best to live my life by the same standards he taught me for literally as long as I can remember. He was a good man with a good heart and I was blessed to have had him as my dad.

I didn't feel compelled to rush home to be there with him as he passed. Having just been there and not feeling there was anything left that needed to be said I opted to wait two weeks until things had calmed a bit and other relatives who had made it in from out of town had left. That was when I went home to spend time with my mom. While I was there an origami artist who inspires me on Instagram posted an invitation for others to create a crane that represented their day. . .


Ashes to ashes... Accepting the invitation by @icarus.mid.air and sharing a crane that represents my day. Today my mom and I will be receiving my dad's ashes from the funeral home. We are looking forward to bringing him home. To participate tag #icarusmidair and share your crane. #origami #origamicrane #tribute #memorial #misshim #love


After picking up my dad we could have gone home and been sad. Instead we took him to one of his favorite places. My mom wasn't quite sure about the whole endeavor but I thought it was only fitting to take him for a last walk around the casino. Plus it was just before Christmas, the casino was decorated with trees everywhere and lots of red and green. He was in a marble urn tucked inside a green velvet bag so it wasn't like we were overly conspicuous! We photographed him outside the building, under the Keno sign (his favorite game), and finally on his bench where he used to wait for my mom when he was done playing. I have no doubt he either did or would have had a good laugh that we honored him this way :)

To my extended family and friends I want to say thank you for all of the love and support you sent after learning of my dad's death. Every single message was appreciated whether it was a card in the mail, a post online, an email, a text, or phone call. Though social media may have its faults it is also capable of scooping you up in a virtual cloud of comfort and caring leaving no doubt that you are not only not alone, you are surrounded by love.


It's been a hard two years with two of the biggest losses I've ever had to bear but I take comfort knowing that both lived long lives and knew they were loved. For that I will always be grateful.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Quality of life


My friend Brenda shared this meme, a quote by author Iain S. Thomas, on The Modern Pioneer Facebook Page. It sums up how I've been feeling not only the past few years but pretty much my entire life.

After blogging prolifically for eight years to not blogging much at all the past two, I often feel there are words trapped inside my head. Sometimes I think of a blog post I could write. I even take pictures I could post. But something has been stopping me from putting pen to proverbial paper.

I now realize I'd reached a tipping point and only my full focus could keep me on the path I consciously wanted to be on, not one I ended up on as a reaction. The world has become so negative in so many ways but still there is goodness, sometimes you just have to wait longer and look harder to see it.

How to live through my own experiences and losses while all the while bearing witness to unfathomable and the seemingly endless hardships, despair, and pain suffered by others in the world (and the world itself) around me without becoming cynical is what I've been struggling with the past two years.


It took moving 2,400 miles from Silicon Valley to the woodlands of West Michigan to begin to truly understand what I needed to do. In this beautiful place I've found a quietness and clarity I hadn't ever known. In this case introspection has led to both acceptance and a call to action.

I know what quality of life I want:
  • I want to live (not exist), to love (not hate), to thrive (not survive), to be grateful (not judgmental), to be surrounded by people who inspire (not drain) me, and to always be filled with hope (not resignation).
  • I want to never forget that while differences and imperfections are to be expected and accepted both in others and myself, chronic negativity, hate, and anger will no longer be tolerated and have no place in the life I am choosing. They are toxic.
  • My goals are not fame, fortune, or eternal youth. My goals are tenacity, resilience, and balance.
  • I want to look back at the end of each moment (not each day, year, or decade) and know I have no regrets within my grasp that I am capable of changing.
  • I am willing to do the work and am choosing a life well lived full of calmness, chaos, love, loss, euphoria, despair, challenges, risks, and change.
  • I will live as well as I can for as long as I can and each day I will hope the same for you too.


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