Sunday, April 29, 2012

Celebrating another year

How often do I hear people complaining about their age. "Geez, I hate getting older." "Look at my wrinkles! Look at my pot belly! I don't even know who I am anymore!"

I have a friend who is a good deal younger, lets call her Mary. Mary said to me one day "When I turn 70, I am just going to drink the Koolaid. I have no intention of being old"

I was a little shocked by this so I thought I would follow up and asked what led her to this idea.

"At 70 I won't be able to run. I won't have any more adventures. Life wouldn't be worth living."

I am wondering what you think about this. If you are a survivor... if you have seen your own mortality flash before your eyes, you may be like me. You may feel each day is an adventure and you don't want to miss a moment of it.

When I was diagnosed with Cancer, I started holding my breath. I don't know if I truly believed I would be able to live to see my 70th birthday - I didn't know if I would live to see my 50th. The moments I spent in suspended animation were precious but hesitant. The joy was nearly always accompanied with a sense of looming dread. I knew the other shoe was hanging there just waiting to be dropped.

Then one day I exhaled. I found I could breathe. That was the day I realized I wasn't going to die from Breast Cancer. I would die from something quite ordinary like everyone else. And there was no date on which this will happen. I had as much chance at life as the person standing next to me. That realization gave me permission to live and experience a lot of things I believed impossible - like walking in three Breast Cancer 3 days! No one could have convinced me I was capable of doing that... no one. I had to discover this on my own.

What came with that was this incredible feeling that ANYTHING is possible. Now of course there are things that I don't choose to do, not because they are impossible, but because I am too busy enjoying those things I am doing.

One of the gals that is walking with me now is walking for the first time. To her this is a huge mountain she could never have imagined climbing. (I know that feeling). But yesterday while we were walking she said "I can do this!"  (I know that feeling too!)

Tomorrow I celebrate my 59th year on this earth and begin to celebrate my 17th year of surviving Breast Cancer. All of life is an adventure. I am thrilled to welcome each and every year. I may look in the mirror and think "who is that woman and where did she get all that loose skin under her chin...." but I also look at the light in my eyes, the joy in my smile and the wisdom in my wrinkles and say thank you to the heavens for this gift of time.

There are no guarantees just how much life any one of us has. What ever time we are given, it is our duty to embrace and live to the fullest. What will I be like when I am 70? Grateful and full of adventure. I hope I remember your name - but if I don't - just introduce yourself to me again. Each day in a new chance to discover something, somewhere or someone fantastic, new, thrilling, sad, lovely, inspiring, loving, rich, significant, funny or comforting. I know I have a lot of those discoveries ahead and I welcome each and every one.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Whether to walk or not....

Looking at Thursday's schedule, I had more flexibility than I've had in weeks. The only thing I HAD to do was go to Costco and the Party Rental store. Wait, that's not the only thing I HAD to do, I HAD to go walking. But sort of Murphy's law, the skies outside were cloudy with showers hanging around the area. I played with the idea of taking the Ferry to Sf and walking back. But heaven, that might be WET.

I got in the car and I drove. There is a junction at the freeway where I could have gone left or right, North or South. I thought about driving to Healdsburg and walking there, but somehow, despite the rain drops on my windshield I took the turn south and found myself parked, my, my feet on the ground and me dodging the drizzle until I was on the Ferry, headed with the rest of the commuters to SF.

By the time I got off the Ferry it was real rain. The umbrellas came out, the people scurried for cover while I ducked into the building and got in line at Peet's coffee.

The Ferry from Larkspur landed and the commuters, umbrellas deployed, were starting their day. The next Ferry home to Sausalito was over an hour away. I decided to start walking and see how well I did. Just as I left the rain eased - to a light drizzle. I was off on my way home.
Although the skies still had clouds there was some light coming through. Maybe I would luck out and the rain wouldn't come back.
ORRRRR maybe not! The rain ran off my face, dripping off my nose. I was grateful for the emergency poncho (from the Washington DC 3 day) that was hidden in my fanny pack.

Here's a cutie enjoying the weather at the Aquatic park.

Still grey but the rain had stopped. I put away my poncho and kept on walking.

The wind indicators showed changing winds.

The sun broke through the clouds and lit up the roofs over Fort Mason.

Looking over Crissy Field this will be the last picture I take of the Doyle Drive overpass. It is coming down today.

I haven't walked the bridge is quite awhile. I was tired as I got closer, but felt energized knowing I carved out enough time to do it today.

I was also glad to know that even though I had missed a lot of the flowers of a Spring walk, the Douglas Irises were blooming as I climbed up to the bridge.

 On the span the sun was shining. The wind was tolerable. And I was happy.

Back in Marin looking back at SF the rain had been left behind.

Correct me if I am wrong but I think this is poison oak. Those leaves were bright purple. I thought (as many itchy people have in the past) those would look beautiful in a flower arrangement.

And just like that, walking through Fort Baker and the weaving back down East Rd, to Alexander, to Second to Bridgeway I was back. 12 miles later and ready to grab the rest of the day. It was 12:30 pm. Now that wasn't too much time. I gave the morning to the 3 day and I got back confidence that I can do this. I can work, and walk, and dodge rain drops. I can walk in a poncho in the rain, or jacket in the cold or teeshirt in the sun. I can, if I try really hard..... Do it all!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Where did it go???

Time runs away from you. I am used to that. But words, and blog posts? How do they disappear?

Well here we see half of the photos I had uploaded last week, with none of the thoughts I had so eloquently laid out. It's kind of like work this past week when I handed over a long describtive narrative of a home we have listed to our client. Even I thought what I had written was full of errors, too verbous and over board. It was to be a voice over for a video. I knew when handing this over it would never cut mustard for a grammarical guru who has strong opinions about writing. So when this effort ended up in the trash can it didn't surprise me. My blog post however did.

Blogger had changed formats and I assume the new format doesn't automatically save work. So at this point after a week of crazy crazy multi tasking, please enjoy these photos, without much commentary. Perhaps it is appropriate they are of a foggy morning in Tennessee Beach.

Hopefully the work load will ease (not likely soon) and the skies will clear (not for another couple of days) and I will find myself out on a walk again soon, where I can clear the cobwebs in my head.

A beautiful place to call home. Now if only I could find more time to enjoy it.
Well at least I have some pay off for the crazy work schedule. And as I tell Myriam, you have to ride the pony while its running. Right now our business is running at a gallop and I am holding on for dear life!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Little of this a little of that

It was a beautiful morning and my face was dressed in a mile wide grin. I hit the road with a plan. I would get everything done, but I would walk to do it. I had appointments to keep at the dermatologist and work to do downtown Mill Valley. Who says you can't do it all. You just need to do it.

Its about 3.5 miles to the office from my house to the office. I get to walk in one of the most beautiful places on earth. Mill valley was recently voted by Smithsonian as the 4th BEST small town in America. To me it may be #1. After all it is home.
I worked for awhile setting up the next weeks open houses and doing a little work on marketing. I touched base with clients and then I headed off for my 2:30 appt at the OTHER end of town. I realized as I walked I hadn't been walking past 4 miles in the past few weeks.
But somehow I was energized by the simple act of walking. I hadn't slept well in a few days, and without walking I am sure I would have been lethargic, but I was pumped and happy (even if my knee was a little goofy).
I got to the Dr. in time. They did their annual "body check" and zapped a couple of imperfections... and it was off again, heading back to Tam Valley.
I stopped at Starbucks and got a frappacino and oatmeal cookie. Then headed home. 9 miles. Not bad! And I noticed the weather was on the way to spring.... Happy making for sure.

The next day I worked without walking. I planned on walking, I just getting get to it. That isn't good. Today I sit in my walking clothes asking myself why didn't do a formal walk today. Maybe it is because I a recuperating from the big Giants win last night.

My dear friend Patti (sign up already Patti) called mid day and asked if I would like to go to the Phillies game. Do I want to go see Matt Cain and Cliff Lee pitch??? Well what do you think?! OF COURSE!

I grabbed a ferry in Larkspur and met Patti at the Juan Marichal statue. I found out Leslie and Rob were actually at the same game. (Come on Leslie you are nuts, at a game and you had surgery on Monday?! I hope you took the escalator and not the stairs.) We never saw them. I had brought my Giants quilt, its inaugural trip, and Patti an d I were happily cozy under the quilt in section 128 while Rob and Leslie were in Section 107.

Now you have to know Patti is not a huge Baseball fan but she knew I was I appreciated her sharing the tickets with me so I could see a game that to her, probably seemed boring. It was a pitchers duel. 9 innings with shut out ball. 2 hits allowed by Cain and 7 by Lee. A game for the ages. It was a quick game until it seemed it might never end. BUT the Giants came through with Cabrera hitting Brandon Belt home in the 11th.

Now its back to normal... That means work and hopefully walking. Tomorrow I have appts scheduled from 9am on. Unless I get in the walk before then or after 5, I could be looking at another day without a walk. Is this what happens with people who have a REAL job when they train for the 3 day? Time to adjust. I need to remember how big I smile when I walk. What a little early mornign walking when I get that smile?