0 In Changes and Transitions/ Quotes

The Time is Now

Woman floating in kayak on a calm lake surrounded by mountains with Mark Twain quote
Time to get started! Photo by Jamie Hutt for Pexels

Where will I be twenty years from now? I know I’d rather look back at fond memories than regrets. But will I be able to remember anything I’ve done between now and then? Will even I know I have fond memories? Will I be able to remember the things that were on my bucket list if “someday” never comes? I never used to worry about things like that. But with all of the chemo brain/dementia excitement in my life lately, it has become a pressing concern.

Life is like a roll of toilet paper….the nearer the end you get, the faster it goes.

–Unknown

You always think you have more time than you actually do….

One good thing has come of all of this, I suppose. I am no longer content to just coast along through life. The possibility that I may not be capable of taking off and doing all the wonderful things on my “bucket list” for very much longer motivates me to go explore. It may not motivate me to clean house, or declutter, but it intensifies the urge to wander, explore, and experience.

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0 In Changes and Transitions/ Quotes

Cancer’s Mental Side Effects

Keep taking time for yourself...until you're YOU again. White text, in a white bordered box, on a background of green ferns

Sometimes things show up just when you need to hear them…

I ran across this quote while scrolling mindlessly through sites on the Internet, trying valiantly to avoid my own thoughts. (That is easier than it used to be, thanks to cancer’s lovely mental side effects)

“Why can’t you just shake it off, and do something productive for once?”

“This isn’t you–you’re tough, you’re strong, you can get through anything!”

“Enough wallowing, already!”

“Good grief, how long are you going to sit around feeling sorry for yourself?”

Ever since I was forced to retire in mid-October, I have been in a funk. I started my first real job when I was sixteen years old, and have been working ever since. Before that, too, I worked. I babysat, and did any other kind of jobs I could find, like helping harvest potatoes on the family ranch. Suddenly, six months ago, I found myself without a job. No warning. And without even a glimmer of a clue about what I wanted to do next.

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0 In Travel

My first international solo travel adventure: Mexico

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My big plan for my first international solo female travel adventure was to go to several places to check them out as possibilities for the expatriate lifestyle. Since I would be gone for an extended time–probably 90 days, the length of a tourist visa, in each place–I needed to wait until after my daughter’s wedding in June.

Would I talk myself out of going?

However, as time passed, I became more and more worried that by June, I would give in to my anxieties about solo travel, and talk myself out of the trip. Tough decision: Do I try to plan a shorter trip somewhere before then? Or should I save the money I would spend on a smaller trip so I can travel longer after the wedding?

White sand beach meeting with ocean waves, turquoise water. Desert hills in background. Footprints and a brown pelican on sand in foreground
The beach I walked to every day in Cabo Pulmo
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3 In Changes and Transitions

13 Things No One Tells You About Breast Cancer

13 Things No One Tells You about Breast Cancer (white words on background of ferns
These are the 13 biggest things I learned as a result of having breast cancer.

Lots of women have breast cancer. Everyone is familiar with the pink-ribbon breast cancer awareness campaign. Despite its high-visibility profile, there are so many things people don’t realize about breast cancer. Until it happens to you.

2016 was a good year for me in so many ways. My daughter moved back to Montana after years of living a thousand miles or more away. I camped, kayaked, and gardened. I finished my first year in a new grade, a change I had not requested. It had not been miserable, as I had feared. In fact, I enjoyed 5th grade! Finally, I was starting to feel like I had a life again, as caring for my mother and sister became more familiar, and I got help and systems into place.

Ellen, pre breast cancer, leaning into the frame, wind blowing hair around.
Me, pre-breast cancer
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7 In Changes and Transitions

Finding the Courage to Travel Solo

How do you find the courage to travel solo, when you have never really traveled at all?

Traveling has been on my bucket list for a very long time, but I have gone very few places outside Montana. December, 2018 was the first time I ever took a trip alone.  For most of my life, it has been easy to tell myself I have plenty of good reasons why I haven’t traveled much. I don’t have time right now. I still have kids at home. I don’t know where I want to go. What would I do with the dogs? It wouldn’t be fair to take this child on a fancy, expensive trip when I didn’t take the other two on a similar trip. I don’t have the money.

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2 In Changes and Transitions

Going Gray gracefully…or not?

Growing out gray roots. Top of woman's head, showing the line where color stops and gray starts
The Dreaded Roots….

I always liked my hair’s natural color. But then, I believe gray hair can be beautiful, too, especially if you style it and choose clothes and makeup that complement it, rather than help it make you look washed-out and tired. But making the transition from “natural” to really natural–going gray gracefully–isn’t always easy.

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