Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Goodbye 2014

What a year. I basically have no words to discribe all that has gone down.  There has been highs and lows. Growths and disappointments. And here we are on the last day of 2014, looking back but also looking forward. 

First a summary of 2014. 

The year started with a bang, literally. I went to 2 NYE parties that week. Which was something new. And an interesting experience.  Yoga Teacher training started shortly after that and it was a whirl wind from basically the first day.  I had a slight inside track from knowing so many people that had done it so when I had to teach on the first day it wasn't a complete shock.  In this wonderful vortex came the cancer diagnosis. It's word a that you never want to hear and especially never want to hear twice. I mean seriously.  But even the diagnosis as brought some interesting turns throughout the year. The spring and summer were treatment heavy and hospital heavy with dad joining me in a medical mess when he had a stroke on June 14th.  So let's say everything between February and about October is a bit of a blur. I know CC became a college grad and moved to NC. Congrats to my sis for becoming a real grown up (or employed grown up.... Juries still out on when one truly grows up)  and I finished treatment and Dad came home.  The final months of the year were still very much in recoop mode. I mean that's allowed I think.  With a wonderful trip to see stanley and Ricky (not the same trip) rounded out with me cooking the pork this year and getting pneumonia for NYE. So, it's been a whirlwind year. 

It's amazing to me that even in this mirriad of a storm of both good and bad, so much reflection has happened and I actually feel somewhat more intune with myself in ways that I never had before. Granted I still forget but I am much more aware of what I want the ideal to be. 

I am in the very beginnings of a career change. I have known for awhile that I didn't like what I was doing but it's finally solidified into something I think I could love. I'm a lot braver. I know I need to take things slow, especially since getting sick in December I have the reminder to listen to my bodies sudle suggestions to take it easy. Then I can hopefully avoid my body putting on the emergency brake and getting really sick. I know how I want to approaching romantic life and have started to work toward that, and I know I am mentally and physically stronger then I'll ever give myself credit for, but maybe sometimes it's ok to toot your own horn.... And taking it easy on day does not have any baring on your total stretgth quotient as a person. I've met a lot of amazing people in 2014 and I hope 2015 brings further development with those relationships.  

And finally I want 2015 to continue to develop myself.  Some words I keep in mind frequently. 

Calm, peace, love, strength, balance, back bone, smooth, let go. 

Through this year I will continue to journey into the relative unknown. I will play the "long game" and realize that even if you take the slow route you still get to where you're going. 

Monday, December 8, 2014

Year 3_ it was a biggie


Today marked the third anniversary of the start of my cancer journey. 3 years ago I woke up at the crack of dawn (4am) and checked into MGH for the bilateral mastechtomy that started me on a very different path then I imagined for myself previously.  Lots has happened including a replase. Which is probably the last word anyone wants to hear come out of a medical professionals mouth. But that is even done now and I have to believe that brighter things are coming. 

The interesting thing about being a cancer survivor is of course if you approach your treatment with outward signs of strength that is all the comments you get. When inwardly it's easy to focus negative, sad aspects of the fact that I've gone through a lot of crap.  Though I don't ignore the negative I chose to turn back to the positive aspects of my life and live that way. Making note of the negative and moving back to the positive at each point in my day. 

In celebration of the day I had a few thoughts. Last year I spent the day outside I have decided I want to incorporate that in all future years, using today to celebrate consciously the power of my body.

So the day started off by meeting my rowing partner at the gym.  The workout on tap was a killer. 
2 x 1000m 5 min rest in between 
2 x 500 m  3 min rest in between 
2 x 250 m  1:30 min rest in between. 

It was a tough but I rocked it. I was really happy with my times negative splits the whole time (which basically never happens) and broke 2min/ 500m for the last two pieces so that was amazing.  And tiring. 

After the workout I swung by Traders and got a green juice (sold at least at the TJs in Coolidge Corner) and went back to the parents. I had decided my outside adventure would be me and dad going to the arboretum. Which we did. 
I pushed dad to the top of Peters Hill, which was an event in itself because dad is heavy and that whole gravity thing. We made it up and it was worth it. Great view, and windy. And clearly cold.  Fortunately there was also a Good Samaritan that helped me get dad back on pavement. Wheelchairs are not meant for off roading. 
Just saying. 

After the mounting of the hill we actually went home because I wanted to go to a mediation group I've started going to. It's called Wake Up Boston.  Which is a group that study's the teachings of
Thich Nhat Hanh.   This was only my second time but I liked it a lot. We do a seated meditation, walking mediation And then discuss.  Today's was a bit different because instead of discuss there was a potluck. It was really fun and the people see nice, so I'm excited to keep going. 

I had a wonderful day and am continuing
To be happy to be alive. 

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Thanksgiving 2014


This thanksgiving brought a change. For the first time in recorded history the Holm family did not celebrate in newton. We went to Delray Beach to see the brother, and it was great.  

First off, having a sibling in Florida has it's advantages. It's like awe shucks I have a family thing... Just happen to leave somewhere where it's sleeting and go to somewhere its sunny and 60s. I'll take it!!! 

The one bold move on my part was leaving only a 36 hr window between coming back from San Francisco and leaving again. That was a bit too bold a move for the future.  For the fact every bone in my body did not want to get back on the plane it wasn't bad. We had to get de - iced which took some time, but the flight itself wasn't aweful.  

Side note. I wouldn't necessarily recommend Spirit air to anyone in the future. The seats are ridiculously close together (I barely had leg clearence) and you have to pay for EVERYTHING. I'm talking carry ones too people. Don't bother. That being said the actual plane was nice enough and the staff was helpful.  

We arrived and had our first airbnb experience.  Overall I am a huge fan.  It was nice to have an actual house with an actual kitchen.  And the post use clean ups wasn't hard.  Highly recommend. 

It was a very casual time and I was just happy to be in the sun in not as many clothes as I would be when I am home.  CC and I dipped our toes in the ocean (always pleasurable) and just walked around and got sun.

Thanksgiving dinner was actually at a Danish restaurant that Ricky found.  It was fun to do something different for the first time... EVER.  And the food was good.  It was a multi course affair and even though I paced myself it was a HUGE meal!! That was probably the only really typical thing... Being REALLY full.  But the food was delicious and it was fun to have a different thing to do.  

Overall it was a good trip and a good holiday.  And I am looking forward to different things in the years to come. 

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

San Francisco Stan time 3.0


Another year another adventure with stanley and Terese.  This year the adventures took place on Stanley's home turf of San Francisco. And it was an excellent trip.  I needed to get away like nobodies business and spending time with an best friend is the best way to do it. 

The week started with a trip to Napa. This was one of the few things that I didn't do in terms of semi touristy from my previous trip.  It was about an hour drive and I had a fury friend to keep me company in the back seat. Napa is super pretty. And we went to Chandon winery. We ended up just walking around cause we didn't time it good with the tours. But it was still cool to see. And we did a tasting which was fun. 

Now the order of the rest of the week is a bit hazy but that's ok cause really what is more important than when. :-) 

One this you may or may not know is stanley and I have a love for cooking, bad television and 80s movies. So a lot of that happened. We had multiple low key evenings eating and watching stuff.  One such movie we watched was Troop Beverly Hills. Which if you haven't seen it, is hilarious. But basically is about a Girl Scout troop in Beverly Hills and had all sorts of ridculous and 80s/90s movies shinannagans.  It's an awesome movie and everyone needs to see it. 

One afternoon we also took a trip to the Indoor gardens in Golden Gate park, called the Conservatory of Flowers. It was really cool and a good size. Not too big. They had sections for different types of plants and it was pretty. 
There was also a nice bench out front where we could sit and drink coffee and have a wonderful chat. 

In addition to having a lot of hang time with Stanely I had some time alone, while he was at work. Jobs are so pesky like that. 

Multiple times I did some yoga. I found a studio that was about a 5 min walk from the apt and went there a total of 4 times. It was called Yoga Tree on stayan st.  An excellent studio :-) I went to 4 differnt types of classes, and was a good reminder about what you can learn when you change up your teachers and styles. I'll need to remember to branch out when I'm home. 

Another thing I did with my solo free time was go to Grace Cathedral. Which to start is up a very long hill. 
Yeh I walked up that, which was less fun. But whatever. Hill training while on vacation isn't the worst thing in the world. But the cathedral itself was pretty. I love churchs and this one filled that. It has a labyrinth on the floor which was cool, and one outside in the courtyard (set in the stone.. In both cases) it was very calming and a great rainy day activity.  There was also some extra exhibit that involved ribbon (I don't know why but the rainbow effect was cool) 

The final major event was my jaunt to Sequioa national park. This I did solo because someone had the nerve to be on call. But hey, that's important. I will first say it didn't quite set in how far away it was until the night before. But in the end it was worth the drive. I rented probably my third rental car ever (which stanley and I enjoyed the night before) 

And headed out.  The drive other then long wasn't bad and I made it with some daylight. I plopped my stuff at the motel (I cheated a little) and went up the ranger station for some info. 
Passing the offical park sign in the process.  

I think I'll make a seperate post with the pictures, but it was amazing. The following day I drove up to 7000 ft and started at the General Sherman tree.  I admittedly didn't contend with the elevation and quickly realized extensive hiking was out the question.  But I did some short ones around there mostly. 

The following day I decided I wanted to drive home by going through the park. Fortunaly I didn't need tire chains so off I went. Unfortunately I hit the worst fog ever coming down the other side of the mountain and was very happy to make it to the bottem.  Other long drive and I rolled home pooped and happy. 

One the last day I had most of the day to kill before heading to the airport for a red eye flight. I ended up heading near the airport pretty early because I was warned that the traffic could be bad. So I had a bit too much time to kill. I ended up walking around San Bruno a bit and went to a very extensive Indian grocery store.  It got boring cause there wasn't enough to do but I was happy not to feel rushed. I dropped the car off and made it in without incident. The red eye was rough but double and made it home without any real drama. 

The trip was amazing and travel uneventful, which is all and all great. I'm very thankful to have a good friend to visit and the ability to rejuivinate myself in good company.