Category Archives: Goals

February

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If you can tell by the title, I’ve decided to do monthly posts, although, some months I might blog more depending on what’s going on.

I’ve become a bit farsighted, not literally of course, I mean figuratively or metaphorically. I can’t see near, all the amazing opportunities around me haven’t appealed to me for various reasons. One, I don’t want to put down roots here, even though I’ve been back in Ohio for ten years. I left Santa Fe in 2007 when my dad got sick. My mom is doing fine now, she’s had the same boyfriend for eight years, she really doesn’t need me anymore. And I am many years past the normal recovery time for cancer treatment. Two, the “person loses interest in things that used to bring them joy,” really has rung true for me.

Cincinnati is home to a wide assortment of concerts, sporting events, activities, and museums that are all available to me. Because I have a good knowledge of art, music, and sports, I often see something of interest: a band, a game, a festival. In the past, I wasn’t healthy enough or was waiting to get stronger. I’m never going to be 100% again and that’s okay. I don’t want to keep missing out on life or let my health deteriorate even more. This year, I’m choosing to become more involved in my city and at the same time planning things in other cities. I don’t like winter and cold weather. I don’t want to spend the rest of my life in a city that doesn’t have nice weather.

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What worries me is that I’ve been experiencing a lot of fatigue almost as if the radiation fatigue has doubled back somehow. The funny thing is, thanks to the universe, I’ve found so many wonderful things to do and they are what’s getting me out of bed in the morning. The things I can do in my city are: volunteer, get a part-time job, start dating, and go to the activities mentioned above. I feel like trusting people again and realize my isolation, although I did it to protect myself in the beginning, has become a defense mechanism that’s holding me back and limiting my quality of life. So yes, I’m excited and looking forward to a better year! I hope you are, too! 🙂

So, what plans are in motion? I’ve applied for the book fair in Berkeley that takes place in early June. I’m waiting for confirmation of acceptance. My friend, Christen, has already agreed to go with me, which is awesome, we’re going to have an awesome time! For that, I need to order books, get the table stuff ready, make things to sell, decide on hotel and flight. I have some time. Actually, the Dayton Book Expo comes first, it’s in April, so I need to get ready for it and figure out what I’m wearing to present myself in a way that looks cool, casual, confident, and comfortable. I might have to go shopping, especially to buy materials if I’m going to make things to sell.

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Regarding the cancer survivor camps, I received an email from First Descents, probably the coolest one, they’ve opened up their 2017 summer camps. I can choose between rock climbing!!! or whitewater kayaking!!! I know, right? 🙂 They’re in cool locations, too: New York, Oregon, Washington, and Montana. Both activities seem scary and  challenging. Even though I’m somewhat afraid of heights, I’m leaning towards the rock climbing. Kayaking looks fun, too. I need to decide for sure and let them know before the spots fill up. Right now I’m out of shape, yet I consider myself to be athletic and that would give me a boost of confidence. And I sincerely look forward to the experience of bonding with other survivors.

The Love Your Life 30 Day Project, the link is in last month’s blog, is really helping me to focus on what’s working and what changes need to be made. It reminds me of an art therapy activity where the client answers the miracle question. If you could wake up tomorrow and your life were exactly the way you wanted it to be, what would it be like? Where would you live? What would you do for a living? Who are your friends? What do you do in your free time? What brings you joy? And then the client draws a picture of their future self once their dreams have come true. It’s a really neat exercise, one that puts things in perspective. How near or how far are we from our ideal life?

Have a great week,

Julie

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January

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This is the first blog of 2017! 🙂 Here’s to many more… I’ve been waiting to write this because I’ve wanted to let my thoughts settle and prevent myself from making grand declarations of change. Yes, I want to make some changes, but they’re going to be SMART: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely. I’m going to set goals and intentions rather than resolutions. How do I want to feel? Happy, healthy, strong. Energetic, inspired, connected. Relaxed, peaceful, grounded. I’m going to take small steps in the direction of my dreams – follow my highest excitement, give it careful consideration, and then don’t talk myself out of it. The Universe is guiding me towards my highest good. I will listen to my inner wise self and trust that voice. Change requires courage, hard work, dedication, and encouragement.

When you think about it, change involves creating new habits or reinstating old ones. I remember something Tony Robbins said, he’s a motivational coach who helps athletes and performers get back on their game. “What were you doing that was working that you stopped doing?” That’s pretty powerful. I can think of a few things I stopped doing that were contributing to my health and happiness. Those are things I need to start doing again. It seems like people have similar goals for the new year: exercise more, eat healthier, find time for creativity, and deepen friendships because these things cultivate feelings of self-love and inner peace which makes us all feel better.

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I have a few updates for my readers who are genuinely concerned about my well-being and whereabouts. First, the doctor’s appointment. I get a gold star for putting on the gown and letting her touch the lump which she decided was an epidermal cyst. She reassured me that it was probably nothing. Well, in 2009, the gynecologist “reassured” me the 2cm tumor was “probably nothing.” I did feel reassured that day, but it’s still hurting. She said the pain could be caused by inflammation. The next step would be an ultrasound, which was useless last time, or have a surgeon remove it, if it continues to bother me. It’s been bothering me for two years, so I might get it removed this year just to put my mind at ease and quit being bothered by it.

I wanted to clarify something I said a few posts back about the Berkeley book fair. I had looked at the application on my phone and didn’t realize I was looking at the wrong category. I’m a small publisher not a large publisher. So when I said it was too expensive, that wasn’t an accurate statement. And interestingly enough, the Chicago book fair is more expensive. I haven’t made my final decision about the book fairs yet. If I do apply, I will write about it in the blog and then list it on the newly created “Events” tab. Exciting stuff. I’m a website wizard! 🙂

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I’m doing a “Love Your Life in 30 Days” project that you can find here: http://www.tut.com/index/tut30days. All you have to do is sign up and get started! You can start late and catch up, they aren’t too difficult. Well, they’re meant to challenge you to make changes and create a more fulfilling life, so I guess they’re a good activity for me. I’m actually a few days behind, but that’s okay. You get a daily email with the writing prompt and explanation video from Mike Dooley. I had just bought a new journal from Target, so it worked out perfectly. I have a feeling the activities will become more fun and challenging!

About the cancer survivor camps – I’m really excited 🙂 about the possibility of bonding with other survivors and continuing to heal from the experience. I’m in contact with Mindy from Athletes for Cancer – Camp Koru and Colin from Epic Experience. My doctor faxed the medical release forms to them. I’m on the waitlist for spring Camp Koru, which is surfing and stand up paddle boarding. If I don’t get into the May camp, I’ll be given priority to attend in November. For Epic Experience which is near Denver, Colorado, I was already asked to join their winter camp in February, but I don’t like cold weather enough to want to go skiing!! Hopefully, I’ll be able to join them in the summer when they go kayaking and horseback riding.

I think a big theme for me this year is to push myself to do more while being kind to myself along the way. Less criticism, judgement, and comparison. More compassion, encouragement, and acceptance. I am grateful for the good things in my life: a warm place to live, food on the table, and people who love me. I am very blessed. God is good.

Have a great week,

Julie

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how to get out of a rut …

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Or rather how I plan to get out of my rut. Winter is here and I hate it. Sorry, that doesn’t sound very optimistic. Honest, yes. It’s very cold outside and since I don’t have much meat on my bones, it makes it that much worse. I couldn’t bring myself to take a walk today, even though I know how to bundle up and face the cold. I’m going to have to start exercising indoors. I keep telling myself to embrace winter and see it for what it is: a time to rest, recuperate, and reflect. The flowers will bloom again and everything will be lush and green.

I live in Ohio which has four distinct seasons. To say I’m looking forward to spring and summer is an understatement. And trying to get out of a rut while going into winter could be a bit of a challenge. Needless to say, I need to think about moving to a warmer climate. I moved into this apartment in November of 2012. The first few years went pretty good, the last few not as good. I just renewed my lease for another year and it will be up in November of 2017. I’ve lived here a long time, but the book is done, that’s why I needed to be here. Now, I need to move forward onto a new path which I think will become clearer as the year progresses.

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I’m hoping it will be a job opportunity, friendship, or relationship that allows me to find a new living situation. And I know I have everything I need right here. I can juice here. I can exercise here. I can write and make art here. This apartment as far as apartments go is wonderful, and I’m very grateful to live here, I just think I could be happier in a different environment. I’m too isolated here, but that’s because I’m not being very social. Back to the original topic of getting out of a rut. I’ve started showering in the morning and getting dressed rather than staying in my pajamas. I’ve noticed I’m a lot more productive when I show up for the day. I can then do laundry or clean or exercise or go to the grocery store. It’s a completely different mindset.

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Okay, so what else? I need to get a haircut. It’s gotten really long and unruly. I never got it fixed after I let my mom cut it back in May. I have to braid my ponytail because it’s just that long, and I like to keep it out of my way most of the time. I need to get the lump looked at to see if it’s a recurrence or nothing. I need to start eating healthier and exercising more. I need to stay positive and optimistic. I need to start dating. I need to get a part-time job. I need to continue marketing the cancer book. I need to continue writing because it makes me happy. I have a list of fun things to do next year, and that keeps me going. I just hope that I am well enough to do them. I have to be well enough to do them. I have to keep fighting and surviving. I’m a survivor and that’s how I can inspire others – by not being angry or bitter. By continuing to love and learn and look forward to warmer days and starry nights.

Have a great week,

Julie

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Overcoming feelings of unworthiness

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On Wednesday, I had a much-needed therapy appointment. She helped me to figure out a few things and gave me some new ideas. We talked about how I didn’t register for something I was excited about doing. That night, I knew I had made a mistake. Letting my fears overpower my courage was a form of betrayal, and it gave me a sickening feeling. I doubted my ability and said it was for the best. But why should I cancel my plans to spend time with people who had no problem excluding me from their plans? If I get really honest, the message at the center of my being was, “I don’t deserve to go. I’m not important.” Ouch. If that doesn’t break your heart, I don’t know what will. How did I pick up that message and what’s a better message?

My name is Julie, and I love myself. I’ve had to say that a few times this week. It’s probably the hardest affirmation to say, yet the most profound because it hits the core of your being. I deserve to go. I am important. My needs are important. People should never be made to feel like they’re unwanted, there isn’t enough room, or their issues are too much to handle. It isn’t their fault. I chose not to go with them. I’ve talked with my mom a few times this week and they’re having a good time. Even though they weren’t intentionally trying to hurt me, unspoken messages got passed onto me quite similar to the ones I received growing up in the home of an alcoholic. My job is to practice forgiveness and compassion, anything else is unproductive.

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My therapist reminded me that I can still register for the retreat in Orlando, all my indecision has cost me is $200. There are still rooms available, when I looked the next day they were sold out. I guess they opened another block. Of course, that night I got an email about a healthy eating and fitness retreat in Hawaii which sounds awesome. She also suggested looking for a writer’s retreat, what a great idea! There are a few in Taos, NM that have caught my eye. I’m hungry for another adventure, something that makes me feel alive, a way to get unstuck and out of this rut. My friend, Matt, posed a good question, What am I most passionate about? I think that’s the problem, I’m passionate about so many different things. I need to narrow it down.

My friend, Mike, wrote his blog this week about resistance, and I couldn’t help but wonder if looking for retreats is my new resistance tactic against getting a regular part-time job. Well, it’s not, if I’m also applying for jobs and sending out my resume. It’s funny how creative my mind can be when it wants to stall or ruminate or dream. She also reminded me how I am doing better. I have a car now, and I’m driving myself around, which doesn’t seem like much to most people, but it’s a big hurdle I’ve overcome. I’m even parking in the front row rather than feeling like I have to be in the back row out of everybody’s way near the handicap sign. I suppose the car has helped my self-esteem.

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I was going to blog about PTSD this week since I touched on OCD last week. Unfortunately, I have a good understanding of both. What caught my eye and what I didn’t go back and fix – I admitted OCD is my crutch maybe even more so than being a cancer survivor. Like my therapist mentioned, if I really want to do something, I will, and the busier I am, the less time I have to make things perfect. Things can’t be perfect. What does folding my shorts “perfectly” really do besides cause me frustration? It’s something I can control and do right, yet the ritual in itself doesn’t make sense. Sometimes life doesn’t make sense, and other times it makes complete sense. I like those days.

This time when she suggested I should start dating again, I didn’t cringe at the thought, nor did I have a strong reaction or hesitation. I’m trying to look for the good. Maybe even resign myself to the fact that there could be nice guys in my town. I’m not rushing to create a profile. I think relationships are important, and maybe it would be fun. She said that I sound lonely. Sometimes, I am. I used to be scared of being home alone, maybe that’s why I made friends with an angel. Other times, I have so much to do there isn’t time. I remember what Sunny said to me, “That’s the only thing you have time for.” He’s right. Love makes me smile. Love makes it all worthwhile. 🙂

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A Course in Miracles states, “Every choice you make is either an expression of love or an expression of fear, there is no other choice.”

Have a great week,

Julie

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short and long-term goals

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I’m a list maker, a planner. I like to be organized and prepared. I can rewrite the grocery list several times before it’s perfect. I have several to-do lists going. I usually write a daily and a weekly. It finally dawned on me to separate my computer to-do list from my home to-do list. As my mom likes to point out, “You have post-it-notes everywhere.”

I like a 5 x 8 writing pad and the normal 8 1/2 x 11 notebook. I love good paper. I also like a good ballpoint pen. Pilot makes a good one. This blog is pretty boring. My intention before I got sidetracked was to list some goals to hold myself accountable. Things I want to accomplish and focus my attention on this year.

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  1.  Review page samples from Ryan on Friday. Choose font/headings I like better.
  2.  Review typeset manuscript when he’s done. Give him final edits and revisions. So far I’ve only found nine things, very minor stuff, unnecessary quotation marks and commas. I’m tired of reading the manuscript. I will be happy when this project is completed.
  3.  Upload interior and cover to CreateSpace and Kindle. I have both accounts ready to go. Decide on price for paperback $9.99 – 12.99 and e-book $2.99 – 4.99. Decide on glossy or matte cover.
  4.  Order paperback proof so that I can look it over before making it available for sale. Go ahead and make e-book live.
  5.  Give my editors the PDF so they can provide review on Amazon.
  6.  Do a happy dance, because hallelujah the book will be published. Drink a margarita. Amen.
  7.  Get part-time job, buy car, exercise more, eat better, work on fiction stories, make affirmation cards, get laundry caught up.
  8.   Make doctor appointment for check up. Look into Reiki healing and EMDR for PTSD. Make salon appointment.
  9.   Blog some of the material that got cut from the book. It went from 56K to 50K words!
  10.   Be confident 🙂

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Well, that turned into being more about the book. Oh well. All good.

Funny story, Morgan said we will have another video call so I can hold up my book. Hold up my book, I laughed, I’m going to throw it out the window! 🙂 Just kidding.

And thanks to my mom, I have Adele’s song, “Hello,” stuck in my head. She bought the c.d. because she likes it so much. She asked me if I’ve ever heard the song, so I watched the video on YouTube and now it’s stuck in my head. She is a good singer with perfect pitch and emotional depth.

Cheers!

Julie

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