Saturday, November 8, 2014

My 47th birthday is one to remember - I went hang gliding! My latest story via Divorced Moms

Happy birthday to me, Happy birthday to me, Happy birthday Dear Lizzy, Happy birthday to me! I went hang gliding! Check one off my bucket list. I'd write a lot more about it but since I already did in my latest Divorced Moms column, read below. Afterwards, William and I spent the day together running errands, then we went to dinner, and I got lots of gifts (including beautiful diamond hoop earrings, a plush bathrobe I never want to take off, and jammies). Kind and generous, he is. But you know what's best? Spending time with the people I love. Tomorrow, we celebrate my birthday with the whole family but already, this has been the best birthday week ever. I got a great health report from Dr. A earlier this week, did some cool stuff, and I'm surrounded by love. I went to Bikram yoga this morning with my friend, Katherine, and I gave many thanks to God for all my countless blessings. My Bikram class sang happy birthday to me and my favorite teacher, Joann, told the class that I am a survivor in more ways than one. Hear, hear. That's me-- not a cancer hero, but a SURVIVOR. As we head into Thanksgiving, I don't even know where to begin when listing all the things I'm grateful for. No doubt I'll do it soon but for today, I'll just hang out in my joyful, happy peace bubble.

Next up? I trip to San Francisco for five days so I can attend the ASH conference, where I can report to my myeloma community all I can learn about our disease. I am very much looking forward to it.

The View From Here Is Amazing! Life Outside The Comfort Zone
by Lizzy Smith                    
November 07, 2014
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I used to hate birthdays. It meant was I getting older, and I didn't want to get old. I dreaded my birthday, hoped everyone would forget about it, and wore lots of black on that day. Let me tell you how quickly that all changed when I got cancer. Because when you're fighting for your life with everything you've got, birthdays become huge achievements. One more year for me, hooray! Please, God, let there be many more of these.
So prior to my 47th birthday, I finally sat down and made my Bucket List. In reality, I am living exactly as I want to these days. I do what I love (write, blog, advocate for cancer warriors, work towards finding cures for multiple myeloma, spend time with the people I love (my family, children, closest friends and boyfriend), and explore the world around me (as much as I can afford to do). Nonetheless, that Bucket List... I needed to write it out. So I did:
  1. Boudoir photography session - I scheduled my photo session for next month! Why? To celebrate my aging, flawed body and find the sexiness in it. I can't wait to write about it after it happens. It's a bit "out there" for me, which is the whole point. Get out of my comfort zone and shake things up.
  2. Go skydiving
  3. Go on a hot air balloon ride
  4. Write a book of my experience of living with an alcoholic, divorcing him while simultaneously fighting cancer, healing, and recreating a life afterwards - I'm working on this already! Most of it will come right from this blog, starting with my Marriage Hell series. If you haven't read it yet and you have some time, check it out!
  5. Travel to Dubai - I want to do this out of curiosity and to see what modern architecture can accomplish (at the expense of the environment, mind you).
  6. Swim with dolphins - We are going to Honduras in early April and I plan to hang with the dolphins on that trip!
  7. Go to the Griffith Observatory - Next time we are in LA, I'm finally going to do it!
  8. Visit the Holy Lands - Even if it seems a bit unsafe, will it ever be? Probably not in my lifetime and I am just not going to live that way
  9. Go to Istanbul
  10. Fly first class overseas - Ok, so I might need to hit the lottery to realize this goal but I can dream, right?
  11. Take a backcountry tour in an off road vehicle in Moab
  12. Hike Machu Picchu
  13. Go hang gliding
Above all else, when I realize that my journey on Earth is winding down, I want to look back on my life and marvel at my experiences and relationships. After all, nothing else matters to me, not the stuff I've accumulated, not my job, or my 401k. It's all about the relationships and memories.

And so on my 47th birthday, a day of true celebration (thank you cancer!), it was time to review my Bucket List and cross at least one thing off of it. And so I did-- I went hang gliding!

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