For my blog entries back to 2007, click on "View my complete profile," scroll down, and click on "How did I do that?" (It's about my first bout of breast cancer.)

Friday, April 6, 2012

This blog says it all -- or says nothing at all. It's just me, talking to myself.

Dear Photo of My Youth: One would think I’d have figured things out by now. At least the part about what I want to do with the rest of my life.

When I was sick, my only desire was to “get healthy again for at least a year.” That wish seems well on its way to being granted.

Now, I find myself with a new desire: Make each day count.

But how? My very wise brother laughed when I told him I was going on a retreat with a group of strangers to help me figure this out.

“You don’t need strangers to tell you how to make your life count! Just look within,” he said – or at least my paraphrase is what I heard.

I’m one of the fortunate people who wakes up in the morning when she will. I then have the day before me and can choose how to spend it. Sometimes I have appointments on my calendar, but I really love the days where my e-mail notifies me “You have no scheduled activities today.”

For a few months, my motivation for getting out of bed was coffee dates. I had an overwhelming response to my blog invitation and I reconnected with a good many people, enjoyed many pleasant surprises in getting to know some of my acquaintances a little better, and generally savored feeling good again.

But it wasn’t long before savoring didn’t seem like enough. For me, simply “doing whatever I wanted” brought some nagging feelings. So what if I finished an 800-page novel in record time? Or watched Downton Abbey on Netflix three times? Who cares if I got through my list of chores? What’s the good in that?

The “good” in savoring life is bound up with: 1) figuring out who you are and boldly BEING who you are, and 2) influencing life around you in some positive way, which for me naturally must include other people.

In a few weeks I’ll let you know what the strangers at the retreat have to teach me (!), and in the meantime, I intend to continue creating mini adventures for myself – some so trivial I don’t want to bore you and some so promising it’s too soon to talk about.

I find that when I get up in the morning and tell myself “today I’ll do something different, be a little brave, and see what happens” – well, something delightful usually kicks in.

My message, then, is: Don’t wait until you’re a year away from Social Security to learn who you are and be who you are. Life will most certainly end and you don’t want to be left with regrets.


  1. Well, I'll be, those are some deep parting thoughts Mary. I look forward to hearing about the retreat with future friends. You be you-with loving care Deb

  2. Damn! you're good...


  3. Great post Mary!
    And we are so enjoying that photo with thoughts of "my how some things do not change."
    You, looking great and hanging out on a motorcycle....then and now.
    Your Neighbors

  4. Oh my God, you rock. I love reading this stuff!!!

  5. so very well said, Mary. as I pray for my daily 'mini-miracles' on my endeavor, I am reminded that we need to BE the miracle. looks like you already know this. . . : )


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