Bonnie Annis is a breast cancer survivor, diagnosed in 2014 with stage 2b invasive ductal carcinoma with metastasis to the lymph nodes. She is an avid photographer, freelance writer/blogger, wife, mother and grandmother.
Setting resolutions for the New Year is a common practice but one breast cancer survivor has a different perspective on how hers should look for 2018.
I've become a sexagenarian. Who would have thought it? In fact, I was more amazed and elated at my birthday than any of my family members. After being diagnosed with breast cancer, I assumed I’d die early. I never dreamed I’d last years past my diagnosis but this July, I’ll celebrate my fourth cancerversary.
My 60th birthday was a doozy! My family and I spent it in the beautiful mountains of North Georgia. And while I don't feel like I look one minute older than I did before I reached this humongous milestone, every inch of my body begs to differ.
Time seems to be marching ever forward and at an alarming rate of speed. It seems like yesterday I was celebrating the New Year and now, Christmas is just around the corner. Where has the time gone, and why does it seem to move so much faster the older I get? As time fleets, I realize I truly am a vapor, here today and gone tomorrow. The reality of the brevity of life looms overhead, and this truth causes me to stop and rethink my own mortality.
What do I want for the New Year? Usually, I set goal after goal in hopes of accomplishing great and mighty things. And while this is an admirable thing to do, I usually fall short and find myself wallowing in self-pity. So maybe this year, I don't need to make that long list of New Year's resolutions. Perhaps I need a shorter version. This year, I think I’ll be a little more realistic and a little more kind to myself.
I’ve thought long and hard about it and I’ve finally come up with a list of 10 small goals. Here they are:
1. Take better care of me. If I can eat better, move more, and rest when my body says it’s tired, I know I’ll be taking better care of myself and that will ultimately prolong my health.
2. Look for joy. I want to make time each day to look for the good things — in people, in places, and in things. Adding more happiness to my life will certainly improve the quality of my days.
3. Help others. I want to focus less on me and more on others. I especially want to be compassionate toward women who’ve been newly diagnosed with breast cancer. I have a wealth of information I can share and the majority of it I have learned as I’ve experienced my own breast cancer journey.
4. Complain less. I hope I’ll complain less in the New Year and applaud more. I’ve never understood why it’s so easy to complain and so difficult to compliment. It should be the other way around.
5. Live a life of intentional gratitude. I want to learn to look for the blessings. They aren’t difficult to find, in fact, they are all around us but sometimes we fail to see them.
6. Worry less. This will probably be the most difficult goal for me to master. I’ve always had a tendency to worry but hopefully, I can learn to walk more by faith and not by sight.
7. Give myself grace. When I fail, instead of beating myself up, I hope I’ll be able to extend myself some grace. We all need forgiveness now and then, but self-forgiveness seems to often be forgotten.
8. Take one day at a time. Each day has 24 hours or 1440 minutes. Instead of letting those increments of time slip idly by, I want to hold each one precious and dear.
9. Live in the moment. I want to savor everything — the sights, sounds, smells, and sensations!
10. Live with purpose. I want to make each day count. I don’t want to waste a single one.
And those are ten resolutions I think I’ll be able to keep. But why wait for January first to begin my resolutions? I think I’ll start right now.