So Many Activities

One of my goals this year was to post weekly blogs. Like many people, by mid-February, my New Year’s resolutions began to lag. While my good intentions were there, the mental space and energy was not.

So, if I haven’t been posting, what the heck have I been doing?

The answer – so many activities!

First and most important – I’ve devoted countless hours to an essay I started nine months ago. I’m happy to share it has (finally) been submitted for consideration to the New York Times, Modern Love column. I put a lot of time and energy into the piece.  I’ve never been more proud and more sick of something. The column has a one percent acceptance rate. Yeah, the chances are slim.  However, the Editor reads every single essay and I think it’s pretty darn cool a New York Times Editor will be reading my work within the next 2-3 months. Yes, it takes a long time.  Please say a little prayer on my behalf to the Editor Gods. Accepted or not, I will share it on my blog as soon as the Times gives me the green or red light.

If you haven’t heard of the column, it’s guaranteed to warm even the coldest of hearts. Here are the most popular essays and a few of my favorite podcasts:

I’ve also continued my quest toward minimalism. The Minimalists even shared my post about Cancer and Minimalism on their Facebook page, which was pretty sweet. Otherwise, our entire house has been cleaned out and organized. We made over six trips to Goodwill where we donated fifteen boxes and bags. I’ve since moved on to tackling digital clutter. The biggest achievement has been reducing 25,000 photos down to 2,500. My goal was also to do “Internet Free Sundays”. It failed miserably and Fabien is grateful. In April, I’m looking for someone to play the Minimalist Game with me. If you’re interested, send me a message.

What’s next?

I’m currently working on a few more cancer related blogs, which I’ll share here in the coming weeks.  And the biggest news of all – next week, I’m starting research on a subject which I hope will turn into my first book. I am excited and terrified. Stay tuned for more.

Otherwise, I want to share a few things that are rocking my world:

  • Podcast: Missing Richard Simmons. Filmmaker, Dan Taberski, is on a quest to find out what happened to Richard Simmons and why he all a sudden fell of the face of the earth. It’s fascinating and strange.
  • Podcast: The Forward. Much to my suprise, Lance Armstrong is actually a pretty great interviewer and interesting subject himself.  In The Forward Podcast he talks with everyone from Malcolm Gladwell to Rahm Emmanuel to Neil deGrasse Tyson to Bo Jackson. It’s quite entertaining.  Love him or hate him – you have to tip your hat to a guy who raised millions for cancer research.
  • Podcast: The Minimalists. Are you seeing a theme? The podcast is almost better than the Netflix documentary.
  • On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King. I’m late to this party since the book was published in 2000. If you ever write anything (ever), you should check out this book. It’s a master’s degree in itself. Plus, King is an impressive guy and the stories behind his stories are captivating.
  • Die Young With Me. I’ve read a lot of cancer memoirs, but this one is by far the best because of it’s raw honesty. By pure coincidence, the author, Rob Rufus, lives in Nashville.

Lastly, someone, somewhere shared my blog and my readership has gone through the roof. Whoever you are – THANK YOU FOR SHARING AND READING!  I’m also on Twitter at @staciechevrier.

I hope everyone is off to a great 2017, living large and doing so many fun activities:

Bonus cool points if you knew “so many activities” came from the movie ‘Step Brothers’:

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2017: Overcoming Addiction & Being Present

It seems like many people were happy to bid adieu to 2016. As for me, not even the disappointment of a surprise surgery, putting my dog to sleep and the election outcome could trump the train wreck of my 2015, so I’m going to declare the year pretty darn awesome.  I travelled to the Dominican Republic, Mexico, France, Switzerland, Belgium, Holland and Spain where I walked 258 miles to fulfill a dream of completing the Camino de Santiago.  In April, I preformed at the Bluebird Cafe in a production called My 2nd Act: Survivor Stories from the Stage. In July, I spent the month in Michigan completing 200 hours of yoga teacher training.  Then in September, I went to California and learned to surf with fifteen other cancer survivors through an organization called First Descents.  And in between all those adventures, I published several blogs, articles and wrote nearly everyday.  So, yes, I’d say 2016 was not so bad.

 

Of course, I’d like to continue and increase the adventures in 2017, so I spent some time thinking about my goals for this year.  I realized setting and accomplishing SMART* goals has always come easy for me, but what I want more than anything is something not so measurable.

Somewhere around when I got an iPhone, I developed an obsession to anything connected to my device.  The internet, social media, streaming TV, etc.  Then while I was going through treatment my addiction intensified because I would spend my days in bed watching the iPad. Now that I’m well, I can see the addiction has gotten out of control.

What bothers me most about my problem is how it distracts me from the activities and people I truly care about. It eats at precious time I could spend writing, doing yoga, reading, hiking, running, etc. and it steals my attention from my husband, friends and surroundings. Ultimately, I hope addressing this addiction will allow me to be more fully present in my own life, which is what I want more than any check box next to a goal.

One of the many life lessons cancer taught me is the only guarantee we have is the present moment – the one we are in right now.  I’ve realized in addition to my device addiction, I spend a lot of precious time reliving traumas of the past and the “what ifs” of the future.

This morning I came across a perfect passage in the book, The Artist’s Way:

“In times of pain, when the future is too terrifying to contemplate and the past too painful to remember, I have learned to pay attention to right now. The precise moment I was in was always the only safe place for me. Each moment, taken alone was always bearable. In the exact now, we are all, always, all right.”

And there it is again – being present in my life as a method for coping with trauma of the past and uncertainty of the future.

I wish you all health, wealth, strength and whatever else you need to accomplish your measurable and immeasurable goals of 2017.  Also, I’d like to take this time to thank you for reading my blog. If someone you know has been affected by cancer and/or chronic illness, please feel free to share my site with them, or better yet, have them send me a message.  Below you’ll find my most popular blogs from 2016:

Waiting for Hair: The Toll of Chemotherapy – The fact that this was the number one post of the year doesn’t surprise me. When I was going through hair loss, I wasn’t able to find a lot of info on what the growing out process was like. I also did a follow-up to this post, One Year of Hair After Cancer. That has been a few months and I’m happy to report I have a ton of hair. It’s in a bit of an awkward stage right now, but whatevs, I’m happy to have hair.

Living Universal Truths on My Cancerversary – I really love this post and the seven universal truths.

Cancer Camp – Details on my week surfing with First Descents, an organization that takes young, adult cancer survivors on adventure trips.

 

*Specific Measurable Achievable Realistic Time-Based