Swimming in a fish bowl

Author and her husbandWe’re just two lost souls swimming in a fish bowl, year after year.”

-Wish You Were Here, Pink Floyd

This isn’t the blog post I was planning to write. I had planned to write a funny, light-hearted post about 25 years of marriage.

Yes, Dave and I are celebrating our twenty-fifth wedding anniversary this week. We’ve been two lost souls swimming in a fish bowl running over the same ground for 25 years and for the record, there’s no one I’d rather splash around with in the fish bowl of life.

But today, as I sat on the dock, my eyes filled with tears and I began crying.

Crying hopelessly for two dear friends who after decades of marriage had their happily ever afters stolen from them–one friend who lost her husband to brain cancer and another who had to put her husband this week in a home because of Alzheimers disease.

It’s just so unfair and incredibly sad.

But if there’s one thing 25 years of marriage has taught me, and the events of the last few weeks, it’s that there are no guarantees.

No guarantee people will grow old together.

No guarantee you will remain in love.

No guarantee that the phrase in sickness and in health will take on so much meaning.

No guarantee life won’t turn out the way you planned it.

To Dave, I simply say thank you for 25 wonderful years. I hope I never take you for granted, and whatever fate befalls us, I hope you will continue to be my faithful partner, swimming in circles, by my side.

And to Jack and Tom: I wish you were here.

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Kick it forward and help women with breast cancer

Last week on LinkedIn, I saw a post from my cousin Wendy in Winnipeg called Comfort is Freedom. Wendy’s list of accomplishments is lengthy—she’s a wife, mother, advocate for health and women, and President and CEO of Bressante, a company that makes breast prosthesis for women who’ve had breast cancer.

After I liked and shared her post, Wendy emailed me to tell me about a Kickstarter campaign she started to raise funds to make breast prostheses for 10 women across Canada and the United States and one group, Cancer de Mama in Mexico. These are women who can’t afford a breast prothesis and are unable to live in comfort and need help.

Wendy and her team can fit prosthetics effectively at a distance but they need funding. Their goal is to raise $12,500 and they only have until June 15th to do it.

In her post, Wendy wrote, “I believe that comfort is essential for a happy life. Being comfortable can mean many things. You may be content with your job, your relationships, your spirituality; that is one kind of comfort. What about physical comfort? Many of us struggle to be comfortable in our clothing, to be comfortable in our own skin. Women that have a mastectomy or other breast surgery have extra challenges.”

This week’s #HappyAct is to join me in supporting this great cause and kick it forward. Make a donation on kickstarter.com (search for Building a Better Breast Prosthesis by Wendy Smith). Share this post. Help spread the word.

About Kickstarter: Kickstarter is an online crowdfunding site. You give by credit card, and can give as little as $1. Your credit card only gets charged if the project succeeds in raising its funding. You will be asked to sign in and provide your name and email address. If you’ve never supported a campaign on Kickstarter before, this would be a great first project—I made my first pledge this morning. They were at about $3,500 of their $12,500 goal.

And for those of you who liked my post last week on the Science of Happiness, Part I and said you were looking forward to part two—stay tuned. A blatant ploy to keep you reading each Sunday! Have a great week everyone.

 

The only All Year’s Resolution you’ll ever need to make

2014 imageI’m not a big fan of New Year’s resolutions. They may spur us into action, but usually after a few weeks or months they fade into oblivion and we are back into our old habits and woefully aware of our failure to keep our promises for yet another year.

So instead of making a New Year’s Resolution, why not make an All Year’s Resolution? A resolution to tell the people you love that you love them every day.

You see, my Mom was diagnosed with breast cancer when I was 12 and died when I was 19.  To say it changed my adolescence is a bit of an understatement. I never went through that phase of not wanting to be with my parents and I’m dreading the day when my two girls become teenagers and they don’t want to spend time with me.

Even though my Mom had cancer, I lived a normal teenage existence, but I also spent a lot of time with my Mom, playing board games, driving her to appointments and helping to take care of her. One of the things we talked about and committed to very early on in her disease was to tell each other we loved each other every day because we were painfully aware that some day, she would be gone.

I’ve tried to practice this philosophy throughout my life. And while it was difficult when both my parents died, I can honestly say there was nothing left unsaid. I still miss them dearly still to this day, and am sad to think my children never got to meet or know these wonderful people, but I have no regrets about our time together or how we felt about each other.

Life is short. The people you love might not be there tomorrow, so don’t leave anything left unsaid. This week’s Happy Act is to make an All Year’s Resolution to tell the people in your life you love them every day. Are you making any other New Year’s Resolutions? Share them. Me? Probably the same ones I make every year: eat a bit healthier and exercise more (but this time I have a game plan—wish me luck!)