January 15, 2017 | All Rights Reserved
Hi, my name is April. I’m the Chief Content Officer around here. I’m a happily married West Coast creative type with a professional background in social work and journalism. My expertise is in women’s affairs, and my focus is on women’s journalism.
I’ve worked for T.V. and print media where I had the opportunity to draw attention to social issues important to me. I enjoy downtime, cooking, gardening, music, family, photography, dancing and listening to the birds sing. I’m kinda new to the whole blogging thing. Please hang in there with me as I learn how it’s all done.
my life’s not ‘perfect’
November 2012 I was diagnosed with invasive breast cancer. Up to that point, I lived an active life focused on home and career.
My long time mister and I were talking about marriage, vacations and home renovations when I was diagnosed. As you can (probably) imagine, when you get that kind of ‘news’ it’s shocking, to say the least. It changed me forever.
cancer lessons and wisdom
As the doctor and cancer ‘navigator’ callously rambled on about chemotherapy, shaving my head, my insurance and something about dying, I was trying to process what was happening to me. My mind was all over the place…
Did I? Should I? What’s happening? I gotta go to the bathroom. What does this mean? Will I die? Don’t slap her until you get what you need. How can they be so cruel? Will I live long enough to see my kitchen remodel to fruition? What about my family? What about my gardening or learning to play the guitar? The house is a mess. I need to clean it up in case something happens (typical female response). Will I ever see myself with my natural hair color again? How much time do I have left? This can’t be happening.
It was in that moment of mental chaos that I saw my own mortality. And THAT’s when you see your true hearts desires. Everything suddenly became clear to me. I knew what I wanted. I knew what I would do if I had a do-over. For example, I would…
Ditch the image of success and happiness as dictated by society
I spent most of my adult life chasing the wealth, ‘happyness’ and success as dictated by society via magazines, advertisements and programming. And I’m not alone. We all buy into it.
I sacrificed time, health and opportunities to make new memories with those I cared about, all in pursuit of the image of good living as we know it. That realization was a hard pill to swallow.
Embrace the less than perfect moments
The other lie society perpetuates is that perfection is an essential key to good living. So, I spent a lot of time faking perfection, desiring and working towards it. Most of us do it. Martha Stewart (who I admire for her abilities) has built an empire off of creating the perfect everything.
We are taught if it’s un-pretty we hide it, lie about it, cover it up or throw it out including, people. While I prefer only good experiences, that’s not reality. All of the experiences make up the quilt of our life. Leaving out the undesirable means tossing out the lessons that comes with them. Useful ones that can be handed down to younger generations..
Re-define ‘good living’ based on my visions, values and desires and act on it
We spend so much time waiting. Waiting for the right time. Waiting for the right moment. Waiting for the better job. Waiting for the promotion. Waiting for New Year’s eve to make those changes we’ve been talking about all year long. Waiting until we retire. Hence, the ‘bucket list.’
Waiting. Waiting. And waiting. But the harsh reality is, tomorrow may come and we may not be here to see it. So waiting is a naive approach to living.
May you kick the bucket list, shut out the noise of the populace and work towards cultivating a good life right where you are.
In case you’re wondering about my diagnosis
Since diagnosis, I’ve had chemotherapy, a bilateral mastectomy (I’ll share more about that later), and I have been declared healthy (so grateful). I am currently preparing for the last surgery of breast reconstruction. Unfortunately, I continue to struggle with the physical and emotional aftermath of cancer.
If you have thoughts, stories or suggestions feel free to email me directly. And don’t forget; if you like what you see here, subscribe and share!
My thoughts on healthy eating and living?
As a breast cancer survivor I think we should minimize chemically laden skincare, cosmetics and food and gravitate towards whole foods and ingredients we recognize. I encourage people to steer clear of the frozen food section unless it’s fruits, ice cream or vegetables. Having said this, I think chemicals are like calories; you’re going to get them somewhere, it’s just a matter of how and where you want to get them. For me, it’s hair color (laugh).