Power Wash

Sometimes you need a good power wash! Crank it up, aim it and let the water flow! It is rewarding. Cleansing. Empowering. I spent most of my weekend with the power wash wand in my hand, cutting through dirt, algae, grime. I loved it! Spring cleaning at it’s best. Seeing the fruits of my efforts instantaneously. Wash away the winter months, begin the season of growth and sunshine and top-down convertible days.

Spring cleaning….What a great metaphor for life too. I know Marie Kondo is all about cleaning out, I’ll admit I haven’t read the book or watched her show, though I’ve talked to many people who have. Not sure how I feel about giving up my monogrammed high school sweaters, or my homecoming dresses, or my first Lacoste shirt (perfectly faded green by the way). What I do like about her advice, is asking the question, “does it give you joy?” What a great question. A great question for more than things, what about relationships, people, activities?

Recently I had an ending to a twelve year friendship and business partnership. While the circumstances weren’t great that led us there, in the end, did that relationship give me joy any more? Not really. Sometimes it’s hard to admit that a friendship has run its course, time to call it a day. It lasted for a certain season in my life and now it is time to move along. I’m working on the letting go, only if it were as easy as power washing, that would be divine. Though I think my weekend helped give me perspective, something can change, be transformed, released and there can be joy in that. So there’s my reframe today.

What would you like to clean up? Release? Spring is the perfect time to let go!

Posted on April 10, 2019 .

Magic Eight Ball

Do you remember those crazy magic eight balls? Shake it and get your fortune. Yes, no, can’t predict right now? What did that ball have in store for you? That’s how I actually felt about a recent Doctor’s visit. Something unusual happening, and so she wanted to do a uterine sonogram. Really? The last time I had to have one was due to side affects from Tamoxifen. A cancer scare. Now what?

So I waited for my appointment, went in and then waited patiently, or maybe not so patiently, for the Doctor to review the results. Let’s see…shake that magic eight ball….what will the news be? Sorry, you may have uterine cancer, maybe more tests—-still sorry——or you’ve escaped this one and you’re fine. Exhale, it was good news. My lucky day.

Life after cancer is like this. You get diagnosed, you go through treatment, you survive and yet there are always reminders. So what can you do? Live your life, There will be more moments where the crazy eight ball will shake, no sense worrying about those in this moment.

Posted on March 2, 2019 .

Babushkas and Big Hair

Have you ever laughed so hard that you cry? That’s exactly what I’m doing sitting at the beach with my best friends.  It’s Labor Day and we are reading magazines, feet in the sand and laughing our head’s off.   Fall fashion seemed to be seeded with lots of silver, western-wear, plaid, and crazy big hair and no kidding babushkas!  Just saying this word has set us off in peals of full on laughter.  My stomach hurts, that’s how hard I’m laughing.  I’m sure the people around us think we are just a little bit nuts, and we don’t care. 

Life can be serious, hard, scary and stressful.  So find the levity in things, have a good yuk, lighten the mood and laugh until it hurts.   It’s good for the soul.  And for goodness sakes wrap that big hair up in a babushka! !!!

What makes you laugh? 

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Posted on September 6, 2018 .

Fairy Tale

  OK, why did I get up on a Saturday morning to watch a royal wedding? What was it about saying Prince Harry get married? What was the allure? Why were people all over the world sucked into this extravaganza? It is not reality for most of the world. Who spends over $30 million on a one hour wedding? That is the more than most of the world would ever, ever ,ever make in a lifetime. It’s ridiculous, gluttonous, extreme. And yet....I got up and watched it.  

Harry, while a Royal, was just a boy when his mom died. His grief and life were on full display. His acting out, his misbehaving, was for all to see. Just a boy who grew up and found his way and a wife.

Meghan, just a girl. She comes from a divorced home. Grew up in America.  She had drive and she wanted to act. She was tenacious and she succeeded. A biracial, American, divorcee marries a Prince of England. That’s a story, an incredible story. So I watched. The sweet exchanges of their faces, the words shared between them that no one else could hear. Listened to the choices of music, passages and personalization of the spectacle the wedding was. It’s seem to me it was like them. Do I care about Harry and Meghan? I couldn’t really say, I don’t know them! And yet I’m happy for their fairytale. For the hope they represent, the dreaming. The idea something extraordinary can happen.   And the truth is in life we never know when something miraculous can happen. Even after tragedy and sadness, incredible jewels can emerge.

We can hope and look for those moments. And, so I watched, tuned out the gross display of wealth and other absurdities and just relished for a moment the joy they shared.  

Hope. Dreaming. Looking for the magic. Period.   Where do you look for the magic? Hope? Dreams?

Posted on August 21, 2018 .

All You Need Is Love

I just got home from California.  My brother Jim and I were there visiting my sister Becky.  She's had a second stroke. Strokes beget strokes that's the neurologist said.  My heart hurts so much for my sister for the loss of her prior life, use of her left had, her brain and decision making function. So much loss.  The first stroke was terrible, this stroke has made an even worse impact.  After many conversations with nurses, the rehab director, social worker, neuro-psychologist, hope felt like it was slipping away each day.

Living without hope feels horrible.  Jim and I did our best reframe the current state for Becky.  She doesn't seem to be in pain anymore.  She is no longer grieving her husband Jack, my Mom, my Dad.  She believes her husband is outside puttering around on projects, or out driving around in his old 280Z.  My Mom is visiting her and painting cards for her.  All the anger she had after her first stroke has dissipated. 

The brain is such a complex ruler.  Her days are simple.  She likes being encouraged, she loves hugs, to be touched, to touch you.  She moves to music.  The Beatles, Rolling Stones, Enya, Daft Punk, Carole King.  She sings all the words, moves her right hand and dances.  It seems as the more complex, heavy, hard things become, if you just boil it down to the basics, all you really do need is love.  Show up, be present, hold a hand, give a hug, sing and dance, just BE together.

What else is there?

Posted on May 11, 2018 .

Worry Wort

I woke up yesterday with worries on my mind.  Heavy already before my head left the pillows.  Deep worries about my sister and her second stroke, my oldest stepdaughter's struggles, about retirement money....so many worries crowding my brain.

Why the onslaught even before I had had a cup of tea? Why did they flood in so quickly? Why do I carry them on my shoulders? The bigger questions is what good does it do?  Worrying?  I am a worry wort.  I feel things deeply and as if I'm responsible for others.  My brain thinks of a million scenarios that go from bad to worse.  And then I have to break the cycle.  Catch my self. Remember that life is truly one day at a time.  I shift and reframe and say all the things I'm grateful.  My list grows to combat my worries....grateful for:

My home

My able body

My mind that can solve problems

My ability to hold a pen and to write

My clean, wonderful sheets

My clients

My team

My family

My many friends

My sweet, dear puppy Max

My incredible husband

I calm myself.  Right the ship and look towards a day full more of promise than worry.  

What about you? What do you do with your worries?  

Posted on May 1, 2018 .

Poodle Parade

Last night I had a full-on technicolor dream about a poodle parade.  It was fabulous!  Every size, shape and age of poodle, all lined up strutting their stuff.  Incredible fluffed up manes, they know just how just how handsome they were, and they owned it. 

I love dreaming.  Dreams are a place where my brain is not limited by rules, negativity, reality. It's a place to be free.  Last night's dream included staying at a hotel where turn down service included being anointed with lavender oil to help you sleep. I fell in to a deep slumber in my dream.  Now don't even ask how this connected to the poodle parade in the same dream, because it didn't, it was a DREAM!  Dreams don't care if anything makes sense, they have a life of their own.

The waking hours have some parallel to the dream world.  For example, I have a goldendoodle, who is 75% poodle.  Max makes me happy in the hours of the day and warms my feet as I dream.  Lavender oil goes in my baths at night.  But in my dreams, both of these things lived to the extreme, how fun is that?  Dreams are expansive, limitless and are another part of our lives.

I say bring on dreaming to the daylight hours! Allow your mind to have some fun.  So much darkness can fill our days, whether you have cancer, a sick parent or loved one...just life.  Why not take a moment to be free, to lift your mind, to let some beautiful thought take you away.

Why not?  Who will know?  Just imagine, you might see your own poodle parade in your mind's eye!

Posted on April 8, 2018 .

Tooth Fairy

Wasn't it fun to lose a tooth when you were a kid?  The when it started to wiggle and  you'd use your tongue to push it back and forth, just waiting for that magic moment for it to pop out.  Or maybe you asked someone to give it a good yank?  All in anticipation of putting it under your pillow, knowing the Tooth Fairy would retrieve it and replace it with a quarter or a dollar, or whatever amount seemed like a big deal at the time. 

There's something about believing, hoping, knowing someone is out there that is going to take care of you.  Make you feel special, like you are the only person on the planet ...even if just for one night.  Being grown up, or adulting as the millennials call it, kind of sucks.  No more Easter Bunny, Santa, Tooth Fairy.  All those silly things we believed in as children.  Things are so serious, logical, practical now. Especially when it comes to illness, diagnoses, accidents....life.

So how do we create more magic? More lightness? More fancy in our lives?  I think it's by surrounding ourselves with people who lift us up.  Inspire us, motivate us, make us laugh. Two nights ago, my dear friend Vicki (also the person who came up with the name for GO Lisey) threw herself a birthday party!  Each of us felt so honored to be invited.  It was a glorious group of women.  The conversations were flowing, the laughter, the joy of being together.  It lifted me up!

I also got reminded by another friend at the party, Carol, that i needed to get back to writing my blog.  She said she missed it when I stopped writing.  She reminded me to open my eyes again to look for all those moments that sparked simple messages, stories, something I want to share.  And POOF, it was as if the Tooth Fairy had left a story under my pillow for me to find this morning.  Sometimes we all need us to be reminded to keep looking in life and gifts will be revealed.  I let life get in the way these past couple of months, all I needed was that push to get back at it.  Thank you Carol!

What will you find hidden under your pillow tomorrow morning?

Posted on March 31, 2018 .

Bad Dream

“It will all be like a bad dream, like your cancer never happened.” That's what the first oncologist said to me five years ago. That pissed me off, it was condescending and from a true place of not really knowing.  Bad dream was not accurate.  Cancer was a seminal point in my life, not a nightmare.   Read my blog “You’re fired!”  that was that oncologist!

Five year's ago on Christmas Eve, I got the news the biopsy I had on my left breast was benign, but the radiologist said "I know this is cancer, regardless of the biopsy."  He was so right and amazing.  He had the courage to tell me the truth and the compassion of knowing how this call would impact me?  Can you imagine what his Christmas Eve was like calling people and telling them "you have cancer" or delivering the gift, "you don't have cancer."  God love that man.  He told the hard truths to others like me that day.  While my family was celebrating the diagnosis of benign biopsy that night, I knew he was right. 

Five years later, New Year's 2018, I am healthy and free of cancer for now.  I don't see cancer as a bad dream, it gave me the vision for GO Lisey, it was a challenge to show my tenacity and fortitude.  It showed me how to ask for help from my family and friends and to see how much they really love me.  It inspired me to write about my experience to share and lift others up.   Glam Gowns and Guy Gown and more to come!

I know with lobular breast cancer, my chances of the cancer coming back in ten years is real. And I know I have what it takes to battle it...my attitude, choosing my mood, collecting my support system and medical team, taking care of my health....all tools to tackle it if it come back.

You know what...use your cancer as an opportunity to reevaluate, to ask for help, to see what you are made of!  Cancer is not a bad dream---yes it sucks, and it can have many blessings if you choose to see them.  I'm alive, I'm healthy, I survived...I can celebrate that!  So happy 2018...what are you going to celebrate today?



Posted on January 8, 2018 .

Full Moon

Today is a full moon kind of day— not a half glass full or half glass empty day, it’s actually a full glass kind of day.  Recently a professor Notre Dame, Matt Bloom, gave a Class on the science of happiness. One of the tools he recommended was Daily mapping. This technique was based on research he’s conducted on happiest places on the planet.  So simply this tool goes like this, at the end of every day put a happy face or sad face on your calendar.  Was it a good day or was it a bad day-that simple.   See what patterns you notice. And if you’ve got a whole series of bad days, it might be time to look at doing something different. Or if you’ve got a series of happy faces,  what do you want to keep doing ensure those happy faces continue? Sounds overly simple? It is. So this week I started it. It’s enormously gratifying. I found today that I drew a huge :-), in sharpie no less, because today was one of those wonderful, busy, happy Fall days. The sun was shining, I had the top down on the car, are even saw my stepson randomly in the car ahead of me on the beltway! And tonight I was out walking my puppy Max and looked up to see this beautiful full moon. And I thought, yes it was a full moon kind of day. What about you? Good day or bad day?

Posted on November 5, 2017 .