12 Gifts of Christmas [unwRAP Mix]

Happy 11th day of Christmas everybody! So, the traditional gift for today, would be 11 pipers piping—which makes me lmao a little because of the interesting twist that song could take here in Colorado these days. Anyway, just sitting here at the coziest little coffee shop in my daughter Amanda’s new hood, sipping not on a pipe, but a Cortado, and watching all the fluffy snowflakes make a white canvas of Denver for my baby girl to begin writing the next chapter of her story on.


And it’s just as enchanting to begin a happy new year here, with her, in this storybrook-like setting, which is where I find myself looking forward to 2014 and the 12 gifts (otherwise known as New Year’s resolutions) that I am giving myself. In no particular order. They are a mixture of personal goals, bucket list items, birthday candle wishes, and pie in the sky dreams.

  1. Last year I ran 5 half marathons to celebrate my 5 year cancerversary. This year I’m upping the ante to 1/2 a dozen 1/2s (Choices, choices! …Charleston, SC/Heart Mini/Flying Pig/Grand Canyon/Little Miami/Air Force/Cleveland/Cincinnati) and crossing my fingers for a full.
  2. Dave and I have already signed up for the Grand Canyon 1/2 marathon in May, which allows me to open one big fat bucket list item of seeing the Grand Canyon with a side of Circ De Soleil Beatles.
  3. Schedule my writing as a priority into my days to whip my WIPs (Homeschool Happy Hour…it’s 5 o’clock somewhere, kids and Bottoms Up…”Getting Over” Cancer) into books.
  4. Finish recording the audio book version of Shaken Not Stirred…a Chemo Cocktail.
  5. Develop my own yoga practice outside of my classes. Consider taking yoga teacher training so I could help other cancer survivors learn yoga.
  6. Learn to make origami cranes. So I can make a 1000. Praying for my survivor peeps as I make each one. Then give them away one by one.
  7. Take the stairs whenever possible. The first time I went to Paris we took the elevator up the Eiffel Tower. It has driven me crazy ever since. When my sweet Mikeyy and got a second chance to go back to Paris with high hopes of finally climbing the stairs, they were closed.
  8. Drink 1/2 my weight (in ounces) of water per day. Between the aftermath of chemo, my difficulty in sitting still, and my beverages of choice (black coffee/red wine) I struggle with staying properly hydrated. Need to focus on this, and always be sipping on the H2O’s. I used to give up wine for Lent every year before I got cancer. But then the year I got cancer my sweet Amanda was sad about me giving up anything for Lent, since she felt like I already had so much taken away, so I didn’t give it or anything up that year. I miss the spiritual discipline and look forward to resuming the practice. It’s always been a pie in the sky goal to one day give up coffee (for Lent) since that seems the hardest thing, as I cannot not drink coffee every day, without giving myself a headache. Bread and wine are the next hardest, and elements of my diet that I will offer up this Lent. I love to cook and especially enjoy pairing wine with my meals; beyond that, I am basically a carbohydratarian at heart. So this is a biggie for me. But I’m taking back something cancer tried to take from me: the practice of this spiritual discipline.
  9. Now that the Redheads have all flown the Evanshire, it’s time for simplifying, de-cluttering, streamlining, organizing this hobbit hole for 2. In order to help me wrap this gift so I can have the pleasure of opening it, I have hired a part-time personal assistant to kick my ass into gear and keep me on track. This will also free me up to write.
  10. Make memory book photo albums for the Redheads. I bought the albums after my sweet Amanda’s sweet 16th birthday when she gave me the idea. But somewhere between the last time I developed an actual role of film, and the proliferation of digital cameras in the Evanshire not to mention copious amounts of digital pictures, and a couple of computer crashes to boot, it became an overwhelming puzzle to sort all these snapshots of our life. My hope is to give each of my Redheads their memory book photo album for Valentines Day this year. With a little help from my friend and personal assistant.
  11. Write poetry, Blog and Vlog once a week. They are all good for my writing. Poetry + Prose = Beauty. Blogging is a good way to connect with my tribe of peeps, to test drive stuff I’m working on with them, and to get valuable feedback from them. Vlogging yanks me out of my comfort zone, which is behind the screen, not on it. For me it’s boot camp to tame the shy.
  12. Recently I googled: Cancer, Writing, Yoga, Retreat, thinking I needed some kind of kick-starter to this next chapter in my life (after cancer, empty nest, book 2).  I found what I was looking for on the very first try. I signed up and later this month I am roadtripping to Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health in the Berkshires and I can’t wait to unwrap that gift to myself.

So that’s my 12 gifts. If you haven’t already shared your 12 gifts or New Year’s resolutions, whatever you want to call them, please feel fee to do so in the comment section. Also please link your blog if you have one. We can cheer each other on!

Tomorrow is the 12th day of Christmas, and I will be writing about my word for the year. Have you already chosen on? Or has a word chosen you? I’d love to hear and be inspired. Please also share that in the comment section.

Cheers, love, and happy unwrapping!

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