From Writing

Dear Universe

Last week I threw down my epic DONE list. This is most def a practice I wanna keep on keeping on at the end/beginning of a year. Not a report card from each year’s resolution throw down, but just a moment of reflection and celebration, making much ado about crossed off things. To start this tradition and the year off with a #bang #kaPOW, I threw down 51 things on my epic DONE list to reflection/celebration my 51 trips around the sun.

I wasn’t going to do 51 things on my epic TO DO list of this happy New Year’s Resolutions (or Intentions or Goals or Whatever term floats your boat and/or doesn’t get your goat). I was going to narrow it down to 17 cuz that’s what the poet inside of me wanted to do. But the #fomo-aholic in me obvi wanted to cast wider. Luckily #fomo me also waxes poetic. Instead of narrowing down my dreams, when I started throwing them down, I noticed they kinda fell into 3 categories: Places I wanna go, things I wanna do, and the person I wanna be. So I decided to do 3 lists of 17. And then I did the math and LMFAO off at the #divineirony.

So without further ado . . . my 51 things . . .

To Go

  1. Plan and save for and save the date for my Buen Camino/Don Quixote pilgrimage in Spain
  2. Albuquerque Balloon Fest
  3. This winter a winter get-away; by next winter a winter home-away-from-home
  4. Have an affair with my creativity #everydamnday but also a writer’s retreat
  5. Check out a drum circle
  6. Nowhere Else Festival
  7. Take the scenic route whenever possible
  8. The the stairs whenever possible (and especially if I ever get back to the Eiffel Tower and the stairs are open for biz)
  9. Girls Night Out
  10. Catch all the sunsets I can
  11. Say YES to adventure
  12. Talk to strangers
  13. On the Road with Grace project (Cincy, Colorado, DC…)
  14. Metavivor Die-in protest on Capitol Hill
  15. Next time I’m in DC, to run the 6-mile running tour that my friend Barbie #RIP #fuckcancer told me about that we wanted to run together #WWBD?
  16. Ride my orange is the new bike on the Loveland bike trail #crosstraining
  17. Step up to the microphone (speaking, storytelling events, open mic, poetry slams, etc)

To Do

  1. Finish #shittyfirstdraft of my Route 66 book
  2. Enter my route 66 pix in more photo contests/art shows and have another solo exhibit
  3. Take Jeremy Cowart’s photography and lightroom/photoshop courses from his See University
  4. Finish editing pix/setting up Smug Mug
  5. Record #SHAKEN so Taran can someday hear it in my own voice
  6. Alice in Wonderland writing workshop
  7. Learn to make an origami crane
  8. Learn Qi Gong and/or Tai Chi
  9. Run 500 miles
  10. Do a Tri
  11. Learn to play my uke and my red guitar
  12. Publish a book of my poetry
  13. Flesh out St. Udio’s dream
  14. Build my tribe and love them hard
  15. Make candles out of glass bottles I’ve been learning to cut #upcycle
  16. Learn to etch rocks with my dremel engraver
  17. Work on my Mail Chimp/Postables and make my own thank you/thinking of you note cards, #postcardsfromtheroad, etc send more snail mail

To Be

  1. Bringing good energy with me wherever I am #goodjoujou
  2. Fit (Hit the mat/road/gym #everydamnday) (Runkeeper app, Moonjoggers #chasethesun challenge, Yes Fit app)
  3. Heavily meditated (Insight Timer app)
  4. Eat and drink mindfully (My Fitness Pal app)
  5. Hydrated (iHydrate app and water bottle)
  6. Chill on the carbs, superchill on the glutens
  7. Fit back in my fave pair of blue jeans (My Fitness Pal app)
  8. Organized (Evernote app)
  9. Intentional (my carpe the fuck out of the diem worksheet)
  10. Lost in a good book but also writing one #everydamnday
  11. Reading poetry but also writing it #becausetheworldneedsmorepoetry
  12. Curious #followthewhiterabbit
  13. Creative #thewarofart #makeartnotwar
  14. Seeking/building community
  15. Cancer free and celebrating my 9 year cancerversary on Aug. 20
  16. Not Dizzy
  17. Leaving a beauty mark that I was here #belove #theartofkindness

What are your resolves, the intentions you’ve set, the goals you are aiming for, the dreams you are dreaming for 2017? I’d love for you to share them with me so we can cheer each other on!

Here’s mine in a picture. My 2017 vision board, that I worked on during January which I spent with my sweet Redheads and sweetest #taranthewonderbaby! in Colorado. It’s hard to tell from the picture that the base of my vision board is a clock. Which I promptly threw away the batteries and set to 6 o’clock. (Bonus points for anyone who gets that reference!) Anyway, it’s a cool retro superBIG and clunky clock I picked up at a Thrift store cuz I wanted a legit frame for my vision board and also #upcycling things is super fun. I have my vision board hanging out right in front of of my writing desk in my office aka the #rabbitroom so I can keep the intentions I have set and the dreams I’m dreaming for this year always before me. I also have it set as the wallpaper on both my phone and compy. Staying in the game is the hardest part, yeah? How do you stay in the game and manifest your intentions?

Fight the good fight. Finish the race. Keep the faith. ~ 2 Timothy 4:7

 

Check(ed) 1-2-3…

This is not a test. This is not about a cute little penguin eating an ice cream cone either. Although since his name is Frank, I’ll follow suit…cuz let’s be frank… If it were a test, I gimme an A. (I thought about giving myself an A+ but that would be boring and leave no room for improvement.) But like I said it’s not a test. This is life. My life…so far.

This is that time of year where we’ve all been throwing down our New Year’s Resolutions/Intentions/Hopes/Dreams/Goals/ToDo’s/Much Ado’s/Whatever you wanna call it, it’s chill just like that scoop of pink bubblegum ice cream Frank’s #nomnom-ing on. I took my own sweet time and worked on mine during January, via a vision board project with my daughter while I spent her birthday month with her in #taranthewonderbabyland aka Denver.

This is not that post. Stay tuned for that post.

This is the prequel to that post. If you know me at all, you know I love me a To Do list like nobody’s biz.

But one of the things I love most about To Do lists, is they help me get shit done cuz I get superkaPOWer motivated checking things off. That Been there, Done that feeling… #amiright?! It got me thinking that maybe a little pause, and dare I say a little celebration, is in order. In honor of the Done list. Which I feel is a more fitting ceremony than merely crumpling up said list and tossing it in the nearest trash can.

So here’s to the Done list that I’ve been there done that these 51 trips around the sun.

In no particular order, here’s a quarter of a century of some of my fave things (in the history of the 51 times I’ve surfed the sun) that I’ve crossed off my To Do list…

  1. Wrote a book
  2. Ran a 10-hour endurance run and netted 35 miles
  3. Ran the #Route66 marathon and world’s shortest ultra
  4. Road-tripped Route 66
  5. Road-tripped California Highway 1 in a convertible
  6. Road-tripped from Vegas to Grand Canyon in a convertible, saw the Grand Canyon, ran the Grand Canyon half marathon trail run
  7. Watched a sunset at Joshua Tree National Park while listening to U2’s Joshua Tree album. TWICE
  8. Met my creativity guru Liz Gilbert TWICE and she remembered me, also she commented that I write like a dream on my FB
  9. Met my writing gurus Anne Lamott and Jasper Fforde TWICE
  10. Met my photography guru Jeremy Cowart TWICE
  11. Did a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, ran the breathtaking Jerusalem ½ marathon, was Kosher for 3 weeks while spending time with my beloved Achoti
  12. Drove down to the Keys and had a Cuban sandwich and some Cuban coffee
  13. Stood on a corner in Winslow, Arizona
  14. Checked in to Hotel California. Heard the mission bell ring. Didn’t check out
  15. Created my #postcardsfromtheroad #Route66 photo exhibit, one of my pics made it into an #americanroadtrip art show at a gallery in NYC, won photographer of the year at ADC’s ACA academy awards for artists, had my first solo exhibit at the 86
  16. Raised my sweet Redheads, homeschooled them for 16 years #bestjobEVER
  17. I am Gigi #hearmeroar #bestjobEVER
  18. Produced SCAR Cincy exhibit, SCAR exhibition consultant, created scar blog, produced SCAR BAMA at Freedom Center
  19. Produced Angelo Merendino’s exhibit in Cincy
  20. Grace project roadtrip sidekick and assistant
  21. Dante pilgrimage and tour in Florence
  22. Saw Rafa play on clay (in Rome sweet Rome)
  23. Ran my own half marathon from Missouri through Kansas to Oklahoma on july 4, 2014 during my route 66 road trip
  24. Ran from Illinois to Missouri across the chain of rocks bridge TWICE
  25. Painted desert
  26. Took down 24 chemo cocktails and (so far so good, 8 years later #yearoftheoctupus) kicked cancer’s ass
  27. Won city districts with my tennis team with me on court 1 my first season back after cancer
  28. Got a volleyball scholarship to college
  29. Got up on stage and told a story at Bespoken Live (a moth-like storytelling event) (3 X so far)
  30. Hiked Ocho Rios in Jamaica
  31. Participated in peaceful protests on Capital Hill
  32. Got tats (12) (so far)
  33. Been COMPLETELY bald down to all but a couple eyelashes
  34. Saw Niagara Falls
  35. Drank a shot out of a test tube at Frankenstein’s Pub in Edinburgh
  36. Bought a copy of The Little Prince from a cashier who was brushing her teeth at Shakespeare’s & Co. in Paris
  37. Van Gogh museum in Amsterdam
  38. Read the Beatitudes on the Mount of Olives. Broke bread and spilled wine there with my friend and fellow pilgrim on my journey to the Holy Land and back. We walked the Via Dolorosa together.
  39. Train-tripped through the Alps from Munich to Rome
  40. Followed in Audrey Hepburn’s Roman Holiday footsteps, vespa-ing about Rome (until the “Vespa Incident” in which the brake didn’t break and I did a Wiley Coyote into a wall and broke my face)
  41. Got red clay on my tennis shoes at Roland Garros in Paris
  42. Snorkeled in Cozumel
  43. Saw Wicked on and off broadway
  44. Walked into THE Cheers Bar and everybody yelled JOULES!
  45. Did a Mayan mud hut sweat lodge ritual aka Temazcal and had the most incredible Mayan massage IN THE WORLD aka Kukulkan in Cancun
  46. Road-tripped up the coast of Scotland
  47. Hiked Hadrian’s Wall
  48. Created my own Not-a-Chemo-Cocktail (for my book release party)
  49. Drank a ½ pint in THE Rabbit Room of THE Bird & Baby aka Eagle and Child Pub, where the Inklings used to hang out
  50. Saw THE wardrobe (at Wheaton University)
  51. Liverpool. Magical Mystery Tour. Hard Day’s Night Hotel. Cavern Club. Amanda and I closed down the club, singing and dancing our hearts out with the Beatles cover band.

I know I probs missed a few epic moments but I tried not to overthink it too much and just go with the flow of my own little brainstorm. #postcardfromtheroad #memorylane #epicmoments #done

What’s on your DONE list?

#GoodJouJou

#GoodJouJou

(Ode to 2017)

A haiku. A word.
My #mantra. Lit a candle
Made a wish. Didn’t

Blow out the candle-
Watched it burn bright in the night-
The flickering flame

Of the night, a year.
Final bow. A prayer; blew
A kiss. One. God be

With us. Another
Kiss. Hello new year new day-
Jesus take the wheel.

Help us do justly
And love mercy (which triumphs)
And to walk humbly

With God and us all-
ALL God’s children. All of them
Precious in God’s sight.

Where does peace on earth
And goodwill to all begin?
Once upon a time…

A Refugee. Now
me: rebel with ancient hope-
This force is with me.

It moves me. Whispers
Beloved. Go…do likewise.
Be love. Be a light.

Light the night, the world,
Another’s candle. Like good
Energy. Bring it.

The Blizzard of ’78

Yesterday it snowed and somebody posted this picture of the Blizzard of ’78 and I was like, “Seems like yesterday cuz I remember the Blizzard of ’78.” Except there wasn’t that much snow yesterday.

I was in 6th grade during the Blizzard of ’78. We had a whole week of snow days from January 25-31 during the Blizzard of ’78. You’d think I wouldn’t remember that kinda detailed #postcardfromtheroad #memorylane kinda info 38 years down the road. Especially when you throw in my chemo brain and/or the “Vespa Incident” head injury. But the reason I know all this, is cuz I just dug up my baby book. Which I just now realized my Mom stopped filling out when I was in second grade when my sister was born.

Anyway, the reason I dug up my baby book when the white death reminded us all of the Blizzard of ’78 yesterday, is because I was talking to my Mom a few months ago on my birthday (September 27, in case you were wondering) we were trying to remember what time I was born and I have been too damn lazy to have the Hubcap go into the other room and get the box down out of the closet in the #rabbitroom aka my office.

Until yesterday’s “snow day” when I remembered the Blizzard of ’78 and that my English teacher gave us a blizzard of homework aka the old “snow pack” trick, which included keeping a journal during the snow daze. I still have my snow daze journal from the Blizzard of ’78. Stuffed in between the mostly unused pages of said baby book. So after he brought me my usual coffee in bed, I asked him to rax me the box so I could finally solve the mystery of the time of my birth. But also, I wanted to see my snow daze journal from the Blizzard of ’78.

(Btw, I was born at 7:04 pm, in case it was driving you as crazy as it was driving my Mom.)

Jan. 25 – I had to go out and get some logs for the fire place and I was coming back and fell in a hole that had snow up to my waist.  I looked up to my mom who was warm inside and she snapped a picture of me.

Jan. 26 – I got proposed to today. Yes, my sister and I were coloring and all of the sudden she stopped me and said, “Joules, are you gonna marry me?” I tried to explain to her why I couldn’t but she was too dumb to understand. I watched her all day and was supposed to get five dollars but my mom won’t give it to me yet.

Jan. 27 – Another boring day, nothin’ to do because I have to watch my sister. (Now my mom will owe me 10 dollars.) My friends Monica and Lynn cam over to see if I could come out and I couldn’t because of you know who. But tonight will be fun because I’m spending the night with Monica.

Jan. 28 – Freedom! I don’t have to watch Jennifer. My mom still hasn’t paid me. My friend Monica came and asked me if I could go and my mom said I could. We went and got Lynn. We went down to the creek and jumped in to see where it was the deepest. Monica jumped in one place that was past her waist. We had to help her out.

Jan. 29. – Same as Jan. 28. No, my mom still hasn’t paid me. I might make her pay me a dollar a day that she doesn’t give me the $10.

Jan. 30 Guess what? Yes I have to watch Jennifer, hmm $15.00! Well this is going to be boring.

Jan. 31. Wow, what a lucky break. I don’t have to watch Jennifer. We’re going to go to my grandma’s. When we got to my grandma’s I went over to my friend’s house. Her name is Julie, and she got some warm clothes on and we went outside. We went to the woods to find a way to cross the creek. It’s water hadn’t frozen. We found a log that stretched across the creek, so I decided to cross it. I was right in the middle and it started to crack. I got off that log and am not goin’ on it again.

Feb.1 – I think I went to school that day. That WAS boring.

_______________

All that to say, I don’t thing my Mom ever paid me that $15. Which is whatever. Cuz the main thing about this old journalistic endeavor of mine that STRIKES ME is that it was the first time in my herstory that I wrote something and got egged on. It would not be the last. And so it goes.

25 Random Things About Me (2009 Remix)

#lovewarrior
I thought I’d dig up this one from the archives. My #25RandomThingsAboutMe from back in my chemo daze of two-thousand and late. This has been on my #ToDoList anyway, since reading #lovewarrior cover to cover the day it arrived in the mail. Cuz Glennon Doyle Melton wrote about her list of 25 random things in it. I am going to throw down a new list (cuz life. it haps. and we change and evolve. or at least hopefully we do. so i doubt i will come at it exactly the same since i’m not exactly the same as i was 7 years ago.) But first, I wanted to check in with what I wrote back then. Did you write a list of 25 random things about you way back in the day too? Also, HAVE YOU READ LOVE WARRIOR YET?

25 Random Things About (two-thousand and late) Me

23. I am rarely random. For example, I usually think through what I’m about to say, rephrasing and such, about 3-5 times before I say it. Sometimes, I think about what I’m about to say to the point that it becomes so concrete that I think I’ve already said it. Then I sit there waiting for a response. Then I figure I said something to make you mad or something.
2. My kids are the sweetest hearts of my heart and my hub has been true to the in sickness and for worse part of our vows which has been hard on him and humbling for me.
9. I keep Hershey’s Chocolate Candy Bars and a jar of peanut butter in my nightstand. Also a pencil (and sharpener and a thesarus) and 3X5 cards for writing ideas or lists that hit me in the middle of the night. And a sweetart tin and supply that I sometimes take when we go out to see a movie. (We go to see movies A LOT, and I almost always get popcorn, but only sometimes take my sweetarts.) Also, whatever I’m reading. and a dictionary. And a crossword puzzle book is either on mine or Dave’s depending on who ended up filling in answers last.
17. I LOVE to play tennis. My license plate says EAT SLEEP TENNIS. I have a decal on my side window that looks like a tennis ball broke it. I can see it out my side rear view window, and smile every time I see it. I also have a tennis ball hanging in my garage that my mini likes to park under. I live right behind the tennis courts in my neighborhood and my boys made stairs going down the hill for me while I was having all the surgeries in the beginning of this cancer thing. 170 is the tennis channel on my tv. Someday I would like to plan a year of traveling around the world from slam to slam.
5. I am an INFP, according to the Meyers-Briggs personality profiling. So is Fanny Price, one of my favorite Austen characters. And in my opinion, Jane Eyre is too. I love all that personality profiling stuff. Although I don’t think you should put anybody in a box with it or anything else. I don’t do boxes.
14. I like to write sonnets. I like to write, period. But I’m very fond of sonnets. I have a Shakespeare bust that sits on my desk. A candlestick holder I got made of wood shavings from the Globe. I wear a small gold hoop like he wore, which I bought at the Folger Shakespeare Theatre in D.C.
4. Since Amanda has stolen my guitar off me, I’ve been thinking about getting a new one and picking it back up and trying to learn some of the worship songs we sing at the Vineyard and other songs I like. Also I’d like to write some of my own.
19. I am not good with small talk; much rather sit across a table from you with a bottle of wine in between us and sip on good wine and conversation as long as we’re both able. (There is an Over the Rhine song in that answer that you really should hear-Born-it’s one of my faves, and theme songs.)
22. I am “Monkish” OCD, and understand Dr. House maybe a bit too much. Think Hugh Laurie is my fave actor. (p.s. in re: 22 and 12 when you’re all done reading this, I did end up going back to recheck because I’m not really lazy. I just thought it seemed tedious, which I don’t like. And even though I’d like to pretend that I really don’t care enough to go back and check and re-check, I do. Still, that doesn’t mean that I’m for sure going to get it right.)
3. During chemo I found that I have a birthmark on the base of my head that looks like a cluster of grapes, which I think is very cool. And I’d like to think of it as one day becoming a glass of pinot noir when it grows up.
6. I love to cook with loud music in the background and a glass of wine in my hand. What’s usually cooking in my house is garlic and onions and some pasta (the house fave is spag carbonara-rachel ray’s recipe tweaked the tiniest bit-I think we’d be great friends). the wine on tap is generally a pinot noir, but we like to try lots of different wines and I have a great relationship with the woman who owns the wine store around the corner. currently playing on my IPOD is a chemo mix I have going as my soundtrack while I’m fighting cancer and dealing with chemo.
11. I drive a cooper mini which I call Rocinante (Don Quixote’s horse), and love that all mini drivers acknowledge one another in passing, and often park next to each other. It is a fun club to be in. One time, at the movie theatre, I left a note on the windshield of another mini we parked next to, saying, my mini likes your mini. When I came out, there was a note on my mini’s windshield that said the same thing.
16. I liked driving on the other side of the road in England, and think this says a lot about me.
24. One of my regrets in life was being talked out of climbing up the Eiffel tower and taking the elevator. I need very much to go fix that when I go watch the French Open someday.
8. I think gargoyles are cool. Also the fact that I have one of each of the state quarters.
21. Once, my dad took me to the riverboat and I won $1000 bucks at craps.
15. I have just gotten to a point in my treatment, where the tearing down of chemo is done, and I am so happy that the building up time is at hand. But I feel really impatient because my body can’t keep up with all the places my mind is jumping, especially as regards to regaining my fitness. The spirit is willing, and quite cranked up and raring to go, but the body is so freaking weak.
7. I have wanderlust.
18.I want to have a coffee shop/book store named St. Udio’s someday. All the coffee mugs will have ink sketches of the saints of my coffee shop: St. upid will have a dunce cap on; St. ump will be short and, well, stumpy; St. ick will look like a stick of course. St. udio will have his tongue in his cheek…. You get the picture.
25. To me, coffee is the alpha drink and wine is the omega. Although I am not against having a glass of wine with an omelet in the morning or a cup of espresso with a biscotti before bed. I really don’t think coffee and wine should be put in boxes anymore than people. The important thing, is balancing the stimulants and depressants.
1. I am trying to figure out what to do with my second lease on life.
20. I would like to live in a warmer climate, where I don’t need to own a coat, where I could play tennis outside all year long, where I could take long walks in the sand after dinner everyday, and sleep with the window open so I can hear the waves.
13. I like to play Scrabble and do crossword puzzles and Scramble on Facebook. Basically I love words and playing with words. And writing.
10. I liked when my tennis opponents used to tell me I reminded them of Justine Henin. I think women’s tennis is not the same without her. And I wish I could’ve seen her play in person. Tried to last summer in Charleston, but she withdrew from the tournament, which really bummed me out. And then she retired before the U.S. Open, which bummed me even more. I also think we would be great friends.
12. I had to use a little stickie pad with the numbers 1-25 written on it to make sure I could use them in a random fashon; but even still, it’s quite possible that I messed up. And I’m too lazy to double-check.

Shaken Not Stirred…a Chemo Cocktail Turns 5 Today!

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Holy WOW! Talk about a happy #blastfromthepast of a #fbf memory! So today is Shaken Not Stirred . . . a Chemo Cocktail‘s birthday! Once upon a time 5 years ago tonight aka 11/11/11 at 11:11pm I made the first biggest dream of my life come true, pushed PUBLISH, my book went live on Amazon, and we popped a cork on a bottle of champagne to celebrate!
Besides obvi popping another cork today, I thought it would be superkaPOWer fun to #SHAKEN things up a bit and give away 5 signed copies in honor of my book baby’s 5th bday. So if you’d like to enter to win one, for yourself or for a gift, send me a #postcardfromtheroad from wherever you are, and I’ll #shaken them all up and randomly pick 5. (Don’t forget to write down the name and addy for me to inscribe and mail to.) Here’s my addy: PO Box 882, West Chester, OH 45071.


And in case you are wondering what to buy a 5-year-old? The best. gift. EVER. that you could (pretty please _/\_) get my sweet book baby that would #shaken up and rock its (and my) world like no other…would be to click HERE and give it the ol’ thumbs up and shiny stars on Amazon. 5-year-olds LOVE stars! (As a self-published author, that is not just my bread and butter, but like Popeye’s spinach to me.) So thank you from the bottom of my heart to anyone who has already written a review or will go do that most uber epic act of kindness for my book baby!


Cheers and BIG love,

Me

MASK

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This is a #fbf to a superpower freaky Friday I had two weeks ago, in which I did a superkaPOWer scary thing and go up ON A STAGE at a storytelling event in Cincinnati. The event was produced by my friends at Rebel Storytellers. These BESPOKEN events are seriously one of the funnest night’s out in #Cincy. (Save the date: the next BESPOKEN event is January 15, 2016!) The storytellers (and the band) (also there is improv) all riff on a 4-letter word. Previous words have been: KISS last Valentines Day, HERO this past summer, and MASK was the one we just did the week before Halloween. None of the storytellers know what any of the other storytellers are riffing about. It’s pretty magical how it all fits together and unfolds.

Here’s a selfie I took from the stage to remember that time I channeled my inner #littlebravetoaster and did a superkaPOWer scary thing. (As you can see some of those scary peeps are obvi zombies getting ready to jump the stage…or break out the thriller dance;)

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Here’s a video the hubcap made of my MASK story:

Click HERE to read my MASK story. So superpower STOKED to have it up on my friend Jen Pastiloff’s most uber fab Manifest-Station!

To sum up: doing scary things ROCKS!

My next BIG scary thing is the #Route66 marathon/world’s shortest ultra in Tulsa later this month. I signed up before I got sidelined during August and September, when I had to have Operation #outdamngolfball #golfballectomy #hysterectomy #oopherectomy #wholeshebangectomy surgery. I feel like I’m back at least 75%—which is way better than when I wondered if I would ever be able to run again without my insides falling out! I ran the #cincinnati #queenbee #halfmarathon a few weeks ago to gauge where I was in the #comeback process, and whether or not I thought I could/should go for the full at Tulsa’s epic #route66marathon. My conclusion is: #ithinkican #tulsaorbust #okiedokie. It may not be the fastest or prettiest marathon in the world, but the finish line and obvi the BLING will still taste superpower yummy! I will run, walk, CRAWL to it if I have to! #turtlepower #slowandsteadyeatsthebling #cowabunga! And also obvi, I’ll be instagramming it UP! So make sure you follow me there @joulesevans if you wanna get some kicks on Route 66 by taking a virtual run on #themotherroad with me!

What’s a scary thing you’ve done recently and what’s the next scary thing on tap for you? Post below. #ithinkyoucantoo!

Dear Cancer (A Spoken Word Retrospective Upon The Occasion Of My #Lucky7-Year Cancerversary)

[An Open Vein I Mean Letter To #fuckcancer]

Dear Cancer,

I am still here.

#lucky7 years out from that day

(the mother of bad daze)

when my doctor called and said that damn c-word

(the mother of curse words)

to me

(the mother of my sweet Redheads)

My. 3. Reasons.

Who fell into 3 separate heaps on the floor

At the sound of that word.

Sticks and stones…

—My ass.

Words don’t hurt…

—Bullshit.

I call bullshit on that.

That one word hurt like hell.

It shook the ground beneath us.

I stood my ground though

A little #shakennotstirred

—but only because I am mommy hear me fucking ROAR if you hurt my kids

And that damn word

Knocked all 3 of my babies—

Amanda 17.

Matt 15.

Mikeyy 13.

—it knocked all 3 of them

Down

To the ground

In one fell swoop.

3 separate, sobbing heaps.

3 puddles.

And there I was

One very sick and mortal, broken mama

2 heaving, soon-to-be-leaving, breasts

3 broken hearts to hold

But only 2 arms

And 1 lap.

THE hardest mommy moment EVER.

But something kicked into gear for me—

Some superpower mommy gear I didn’t even know I had

Somehow I managed to gather them up

With these two hands.

We held on tight.

Literally, for dear life.

My life.

It’s been 2,565 tomorrows

That I didn’t know I would get to see

Since that damn day.

2,565 gifts

I’ve gotten to open.

2,565 days I’ve gotten to seize

Days I’ve wrung both the sunshine

And the daylight out of

—before the sun set on me.

2,565 chances to make sure my 3 reasons knew

Out loud and clear and proud

That my one thing

Was to cash in all my chips on loving them

And playing my cards in such a way

That they would miss the crap out of me—

If, by chance, the odds were not in my favor

(But, they were. Thank God. And may they ever be.)

2,565 days to spend myself making sure they remember me loving them HARD.

P.S. I think they do.

So take THAT cancer.

Or should I say, CANTcer?

Anyway, 7 years in a nutshell?

It’s been the ride of my life.

And what.

A ride.

It’s been.

Even the hard parts

Cuz even they meant I’m still here

And my hands are in the air:

Yes…and…

NOW.

Cuz it’s where I’m at.

And what a gift the present IS.

Raise your hand if you’re present…

*raises hand

HERE!

(I don’t see your hand CANTcer.)

Now, in case you’re wondering

This is NOT where I say thank you, cancer

And bust out singing how you made me into this fighter.

Hell no.

The truth is—

My 3 Reasons,

And loving THEM. (Not fighting you.)

That’s what made me stronger.

I thank THEM.

I thank my sweet Amanda.

I thank my sweet Matteo.

I thank my sweet Mikeyy.

But you?

No thank YOU. Very much.

Then why am I even bothering to tell you all this?

You’d think I’d be over you by now.

You’d think I’d have gotten everything “off my chest”

#breastcancerhumor

But I haven’t.

You may be done with me

And God-willing, this is my case

Closed.

Period.

End of THAT story.

But, it’s not your will.

It’s God’s

And I’m cool with that

Come what may.

And may his will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.

And in me, too.

Amen.

But…

Regardless of all that

You oughta know [cue: Alanis Morissette]

I’m not done with you yet, damn cancer

Not as long as this ticker

—That you tried to seek and destroy

With the Red Devil

And the mustard gas

And even the good Herceptinis

Aka my chemo cocktail.

Not as long as this ticker keeps ticking.

Not as long as you keep picking on my friends

—Especially, when you go picking on kids.

That’s the lowest blow of them all, you motherfucker.

So, let me repeat…

Not as long as this ticker keeps going and going…

Like that pink bunny

—I don’t know what keeps him going.

Or my heart, for that matter

Except this is what I do know:

It beats for my friends

And especially, the kids.

And you, cancer, have ticked. ME. Off.

 

 

Birthday Presence

I have a little tradition I started when I was thirty-something that, when I can remember not to forget, I write a sonnet for my birthday. A poetry selfie, if you will. So my birthday was Saturday and I turned lucky seven to the (super)Power of Two! And here’s the sonnet. It’s called Sonnet #49 because that’s the super secret code name I came up with when I did the math.

Eat-Me-Cake

Sonnet #49

 

Yes, of course I’d like to know if you will

Still love me when I’m Sixty-four and my

Hair is blue. But. It knows that song well

Already, and you have not said goodbye—

 

#thingsthatmakemesaywhew . . . because

Who knows what color it will be next week?

It’s only hair. And ‘tis what it is, ‘twas

What it was, ‘twill be well, not mild, yet meek.

 

Not like a mouse. I mean, I like cheese, but—

Now is not the time for shrinking back. Not

At my age. Alice sure knew what was what

When she ate that cake: Took a bite and shot

 

For the moon. ‘Twas her one shot which is all

We all get. So let us eat the cake y’all!

 

Besides the birthday sonnet, I also uploaded “The Birthday VLOG” to my Year of Living Sincerely series on YouTube. Kinda a talkie selfie, if you think about it a little. Anyway, so here’s the video. And since it’s a talkie, I’ll let it introduce itselfie.