Meet Jen Anand. Every week Jen will be providing a new tip or two on approaching life during and after cancer to help inspire others. Jen was diagnosis with Hodgkin’s lymphoma in January 2012, followed by chemotherapy and radiation treatments for 8 months. Jen is now a survivor and just celebrated her 5 year anniversary this year as cancer free!
2019 is almost upon us! As it the season of resolutions such as going to the gym 5 days a week, reading 52 books, losing weight, eating healthy, being kind, social media fast…dare I go on? But go to the gym March 1st and we’ll see the same dedicated people that have been there from last October.
In January 2012 I set out with my largest list of resolutions yet. And unlike the 92% of the population that forget them by March, I was going to accomplish my list. This included putting in whatever work it took to win the grand prize of a science fair, audition for a music competition, audition for a college music scholarships, and continue on my amazing weight loss journey. By March, I won 3rd place at the science fair, didn’t even make it to the music competition, made it into the college music school but without any scholarship, and had gained, oh say 40 pounds. As well as completed three out of my six rounds of chemotherapy, and still in the fight of my life.
January 2013 I set out with just one resolution- fight like I had never fought before. January 2nd found me back in the hospital, as I prepared for an autologous bone marrow transplant that happened in March.
So overall, I decided resolutions in January weren’t my thing, and March just wasn’t my favorite month. I heard a few things over the last few years that I’ve put into place in my New Year’s plan that I’d like to share with you.
The Year of Jen: I first heard of this from another cancer person. She did the Year of Thea, and used the year to focus on taking care of herself. I. Love. This. 2018 was my Year of Jen. I made this the year to focus on me. I focused on enjoying my job, took my first solo vacation, bought a house, sang in a set of Christmas concerts, and did many other things that I enjoyed. I tried my best not to let others influence me into doing things I knew I wouldn’t enjoy. I cut out individuals who weren’t good for me, and I made sure to set time each week for Jen to just chill out. Was it all golden apples and roses? Nope. Some of those roses had some pretty prickly thorns! But overall, I think this is a good year. I feel happy and content. I have amazing people in my lives, and I’m ready to face whatever 2019 is gonna try to throw at me!
Practical Expectations: The problem with resolutions is they are often too high and lofty. Work out 5 days a week? For a couch potato life me, 0 to 5 is just a bit much. But making sure I got my step goal 3 days a week- totally doable! One book a week? Um hello chemo brain that won’t let me concentrate. One audio book a month- done! You know you best. Pick 3 things that you feel you can do- practical but slightly challenging- then go for it.
Intentions: I want to say I heard this from my nurse navigator, but I forget….but whoever I did hear it from said to pick three words for my year. Words that you will strive to live by through the year. Way less pressure than a resolution, but still a fresh start in a new year.
Writing this post made me think about my words for this year. I think my words for 2019 are going to be peace, joy, and courage.
Peace. I want to live in peace with those around me. This is going to look like doing what I can to make sure my roommate is happy, like remembering to take my hair out of the shower drain. This is also going to be peace with God. I’m a person of faith, and I want a closer relationship with God. I’m choosing a few devotional plans to follow to keep me on track with internal peace.
Joy. I want to bring joy to all I meet, which looks like taking time to listen to others. I also want to have joy in all my circumstances. I don’t know what’s going to happen to me this year medically or otherwise, but I want to remember to have joy. And I want to appreciate the many amazing blessings in my life that I already have and be joyful in those!
Courage. This I think is going to be the hardest thing for me this year. Courage medically is going to involve a new diabetes insulin pump and sensor, that frankly I’m dreading right now. Courage personally is going to involve getting in the dating world. Going on a date and talking to someone is kinda terrifying, and something I’ve never done before. Courage in my daily life is going to include learning to be more assertive, and speak up for what I want and to get recognition for what I’ve done.
One of my small groups has a phrase they often say- “The Best is Yet to Come.” I’m going to believe this for 2019- the best is yet to come! I hope all of you have an amazing new year 2019, filled with joy, loved ones, and above all excellent health!