Woohoo! This weekend marks the official kick-off to the summer season and also plays host to my 55th birthday! It’s been a minute since I’ve shared much about what is going on in my life, so I’ll be giving a quick rundown in today’s post.
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Life Lately & Turning 55!
May is a big birthday month for us with multiple friends and family members celebrating. My mother-in-law is turning 80 (today, in fact…HPD Susan!) so the family decided to take a fun getaway to the Florida Keys earlier this month. My husband, one of his sister’s family, and my MIL’s best friend joined in and we had a fun time exploring Key West and Marathon from our fantastic VRBO.
On Sunday I am ready to celebrate turning 55! I’ve never been one to dread birthdays, as it beats the alternative but this year has me feeling especially grateful to be here. I haven’t spoken much about it on the blog or social media but this past winter I was diagnosed with a very rare form of sarcoma (my doctor thinks there are less than 100 cases of my type per year in the US).
The good news is that my tumors were contained and able to be completely removed! The less good news is that my cancer has a high recurrence rate and I will need frequent monitoring via CT scans, presumably for the rest of my life. These past couple of months I’ve been navigating how to enjoy life while not just waiting for the proverbial “other shoe” to drop. A mental challenge that’s thankfully going well so far. That being said, I’m always appreciative of any thoughts/vibes for continued good health and lots more birthdays!
So…what sage piece of unsolicited advice do have at the ripe old age of 55?
Before you spend too much time being angry, anxious, hurt, or offended, ask yourself: will this actually matter a month, year, or decade from now? So often the answer to that question is NO! Try hard not to let negative thoughts take away time from your day-to-day pleasures. Life is precious and finite.
Don’t sweat the small stuff. And it’s almost ALL small stuff.Various Sources
Life Lately: Reading & Viewing
After a bit of a dry spell, this winter I came across a couple of different books that I feel I can recommend. First up is North to Paradise. I chose this as part of the Amazon First Reads program (available to Prime members) and found it to be a great selection.
It succinctly tells the incredible life story of Ousman Umar, the son of a Ghanian shaman. At the age of 12, Ousman undertakes a 5-year journey from his home in Ghana to Barcelona, Spain in the hopes of creating for himself a different life. His tales of navigating life with other migrants and moving north via a network of smugglers are both riveting and inspiring.
The book My Friend Anna had been on my reading list for a while and when the Netflix series Inventing Anna came out, I decided to make it a priority. While I feared it might be a bit repetitive in light of the Netflix series, it actually shared a very different perspective. That of Anna’s Vanity Fair-employed friend, Rachel DeLoache Williams. After reading this book, you’ll walk away more than a bit curious about her portrayal in the Netflix series. Rachel’s book also provides more insight as to how Anna was able to run her cons, before becoming enmeshed in NYC society. A topic that was completely glossed over/ignored in the Netflix series.
If the subject of women con artists appeals to you, don’t miss the Hulu series The Dropout! It tells the true story of Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes and makes Anna Sorokin look like a three-card monte shill in comparison.
Mouth to Mouth gets very polarizing reviews on GoodReads but I’m finding it to be a unique story. It’s a short book relating a chance encounter at JFK. The narrator is told a strange story by an acquaintance about saving a man’s life some 20 years early by performing mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.
Lastly, while in Florida, I mentioned to my MIL that we were in a bit of a TV viewing drought. She recommended the HBO series Julia and we happily breezed through it when we got home. Any fans of Julia Child are sure to enjoy this new series!
Have a wonderful holiday weekend! As always, thank you for reading and your kind support. Be healthy. Be happy.