The other day I had my final phone session with my “Be Well” health coach. This is a well-intentioned employer-sponsored program, which encourages you to scamper on a hamster wheel for a tiny handful of (taxable) hamster pellets. You are supposed to set two goals for the year – a health goal such as: “I will exercise for 30 minutes three times a week,” and a more holistic “fun” goal such as: “I will read three books a month.” My coach and I had been in touch throughout the year. He always seemed to call when I was in the midst of a catastrophic crisis. I suppose this isn’t so surprising, considering the fact that there seemed to be a fresh disaster every other day this year…In any case, he was well aware that I was far from meeting any of the goals we had made together.
“So, obviously I didn’t meet any of the goals I set back when I thought ‘working on music’ was something I was going to have the luxury to do this year. But I helped my sister weather a serious health crisis; I lost my beloved dog; I got diagnosed with cancer; I had two major surgeries; my kids got in a scary car accident on their second day of school, which totaled the car; and my dad is now facing his own serious health issues.”
There was a triumphant quaver in my voice as I concluded my speech: “But I still managed to be productive at work, to take care of my family, and I didn’t fall apart. Given the circumstances, I think that’s far more impressive than expanding my musical repertoire.”
I still didn’t get my handful of hamster pellets.
After a month in the ICU, my sister was finally able to move to rehab. It happened to be on the same weekend I had been planning to be in NYC with my daughter, her quartet buddies, and their moms.
It was a happy reunion with my daughter, whom I hadn’t seen in a month. My son spent the weekend with us too, and helped us navigate the city and transportation.
Evening stroll across the Brooklyn Bridge
At Dear Evan Hansen
By March I was back home…
In like a lion, out like a lamb.
Our sweet dog Tallis had been sick for quite some time. We finally had to say goodbye.
Over spring break, we took a sleeper train to Chicago with our son.
Cloud Gate, “The Bean”
In my parents’ garden
Pre-Easter Hunt Warm-up
Easter Egg Hunt
In May I was diagnosed with breast cancer.
Upping her game with Pre-Formal warm-up in high heels.
Middle School graduate
My dear old Dad
Chiles Peach Orchard in Crozet, Virginia
The cat was rechristened Paloma, although she is still mostly called “The Cat.” She still rules the roost with a velvet fist.
In July I had a double mastectomy with immediate reconstruction.
My parents came to visit after my first surgery.
We are embracing country life…Shooting a BB gun at…
LaCroix seltzer cans!
Three kids, three sets of braces…
1st day of school
2nd day of school. The car hydroplaned off the road on the way home from school.
We took a pic a day to document her recovery.
Thank goodness for young skin!
My #1 Goalie
Back to work after a couple months off to recuperate after surgery.
I made it to half a century!
Checking in on my New Yorker…
We take Halloween very seriously at work.
Apple picking at Carter Mountain Orchard
Beautiful fall sunrise from my bedroom window
Working on the FAFSA…
After trying and failing to convince my husband to get me a puppy, I finally had to take matters into my own hands.
My husband’s annual Christmas concert with his early music ensemble.
The wolf shall lie down with the lamb…one day?! To date, Chloe continues to ignore Gingersnap’s bouncy puppy overtures with icy disdain.
They say people and their pups often resemble each other…
Christmas with all the cousins in Princeton, NJ
This may have been the best ten minutes of 2019 for me…
On our way home from NJ, we stopped in Philly to check out Drexel.
2 thoughts on “Being Well”
You kicked this year’s ass, by any measure. And cancer’s, which is no small feat. Your humor, prose, and beautiful photography are such a welcome addition to my inbox! May 2020 be a million times better for all of us! xo
Thank you, Liza! You are the sweetest! I really hope things are settling down on your end too. Love and good wishes to you and your family for 2020! ❤️