Do Something That Sucks Today

We all have those things that we have to do that we dread, or even resent.  Whether it is exercising, moving, or even carrying a bunch of groceries up three flights of stairs because your apartment building doesn’t have an elevator.  But we forget something, we forget that we have the ability and health to do these tasks that we complain about and dislike so much.Because let’s face it, these things suck. IT sucks that we have to exercise to stay in shape – no pain, no gain. It sucks that we still must do errands in the rain…

My friend Melissa talked about this when I went to see her three months ago. She talked about how she missed being able to walk to the mailbox. And later, when she was so sick with cancer, she vlogged about not taking your health for granted. She talked about resenting having to run for exercise, or all the cooking and cleaning she did, or having to take her toddler out to run errands out in the the rain. And she talked about how we should not resent those tasks, because we were able to do them, because she would do anything to be able to do them again.

And she was right. I have resented running on the treadmill, even called it the dreadmill. But how blessed I a that I can run, that have the energy and ability.  That I have the stamina, that my knees are still good, that my body still works in the way in which it was designed.

Her recent passing has taught me many things. And she has inspired me to run more, but not just to loose a few pounds or get in better shape, but to also celebrate my body and my health.  Never take your health for granted, or your abilities or what your body can do.  Even those things that we don’t like, celebrate the fact that you can indeed do them.

So today when I run, when I am moving furniture around, when I have many grocery bags to bring in, or when I am bending over weeding my large garden…I will be thankful that I am doing all of these things.

So get out and celebrate what you can do, what you were designed to be able to do. Exercise, lift, move, be active. Appreciate it all. Go out there and do something that sucks today.


Sweet Melissa

It is never easy to loose a friend, but harder when they are so young.  We met 23 years ago in Albany Georgia when I was working in radio.  She was dynamic and dazzling.  She was a force and an amazing on air talent.  She taught me how to produce a morning show, and was always generous with teaching when she knew.  We lost track of each other, as people do, for about 10 years. Then I recognized her voice on an Atlanta radio station and contacted her out of the blue.  From then on she was an amazing force in my life.

We have had so may conversations, we have helped each other professionally, we argued, we have supported each other through many life situations.  She was there for me when my Mom died, she was there through countless breakups and makeups. She taught me about making goal boards, and I have done them every year since that first one we did together.  I could always call her and she would talk me off the ledge, tell me to take a deep breath and make decisions from a place of calm.

She was a firecracker and had no problem telling anyone what she thought. Nor did she have a problem telling you how much you meant to her either.  I remember so many good times and great conversations.She was so giving as a person, as a human.

And when she called me 3 months ago, to the day, and told me she had cancer, my heart sank. I went to visit her and that time was precious. We would learn it was kidney cancer that had spread to her liver, lungs, breasts and brain. It was aggressive. She did immuno-therapy treatments and radiation. She fought for her life. And she did it with grace, humor, optimism and beauty.

But some things in this life just don’t make sense. and her having cancer at 44 is one of those things. I will miss her.  And I hate cancer. I really do. I almost called her Monday, just to hear her voice.

To honor her, she has taught me not to hesitate to make that call.  And to live life to the fullest.  Not to make it about yourself, but about the lesson. So many memories are flooding in…the trip to Savannah, the girls trip to Chattanooga, so many phone conversations, and talks over wine, dinners at Ritter’s, walking around the neighborhood, looking at and choosing her apartment when she moved to Nashville, building our first goal boards, going to readings and events. Going over to her house in my PJs after a bad break up, and she answered the in her pjs too, so I would feel better….and so many more.  So many laughs, good times, conversations and more.

Goodbye my beautiful friend. I love you and will miss you.  I am blessed to have had you as a friend and mentor.  You touched so many lives and inspired so many people. She recorded a series call Adventures in Cancer where she wanted to share and teach others through her experience.  She said she knew that this cancer was not about her, but about the story, the lesson and helping others. She recorded this yesterday, the day before the passed. She leaves behind her parents, 3 children, 4 step children and an devoted husband who was the love of her life. Please say a prayer for her family that she leaves behind.