maggie strong.

my life. my now.

Prettiest "be present" reminder ever. From here: http://www.etsy.com/listing/66633318/here-and-now

It is such a beautiful day! If you love feet of snow, gray skies and cold temperatures, it’s a beautiful day. Everyone else in the world says I’m crazy, but I love it.

I don’t work anymore so I’m incredibly fortunate to be able to stay home during the day. I’ve always loved winter… skiing, snowboarding, sled riding, you name it. Every morning I send Nate off to work and find my spot on the couch, much like Sheldon Cooper and my puppy nephew, Jackson, drink a cup of tea and snuggle up with blankets and my kitty, Ruby. The DVR is usually full of junk (and when I say junk, I mean reality tv that I am obsessed with and Nate ever so politely reminds me “You know this is fake, right?”) and I spend my morning fast forwarding through commercials during the Real Housewives and Teen Mom. This morning I ate a bowl of Cheerios and thought of my Mom. I really don’t think I have ever seen her eat any kind of cereal other than Cheerios. Sorry Mom, that big yellow box has been replaced with Apple Cinnamon Cheerios. I try not to let Ruby drink my leftover milk but a cat will be a cat. I guess my soggy cereal has no interest to her.

So many people, okay everyone, has no shame in sounding off about the snow. And yes, when summer comes and the temperatures are in the 80’s and 90’s, I will complain. I do not like sweating! I used to be hot anywhere and everywhere I went, whether it was summer, fall, winter or spring. Since I’ve started taking chemo, I freeze. I freeze under 8 blankets with the temperature turned up to 80 (no, I’m not kidding). Maybe my fairy summer godmother will grant me a wish of not being hot all summer long.

A couple weeks ago, Nate and I went snow tubing with one of our friends and Nate’s sister and her family. It was a couple hour trip that started out with me wanting to strangle myself in the backseat because of Nate and Derek’s rap music. Every time I see my Oncologist, she asks if I have had any falls. This month I told her yes, I fell twice outside because of the snow and ice. I really didn’t feel that the falls had anything to do with my tumor, more just me being clumsy as all hell. I think I counted 4 falls during our day of tubing. Make my count 5 after I fell down the stairs the other night. We went tubing at a legit ski resort, so my first trip down I was holding on for dear life, dragging my toes in the snow from the top to the bottom of the hill. I was ready to quit after the first run because my beautiful Uggs got ripped to shreds. My nephew, Bowen, and I went down together and it was hilarious. I’m not sure we were the safest two to ride down together. We laughed and screamed the whole way and I was just figuring out how to stop the damn tube. Nate rode together with our younger nephew, Tanner, and the two of them went so fast they slammed against the 1 inch thick barrier. They literally looked like 2 of the happiest 9 and 30 year old kids. Nate and I went down together, my tube got turned around backwards and I’m sure you all can picture in your heads how loud I was laughing and screaming. I have no idea what I looked like or sounded like but I could have cared less. I had so much fun that day that for quite a few hours, I felt normal. No cancer. No seriousness. No doom and gloom. No questions. No worries. The only thing I got out of that day was happiness, laughter, joy, family and memories.

I keep telling Nate that I have no idea what may happen in my future, especially with my physical health. My doctors have placed zero limitations as far as physical activity. If I’m allowed to do something, I need to do it, especially while I am able to. I have no desire whatsoever to go skydiving, but playing in the snow sounds perfectly fine to me.

Other than staying warm with my love bug cat, cancer has actually afforded me many opportunities that otherwise I would have missed out on. My older sister, Abby, lives in North Carolina. My parents are both happily retired and spend many trips south to visit my sister, brother-in-law and their favorite grandpuppy, Jackson. I was able to go with them at Thanksgiving and spend time with them that otherwise would have been spent counting money at a bank for 9 hours. My parents are able to take me to Pittsburgh for all of my appointments and stay overnight for shopping or relaxing. My mom and I are able to plan my wedding at any time on any day. I’ll be able to spend time outside in the summer. I’m just lucky enough to be able to spend time at home taking care of myself. If right now I need a nap after a trip to the grocery store, I’m not so sure a 40+ hour work week is in the cards for me right now.

Everyone may choose to live differently, but I’m choosing to live in the now, and my now is happiness and health.

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