Daily Appreciation

Daily appreciation may sound grandiose or even a little woo-woo. But, let me ask you a question: Have you ever heard people say, “You don’t know what you have until it’s gone”?

After a FBC diagnosis and hysterectomy surgery, I know all too well what it feels like to know when my health is gone.  I have to say that it feel rotten (understatement of the decade), but the Silver Lining is that I now have a much better understanding of the value and joy and uniqueness of waking up every morning and feeling good. Now there are certainly days when I wake up and think about all of the things that I have to do.  That’s part and parcel of life. The memory of my experience(s) with earth shattering illness, brings me back to a sense of appreciation.  Here are a few other things that I do when I need a gentle reminder (or a kick in the pants!) to appreciate each and every day.

  1. Look at nature.  Though are in the middle of an awful drought (all of our grass is dead-dead-dead), I am still amazed by how much beauty shines through.  For example, this morning when walking to my office, I saw the most gorgeous yellow flower peeking through our nearly dead garden.  That was a Silver Lining for sure!
  2. Move my body.  I have been slow to return to my normal level of exercise (running, hiking, tennis, hot yoga), but I am enjoying things that I wouldn’t normally do, like walking and restorative yoga.  They bring a different kind of peacefulness from my more intense workouts.
  3. Listen to birds singing.  What can I say?  It’s awesome!
  4. Breathe deeply.  Easier said than done when I’m stressed, but the more that I practice doing it, the more quickly it comes naturally.  Often, I inhale for 5 counts and then exhale for 5 counts…and repeat as necessary!
  5. Let it Go (yes, just like Ava in Frozen!) When I find myself endlessly going over past mistakes or worrying myself into knots, I realize that sometimes I just need to say, “Listen, I can’t do this, and I can’t control it, and what’s going to happen is going to happen.”

The best and biggest thing that I do each and every day is make a Silver Lining list.  Sometimes this list begins with the things listed above and sometimes it is the bigger things, like my health. Whatever I include reminds me of how much I truly appreciate my life, no matter how challenging things can (& do!) become!

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  1. Debbie Johnson Schwiebert says

    Hollye: These are wonderful reminders to be fully present to the grace and beauty around us and in us. Just returned from South Bend where the leaves are turning. The campus sparkled! I always think of you when I am there!

    Keep taking good care of yourself. You are precious to so many of us!



  2. Susan says

    OMG, Hollye. After an especially hard couple of weeks; one year since a lumpectomy, (then chemo and radiation), my Mother recently passing away in IL (while my sister was out here with me celebrating ‘Stepping Out for Life’ whose motto is “no one should go through breast cancer alone”, I read your blog and feel oh, so much better…..thank you for the reminders.

  3. Joan Aldrich says

    Hollye dear,

    Thanks for the beating lesson … I need to do more of that … Just
    Had my yearly mamo at the Hatton Breast Care Center that is
    Affiliated with CHOMP, Community Hospital of the Monterey
    Pennisula … Happy to report that the tests were fine but sad to report
    That they had not heard of the Silver Lining Book … I gave them all
    The information so they should be on it like white on rice !!! I’m in Pebble
    Beach and sending love from here. xxxooo

    Hearts love,