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in my words

i shine if you shine

“stand where you are. we let all these moments pass us by . . .” life is beautiful by vega 4.

the year is winding to an end. or perhaps racing and screeching is the way it is heading out. however we describe it. however fully scheduled the remaining days of 2011. this time of year has me contemplative. so much this year. so much learning and living and fighting and staying strong. in some ways the hardest year. in some so amazing. so calm. i found clarity. and truth. i found now. but finding it and keeping it are different chapters.

the weeks since the word remission were spoken have been vivid. emotional. slightly unsettling. grappling with what the word means. watching my hair grow back.  continuing to listen to my body. meditating. nourishing. parenting. soulcycling. making some difficult choices about my next steps. what is my goal? sure i want to live as many days on this earth as i can.  but i can’t live now thinking about the days and years ahead.  really i want to live present and fully in as many moments as i can. and try to take each one as it comes. now. it’s all there is. it is what i am. i have the tattoo. and the necklace. but it doesn’t mean it is easy to do. and i need to remember the words i say and just take another step. smile another smile. look people in the eye. stand where i am.

friends have described their moments of clarity when dealing with a life challenge. not just cancer. another diagnosis. a drug addiction. weight loss. the list is long. connected.   we all have hills to climb and moments of insight. moments of strength. and people talk about slipping back to old habits. outlooks.  how the real fight begins after the challenge is faced. the race finished. the battle won.  it makes sense – facing mortality is a strong push to take a look around. take a look inside. appreciate the moments of life. realize that now is all that there is.

but each day. each shifting now.  can i just take each one? be who i am. remember what i know.  i shine if you shine.  exactly what i put into it, is what i will get out of it.  it is a contemplative time of year. making resolutions. taking stock. being.  i have a job that fills my spirit.  i have children to shower with love and guidance.  i know life is in the living. i know that the top of one hill is just the bottom of another.

this year. as the holidays approach. i am so aware of how fortunate i am.  how fortunate my kids are.  i am thinking about a different word. empathy.  i just watched cnn heroes. (linda recommended it. and i guess i needed a good cry as i wait for the biggest loser finale!!!)  people were honored for the work they do in this world to help others. the issues and charities were broad and varied. each one an amazing story.  the truth so clear. as a community we are stronger. giving is receiving. full circle.  i have had some amazing moments with my kids recently doing for others. my family. my community. helping people who need it. showing up.  preparing meals with soulcycle the day before thanksgiving. revitalizing a school in east harlem with NYCares. i got to spend the day with my family painting, and working together.  special moments for us, a lasting impact for a community.  it is that simple.  be the first domino is how we describe it at home.

and as i continue to walk my walk. i don’t want to just make a resolution this new year that sounds good or lofty or healthy. i want to get specific with myself. keep it simple. but dream big.  i’m setting goals for each day. small ones. simple steps. endless possibility. i’m thinking about life. about living. i shine if you shine…..

i want to be in a flash mob.


About iamnowthejourney

i am a mom. an instructor at soulcycle. a poster girl for cancer. this is what 42 looks like. this is what cancer looks like. and i've never been better.


7 thoughts on “i shine if you shine

  1. hey Mel, I just wanted to stop lurking and tell you I’ve been keeping up with your blog, and I’m so happy things are good. my mom and I think of you often, and you’re always my big sister in my mind! I want to be in a flash mob, too.

    Posted by k.farr | December 12, 2011, 1:11 pm
  2. funny, I just wrote my second blog post (it’s not out yet, just a draft) for PRIME and it’s about you and how you shine. That’s the exact word I used…because you do shine…even in the processing, even in the struggle. I count as one of my many blessings this year, meeting you.

    Posted by theprimebook | December 15, 2011, 7:13 pm
  3. Mel, I love your expression: ‘to be the first domino’. Great inspiration. XO Mascha

    Posted by maschany | December 26, 2011, 2:57 pm
  4. Remission! Amazing. You are so inspiring to us all Melanie — here’s to the year and years ahead for you and your family. Fantastic class today — and such a great surprise to have you there on the bike. Love the new hair color and the tribute to CVW. We “shine if you shine.”
    All the best,

    Posted by JLC | January 2, 2012, 3:31 pm
  5. i saw you in More magazine and wanted to congratulate you on your brave journey. We have a lot in common, I am a Chief Human Resources Officer at a large company, a mother of 2, a triathlete, and living with chronic leukemia for 6 years…stay healthy and happy!

    Posted by Jill Smart | April 16, 2012, 11:17 am
  6. this is beautiful.
    i promise to shine…
    big love

    Posted by akismet-2765b6b907155059b739a3d6dfa0b089 | October 2, 2013, 5:18 pm
  7. Hi Melanie, I’m a writer working on a piece about cancer survivors who’ve gone on to do great things and I would love to follow up with you and your journey. If you’re interested, drop me an e-mail! Thanks!

    Posted by Charlotte Hilton Andersen | October 10, 2014, 3:45 pm

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