This photo is of me post lip fillers.
My focus in life changed in a single moment. I heard the words “you have cancer” and life as I knew it vanished. As the same time, I left my husband. I did chemo and divorce simultaneously. I was decimated to nothing and when the dust settled, it was time to rebuild, refocus and recharge my entire life. A new person was emerging and it was time to pick a new life’s motto: Why not?
So this question has, of late, led to some new adventures and experiences, of which I’m so grateful. They are…
Sex chat with my teen daughter
“Hey Mom, can I ask you some questions about sex?” my 14-year old daughter asked me just a few days ago.
Why not? (Actually, when it came to this question, it was more of a “HELL YES!” answer.)
When raising children, are these types of conversations among the most important we will ever have with them? I have worked really hard to foster open communication with my daughters when it comes to all things “sex” related. So far, it’s working because I really believe that my oldest feels really comfy having those talks with me and I think she’s incredibly honest. (My youngest daughter, now nine-years old isn’t interested in the topic at all yet.) It was almost 10pm, close to her bedtime but what was more important, sleep or The Talk? The Talk won out.
We got cozy on the couches in the living room and spent the next hour having a very frank discussion. She asked if I had sex before I got married, if I had ever had “horny” feelings for a guy, and what it meant to “feel horny.” She has several boys who want her to be their girlfriend and, so far, she’s declined them all, though she has several close guy-friends who talk to her about their feelings on sex all the time. She’s not ready to “go there” herself (hooray!) and I explained that sex was for later, when she was older, relationship first, and to never confuse a boy who wanted sex with her and a boy who truly liked her. The two are separate.
Anyway, it was an amazing, bonding, fabulous conversation. I suppose we moms need to be ready for the time when our children need to talk to us. We need to put our phones away and listen. Because oftentimes our children need and want to talk with us but we’re oblivious to it in our rush to do stuff and connect with others in the cyber world. I’m guilty of it, too. But at least this night, I hit it out of the proverbial ballpark with our chat.
Monster truck show
Years ago, I was living and working in Washington, DC and my close friend and colleague, Tia, went with her husband to a monster truck show. I thought it sounded like the most awful thing ever. Last month, my boyfriend mentioned it. He is not the “monster truck show” kind of guy but he said he’s gone before and they were fun. He asked if I wanted to go and take the kids. Why not? I just picked up the tickets and we’re going on Friday, February 13! My daughters are ecstatic.
Last month, I got a message from a former colleague. She was moving to Buenos Aires, Argentina for work. “I know you love to travel. Come visit me,” she wrote. Why not? I called up my boyfriend. “Let’s go to Argentina!” I said. And literally two days later, we purchased our plane tickets. We leave in four weeks. We are going for 10 days, which will include a side-trip for a few days to Montevideo, Uruguay to visit my aunt and uncle who live there. A new part of the world I’ve never visited.
The Sundance Film Festival
Last weekend, I realized the famous Sundance Film Festival was taking place right in our own back yard. Should we go up to Park City and join in the fun? It was cold, crowded, and the restaurants quite expensive. But… why not? We did. It was very fun.
I decided that we are a skiing family. We have the greatest snow on earth here in Utah and I think it should be illegal to live here and not ski. But then my daughter asked if she could take up snowboarding instead. My first thought was no, we ski together and she already has skis and, well, no. But before I answered her, I asked myself this important question: Why not? Next thing I know, she was in snowboarding school and is passionately in love with the sport. She got an early birthday gift and guess what it was? A snowboard all her own. The skis fit my youngest daughter perfectly and she uses them. We no longer need to go rent anything before hitting the slopes. Fabulous.
Last month, I took the plunge and botoxed. This month, I went a bit further and got lip fillers via injection from my favorite RN, Michelle. Thanks to chemo and the “fun” drug Dexamethasone, I have lost all kinds of collagen and fat in my face. My lips were shriveled up. I plumped up my lips just a bit. For two days, I was puffy and swollen, like I had an allergic reaction from a bee sting. But now I love them, they feel and look natural, and I have no regrets. When thinking about whether to proceed, I asked myself why not? Well, there are dozens of reasons: cost, going au natural, aging gracefully, and the like. But I’m ok with some vanity. I don’t mind the aging process but when cancer pushes me faster into wrinkles than I normally would be, it’s a great way to tell my disease to fuck off. It feels kind of nice, actually.
My checkbook, health, and time all need to weigh into the why not? question that I ask myself many times per week. There are great reasons to answer “no” but too many times, I’ve never ventured out of my comfort zone simply because I never really thought about it to begin with. No more! I am on a quest to live, explore, find adventure, improve me, improve my relationships, and find a purposeful life. I am loving the journey. Why not?