Rebecca Soni Breaks World Record - 200m Breaststroke | London 2012 Olympics
Swimming Through the New Year: What Breast Cancer Taught Me
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I know there are two schools of thoughts around New Year's resolutions. There are the makers of resolutions and the shunners of resolutions. I think, given the two options, I lean more toward being a shunner — as I am on a constant quest to evolve. I was recently inspired by Diana Nyad’s TED talk, "Never Ever Give Up”. In her 20's Nyad had attempted to swim from Cuba to Florida and failed. This time, at 64 years old, she did what no man or woman had done before — a 55 hour, 110 mile swim — and afterwards, she said it made her feel more powerful, vibrant, and alive.
While breast cancer might not seem similar to Nyad's swimming experience, it is. Just like Nyad felt strong after her endeavor, I felt strong after finishing chemo, radiation, and surgery, but miserable during cancer. Having survived one of the scariest things I can think of made me different. In the past year I have accomplished a lot of things that pushed beyond my comfort level, leaving me feeling more evolved. Physically overcoming challenges helps me to solve work problems by seeing things from a new side or different view point, giving me more confidence than ever. I also think this part of my personality helps me excel at my day job — mortgage brokering loans. I like to compete, but more often against myself than others. I strive to do better, beat previous goals, but they're usually just goals of my own. Does this make me determined or just stubborn?
My daughter rarely gives up. I don't remember saying, "Never give up Ava," yet if I won't climb a ledge and front flip off into the sand, she'll taunt me with the never give up theory. "Mom," she'll say as she holds my hand. “You say to never give up. Come on, jump!” as she urges me along with her impish grin. In my career, I have often been the one to get a loan done that others couldn't. I have a dozen clients who will tell you they used Loans by Suzette because we took their loans when others had given up — a trait I used to ascribe to either knowledge, experience or cleverness. Lately though, I've come to think that maybe it’s not wisdom, rather old fashioned stubbornness or stupidity that got me this far.
As we make our way through the New Year, I can't help but wonder — can we turn our determination on and off? Maybe never giving up isn't always the best policy. Perhaps I hold on too long to relationships that don't serve me or I try too hard to get a young couple in their first house, meanwhile all signs point to a struggle? I wonder what life would be like if it wasn't all so much of a fight. What if loans were easy and my clients knew and trusted that Loans by Suzette had their best interests at heart? How much more energy would I have if I wasn't constantly fighting the universe? This year my goal is to allow myself to feel more at ease. I am imagining my business being less frustrating and more rewarding.
My grandmother turned 93 the other day. She's in great mental and physical health. It's amazing really. She lives on her own, by choice, since my grandfather passed away. Other than not driving, she is entirely self-sufficient — she cleans her own house, cooks her own food, and has even been known to toss around a soccer ball with my daughter. I think I may have inherited some stubbornness from my grandfather. During their 66 years of marriage she would say that my grandfather was a square head and that you can never make a square peg round. I think that's what I am looking for this year! —some more round pegs!
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