Happy New Year from Dr. Sheri: New Beginnings

“No one can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.” (Unknown)

In other words, we don’t start over; we begin again right where we are, with the opportunity to make things better in our lives.

As we begin this new year, are you excited about the possibilities of new beginnings? The beginning of a new year is much like fresh snow: everything is covered under a blanket of white. What kind of tracks will you make this year?

I remember as a kid how much fun it was making angels in the snow. I remember the joy and thrill of making forts and tunnels in the snow. How many of us apply the same amount of gusto to our lives today? As kids we just enjoyed the day. We didn’t worry that our masterpieces would melt and disappear. The conditions didn’t have to be perfect. We didn’t worry about how much time we had. Whatever we built or what fun we had was perfect exactly the way it was.

Dr. Sheri high-fives 3-Day participants after getting soaked in the ice bucket challenge in Philadelphia this summer.

High-fiving 3-Day participants after getting soaked in the ice bucket challenge in Philadelphia this summer.

Wouldn’t it be magical to bring some of that wonder back into our lives today as adults? Every time I get wound up with stuff I have to do, my husband gently cups my face and simply says, “It’s time to put your mind on third grade.” As a child, you knew the value of being in the moment. Today many of us are so geared up we view ourselves as production robots doing more and more all the time. Society tells us that doing more and having more equals success. These are all important but our quality of life is key to peaceful living.  If I don’t complete my list of “things to do” my value as a human being won’t diminish. We are all infinitely valuable, but life will march on whether or not we get that PowerPoint presentation done.

The new year is a good time to reflect, and is certainly an excellent time to plan and decide what you are going to do and accomplish this year. I also encourage you to think and ponder about who you want to be this year. Many times we get so caught up in doing that we forget who we are being and who we are becoming.

What will 2015 be about for you? Will life be a grand adventure or will it be more of the same? Chances are if you do the same things as last year you will get the same result.

Is there an area of your life that could use a new beginning? Could your health use a new beginning, or your relationship with your spouse? Could your career or business use a jolt of new energy? Set your intention and steer yourself in that direction.

A Message of Thanksgiving from Dr. Sheri

I’m thankful for life every day of the year, but I have to admit that this is my most favorite time of the year. As a physician and six-year breast cancer survivor, I wanted to take this opportunity to share something for which I am truly thankful: advances in screening and treatment have improved survival for U.S. women with breast cancer. In 1980, the relative five-year survival rate for breast cancer when caught early was only 74%. Today, it is 99%! As a survivor, I accept the responsibility to educate as many people as I can about breast health and share with them how they too can join in the fight to end breast cancer.susan g. komen 3-Day breast cancer walk blog dr sheri prentiss thanksgiving

Thanksgiving should be a holiday in which we, as individuals, focus on our past, our present circumstances, and our future endeavors, and give thanks. It should be a day to slow down for a few hours, join hands with our family and friends, and truly reflect on the blessings in our lives. There is so much in this beautiful world to be thankful for, and the least we can do is take a moment to realize that on a day that is dedicated to giving thanks. You can still go shopping, watch your football team, go for a second serving of turkey and potatoes and tell stories about the “first” Thanksgiving. These are all very enjoyable things. But just remember that it shouldn’t be about what other people make it out to be. Thanksgiving is what you make it about, and if you think of the holiday in its namesake only, the proper notion should be clearly evident.

Enjoy this time with family and friends and I can’t wait to see you all again next year!

What One Word Describes How You Feel Right Now?

There was a scenic stretch of Purple Trail that runs through Carrollton today, marking roughly the 30-mile point in the Susan G. Komen Dallas/Fort Worth 3-Day. It was here that I turned on my voice recorder, moseyed on up alongside dozens of walkers and asked them to give me one word to describe how they felt right then. Their answers were inspiring, funny, honest, touching and sometimes surprising.

By far, the most frequent answer was AWESOME, followed closely by GREAT, INSPIRED and MOTIVATED.

susan g. komen 3-Day breast cancer 60 mile walk blog word cloud dallas fort worth

The walkers’ one-word responses, in word cloud from! (Created on Tagxedo.com)

At least a tenth of folks who answered couldn’t keep it to just one word (mostly because “Need to pee!” is three words), but the multi-word answers were wonderful too, including:

  • “Good, good, good!” (he made sure I got all three)
  • “Oh so pretty!”- said by a very handsome fella in a very frilly tutu
  • “Not too bad.”
  • “Pretty good.”
  • “Excited to be around my breast friends!”
  • “Can do.”
  • “Loving this!”
  • And yes, a few responses of, “I can’t say it…”

A few of the one-word answers prompted me to ask for more information:

Her: “Anxious.”
Me: “Why?”
Her: “To get to lunch!”

Him: “Good!”
Me: “Good is good.”
Him: “Today’s my mom’s birthday.”
Me: “Oh, that is good!”
Him: “Well, it would’ve been her birthday… ‘Mom’. That’s my one word.”

Her: “Stubborn.”
Me: “Stubborn?”
Her: “I just have to keep going!”

Her: “Desperate!”
Me: “Oh no! Desperate for what?”
Her: “Rewrapping my feet. But don’t say ‘desperate.’ Say ‘inspired’ instead!”

Her: “Lucky.”
Me: “Lucky why?”
Her: “That I can do this.”

Her: “I don’t know! So many conflicting emotions!”
Me: “So… ‘emotional’?”
Her: “HappySadAwesome.”

One guy seemed caught off guard by my question, then laughed and said, “Distracted! That’s the problem, I was staring off into space so I wouldn’t have to think about how I felt!”

Another man, without hesitation answered, “Grateful.” I asked, “Grateful for what?” He replied, “That Komen provided an opportunity to do something like this.” The woman he was walking with added, “Humbled.” A few moment later, the two walkers who were a few yards behind them asked what their answers were, and when I told them, they said, “They’re walking for their mom.”

Thanks for playing along, Dallas/Fort Worth walkers! There aren’t enough words in the book to describe how we feel about YOU!