Sunday, November 29, 2009

Not Your Average (Post) Thanksgiving Challenge

Like most Americans, my family and I spent the better part of last week resting, playing, eating (yes, I did in fact gain 5 lbs in 4 days, and yes, I am happy about it, thank you very much!), and most of all being thankful. We were thankful to be together, thankful for the good food and good company or our wonderful friends, thankful for the (relatively) mild weather in New York, and thankful for an uneventful weekend CF-wise. I was especially grateful to be off IVs and in good enough health to celebrate both Thanksgiving and my birthday in style, and for the chance to do amazing things like go to a Broadway play and see my sister's clothing line on the mannequins at Bergdorf Goodman! To say it was a very thankful Thanksgiving would be a huge understatement.

It's always very cool to do things like go around the table and count our blessings, or see people on the street enjoying themselves and being grateful for all that they have, or (and maybe this is just me) reading all your awesome CF friends' blogs about the many reasons they give thanks during this all-important holiday of celebrating what's right with our lives despite chronic illness or whatever other demons we might be facing. In fact, for me that was one of the many great parts of this year's holiday . . . just reading what all you guys had to say on the subject. Not to say that CFers have a monopoly on being grateful, obviously, but it's clear from the posts that we have more than our share of the stock. Yet another reason to be proud.

Which kind of brings me to my next point, and the start of another official Matter of Life and Breath Blogger Challenge. We all know you guys are grateful, and awesome at counting your blessings, making the most out of life, and eeking every little last drop of pure fabulousness out of each day and each breath. We know that, and we love you for it. Kudos to you all, and a big round of well-deserved applause for the "a rainstorm-makes-your-clothes-clean" positive approach to life.

So here's the challenge: let's see how good you guys are at turning it around and sharing what you're most thankful for about yourselves. Yeah, that's right, I'm asking you all to toot your own horns in a major way, by counting down at least 10 things that are downright awesome and fabulous and amazing about you. Not your life, not your wonderful family, not your fantastic doctors and the wonderful drugs that help you breathe, but just. plain. you.

In case anyone's wondering the inspiration behind this all, check out the recent post on Ronnie's blog about a young woman with CF asking how she could form an identity beyond her disease (title: "How Can I Simply be Abby?"). It really got me thinking about illness and identity, and also (by extension) about the "grateful patient" expectation. You know what I mean -- sometimes as chronic patients with a serious disease (or as caregivers, parents, and partners of patients) we're expected to be, well, grateful. Grateful to the other people in our lives for helping us, grateful to our doctors and surgeons, grateful to the volunteers who help fundraise, grateful to the sun for rising yet another day. And we are grateful -- incredibly and rightly so -- as we all do an amazing job of showing pretty much everyday. But there's a time and a place to be grateful for yourself and all the really cool things you're proud of as well, CF-related or not, and I think it's time we let out a collective roar about just how damn wonderful we really are.

Okay, official "rules" time: 1) you can post in the comments or on your own blog, but please post here and let us know your blog address so we can all share in your awesomeness; 2) anyone is welcome, regardless of your connection (or lack thereof) to CF or any other illness -- coolness may be a shared trait among cystics, but it's certainly not exclusive to us; 3) you have to post at least 10 things you're proud of or think are fabulous about yourself -- and I don't care if it's that you have really cool freckles on your nose, I still want no less than 10; 4) no giving credit to anyone else for your awesomeness -- okay, so we all know that you're not directly responsible for your really cool and unique name (ahem!), but you rock it like a superstar, right? Keep it about all about you, baby; and finally, 5) you don't have to link back to this post, but please challenge your readers to follow suit with their own lists. I know there's more to the blog world than just the people who read mine (although I maintain that my readers are the coolest group out there!), so let's keep the ball rolling as much as possible. Let's face it: after this whole Thanksgiving thing, we all could use a little time to just be grateful for ourselves!

I promise I'll make my own list and post it right here for all to see. In the meantime, happy post-Thanksgiving self love fest!


  1. 1) I know how to pick really good cheese and arrange it and crackers nicely for a kick ass cheese platter.
    2) I look better as I age, looking 12 at 20 wasn't hot, but 20 at 28 is!
    3) I have a masters degree! When I was young I thought it would be a miracle to get through college, now I am an old CF lady with a masters degree.
    4) I am really good at trivia, especially catagories like science, food, and 20th century history.
    5) I have a nice rack, which is ironic considering what lies just beneath.
    6) I am a really good gift giver.
    7) I am a good kisser (at least I have been told).
    8) I can put together a pretty kick ass outfit and decorate a room well.
    9) I can play a mean game of scrabble.
    10) I can out eat any man alive.

  2. 1) I've written some good fiction and poetry.
    2) I work hard at the things I love, trying to fulfill the potential born in me.
    3) I'm a loyal friend.
    4) I think I'm becoming more wise.
    5) I can sing a pretty fair Patsy Cline song.
    6) I love to learn.
    7) I have cute toes.
    8) Words intoxicate me.
    9) I write letters--pen and ink, baby!
    10) No pun is beneath me.

  3. 1. Despite having asthma I recently took up running.
    2. I don’t look like I am 2 years away from 40 and have held my age well.
    3. I am raising an amazing daughter.
    4. I know so much useless info that my friends won’t play me in trivia anymore.
    5. In one month I have knocked 8 minutes off of my 5K time.
    6. I am wining the fight with my Hashimotos disease.
    7. I do not let my severe food allergies rule my life.
    8. I have a high IQ.
    9. I love my southern values and manners.
    10. I have rescued 2 dogs and given them a wonderful loving home

  4. OK, since Piper gave me permission to brag... :)

    1) I can make really neat glass beads
    2) I'm a good research scientist
    3) I am trustworthy
    4) I am passionate about the environment and the Chesapeake Bay
    5) When I commit, I'm in it for the long haul. No quitting allowed.
    6) I've developed non-traditional girl skills restoring my 1970 corvette myself
    7) I'm a good judge of character
    8) My career in science & engineering helps me be a good role model for girls
    9) I always ask *why*
    10) I've got a lot of artistic skills

  5. I love this post Piper...:)
    1.) I cook a mean Chinese stir fry complete with home made wontons. I'm a good cook in general ;)
    2. I can read huge books in record time
    3. I am a math nerd...actually love calculus.
    4. I am a kind person and very loyal to my family and friends.
    5. I am an optimist and tend to see good even if the situation looks bleak and hopeless.
    6. I have defied all odds as far as living goes. I had a very bad prognosis handed to me years ago and here I am, still kicking!
    7. I am not a half bad artist. I love to paint and sketch.
    8. I enjoy learning, especially languages. I learned 3 years worth of chinese in one year while in college. It was awesome! Now ask if I can remember it LOL!
    9. I am a good shoulder to cry on
    10. I am super flexible...I am often told that I am a human pretzel.