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Hopes and dreams and everything in between

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Jenna Benn photo

In 2010 and 2011 when I was fighting cancer, I made a list of hopes and dreams that I hoped to achieve after I completed treatment and started to rebuild my life.

With 2012 just beginning, I am again reminded of the importance of evaluating where I was, where I am, and where I would like to be.

Here was my hopes and dreams list for 2011 (in no particular order) with status updates.
1. Get into remission- Completed/a constant work in progress
2. Remember what it feels like to be tied up and to eventually become untied- Completed/in progress
3. Run in the middle of a rain storm with all my clothes on- Completed
4. Put my toes in the sand- Completed
5. Drink a glass of wine while watching the sunset over the ocean- Completed
6. Travel with Neely- Pending
7. Train and complete a half marathon- Completed
8. Raise over $18,000 for Leukemia and Lymphoma Society- Completed
9. Meet my Angel Ann in a foreign city- Pending
10. Start my own non-profit- Completed
11. Become a regular contributor for a major publication- Completed
12. Host a dance party for all my family and friends to celebrate life- Completed
13. Travel to Steamboat Colorado and revisit the hikes I struggled to finish when my body was being ravaged by cancer- Completed
14. Eat healthy every day (with some room for mistakes)- In progress
15. Remember how being sick feels- In progress
16. Thank God every day- In progress
17. Express my gratitude frequently and in meaningful ways- In progress
18. Find love again- A constant work in progress
19. Dance every day- In progress
20. Sing every day- In progress
21. Be thankful for waking up- In progress
22. Be thankful for falling asleep- In progress
23. To heal- A constant work in progress

And here is my list of hopes and dreams for 2012 (which also include all the points that are in progress from the list above).
1. To appreciate what it means to wiggle my toes.
2. To feel challenged emotionally, intellectually, and spiritually.
3. To find new ways to give.
4. To nurture the relationships I have and be open to unexpected new ones.
5. To share what it means to see in hyper-color.
6. To remember life’s fragility and continuously celebrate a life elevated.
7. To take risks, but not act impulsively.
8. To confront my fears head on, and remember that I have a tool kit and a community of cheerleaders that can help navigate future challenges.
9. To capture moments with a lens, but not at the cost of being present.
10. To live mindfully.
11. To find meaning in suffering.
12. To look for opportunities that will continue to add to my feelings of fulfillment.
13. To plan, but not at the cost of spontaneity.
14. To dream big.
15. To love wholeheartedly.
16. To remember that the jitterbug is just as meaningful as a good old fashion slow dance.
17. To remember it’s ok to tiptoe.
18. To remind my family and friends how much they mean to me.
19. To venture outside of my comfort zone.
20. To remember the value of saying, “I am sorry.”
21. To continue to nurture the communication between my mind and body.
22. To learn, accept and celebrate this new body.
23. To remember the power of twisting.

Here’s to a year filled with hopes and dreams and everything in between. Happy New Year. 

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