Those of you that know something about me may recognize that self-promotion is not something I am comfortable with. In fact, I think Iâ€™m allergic to it. I get all itchy and scratchy just thinking about it. I just like to let things happen organically, in their own time and in their own way. Shocker! Publishers donâ€™t see it like that. They encourage (insert the word push) authors to use different strategies to promote their book. A favorite is to be present on social media. I have posted memes I created on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter plus a few promotional posts. My daughters have posted more about me and the book than I have. So, that is the extent of my social media presence. Clearly, I needed to step up my game. I had the brainy idea that I would let people see what the normal life of a cancer patient is like. For a month I would post a picture a day of my life, ending on October 22, the anniversary of my last IV chemo treatment. It would also take place during October, National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
So beginning on September 22, I began to post a photo a day. For those of you who do not follow me on social media, my photos have been of hair appointments, elevating my foot due to cellulitis, swimming, going to the doctor, having trees cut down in my front yard, and having lunch with my friend Annette. Sounds pretty exciting, doesnâ€™t it? I have walked around thinking I have this amazing, blessed life. Yet, in photos, my life is pretty ordinary, and dare I say, boring.
I looked back over the posts and reflected for a few moments. How do I really see my life? Hereâ€™s what I realized. My life in photos is boring. But in the flesh, these photos are of intimate relationships that make my life meaningful. Iâ€™ve seen the same hair dresser for fourteen years. She supported me through cancer and I recently returned the favor. I probably got the cellulitis from a bug bite while hiking in the Grand Canyon with Brandi and the kids, all of whom I adore. The memories of that experience together brings a deep joy to my soul. My doctor is awesome. She has walked this journey with cancer by my side with intelligence, diligence, and kindness. To say Iâ€™m grateful for her does not even touch the emotions I feel. While she was not in the photo, Brandi was in the pool with me when I was swimming. We floated, swam, and had good conversation that afternoon. We talked about where we saw our life going and dreams we still wanted to reach for, both as individuals and as a couple. And my dear friend Annette. She is someone I feel totally safe with. I can tell her my most vulnerable thoughts and feelings and I know they will be treated as a cherished giftâ€¦ gently, reverently.
I have realized that an exciting life and a blessed life do not have to be the same thing. Because my core values include an enduring value in connection and relationships, my quiet life is rich, amazing, and blessed. And I feel such intense gratitude for it. I do have a few exciting things happen in my life, but the soil of my life, where my roots live, that is in the depth of my relationships and my faith. And so, less than a week into my month of social media, my perspective has shifted. I may not sell any extra books from this, which will not please my publisher. But I have a renewed appreciation for how really amazing my life is, in those who love me and those who I love. I wish you, my dear readers, the same.