Summer Days. It’s good to be home!

Hello wonderful people in my life,

HAPPY NEW YEAR! Week 1 of 52….

Hope this latest update finds you all well.

I am about to embark on a little project that will see me attempting to write once a week for this year. The aim is to reduce the size of the posts and take a bit of pressure off myself too. I find writing to you all incredibly therapeutic so doing it more frequently and in smaller amounts seems logical.

For those of you on Facebook you would have seen that I am fundraising money to travel to the USA this year to attend Breast Cancer Conferences. I received a grant to go to Houston in March to the Young Survival Coalition Summit. The grant will cover the accommodation but not the flights so I am currently I am trying to fund this myself with the hope that I will be able to apply for some grants here in New Zealand.

To those of you who have already made pledges to my cause thank you so so much. I need you all to email the below link to as many contacts as possible and share it on Facebook so I get more pledges. I have less than 60 days to reach the $9,000 target. People who want to support my project make a pledge and only when I reach the fundraising target does the money come out of your account. After only on day there is $430 already pledged so I am feeling very blessed to have the support.

This project will allow me to travel to three conferences in the USA this year, meet with and build relationships with other breast cancer advocates and organisations as well as gather resources and information to better educate and support New Zealander’s in regards to Breast Cancer. I am putting my heart and soul into this cause but I can’t save the world on my own. I need your help.

Please share this on link Facebook if you are on there and email it to people who you think may be able to help.

Its been a delight being home and the last couple of weeks have made me truly appreciate being back on NZ soil.
The weather has been great, I’ve seen my family, so many friends and I have rested a lot. Xmas with the family was very restful and I spent most of the time eating or sleeping. New years at Pukehina was awesome and what a wonderful crew of humans to celebrate a new year with. We were so lucky to have a house right on the beach. Take me back! In some ways its kind of surreal to be back as New Zealand and London are literally like chalk and cheese.

Things I am glad to have back in my life….

Driving. It had been two years since I had driven a car. So amazing to just get in the car and go. So much freedom and knowing where I am going is such a good feeling. It also doesn’t take as long to get anywhere and the friendly wave when you give way to someone, acknowledgement! Oh how it excites me! Windows down and the radio cranking = bliss.

Random conversations with strangers. It’s kind of weird but people in NZ genuinely try and converse with you. In London this rarely happened so when I got back and ventured into the shops being greeted and asked conversational questions was a shock to the system. I’m glad to have the human interaction back.
Catching up with friends. When you have been away for so long and you see people again for the first time in two years and things just click as if you never left. Its incredible to know and acknowledge that you have that special connection with other humans. Its amazing to visit your old haunts and know too that they are still as they were, beautiful.

Being close to the beach and seeing grass and trees more frequently. I missed the accessability to these things the most when I was away. New Zealand has this quietness and tranquility that is incredibly calming even in the city. Seeing the stars in the night sky has again become an exciting novelty.
Food. Even though it is incredibly expensive I can tell the difference in quality and taste. After having an illness I’ve become more cautious about what I put into my body and I feel relieved that I’ve come back knowing that the quality of food here is much better than where I was.

Sunlight. What is this amazing phenomenon?!

It’s the small things that make the biggest differences and the realisation that here in New Zealand we are incredibly lucky to have such a clean and inviting environment. So happy to be back.

New years for me always brings a new start and like many others resolutions. Over the years I’ve tried many things and failed however it has been three years since I ate KFC, Maccas and BK so I guess I do have the capability to follow something through.

This year my resolutions are:

To give up alcohol for 2015.

I figure that with the amount of poison I’ve had to pump through my system my liver could do with the break. Drinking makes me feel rather icky so I’m giving it up.

To practice daily mindfulness. I did an 8 week course in this before I left London and its really changed me a lot. It is basically guided meditation so you listen to a recording for 45 minutes a day. Without going into to much detail I feel much more relaxed and destressed, I am able to think about things more logically, there is less chatter in my head and I have been able to slow down – I don’t rush as much and if I do I feel guilty, I take my time to enjoy what I’m eating and am more mindful of what I am putting into my body. I was initially quite skeptical but if you commit to putting the time in the practice of mindfulness can change your life.

What a great start to the year! Bring it on 2015!

Jess x