Winning At Losing

I don’t like to lose.  I think it would be fair to say that most people don’t like losing.  We are competitive by nature….we all want to be the best, be number 1, or be successful.  No one wants to lose, feel like your hard work didn’t pay off.  But losing is part of the whole game….if someone wins, someone has to lose.

I had a small winning streak recently.  Little things….a travel coffee mug from a local restaurant, a gift cert for jewelry from an insurance company, and other things that just made me feel happy.  Like I was on top of the world.  Then.  THEN!!!!  I was notified I had this huge chance to do something I’ve been trying to do for 15 years!  A company that makes mastectomy bras and breast prosthesis let me know that I was a finalist in their Faces of Inspiration contest….and if I won I would be flown to Georgia for a weekend of pampering, featured in their catalog, and most importantly….I would have a chance to tell my story on a bigger scale!  This was it!  I was one of 4 amazing ladies who have gone through breast cancer.  There would be two weeks of voting online….you could vote as much as you wanted!

 

I was sharing it all over social media, and so were my friends and family.  Strangers were getting in on this.  Everyone told me…..you’ve got this!!!!!! It was exciting, thrilling, and I was on a high!  What an amazing opportunity this would be….and a little pampering too?  Sigh…..

And then……I didn’t win.  I got the call, the heads up, before they announced the winner.  The winner that wasn’t me.  I was heartbroken.  I didn’t want to talk to anyone….I was just so…..sad.  I decided to take that day to allow myself to be sad….grieve the chance I lost….and then let it go.

And that is what I did.  The next day was a new day, and full of new opportunities. It wasn’t immediate….I still had sadness….but I didn’t allow myself to be consumed by it.

This all came back to me when later that week I had the chance to teach my youngest daughter the same thing.  We were playing board games and she HATES to lose.  She could be the one who will throw the entire game board off the table in frustration.  She hates it so much.

img_7629.jpg

Today was one of those days…..losing at some math game she brought home from school.  I told her…..don’t you remember that I was just in this contest?  And did I win?  I told her it’s ok to be upset if you lose, but going overboard and throwing a fit just takes away the excitement from the person who did win.  And that is never ok.  In any competition or game, if someone wins…..someone will lose.  So we tell that person, good job and congratulations, and we try again.  You never know if your words are getting through to your kids, but a week later, she repeated that all back to me during a conversation about losing.  It made me so proud that not only did she listen, but I could teach her that hard lesson in life by my example.

Losing sucks.  It really does, but losing gracefully shows so much more about your character.  I’m thankful for the opportunity that I had….and to see the amazing support I had….and I’m sad that I didn’t win this one……but in the long run, I still feel like a winner.  And I want my kids to be like that.

Katie 🙂

Are You Thankful?

Now….I didn’t ask what you are thankful for…..I was very specific with my question.  Are you actually thankful?

Anyone who has gone through hard times will tell you that it’s not easy to find a reason to be thankful when you are in the moment.  The difficulty you are facing is what consumes your every thought and feeling…..but even in those horrible times, there are reasons to be thankful.

Was I thankful that I went through cancer?  No.  Thankful that I had to go through aggressive treatments that nearly killed me?  No.  Thankful that I’m still living with the effects of cancer treatments today? No.  But I’m here.  And let me tell you, I am thankful for that.  And looking back……I’m thankful for so many other things.

I’m thankful for friends and family that never turned their back on me.  I’m thankful for medical professionals that worked tirelessly to save my life.  I’m thankful that I grew as a person through one of the hardest times of my life.  I’m thankful for the opportunities that have come my way and the friends I have made because of my journey.  I’m thankful.

I know what you are thinking….it’s easy to look back and say you can be thankful, because you are no longer in it.  I know.  You are absolutely right.  We go through horrible awful times….and this post isn’t trying to take away from that.  When we are broken, down, out, defeated, and just done……you don’t want some happy person coming along telling you to count your blessings.  I’ve had those people, and I want to throat punch them.  Everyone gets to have their feelings.  You can sit in them and feel them….but you do have to come out.  That is when you look around you and find at least one thing to be thankful for.  That one thing will keep you going and get you started.

Life is really sucky right now.  Maybe it’s that time of year….or maybe sucky things are just happening all around me right now.  People I love are going through awful things.  People are losing their lives.  People are being diagnosed with diseases that can kill them.  People are facing hardships that can crush them.  I feel it.  I am too.  And it’s so much easier to sink in to my broken heart and stay there.  I’ve been trying every single day to be thankful.  Some days I don’t.  Some days I just can’t.

But I am thankful.  I have a beautiful family, and they are all safe and healthy.  I have food to feed them and a house to keep them in.  I have friends that are like family.  They lift me up when I’m falling.  Right now I have my health, migraines be damned!

I’m no Mary Sunshine….but finding at least one thing to be thankful for while you are going through hell can sometimes give you a glimmer of hope.  And that glimmer is what you go toward to get yourself out of it.

Have a blessed Thanksgiving, where ever you may go.

Katie 🙂

Getting Back to What I Love

Almost 2 years ago I started a whole new adventure.  I left my job of 13 years and started working with Komen Michigan…..my dream of helping other people affected by breast cancer.  That job took up so much of my time, I had to put my other love on hold….taking pictures.  Photography has always been my outlet…..my escape.  I love waiting for, and capturing the perfect shot.  I love exploring and sharing beautiful images with other people.  I’ve always loved it and found it to be a way to handle life without drinking 😉

I tried so hard to keep up on family and wedding photography while spending all my nights and weekends traveling around the state like a mad woman.  I finally had to make the choice to put it all on hold for a bit…..possibly a while.  When I left Komen last year to be home more with my kids I figured I could step back in to it.  Crippling migraines and reality made me realize that time was still an issue, and I just couldn’t justify the time away or the time spent editing quite yet.

My jump back in has been very small.  I’ve had some very loyal people keep asking….but my confidence has been lacking.  My first major “job” was with the ever amazing Taylor Winnell…..her mom and I are great friends, and Taylor is going to be a famous country singer some day.  I’ve taken tons of pictures of her, even for her cd release a while ago.  I couldn’t resist getting back with her and the feeling I got was just what I needed.  She is beautiful and we get along so great…..it was amazing having that again!

This past weekend I had the AMAZING opportunity to take the wedding photos of my sister Amber.  Now…..Amber is my sister by heart…..but I love her to death and it was such an honor to be asked.  Amber is one of those people who is genuinely the nicest person you will ever meet.  She has a heart of gold and has become a huge part of our family.  My daughters love her, and they were asked to be flower girls 🙂  She moved to Utah for a job a while ago, so this is where she got married.  I can’t even begin to describe how beautiful it was, and getting the chance to take wedding photos there? Yes…..I felt like a kid in a candy store!

It was the push I needed….I felt so comfortable behind the lens again.  I will never put myself up there with the photographers I admire……but no matter what….this is what I LOVE to do.  Good or bad….it’s where my heart it.  This is also the reason for the “lens” in Rosy LENS Life 😉  A little pink, a little photo, and a lot about loving life.

Also…..a huge congratulations to the amazing Ben and Amber Toomer. They are beautiful together and I’m so excited to see what they do in life together!

 

BenAmber3

Katie 🙂