Taylor Swift Inspires Me Once Again

Life Interrupted-Bethany DahlstromWe all know I love T-Swift. Like I am certain we’d be best friends if somehow she just followed me on Twitter. However, now I have an even another reason to be her biggest fan.

Through my job as a communications specialist at a local rehab hospital in Philadelphia, I have the amazing opportunity to share the stories of patients who have endured unfathomable obstacles to regain their life. One amazing young woman blew me away with her story, zest for life, and dreams for the future.

At 23-years-old, Bethany Dahlstrom was diagnosed with cancer out of the blue. She’d just returned from England after earning her Masters Degree and was planning on applying for her PH.D in fall of 2014. Instead, for the end of 2014 into the first half of 2015, she spent 95 days in the hosptial fighting for first her life, and then her mobility after treatments left her immobile. Each day, she fought through the pain and stress to work out during three hour physical therapy sessions. She and her team cranked up the tunes as she worked on walking again to Taylor Swift. You can watch below how Taylor Swift helped her shake off cancer and regain her life.

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365 things to do in 365 days

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I like making lists. Ever since I was a kid, it’s been a way to organize the chaos of my thoughts. Now that I’m older, it makes me feel accomplished to be able to cross something off physically. Also, it keeps me on task for when I’m distracted by shiny things.

This time last year, I made a half-hearted attempt to do 25 unique things before 25. But I only gave myself a four month window and all hell broke loose unexpectedly during that time period. The few things I was able to squeeze in was really fun, and I did a lot of them throughout the year passed the 25th birthday.

So I decided to revisit that idea, but to raise the bar a bit. I’m challenging myself to do 365 things in 365 days. This is a way for work the skills I’ve been putting off, seeing the sights I’ve been sorely neglecting in my own backyard, writing the pieces I’ve been mulling over and simply brooding my experiences. Over the course of the next 365 I’ll be writing about the adventures/experiences of checking off each item. And I’m hoping that I’ll be able to drag along friends and family to join the fun- as well as making new friends along the way.

Here is a sampling of some of the ideas:

  • Visit the Mutter Museum 
  • Re-read Are You There God It’s Me Margaret 
  • Try Salt Room therapy 
  • Send a care package to a solider overseas
  • Bake a pie from scratch
  • Learn how to change a tire
  •  Try Vietnamese food
  • Ride a zip-line
  • Pop a bottle of champagne  
  • Wade in a creek

il_570xN.483656551_25qxTo view the full list, click below. It’s broken down into categories. If you have any ideas to add to the list, or ways to check off one of the experiences, let me know! And if you want to join me on any of the adventures, even if I don’t know you, drop me an email at patrice.bendig@gmail.com or comment below! This challenge is to open myself to new experiences- and the more the merrier!

Hopefully you’ll follow along as I blog, tweet (#365in365)  and attempt this insanity.

Here is the complete list of 365 things to do in 365 days  Continue reading

Hump Day Round Up

Melted-ToyIt’s been one of those weeks where by Wednesday afternoon your brain resembles a melted toy solider left near the stove. That should paint a graphic image in your head to paint the picture of how this week is going so far. On the bright side, we live in the age of the ultimate pick me up- the internet.

Here are a few links that gave me reprieve between dashing between nonstop meetings and cleaning out my broken refrigerator (that included the groceries of my 4 other roommates). Check them out, and share what saved your sanity so far this week!

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What a Taylor Swift Concert and My Best Friend Moving Across the Country Have In Common

As seen on Huffington Post, Published on 07/20/2013

 

2013-07-20 18.13.21My best friend, Geri, is moving across the country in less than a week. Specifically, she will be 2,692 miles away in her new apartment in San Diego with her boyfriend. I will be here in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania where we both grew up and lived for 24 years. Except for the four years I lived in New York City, my best friend has always been less than a half-hour away from me. Even then, she was only an hour and half train ride away. But now, after 13 years of friendship filled with growing pains, heartaches, sleepovers and dinners whenever we wanted, things are going to be switched up a bit.

We were sitting in our favorite Chinese restaurant in Chinatown, a place where she had Chinese food with my family for the first time almost a decade a ago, when she told me the news. I knew that our conversation would be lively that night, initiated by a Facebook message sent earlier that day by her saying that she had something to tell me over dinner that had to be done in person. That afternoon, the possibilities had swirled in my head. Was she engaged to her boyfriend? Is she up for a promotion at work? Do I need to raise bail money?

The phrase “Jim and I are moving to San Diego in July” took me off guard. Continue reading