25 simple joys to celebrate after cancer

Being in nature: one of my simple joys

In the spirit of CELEBRATE as my word for 2022, I remind myself often to pause to celebrate certain things. This year has been special for many reasons. I celebrated 25 years as a cancer survivor. A LOT has happened in those years – good, bad and ugly. But overall, I celebrate being alive! So as this year rolls to a close, I’m pausing to acknowledge 25 simple joys to celebrate after cancer.

Clearing my third cancer three years ago, then almost immediately being tossed into a worldwide pandemic was a lot to process. I’m still admittedly processing it, especially feeling so mentally and emotionally worn out. Maybe you feel the same?

So this year I worked really hard to stay focused on surrounding myself with people and experiences that let me celebrate each day. That also means being aware of my own attitude.

That commitment and focus on CELEBRATE as my word of the year also made me aware of a lot of things I want to embrace more of in my life, and who/what I’d like less of. It definitely reminds me to appreciate simple pleasures and moments that fill with me with joy. Some of this list may resonate with you too.

25 simple joys to celebrate after cancer

  1. My family’s love and support.
  2. Time with good friends.
  3. Being outdoors on warm, sunny days.
  4. Bike rides. Riding my bike has become more than good exercise. My bike rides help clear my mind and ease my emotions. I also have gained so much confidence in my body.
  5. Learning more about myself. Spending a lot of time with myself helped me learn more of my likes, dreams, goals, and focus for life.
  6. Hiking through the woods.
  7. Travel. I will never take for granted the ability to travel outside of my community. I can’t wait to explore my country and beyond, embrace cultures, see the world’s beauty and create fun memories.
  8. Being healthy & cancer-free. YES, YES and YES to celebrating this every day!
  9. Hugs and affection.
  10. Music. There is a song for every occasion, emotion and moment!
  11. Bright, happy flowers!
  12. Laughter.
  13. Books. The best way to escape, learn and imagine.
  14. Exploring local locations. Museums, farmer markets and more show me the fun of my home area.
  15. Massages to ease and help my body.
  16. Dancing in Zumba, my kitchen and beyond. I love the joy of moving my body to great music!
  17. Writing, whether journaling, blog posts, articles and more.
  18. Bubble baths.
  19. Celebrating special moments surrounded in love with friends, such as being selected as Team Livestrong’s tribute jersey recipient at RAGBRAI. [Read ‘This very special cycling jersey‘ post.]
  20. Time with my nieces and nephew.
  21. Feeling confident in my body, decisions and choices.
  22. Helping other people through sharing my story and experiences.
  23. Volunteering my time and energy to help others.
  24. My breath. The gratitude of being alive is limitless.
  25. Pausing to appreciate special moments and embrace the joy.

Staying focused on simple joys

My promise to myself is to remember these simple joys and continue to stay focused on the feelings of happiness and love accompanying them. Especially when life gets busy, stressful or heavy.

What are your simple joys? What do you appreciate more after the experiences of the past few years? I’d love to read in the comments below!

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