22 April 2018

How to be the best you

A herd of wild turkeys—three toms and eight hens—shows up every morning at first light here at the Idaho cabin, gobbling to wake the dead. (And you thought roosters were the only big birds that welcome in a new day with noisy energy.)

 

Photo: Marlys

 

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15 April 2018

What’s the big deal about repurposing?

Some of you may know that my dream house would be a sturdy, old barn repurposed into an open-beamed, warm, welcoming home. With mountain views.

 

Photo: Houzz.com

 

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25 February 2018

Meet Katie, world changer

When Katie Strumpf was diagnosed with leukemia, there were no online resources or publications to offer guidance to a 10-year-old kid dealing with cancer. She endured chemo, spinal taps, and bone marrow aspirations.

While still going through treatment, Katie told her mom that someday she would write a book for children with cancer, offering encouragement and practical advice from someone who’s put up with doctors and medications and hair loss.

 

Katie Strumpf-Rackley

 

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18 February 2018

4 ways to edit your story

There’s a chapter in Gary’s and my story, titled “The Wilderness Years,” that lasted for more than a decade. A windswept, barren, bleak, heart-throbbing trek through financial reversals, and a live-in parent sinking into dementia, and a terminal cancer diagnosis, and the death of a most beloved husband, friend, life partner.

Most of us would edit some chapters of our stories if we could.

 

Photo by Andrew Measham on Unsplash

 

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21 January 2018

Lessons from a turtle release

Someone handed a baby turtle in a small container to me. “Give him a name,” she said. And of course what popped into my head was ‘Gary.’ As in, my husband.

 

Photo: Campamento Tortugueros Sayulita

 

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31 December 2017

Define your purpose; live your reason

Three years ago—back when I was newly widowed, resigning my job, and paring down to move out of state—a bracelet arrived in the mail from one of my beautiful sisters-in-law. The charm dangling from it read: “Embrace the journey.”

 

Photo by Fineas Anton on Unsplash

 

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27 August 2017

What does ‘living well’ mean?

At a one-day writers’ conference last spring, I had a 15-minute meeting with a literary agent. She asked me to tell her about my book proposal, and then provided excellent feedback from someone inside the publishing industry.

“I like a phrase you used: ‘How to live well through adversity.’ What do you mean by living well?” she asked.

 

Photo: Unsplash

 

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2 August 2017

Letters tied together with love

My friend (and jewelry designer) Jim Dailing shot this updated Renew | Repurpose photo with a beautiful renovated barn hiding behind the pink blossoms. (Thank you, Jim … I love it!)

 

Photo credit: Jim Dailing

 

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30 July 2017

Friday date: Battling anxiety

Long-time readers know I’ve blogged about brave-making campaigns and about keeping Friday date night — a weekly tradition established before my husband, Gary, died of cancer.

But this is my first blog about a brave-making Friday date.

 

 

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23 July 2017

Discovering new purpose in loss

Cancer Adventures has expanded beyond cancer—new name: Renew | Repurpose—with a mission of helping people discover fresh purpose in seasons of loss.

The concept of repurposing catches my imagination. It’s the idea of adapting something for a purpose other than its original intent — a purpose that can be just as valuable, and effective, and gorgeous.

Like this barn. Once a habitat for animals and hay, and maybe even varmints. And now a beautiful house.

 

Not my house

 

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About Me

Hello, my name is Marlys Johnson. I’m a cancer widow, author, speaker and blogger. I love getting outdoors; would rather lace up hiking boots than go shopping. I have a passion for repurposing old junk into cool new stuff. And an even greater passion for showing people how to navigate life’s challenges. Tenaciously. And with heart wide open.

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