Well. That's going to hurt.
I originally doodled this thinking about a sharp dive into something wonderful. My younger daughter suggested stars, so stars it was. But then it slowly dawned on me, after I had drawn about 70 stars, that those things are rather pointy. And sharp. But then my older daughter suggested that perhaps those are cooked pasta stars, the tiny ones that go into soups. Yes! Pasta stars! Nice save.
Speaking of diving into things, I am going to dive into something of my own. I recently had the pleasure of meeting and learning more about Heather Von St. James. The more I read, the more I became inspired.
In 2005, just three months after giving birth to her daughter and at the age of 36, Heather was diagnosed with malignant pleural mesothelioma, a rare form of cancer. Without treatment, she had just 15 months to live. I can't even pretend to know the level of heartbreak and fear she must have felt then. As a child, Heather liked to wear her father's jacket, which was crusted with drywall dust, essentially wrapping herself in asbestos. The effects of high asbestos exposure can take decades to manifest, lying in wait. And when they appeared in Heather, things looked dire. She underwent a very risky surgery which, thankfully, was successful. Now, ten years since her diagnosis, she is a cancer research advocate and blogger, bringing awareness to the need for funding and research and helping those battling cancers of their own. She is a survivor, she is a warrior, and she is awesome!
Heather introduced me to All or Nothing Day, which is coming up on July 26 and which embodies how she strives to live her life since her diagnosis. All or Nothing Day is about devoting time to live life to the fullest, to be bold, and to push yourself to do things that you've always wanted to do. So this year, for All or Nothing Day, I have decided to truly put effort into a project I started about five years ago. As bucket lists go, mine is pretty short. All the important things, I have and do everyday. I'm lucky. But one thing that has been nagging at me is the desire to create a picture book loosely based on the antics and adventures of my daughters. I'd like them to have something to look back on when they are older that brings back the memories and giggles of a childhood well spent. I've been working on it in bits and pieces without any cohesiveness. A few of the images I've even posted for Illustration Friday. But I'd really like to dive back into it this year and really try to finish it. I'm hoping that a public declaration, even if it's to the few who visit this blog, will spur me on.
Wish me luck.
July 26. All or Nothing. What will you do this year?