DeStressing at the Holidays, By Merrilee Boyack

POSTED BY on December 08, 2014


I want you to think of distilled water.  It is water that has the impurities filtered out.  It is DISTILLED down to its most essential and purest form.

Six years ago, I was diagnosed with breast cancer.  I had a large tumor that had spread to one lymph node.  It was very serious.

In a split second, my entire life came screeching to a halt.  All those THINGS we do stopped.  And yes, as usual, the list was quite long.

But in that moment, everything profoundly changed.  I could die.  This could be it. Was the Lord calling me home?  Was I ready?  What was critical now?

Everything in my life came to a standstill as those questions hung in the balance. 

I then started on the path of surviving.  This took great time and effort as you can imagine.  I went through major surgery.  Chemo. Radiation.  Reconstruction.  Lots of surgeries. 

I was in the middle of chemo for the holidays.  I have to tell you that that Christmas was very different from the rest.  I didn’t care about sending out a giant newsletter to impress people I never heard from.  I didn’t care about having tons of gifts to dazzle my family.  I didn’t care about setting up my 165 nativity sets – I only set up a handful of favorites.  I didn’t care about racing to every party.

The things I cared about were small – faith, family, friends.  That’s it.

For Christmas, I wrote letters to everyone—I told them how much I loved them and appreciated them and valued their influence in my life.  I didn’t want to wait until I died and leave those things unsaid.

It was one of THE BEST Christmases we’ve ever had.  Mom wasn’t going crazy.  A great gift.

When my treatments finished, it was time to look at my life again.

I want you to know that my life has never been the same.  Why?  Because I now CHOOSE what will be in my life. 

Every single day, every week, every month, I look carefully at what I am doing with my life, my time, and my energy.

My life has been distilled down to its most essential and purest form.

I don’t have time to waste any more.  That doesn’t mean I don’t sit and read a book or watch TV or go out to eat.  It means that it is intentional now.

I cannot tell you how much TIME I have in my life now.  I just chuckle because people say all the time, “Oh, you are so busy!”  Uh, NO.  I’m not.  I’m doing many things, that is true.  But I am not really busy.  I am in charge – and my life now is distilled down to a balanced life with WAY more peace and calm.

So ask yourself, if you were only given a year to live, what would you do?  Have you taken time to actually THINK about that and write it down? 

Don’t wait until you get a diagnosis like I did to slap you upside the head.

DISTILL your life.  Look at it carefully.  Look at it intentionally.  Eliminate the impurities.  Eliminate the waste.  Eliminate everybody else’s expectations.  DISTILL.

YOU choose what will be in your life and what will give it meaning.

YOU choose what you will do and what you won’t do.

And you can choose to have a life of peace, calm, love, and wonder.  It’s that easy—and it’s that hard.

Life is short – choose well.


Connect with Merrilee Boyack!

Facebook – merrboyack

Email – [email protected]


Please check your e-mail for a link to activate your account.