December 2, 2016

Gratitude, Winter, Shiney, and New

Welcome To Winter: Advisory Board Blog.
Gratitude, Winter, Shiney, and New

The Welcome To Winter Board Blog is going to be a bit more personal than blogs past. I always get nostalgic when we reach winter.

It is a funny thing to sit in Californa and welcome winter. It is December 2nd, and we have an expected high of 65℉. That is chilly for us. We are in a Santa Ana condition which means the winds are howling.

Nostalgia and Winter

ventura california

Looking down on Ventura, California

When I was a kid, I lived about 100 miles north of here. 100 miles makes a pretty big difference when it comes to weather. I did live the same distance from the ocean as the crow flies, no more than five miles, as I currently live. Where I live now has hills and canyons between me and the water. The town where I grew up has avocado groves, strawberry fields, and  sits flat upon the land before the ocean. I drove through recently and noticed that it has grown enough to have less agriculture. That is unfortunate. I always liked telling people that to their surprise, I grew up in a farming community.

Growing up, I knew it was winter not just because it got colder than fall or summer; I knew it was winter because of the fog and the rain that we don’t have here in “The OC.”  I used to walk to school in pea soup fog. Still, there was one more thing that really let me know it was winter: “the shiny.”

When you look at a light in the distance, the mixture of cold and warm air between you and the light will make the light more, or less, shiny. In winter you may notice that oncoming headlights or stoplights will twinkle more. This is my favorite first sign of winter!


1984 Ventura Courthouse Olympic Torch

Chris and “Juli” Bjornrud, Scott Gray at the Ventura, CA Old Courthouse, 1984 waiting for the Olympic Torch

I know that part of the nostalgia that I feel is due to one of our advisory board members, Scott. I went to both Junior High (Middle School) and High School with Scott. Like many people do these days, Scott and I reconnected through Facebook a few years ago. I don’t think that either of us dreamed we would find ourselves working together with Chronically Awesome.

Like many people, what starts off as a little thing with Chronically Awesome can turn into something much bigger. I know the attraction. I see it when people say the words “Chronically Awesome”. They cannot help but smile. But why stick around? Maybe it is the positivity; maybe it is that I grab you and drag you kicking and screaming. All I know is that it started with designing the website and now we are working together all of the time. We create and work on content; we talk about the Chronically Awesome issues that impact both of our lives; he provides me with great ideas and inspiration. We seem to have picked up where we left off in 1987. The gratitude I have for the work that Scott has done is indescribable.

We Are A Family

When you live near the ocean, you notice that when a storm is coming to shore the seagulls will move to an area inland, like a parking lot or “The Quad” at your high school. They face away from the ocean, away from the storm. The Chronically Awesome must learn to live opposite of the larcus Californicus or the larcus occidentalis that would come and dive bomb us at lunch scavenging for trash. We must face the storm.


The Chronically Awesome Family

Facing the storm, finding new and fresh ways to bring you information and opportunities, Scott and I have been working on this site as we have been rebuilding an old friendship. At the same time, we have grown out of some of our chronically ill habits and created chronically awesome habits. There are days when we don’t want to or think we cannot work but we encourage each other. That is what the chronically awesome do. We, here at the foundation, and all of us as a community must encourage each other.

I encourage you all to find the strength inside of you that it takes to put your trust in someone else. Trust is not easy, but when you find someone you trust you begin to build something that can take on a storm. I am fortunate to have the entire team here at Chronically Awesome. I am talking about Scott today but I could just as easily be talking about Donna or Rebecca. Each of us plays an important role, not just in the foundation of this foundation but in each other’s lives.

Shiny and New

I see so much shiny here at Chronically Awesome. Everywhere I look I am seeing a new way of doing things to improve our social media content. I am seeing new bloggers, a new partner joining us for 2017, new programs to offer you that will allow you to be more proactive with your healthcare, and more content all of the time so that when someone is diagnosed with a condition they can come to us and find the resources they need to begin their journey in a way that is Chronically Awesome.

I am proud of all of the shiny I see when I step back and look at all of the work that has gone into Chronically Awesome.

  • Chronic Chronicles: Approaching 200 episodes! As a featured health podcast on the TalkShoe Network, we are proud of where we have taken the show and also proud to look at the numbers and see that so many of you are listening.
  • Clinical Trials: Offering you the ability to search for clinical trials putting you in the driver’s seat of your health care.
  • Community Blogs: We continue to see more writers on our community blog sharing their experiences.
  • Featured  Partner: Our Second Annual Featured Partner is here! We are excited to introduce
  • More to come: watch for new art throughout the site as our member show us what they have been up to!

That is probably enough for one day. Thank you for indulging me, now go and find the shiny and your family. Happy Winter.

“Thank goodness for the first snow, it was a reminder–no matter how old you became and how much you’d seen, things could still be new if you were willing to believe they still mattered.”
― Candace Bushnell

jules signature