2015 Reflections & Dreams for 2016 – Homer Simpson, Koalas and Marathons, Oh My!

by julie on December 30, 2015

Scariest Moment of 2015:

I gave 12 presentations in 2015, but by far the most intimidating was my 5-minute ignite talk at Stanford Medicine X. My legs trembled stepping on stage in front of this prestigious group of healthcare innovators. I’d prepared for months, but still totally blanked mid-speech, making for a dramatic pause…….. But I did it and I’m so grateful for #MedX!

Best Cuddle of 2015:

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2015 led me somewhere I never imagined – AUSTRALIA, where I cuddled a KOALA named “Mash”! Turns out, Mash and I have lots in common, we both love sleep, eucalyptus and are vegetarians.

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While in Australia, I got to spend the week with a family who quickly became my family. I met many amazing inspiring friends, signed books, gave three meaningful presentations AND danced the night away – Aussies and Kiwis know how to party! This was the trip of a lifetime and I will  cherish the memories and friendships forever.

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Biggest Surprise of 2015:

homer simpson narcolepsy not alone

Helping Homer Simpson cope with narcolepsy made 2015 a unique year… I never imagined Homer would “get narcolepsy”. D’oh! After hearing the news, I wrote a passionate post and shared my narcolepsy journey with Women’s Health Magazine (discussing aspects of my love life that I hadn’t discussed publicly before).

All this led to a Twitter correspondence with the Simpsons’ Executive Producer, Al Jean. Turns out, Al Jean is a very kind and thoughtful guy and my efforts helped to make a difference! Al Jean shared my article and later stated that he added a line to the narcolepsy episode after reading my thoughtful article. The line he added was my favorite – go figure! Special thanks to Project Sleep’s Rebecca Fuoco who helped me with all this!

Home Simpson Narcolepsy Julie Flygare

Dreamiest Moment of 2015:

narcolepsy the doctors show julie flygare narcolepsy not alone narcoleptic spokesperson wide awake and dreaming memoir 2

Unlike Australia and the Simpson, the Doctors Show was on my radar for a while. I’ve aspired toward raising narcolepsy awareness on this show for years. Cause let’s be honest, Dr. Travis is DREAMY! 😉 But seriously, I’m so grateful for this opportunity to raise awareness about narcolepsy on national TV.

Sharing my story on NPR was a huge honor too!

NPR Interview in my office

NPR Interview in my office

Sunniest Moment of 2015:

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Meeting Lynne Graham in person! Co-founding the Jack & Julie Narcolepsy Scholarship with the Grahams has brought so much joy and positive energy to my life. After two years of working closely with Lynne, we finally met in person in Manhattan Beach, CA – and caught a stunning sunset! I’m forever grateful for Lynne’s sunshine in my life.

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Worst Decision of 2015:

We are NOT ALONE

Signing up “on a whim” to run a marathon to raise funds for the Jack & Julie Narcolepsy Scholarship. I forgot how much TIME running takes and how much my legs don’t like running.

Best Decision of 2015:

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Signing up “on a whim” to run a marathon. Yep, same decision. Training for the marathon ended up giving me a road map through a very challenging time in my personal life – it gave me places to go, miles to check off, and an incredible sense of accomplishment for slowly but surely fighting my way to that finish line!

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Lessons Learned:

Naps Rule! I’m better with a nap. End of story.

Saying “No” is an important muscle to strengthen as a person with narcolepsy. Even if I can muster up the strength to say “no”, I spend precious time and energy feeling bad about it. I like making people happy, even though I can’t do it all. Protecting my time is the only way I can thrive and do my best work. I’m getting better, but still have a ways to go!

taking life one nap at a time

Dreams for 2016:

– I’m SO hoping 2016 be the year of the dog for me!! I’m saving up and can’t wait to meet my future best friend and napping buddy.

– Fostering joy and strength through dancing, zumba, yoga and running.

– Following my curiosity! I’ll be dedicating time to my intellectual and creative interests. Who knows where this will lead me!

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Mantra for 2016:

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“Stubborn gladness.” I’m enjoying Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic and this is my new mantra for the year ahead!

Thank you for your incredible support of my efforts. Wishing you a joyful new year full of laughter, smiles and NAPS!

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