Day 9 in a year of…

Day 9, July 31, 2016 @3:14 pm.

IMG_6820I am showing up at my keyboard earlier today.  But it is not any easier.  From the distance of now, this morning was easy.  But I do remember having to take a tylenol to get it started.  It is never easy.  I just have to get here and peck out one word at a time.

This morning I sat with Melli O’Brien and Joseph Goldstein for day 2 of the Mindfulness Summit from 2015.  I was more mindful, jotting down key points.  The point that meant the most for me is that mindfulness is not a hobby.  It is about the totality of IMG_6812our lives.  Goldstein also stressed on:

  • Being  simple and easy
  • Being with what’s happening
  • Practice in coming back again and again
  • Perseverance
  • discipline
  • courage

I’m listening to that advice.  The sky has broken open.  Thunder is rumbling.  The rain is pouring down, drumming on the deck roof.  I will take the day easy and simple.  I will be with what’s happening – listening and watching the rain with Sheba on the deck.  I will be back tomorrow.

Day 8 in a year of…

Day 8, July 30, 2016 @9:10 pm

I’ve left my musing for the day too late.  Now, I’m sitting in front of the television with the laptop on my knees.  Sheba insists that we watch television in the living room after supper.  You might think that it is crazy to be controlled by a dog.  But then it is us who has trained her by our own habits.  Dogs are creatures of habit.  So here I sit.  I hope I can think.  I could turn my TV volume down. Sheba has excellent hearing.

IMG_6797The morning started well, considering I had trouble sleeping last night.  I got up, made up, selected my earrings and other jewellery.  I’m experimenting with doing different.  It is ok to do more, even too much.  How else will I learn? There are no wrongs or mistakes in playing and trying out.  I thought about angles, lighting, posture and background for my selfies.  It takes practice to feel comfortable in making faces – even with no one around.  After a week,  it is starting to feel fun.

IMG_6802I don’t know how ideas travel, do you?  Where do they come from.  It popped into my head this morning that I should repeat the Mindfulness Summit.  I did the month long series of mindfulness in October 2015. Each day had a different speaker.  Today, Melli O’Brien interviewed Dr. Mark Williams. It was very helpful and pertinent to my project.

Assessing and writing at the end of today is not a good thing.  I am tired, feeling the heaviness of the heat and humidity.  I can hardly think and type.  But I am doing the best I can.  THE thing is  to show up here in this space each day to tell you how it was.  I hope you are here for me. Till tomorrow.




Day 7 in a year of….

Day 7, July 29, 2016 @4:48

IMG_6747Doing something new every day is not a hard nor easy task.  If there are 50 ways of leaving your lover, there must be equal number of ways of doing anything, including selfies.  Today, I’m trying for glee.  Inside I feel scowlful, if there is such a word.  And grumpy, though I’ve been told that I’m funny.  Anyways, I’m out for the many faces of joy and exuberance.

The hard part is my brain is hardwired to the same old and familiar.  It takes a short time to develop a rut. Some ruts are healthier than others.  For instance, putting on makeup every day is now easy after 7 days. It’s become a routine along with the trouble of choosing a pair a of earrings to wear.  I have a bad attitude of thinking everything is trouble.  Maybe it is wording.  Another new thing to put on my list.  Speak and think with impeccability, even if it’s to myself.  We become our thoughts.

IMG_6761Doing this project has made me more discerning of things, people and opportunities.  When I saw a shelf of beautiful orchids at SuperStore,  I said YES! to a gift for myself.   When I think of gifting, it’s usually for other people and the expense is not an issue.  When I do buy for myself, I have to do all this dickering in my head.  You can see that the orchid is a good buy – only $22.  No dickering.  I just grabbed.

IMG_6760Familiar has its own value.  Saves time and energy.  I am fond of the store’s barbecue chicken.  When I’m by myself, I get one and it’s good for a number of lunches and suppers.  I don’t have to slave over a hot stove or hurt my head deciding what to cook.  I dress it up with a salad or different veggies.  I’ve never noticed that they had different flavoured ones till quite recent – regular and smoking something.  Well, today I espy yet another – Portuguese!  This project can be exciting – for me.

IMG_6764I’m still plugging away at my lists.  I like to keep the new things that work.  I am crossing off more items.  As you can see – no baking bread or Sheba’s biscuits.  Too hot and humid.  I’m sapped but I’ve turned on the AC.  I’m learning to be good to myself. Have you been good to yourself today?  Tell me how.

Day 6 in a year of…

Day 6, July 28, 2016 @3:43.

IMG_6738Summer afternoons are delicious for drinking beer and taking naps.  I’ve had my little nap but I better wait till I’ve tapped out some words before I crack a can.  Otherwise, I might fall over my keyboard.  Asian women cannot hold their liquor.  At least not this one.  It isn’t fair.  So many things in life aren’t.  But at least, I’m getting better at doing selfies.  Oh, no, not another! You say.  Sorry but yes, another.  It’s never too much to say, I love you to myself.  I’ve waited all these years to start.  I’m not stopping now – or ever.  I will stop the selfie one day when I really feel love and acceptance residing in my core.

These days of getting up, making up and showing up have given me structure.  When I am not feeling my best, I’m looking my best.  I take note, sit/stand a little taller.  I don’t feel as if I had fallen off a vegetable truck – even if I feel it. When I look in the mirror, I’m surprised and delighted.  I can push on to another day in the year of choosing something different.

I’m glad I took up this project.  There’s really no right or wrong time to do anything. When an idea captures your imagination, you have to act on it.  Otherwise, nothing will happen. Nothing.  There is so much dead air in that word.  Nothing.  Say it again.  It has the sound of a heavy metal door closing.  Nobody has the key.  You are trapped in that nothingness.IMG_6736

That is not where I want to be.  I want to move ahead.  I’ve crossed off two items on my list today.  Working on another and maybe another.  I will add to it each day, too.  There’s movement.  There’s trying and doing.  There’s life.  

Now I will crack open that beer and grab a plate of snacks. Want to tour my front yard and see what is new?  My petunias are still in full bloom.  I have planted a honey suckle and clematis by the water tank.  I hope they will thrive and grow and climb up its sides to add aesthetics to it.  In the raised beds, the hot chilli peppers are numerous, carrots  in various stage of growth, green and bulb onions, Romaine lettuce, kale, and cucumber.  Not a bad yield at all.  How is your garden doing

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Day 5 in a year of…

IMG_6691It it almost 4 pm again.  Day 5.  360 days left.  I shouldn’t count but one likes to cross/tick things off.  I’m not doing well  in that department but I am working on it. There will be no baking again today.  The floor is good enough from yesterday’s vacuum.  One must prioritize or I could be circling and circling like a gerbil in a cage.

What I like to do right now is lay on the couch  with a book or just nap.  Serves me right for lunching on a burger, fries and root beer.  The root beer is what did me in.  All that sugar. It was good after an outing with Sheba at the dog park.  It was cool, sweet and went down nice.  Now I’m struggling to keep my eyes open.

IMG_6302I did sort my paper piles, called City Hall about the light bill.  Have you heard of anyone eager to get their light bill?  Well, I am – excited to see the first bill on solar electricity.  I might have to wait another day or two.  I can wait.  Practicing patience.  Damn hard!  I better put that down on my list.

The insurance company was next on the list.  Don’t you just hate that time every year when it comes for renewal?  Ugly, ugly!  Goes up every year.  The agent was friendly and understanding.  We had a chuckle or two before getting down to business.  I’m her first client with solar panels.  They are not on her list.  She will call me back after she makes some phone calls.

IMG_6702I think I did pretty well considering I was not positively positive in the morning.  I got up anyways, dressed up, made up and showed up.  Thank God for people like Regina Brett for their sunshiny outlooks and mantras.  I didn’t put on earrings though.  Couldn’t find the perfect ones.  When I did, my right earlobe wouldn’t cooperated.

Life can be hard sometimes.  You have all these intentions.  BUT habits and wounds go deep.  They have their knives down to the hilt in you.  They don’t like letting go.  I battle every day to do/react different. So every day I will get up and put makeup on.  Every day I will stand naked in front of the mirror and say, I love you. That IMG_6704would be a selfie. LOL  I’m more comfortable in shades or doing my feet. Somehow, feet are not as vulnerable.

Enough mumbling for today.  Tomorrow is another new beginning, another new page. What is on your page today?


Day 4 in a year of choosing something different

IMG_6661I love these salad days of summer when the grass is green and love oh so mellow.  Oh, I’m stealing words from the song, Try to Remember.  I’m feeling melancholy and nostalgic.  No worries, though.  Melancholia and nostalgia have always been part of me.  I’m glad to have them aboard.  They are restful companions.  They help me when I’m tired and need to slow down.  But I’m still here, dressed, made up, and different earrings on.  Sorry, another selfie.  I’m practicing saying I love you to myself – baggy eyes and all.

It’s 4 in the afternoon and I haven’t crossed off a thing on my to-do list.  Usually the list is all in my head.  But I’m choosing to make hard copies to see if it makes a difference.  It has only 4 things on it.  Pay bills. Bake bread and Sheba’s biscuit. Vacuum.  I have turned on the Roomba.  Thank God for robotic vacuums for these hard days!  At least I made a list.  I  still have time to do and cross off a couple of things.  But forget the bread and biscuits!

IMG_6674I am done in by summer heat, humidity and long walk with Sheba this morning.  And making a detour at our plot at the Community Garden.  I harvested a huge turnip, some beets and a few carrots.  It was a heavy load to carry home as is.  Next time I shall take a veggie bag besides doggy bags. I had to have a snack and a nap before I could clean and prepare the veggies and lunch.  But it is all done.  I sauteed the turnip greens. They were delicious if a bit tough.  Next time I will blanch them a little longer.  This was another first.

The Queen is barking.  She is out of water.  Must go and fill her bowl and then pay some bills.  Hope you are having a good day.  I like my accident with my header photo (feature image) yesterday.  I decided to do it again.

I leave you with the music of Try to Remember.

Day 3 in the year of…

Choosing something different every day is not relaxing, especially in the beginning.  I don’t mean it is difficult to find something new.  Once I had made the decision to bring it on, all kinds of things turn up.  I am like a kid in a candy store – grabbing this and that.  I am panting with  the excitement of awareness.  I could do different.  I could be different.  I want to multi-task.  That would be defeating.

IMG_6634I chilled, slowed down, breathed and counted to 10.  New is good.  So are old.  Why discard what is good?  I could have a little fun at it, too.  No need to be cerebral all the time.  I got up, dressed up and showed up.  I even put make up on again with different earrings today.  See?  I am having fun playing around with selfies.  Another first.  It is not easy.  Selfies are akin to standing naked in front of a mirror and telling yourself:  I love you.  Ugh!  I am getting over it.  So many things to consider when you point that camera – angle, background, lighting, what to do with your face.  I aim, point and presto!

I stuck with my comfort breakfast -tea and toast. IMG_6638 I don’t have to do a total makeover, to reinvent myself.  Too much could send me into outer space.  Comfort stuff is good  to balance the new.  I love reading mystery and fluff.  Nora Roberts fits the bill.  No need to be cerebral all the time.  I could lighten up with my writing, with everything.  See what I mean?  So many new directions.

PEBO2425It’s a must to stay with some old routines and habits. I couldn’t do without my 3 times a week aerobic class . It works wonders for my brain and heart, keeping cortisol levels low and serotonin high. It clears my brain fog and keeps me fairly sane.

Enough for today.  Not exactly a masterpiece but it was today.  How was your day?  Did you have fun?  Did you choose something different?  Till tomorrow.

PS:  I accidentally screwed up the header photo of my blog.  Dont’t know quick way to fix.  But it is something new. LOL.  Tomorrow will be soon enough.

DAY 2 in the year of…

IMG_6239Each morning brings a new beginning, a new page, a new story.  I get to choose how I see the world.  Isn’t it wonderful that it is July – the sun is shining and my petunias are in full bloom?  I am marking my calendar.  July 23rd is my Happy New Year.

Photo on 2016-07-24 at 9.21 AMI never did put makeup on yesterday.  I did today.  So here I am – in makeup AND earrings! I even put my eyebrows on for the occasion.  It is important to set my intention of doing something new for the day.  That special space in time when my head and mind is clear and pure is very short.  Life crowds in with its many intrusive thoughts.  I feel my heart clutching itself with the onslaught of false impressions and feelings.  I pause in the moment, letting the feelings come.  They are real even if they are from false thoughts.  In Byron Katie’s words, I ask myself:  Is it true?  I will file that for later.

What I have learned in these 2 short days is that I’m not a natural self nurturer.  I often feel selfish and mean.  I am caught in the habit of caring and giving to others.  I am not sure whether it is in the right spirit.  I know that I’m incapable of not doing the right thing.  But now I am going to learn how to pamper myself.

Habits and routines are healthy and good for us.  But we can get into too much of a rut.  I can and have been- living by rote.  I prided myself that I’m not a fussy person.  I’m easy to please.  Whatever, It doesn’t matter – are my mantras.  I use them towards myself, food, clothes, whatever.  That’s also another mantra.  I want to eliminate those phrases. I am learning to be fussy.

IMG_6593This morning breakfast mattered.  Instead of my usual toast, I had steel cut porridge with blueberries.  Making the decision to do something new every day opened up my senses.  Yesterday, when the rain came, I realized how much I love watching and listening to the rain.  I rushed out to the deck to watch and listen to nature’s beauty.  I’m making a list of my loves as they come to me.  I’m not a list maker either.  I store everything in my head.  No wonder it hurts.  It’s crammed and overflowing with too much.  We have to go and sort, discard and file.  Till tomorrow.

What are you doing different today?




COMING HOME -beginning a year of…

I can’t believe that I’ve been away since May 11th.  Coming back, sitting here, tentatively tapping at the keyboard is both exhilarating and uncomfortable.  The familiar sound and rhythm are soothing.  I am stretching to find the words.  I am starting a new project.

I haven’t been happy lately with how life and the world have unfolded.  I would hazard a guess that I have a lot of company in that respect.  I am disappointed with how I am unfolding.  I am not living up to my own standards.  See what I mean?  I am beating on myself again – repeating past history.  I want to change.  If I change my actions, maybe I can change my brain.  My brain is hardwired to my habits – or is it the other way around?

I DareOur world is dark and gloomy but magic still resides.  Merlin is listening, waiting with his abrahcadabra!  After I expressed my wish for change, I found Luann Cahn’s book, I Dare Me among my bag of library books.  The wish was already in me and the Universe knew.

So here I am, embarking on this new venture – a year of consciously doing something new.  I can do it. This confidence and optimism is new.  I CAN DO IT.

I will not be bungee jumping off a tall building in Las Vegas.  Or sky diving or mountain climbing. But then I don’t know where this project will take me.  For now, the challenge of change and writing about it every day will be exciting enough.

IMG_6563To mark this special occasion of change/transformation, I have clipped my hair.  It’s like popping that champaign bottle for me. Here I am post clipping, fresh from the shower, no mousse.  Not short/daring enough.  Next time.  I see I could use some makeup.  That would be something new for me – makeup every day.  I do hate those girls who takes such lovely selfies.  Another first – expressing my envy!