It is January 31, the last day of the month at last and my last post for the Ultimate Blog Challenge. I’m going to give it my all but not die trying. Nothing is worth dying for except maybe my life. What a paradox, eh? I want to call this post What I Know For Sure but I’ve used it a few times already. Still it is a good very phrase, a good handle to jump off.

What I know for sure is I’m not as powerful as I thought. But I’m stronger than I think. Though I thought I have been examining my life, I’ve been just running away and hiding. I’ve been caught in the busyness of tending to other things, other people. Now I’m standing still, facing the last few acts of my drama on this planet. I open the shutters, the closets and drawers of my mind. Everything is full of dust.

I am not daunted. I am not deterred. I roll up my sleeves and got out my elbow grease. I set aside my thoughts and musings for another time. One small thing at a time. Today is that humidifier. I turned it off, lifted the water tank off its base. I’m greeted by slime and calcium deposits, the sludge of being busy with ‘more important’ stuff. I set everything in the kitchen sink. What a bunch of work! I could be scrolling and watching TV instead.

I stood at the sink, examing it all, the humidifier and my thoughts. Plato’s An unexamined life is not worth living played in my head. I have a built in jukebox. It’s sending me a message. So I rolled up my sleeves again, got out the vinegar and a knife. It did not take long, less than 30 minutes. The surprising thing was I enjoyed the process of cleaning, scraping and scrubbing. In my mind I was cleansing my own inner chambers. Maybe it is true that our outer world is a reflection of our inner world. Clear and clean one, you do the same for the other.

Tomorrow I will tackle the spice drawer. Wouldn’t it be nice if it was full of sugar and everything nice? Not likely. Anyways tomorrow is another day. I can’t handle another word. I’m not made of a thousand words a day. I’m more of a Hallmark greeting card writer. I’m great at one line profundities.



Two more days left in the month. It’s another cold one today, like a normal winter’s day. I can handle it. Wake up, get up, dress up and show up. It is that easy. One foot in front of the other. And so on and so forth till the day is done. The day is almost done and I have yet to write my second last post for the Ultimate Blog Challenge. I am not sure I have much to impart tonight.

To make things worse, I’ve just accidentally deleted a profound thought. It’s gone. I can’t get it back. Somethings are like that. They are lost and never to be found. I have to let them go. I am not always successful. I seldom am. I try not to fret over that. Life can be such a merry go round. I am always chasing my tail.

Sheba is fussing, wanting to go to bed. She is on her fat cushion but it is in the living room. It has to be her cushion in the bedroom. So here I am, tapping on my laptop in bed. Sheba is content on hers. I’ve run out of thoughts. I’ll sleep on it. Maybe tomorrow I will have an avalanche of profundity. Good night.




January 29, 2019

It is getting late. I wonder what I have to say on this cold day. It was said to be – 40 Celsius with the windchill this morning. Dressed appropriately, I didn’t feel the chill. There was no wind and the sun was out. It’s the kind of weather that I feel best in – cold, still and sunny. Who can ask for anything more? I’m a fool, I know. Sheba is right there with me. She didn’t hesitate stepping out. Our breaths steamed and our footsteps echoed in still chilled air. It is January after all.

I feel cocooned and mellow in this cold. No necessity for a glass of wine. A cup of hot water will do. We Chinese women like our cuppa. It is good to do a cleanse and be in silence and solitude once in awhile. I was in some anxiety and curiosity about how I will do. Now that it is upon me, it feels peaceful and comforting. A heaviness has shifted and a veil lifted. I have time and space for reflection. I like to get acquainted with this person who is me and what her life is worth. Who is she? What are her values? What and who makes her heart sing? Does anyone value her for herself? Worthy questions to reflect on. The cold slows everything down, making time for such ponderings. Maybe it’s why I like it. It gives me an excuse not to rush, not to accomplish, not to do anything. Even though I don’t have to answer to anyone, I still like an excuse.

Sometimes I feel too self absorbed. I like to be more worldly and more expansive and be out there in the world. I like to be a hero, a slayer of demons and dragons. I like to be a righter of all wrongs, a saviour of mankind and our planet earth. However, they are not who I am. I do not possess any of those qualities. This I know. What I do well is musing. I’m not quite sure what it gets me. Perhaps it is too late in the evening to delve into. It’s time to say good night.



Three more days till the end of January. Three more days till the end of the Ultimate Blog Challenge. I do have alot to say today as in every day. The getting them out is not the easy thing. How do I start? is always the question. How to introduce and lead in, is difficult. There is the natural flow and rhythm of a conversation between people/friends. With some people, I don’t have to think about it. We get together, greet each other and talk happens. It’s effortless.

Other times, I have to give it some careful thought. How do I want the direction of our time together and conversation go? What is the nature of our relationship? How well do I know this person? Do I want to keep the relationship? In the past, I have not practiced due tact and wisdom. I have not been discerning. It is not that I am a blunt and tactless person. I know manners and proper etiquette. I have never told anyone to their face that I hate their guts, or that their outfit is really bad, never mind what their hair looks like. Maybe I would have been better off if I had been THAT honest.

AND to be honest I have to admit, I haven’t won many valentines for being the proper, polite, honest and helpful person that I am. Obviously that hasn’t been working for me. I have started to mend my ways. I try not to be so frigging uptight.  I don’t have to be the proper all the time. I probably ended up doing all the wrong things by trying so hard. I have failed on a few occasions, of course but I am learning. Now, I’ve given in to just tending to myself for awhile. I’m doing little things like sleeping in a bit, taking a little sabbatical from my aerobics class, minding my own business and wearing blinders. I do not want to hear/see any SOS calls. Sometimes I think I’m more powerful than I am. I am NOT powerful at all.

You know what? I’m feeling better already in one week. I wasn’t liking myself. I wasn’t like how I was going about life. Not that I know how to go about it now. I’m taking a sabbatical from knowing, too. I’m just going to chill and observe. I do feel a softness opening up in me. I think I needed this week’s rest from going with the beat and pumping iron. I’ve gotten a few ideas from Jennifer Louden on how to get back my creative flow. I also use the tips for creative living. The tips I got today are:

  1. Relaxing my body before I do anything so that I can be opened to receive creative energy
  2. Taking back time from being addicted to technology for better use.
  3. Choosing an art and doing it – a small project /day. Choose a medium and act on it.

I have chosen words for today. I’ll get into the paint and pencils another day. For the Ultimate Blog Challenge, out and over till tomorrow.



It’s Sunday afternoon. It’s windy as can be. The whirlybird on the next door neighbour’s roof is going a hundred miles an hour. My Buddhas are sitting pretty under the protection of the swaying branches spruce trees. I can see someone shovelling snow across the back alley. Back and forth he goes, pushing the shovel. I can hear the howl of the wind. I am sitting snug and relaxed in my cocoon. Soon, I will have to brave the elements with the fur baby for her walk.

I wonder why I am not a snowbird like everyone. I’m starting to feel like a rarebird, toughing it out, staying put. In the last week, all I hear is people heading south to Mexico, Florida, Cuba, Arizona, Brazil, Hawaii…..Everyone wants to escape to somewhere else. Me, I’ll head out straight into the eye of the storm with Sheba. It’s time for that walk.

I’m back from the dreaded walk. It was really not bad at all – a little breezy but not cold. The snow was crusty and crunched beneath our feet. I don’t think Sheba was crazy about it. She treaded carefully, one paw in front of the other. I’m beginning to think it will not be such a bad winter. There is no need to run, escape just for the sake of another place. No doubt there will be people running and escaping in the other direction.

Do I need to hunker down? I don’t think so. I’m pretty strong. I’m short for sure. I won’t blow over easily. I look forward to getting my mettle tested. That’s how I am. Day 27 of the Ultimate Blog Challenge.



It is bloody hard every single Saturday morning to head out in the cold and dark for my weekly swim. What I know is that I always feel good after. I have been the lone swimmer all these weeks. If I don’t show up, they might cancel that time slot. So, I show up. I have gotten used having the whole pool to myself, I find myself resenting even the thought of  sharing. I am tenacious and a little selfish.


That is just a little about me. I’m like a dog with a bone. I don’t let go. I don’t forgive easily. On the other hand, I have been generous with time, money and heart. I say ‘have been’ because I think I need some tempering. I overdo. It’s my dog with a bone trait. I don’t listen to myself. I don’t practice what I preach. Moderation in everything. In other words, I’m full of bullshit – and didn’t even know it.

What should I do now? The best advice I could give myself is not to rush off and do a complete makeover. Makeovers never work. Well, they might on Oprah and Super Soul Sunday. I’m just going to sit loose and not give a hoot so much. Maybe things will work out all by themselves and I will have a dream life – NOT. But, I am going to sit loose, not think, plan or do any kind of major surgery. I will listen to my forefathers and follow the Dao. It doesn’t look easy, but I will give it my best shot. My dog-with-a-bone trait will help.


January 25, 2019  7:41 pm

It is later than I like. What should I talk about today? I feel a bit pressured, under the gun. Last night I dreamt that we were in Sri Lanka with my friend. We were at some kind of buffet. It was a bit weird as things are in dreams are. Most of the dishes were of some kind of rice. I didn’t have any Sri Lankan money. I didn’t buy any before the trip because I could get some from my friend, right? I woke up then. I told the guy about it. It reminded him that my friend had phoned yesterday when I was out. He had forgotten to tell me. That didn’t really surprised me. But what did was when I talked to my friend later in the morning. She said she was going to Sri Lanka on Sunday.

Oh, wow! I thought. I really should trust myself more in these matters. I’m the woman who saw ghosts when I was a little girl in China. I felt ghosts sitting and immobolizing me as an adult. I doubted myself, thinking they were just dreams. Once when it happened, I tried to prove I was awake and not dreaming. I blinked my eyes several times. I tried to scream but no sound came out. Then I tried to reach my bedside lamp to turn it on. I couldn’t quite reach my switch but I knocked it over. Or so I thought. Just then the pressure lifted and I could move freely. The lamp was still on the dresser, intact. I had felt my cat jumped off the bed when the lamp fell but it must have been my scream that sent it scampering. I will never know the truth of anything since I was alone in those times. I do now know that when I’m screaming silently in my dreams, they are not in the real world.

This afternoon I inadvertently found my safety deposit box. I asked the guy to move the VCR up from the basement to our upstairs TV. I went down to help him unhook it. My eyes landed on the teapot on the shelf above it. The knowing that the key could be there flash through my mind. Have you ever had those flashings. It’s just like in the comic books. I looked and fished around the teapot. Underneath some rolled up coins was the key. I would never have found it if I had gone on an intent search for it. Now I know to trust those feelings of mine.


January 24, 2019  10:25 am

I have finally fallen off the busy merry go round and live to tell about it. I have to sit and savour it, let the feelings sink in and permeate my being. Hmmm, I’ve languished too long in the sunshine of my day. I am well marinated in the do nothing. I am now in the dark of the evening. It feels good to let things be just as they are. They’ll still be here tomorrow. I sweat too much over small stuff. I am learning not to give a fuck.

It sounds like crude language.I t is not meant as such. It grabs the attention. It is a definite statement. No misunderstanding nor explanation necessary. I’m still talking about Mark Hanson’s book The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck. Truly I give too much fuck about too many things. I waste alot of energy and myself to things that don’t matter. It’s time I get educated and be more discerning.

I have to give some thought as to what is f’ing worthy. My health and well being is at the top of the list. Having an income to provide my basic needs is another. It gets more difficult to identify after these obvious. Certainly I want to be happy. But what exactly does not mean? Family and friends are important. How important and how much should you invest in their relationship? These are just a few thoughts to start those wheels whirling in my head. They don’t have to start tonight though. It is time to say goodnight for this 24th day of the Ultimate Blog Challenge.


January 23, 2019  4:58 pm

The days are ticking away slowly or quickly depending on my frame of mind. Right now it could be better. I guess I’m running between a tortoise and a hare. That sounds about perfect, doesn’t it?  Well, it isn’t at all. I have a flipping headache. I could curse up a f’ing storm but I don’t have as much wind as I did when I was a nurse. Don’t get me wrong. I did my cussing privately amongst my cohorts, except once. In the heat of the moment and frustration with my co-worker, I lost control and said f’ing in the presence of a patient. I turned myself into the authorities. It was a comedy show with tears.

Life’s been like that for me. I don’t get much of a break and I try so frigging hard to dot all the i’s and cross all the t’s. I’ve been raised by my mama. That’s how she is, too. She is much better at it than me, though. She seldom loses her cool. She suffers silently. She never cusses. She would be shocked to hear me thus. She knows very well I have a temper though. She tells me I’m like my father. Humph!

I wish that I am not so rigid with the i and the t. I wish that I could be a little more carefree. I wish I did not have to always do the right thing. I like to say I don’t really give a flying fuck and mean it. Lo and behold, this morning I came across Mark Manson. He wrote the book – The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck. I want to write that book. It’s difficult to be subtle about it, though. The very word itself is blunt and to the point. I will have to give it some serious study. I have reserved the book at the library. Hanson writes:

” In my life, I have given a fuck about many people and many things. I have also not given a fuck about many people and many things. And those fucks I have not given have made all the difference.”

I will make a report after I have read the book and tried out some of the ideas. I am #72 on the list. There are 9 copies.


Sunday morning I heard and saw my spruce trees whispered to me as I stood by the window.  A feeling of calm and knowing came over me. Everything is going to be alright. The message became clearer later when I was watching Oprah on Super Soul Sunday. She was interviewing Shauna Niequist on her new book, Present Over Perfect. While I got over being impressed by Shauna in a hurry, her one sentence stayed with me. ‘Listen to your life.’

I have not been listening. I felt the danger of listening and hearing. I would then have to act on what it is that I’m hearing from me. There’s always this urge to run and run fast, stick my head under the pillow, put my fingers in my ears and go lalalalala! Catch me when you can. I think I’ve been caught. I don’t feel trapped. I’ve finally stop running. That is all. I’m out of breath, exhausted by my efforts. It doesn’t work anyways. Underneath the ignored knowing is all that unease fighting to get out.

I’ve been feeling all the fatigue, the aches and pains of futile efforts in this part of the year. Maybe it is January. Maybe it’s my SAD. Today I’ve given up and in to the struggle. I don’t have to keep a stiff upper lip. I am not British after all. I am allowing all my feelings their freedom. They have a right to be heard. All the emotions – sad, glad, mad, every shade, are part of the human equation. I suppose we all feel a sense of shame and failure when we can’t live up to our own expectations. I know I do.

Today I’m takings off my Wonder Woman costume. I’m tired of leaping over tall buildings and holding up the world. My shoulders are sore. My tiara and boots need polishing. My lasso needs repairing. I’m not young anymore either. There’s grey in my hair and crow’s feet around my eyes. I need to hang up my rescue gear alongside the nurse’s duty shoes. I need to rest in the retirement of my careers. Drop all that busyness of distraction. Listen to the spruce trees talk. Hear what my life is telling me. Rest in the nothing of the day. There is nothing that I have to do and nowhere that I have to go. I can hear the sound of my one hand clapping. It is my life calling.

                          Love After Love

The time will come 
when, with elation 
you will greet yourself arriving 
at your own door, in your own mirror 
and each will smile at the other’s welcome, 

and say, sit here. Eat. 
You will love again the stranger who was your self.
Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart 
to itself, to the stranger who has loved you 

all your life, whom you ignored 
for another, who knows you by heart. 
Take down the love letters from the bookshelf, 

the photographs, the desperate notes, 
peel your own image from the mirror. 
Sit. Feast on your life.