Gong Hee Fat Choy! Happy Chinese New Year. I am bushed! I don’t know how I managed a job before retirement. I’m not wearing red. I didn’t clean house in preparation for the new year. I vacuumed today. Oops! Well, it’s not sweeping. I’m not sweeping out my good fortune. It’s hard to observe my cultural traditions living so apart from my people. Aside from family, I don’t know that many Chinese people. I have no Chinese friends. I’m lacking in so many ways, negating much of what I set out to do. We will have our family New Year supper on Sunday – a day of rest for those who work.

That’s how life is going for me – negotiating and changing. I’m not sure it it’s for the better or it is just different. That’s how the world is. It’s changing so fast I’m often left breathless. I’m trying to keep up. I’m here, aren’t I, tapping as fast as I can. I am often confused and puzzled. Most of the time I’m cranky, in a mood. I wonder how I can get out of myself. I think of things I can do. What do I have to change? The rule I have when I come to this space is to leave on a higher note. I might tell you how I am feeling, what space I am in. But it is always about me and not anybody else. I try to be objective and not to crank out my personal biases. Hit me on the head if I do.

That is one thing I’m proud of – my words here. It leads me to think on what Caroline Myss says about the power of words.  “A mystical perspective: Your words are your power tools. Each word you use initiates an act of creation and is a thread holding together a part of the fabric of your life. Take one word out of your vocabulary and all the creative power that that word contains evaporates from your life. Take the word “love” out, for example, and everything you understand, know, feel, and experience about “love” would no longer exist.”

I’ve been thinking about a word that I would like to eliminate from my speech. It’s difficult to think of one. I don’t like ‘hate’ but it’s not one I use often. What I say alot is I don’t care. I use it often in self defence/protection. I’m not sure if I mean it. I am giving it meaning by saying it. By eliminating it, it means I do care. Everything matters. I will see how that difference will play in my attitude and well-being.

Today is the first day of the lunar year, the Year of the Dog. Sheba, the dog and I went to the park to celebrate. The sky and clouds were awesome. I saw the sun drift in and out of the clouds. It was travelling so fast it was hard to capture on the camera. Another reminder how fast life and time moves. Don’t think too much and hesitate too long. Put one foot in front of the other and do another lap around the park or wherever you want to go.

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I am somewhat obsessive by nature. Once I hook onto something it is hard to stop or to be moderate. Now that Sheba and I have found our old off-leash dog park again, we’re quite taken with it. I pack her up every afternoon and we do our walk there. It’s much easier walking hands free than with a dog on a rope. I love climbing up the hill, feel the breeze and gaze up at the blue of the sky and the traffic on the freeway below. I feel the weight lifting off my shoulders. I am alone in my desert.

Though I am weary coming through the gate, I am rejuvenated by the fresh air and open space. It is a very meditative walk as we go round and round. Though I intend to do just two laps, I am often tempted to do another and another. I have good sense enough to stop at 3, remembering Sheba and I are in our senior years. Today I was happy to stop at two. It is enough. Sometimes more is too much, leading to injury and illness. We have to save something for tomorrow.


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So tomorrow is here. I am as tired as can be. I am tired of being a warrior, getting up, dressing up and showing up but here I am – out of habit. It’s not a bad thing though it would be better if I have some cheer. But faking it when I don’t is adequate. It’s my best for today. I am not looking for sympathy. I do not feel sorry for myself either. Some days are better than others. Today is not a better day but it is getting better. I am not as tired as this morning.

Life is pretty dang hard. I find I am living on the lonely planet surrounded by darkness. It is hard to find that crack where the light gets in. But I still choose to get up, dress up and show up. I guess I am still a hopeful person. Where there is life, there is hope. How inane but so true. Sometimes I’m not graceful getting up. I stumble and fall. Some days I don’t brush the bed out of my head till noon. I don’t show up at exercise class.

But I always show up for my life. I wash my face, brush my teeth and greet the day somehow or another. Sheba gets her walk no matter sun, rain, sleet or snow. Today was cloudy with blowing snow. The wind gusted up to a gale. It was pretty wicked on top of the hill at the dog park. The saving grace was it was not cold. This past week we’ve found pleasure in our old park. It’s where we first hung out when Sheba was a puppy. It’s where she learned to butt sniff and romp with her own kind. Yesterday, we ran into Sheba’s sister, Shadow there. I can’t really say there was a joyous reunion. They sniffed and circled each other. We, the moms said, Oh, they look like sisters! Sheba is coming 12, I said. So is Shadow, her mom said. Shadow? Did you get her from….And that’s how we knew they were sisters.

No Sister Shadow there today but there were a few hardy souls and dogs. Though snowy and gusty, it wasn’t too bad. I pulled up my hood and zipped up the parka and followed the group. I think Sheba was the lone senior dog. But she gave it her best, made a few dashes and passes at the pups. I felt my heart opened up watching them play. My purple mitts were an attraction so I walked holding my hands up. Otherwise, I’m sure they would dash off with them in their teeth.

So the day goes. You do one thing, then another. I stopped in and visited with my parents. Their world is shrinking and so is mine. Why don’t I expand it just a little for us today. I always enjoy a cuppa with my mom. My father likes to listen in. It’s okay he doesn’t converse much. That’s his way. Mom tells me news of her friends and the books she’s read. She’s quite on top of things, the ways of the world and people. She sees that the world is changing. People are spending more time online and within themselves. She finds that it is also a lonely planet and we are like cartoon characters on the screen. I thank my mom in my mind for seeing what I see. I don’t feel quite as lonely then.

The day is almost over. It is dark outside. I shall pour myself a glass of wine and not think of anything important till the morning.

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I have to say I’m as tired as could be. Not that it was that full a day but it’s an accumulation of days. Though it is difficult to have the clarity of mind, I am here none the less. Sometimes just showing up can rejuvenate. I’m a wilting Lily getting a little water. Give me a few moments to perk up.

Maybe it would be wise for me to get some rest. I can still show up but I don’t have to run my battery at full throttle. It is not a must do or die thing. There’s no demand for my services really. I have no bosses to answer to, no job to show up for.  It is just my own obsessions. So sit back, have a cup of tea or sip that glass of wine. Tomorrow is another day.


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It is the end of the day. I feel I could break into that Rolling Stone song, As Tears Go By. Do you know that my head is like a jukebox, full of songs? It can be triggered by a thought or a phrase. I would hear a song play in my head – all for free. The melody and words to As Tears Go By is lovely. This video is lovely, too, even if Mick is not any longer. It’s worth a watch.

I have to admit that I don’t listen to much music any more except to the stuff in my head. It would do me good if I would take the time to sit and just listen. Do you take the time? There’s always something else and so much of other stuff calling my name. How can I just sit, not do anything except listen to music? I can’t just watch television. I have to knit all the while. I can’t just sit and drink tea. I have to read also. I wasn’t always like this. I wonder what happened and when.

My head is not an orderly neural network. The streets and avenues within intersect, crisscross haphazardly every which way. No compass or GPS could help me. I could try music therapy. I could try to just sit, drink tea and listen to music. I could try to do that for one cup of tea once a day. I could try it for a month and see what would happen to my head.

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Sunday, God’s day of rest. I lingered in bed a little longer, nesting in the warmth of the comforter. Nothing on my agenda. No need for rushing and crashing. Yet at the same time, it’s not a license to sloth either. I swing my legs over the edge and head to the bathroom. Face washed and teeth brushed, I ran the brush through my bed head. Not pretty but almost not frightening. It will do for now.

The days are getting longer now. It was still light at 6 pm yesterday. This stretch of February has been wonderfully sunny. The cold has not been bad though the temperature is -23 degrees Celius at this moment. The sun is streaming into the room. The dog and I are toasty warm. I love to linger in this sunny space. It is a good place to work in and on this morning.

I am experimenting with rescheduling to find what are the best times to do anything. It seems l’m just treading water and not getting anywhere. I know it’s not true – just perceptions of my mood. It would also be of benefit if I chart my moods as to the time of day/month/seasons. I am always working at something, aren’t I? That’s my nature. I like to make ‘improvements’ on myself. Nothing stays the same. It’s best to change for the better, don’t you think?

That’s where I am going – for the better. It’s taken me a long time but I got it. It’s not always about me – that caused it, that has to fix everything or anything. I’ve finally curbed my delusion of being Atlas. I don’t have to, I cannot hold up the sky for eternity. I am but an ordinary human being. I love the smallness of my ordinary life. I am happy to putter along, one small step at a time.

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This time in the afternoon is definitely not my best in terms of energy and mood. I am sapped and droopy. I am not sounding my most up nor energetic. I probably whine alot. I should try changing my schedule. But you know how difficult that can be. I am sort like Sheba now with habits. Once I’m in a rut, I need a crowbar to get me out of there. Mind you, some ruts are healthy – like my Saturday morning swim. My thinking brain didn’t like the idea. It started telling me how dark it is that time of the morning. But my body was craving it. It tells me it’s Saturday morning. It’s time for my swim. My body won that one.

My brain is now struggling to find the words, my body trying to find the energy. They both are searching and scanning for some purpose and meaning to what is this all about.

My search was not at all fruitful. I had to abandon and let it rest. It is now bedtime. Sometimes it is wise not to dig so hard for purpose and meaning. I have to give up on some struggles. Live and let live. Do not ask questions that have no answers. Do not expect others to agree with me. Do not expect others to change. Be the change I want to see. I am finally learning to speak for myself and of myself. Peace. Sleep well. I hope to do better tomorrow.

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