I Never Promised You a Rose Garden

Not every morning, day and anything are equal. I wouldn’t want it to be, would you? Where would the challenge be then? It would be like Bill Murray waking up to the same day, every day in Groundhog Day. A person could go bonkers! Change is good for us. Having said that, it doesn’t stop me wishing for the comfort of the endless sun shiny days. It’s our human default mode. We hate change. We hate discomfort and inconvenience. We hate interruption of a good thing.

You might have guessed it. Today is a cloudy and windy morning. We’ve had a light shower. It’s not conducive for productivity or joy. I should amend that. It can and does lead to creativity. Clouds sometimes give us pause make us reach deeper into ourselves. They can be an impetus for writing poetry, making music and other pursuits. I think we call them silver linings. Without clouds where would we get the rain for our rose gardens?

It’s getting towards the end of the day. I’m feeling a bit challenged on finishing this post. The day did not stay cloudy. The afternoon was lovely, warm and filled with sunshine. My persons came for afternoon tea and snacks. I was excused from my duty of ladder holding and fetching bandaids. It was a lovely visit. I am not high maintenance. I need only a person or two, good conversation and caring. I don’t need travel or shopping. I am a happy homebody.


Day 2 of this writing challenge. It is a challenge, too. Maybe I should have started in the morning when I was fresh and had no time to be depressed yet. Now in mid afternoon, I am tired and stuck on my treadmill of thinking and thinking. I’m reminded of Portia Nelson’s poem, There’s a Hole in the Street. There’s a hole in the street and I’m in it.

It’s not that I’m just sitting and thinking. I’m tapping on my keyboard and sipping peppermint and ginger tea. I think I will take a tylenol to rid this overthinking headache. I’m not crying, Oh poor me! Really I’m not but poor me anyways. This is not where I want to be in life right now. But it is where I am. I better just suck it up.

I love Pema Chodron. I love her book When Things Fall Apart, Heart Advice for Difficult Times. I love her quotes.

“The most difficult times for many of us are the ones we give ourselves.”

“Rather than letting our negativity get the better of us, we could acknowledge that right now we feel like a piece of shit and not squeamish about taking a good look.”

Our whole world falls apart, and we’ve been give this great opportunity.  However, we don’t trust our basic wisdom mind enough to let it stay like that.  Our habitual reaction is to want to get ourselves back—even our anger, resentment, fear, or bewilderment.  So we re-create our solid, immovable personality as if we were Michelangelo chiseling ourselves out of marble.”

“We don’t set out to save the world; we set out to wonder how other people are doing and to reflect on how our actions affect other people’s hearts.”

I do feel as if I’ve fallen in that hole. I’ve been going down that same damn street forever. Now I don’t even have Sheba to keep me company. Yes, I do feel that my world has fallen apart. Nothing stays the same forever. I shall use this window of opportunity to find a new street to walk.





Sometimes All the time I feel self possessed. I’m consumed with me, I and myself. It’s all about me. I wonder if it is a bad thing. Is it a selfish thing? Am I a narcissist? By definition it is “a person who has an excessive interest in or admiration of themselves.” I think I’m disqualified because most of the time, I find myself lacking. I feel relieved. Yet I wonder why I’m not worthy of self admiration. Why do I feel ashamed or embarrassed to express the satisfaction with myself?

These are interesting times for me, entering the last stage of my life. You would think that after all this time, I would be more grown up, more confident, more knowing. But the only more I have lately are stuff, disappointment, anger and dissatisfaction with how I and life are. That’s not good at all, at all. I hate waking up in the morning with this sour taste in my mouth and my body heavy as lead. I plod through my days very efficiently nonetheless, almost with a smile on my face.

My saving grace is that I love a challenge. It is difficult for me to lie down for long and say uncle. I eventually rise, however slowly, like the Phoenix and is born again. I am tenacious, stubborn and obnoxious – but only to myself these days. I have learned a bit of wisdom through my addiction with self-help. DON’T TAKE ANYTHING PERSONALLY. What others think of me is none of my business. I got that now. I do take myself personally though. I have regard for my well being. I am learning to take care of myself first. I have to save myself first before I can help someone else. It’s just like they teach you on the airplane. Put the oxygen mask on yourself first. I MATTER. Darn tooting.

I’m feeling pretty fine today, having turned my thoughts around a bit. I woke up with an unusual spring to my step. I try not to let things get under my skin. I’m trying to grow a thicker layer. I’m trying not to be so serious all the time. But the thing is I like my serious side. I like to ponder on serious stuff. I stopped at the used book store on the way home from my aerobics class. It is my candy store. I bought Why People Don’t Heal and How They Can by Caroline Myss. I am a serious case and a self-help addict. But I am earnestly working on having fun. Really I am – even if it’s just on paper.






I knew as soon as I woke up today could be one of those achy, breaky days.  It was grey and gloomy.  The wind was blowing fierce.  I did not want to get out of bed!  But I knew that was no solution.  It would take me back into the doldrums and I didn’t want to go.

What should a girl do?  I  have to get up, dress up and show up.  From there, the day would take on a life of its own.  That’s what I have learned from experience.  The hardest part is the getting up.  Why is that?  Don’t you just sit up and swing your feet out and put them on the floor?  It’s the same thing with hanging up your coat, putting away things and picking up things you drop.  Sometimes I feel such inertia and I CAN’T or WON’T do it.

It is a good thing I AM committed to challenging myself this month.  I will not fail on the 9th day in.  That will be so embarrassing.  That will be so, so.  My words will mean nothing if I give up.  The show must go on.

While I am waiting for the sun to show and the wind to subside, I will go on and do the best I can.  I am running out of bread.  It’s perfect weather for baking.  The mixing and stirring is soothing.  And while the dough is rising, I put on a pot of water and threw IMG_4894some soup bones in to make bone broth.  It will build me up!

My spirit is lifting, my head is more clear.  I think about my goals.  What is it that I want?  How is it and what is it to be happy?  I have been trying to make a regular practice of meditation but it hasn’t happened.  I haven’t been successful at sitting and being alert and doing nothing.  Maybe I need another way – a ‘doing’ meditation of being in the moment.

I focus on doing one thing at a time, not rushing.  I feel the dough as I am kneading it, its softness and smoothness.  I concentrate on not being so rigid about making the IMG_3392loaves so exactly in equal size.  What does it matter if one is a little bigger than the others?  Why have I been so neurotic about things like that when it really doesn’t matter?  I try to ask myself that question every time I’m in a similar situation.  WHAT DOES IT MATTER?

It does snap me out of it and I can move on.  It is time I stop wasting precious energy on bad habits and bad emotions.  It is time I start to really get into living.  Even when the going is tough and slow, you can still do a lot in the meantime.






And so on this eighth day, I am rather weary.  Challenges can be taxing.  I’m assessing the situation and my energy to stay for the long haul.  There are 22 more days to go.  Having made strong statements and commitments, I have to go the distance.  Doing my best each day is all I can ask of myself.

My aim from the start is to build on what I have accomplished each day.  I do not want to regress.  So far, so good.  Each day I have gotten up, dressed up and showed up.  The bed gets made.  The dishes get done.  The floors vacuumed of dog hairs.  Some days, they are done better than other days. But it is the best that I can do at the time.

Some days I feel better, have more energy, more pumped and more profound.  Other days, like today, I am not.  But I put one foot in front of the other and move.


Look at how far I have come, one step at a time.  And here I am, tap, tapping away at my keyboard, words spilling on the screen.  I’m singing a song of hope and faith.



What a better day to celebrate and rejuvenate oneself than on April 1st, the beginning of a new month?  Spring should be just around the corner, little green things should be shooting up from the ground.  But Nature is having a laugh at us, playing  an April Fool trick.  The sky is grey.  The ground cold, frozen and hard as a scorned woman’s heart.  This is more reason to kick up one’s feet, raise some dust and maybe hell and shout:  I AM ALIVE.  CELEBRATE!

I can do it.  I can be committed.  I can be joyful and fun.  I can still carry on.  I can still do the cheerleader thing…hip, hip, hipooray!  I can!  I can!  I can do The Ultimate Blog Challenge.  Today is the first day of re-challenging myself – again.  So what, if I stumble and fall again?  I can get up and dust myself off and start again.  Never give up!







The karaganas are blooming in the park.  I wish that I had a camera but I do not so I just enjoy their beauty and fragrance and store the moment in my memory.  I will capture their digital essence another time.  Sometimes you have to give up one thing to have another.  Such is life.

The other evening, I went riding with my little biking class.  Can I say that I did awesome….for a total distance of 20 k’s?  Well, I did have one little wobble which ended up being a big, big wobble – and I came tumbling down the Jill but without Jack. But I got up and dusted myself off and got back on my ‘horse’.  Jack had to help me get up and untangle the chains.

I am a little bruised and stiff but none the worse for wear.  And the first wobble is the worst.  Now that I have experienced the worst wobble, I can get on and push off with confidence.  It’s what I tell myself anyways,  even though in my heart, I will always feel the beginning of fear at the beginning of that first little wobble before I pedal off into the sunset.

It is good that I feel that little trepidation.  It means I am alive and human.  I can feel that excitement of uncertainty.  What is life if there are no wobbles, no uncertainty?  Where would the challenge be?  So I am happy to say that my life is full of wobbles and challenges.  But everything is copasetic.  And perhaps one day I can sit astride my bike with ease and confidence.  THAT would be very copasetic indeed!

Bike 6