The difficult things are so hard to do. I hem and haw, twiddle and twaddle, scroll here and there. I do everything except the things that I need to do. I scratch my head and wonder why that is. I think it is the way with most people – that is most people like myself whose first instinct is avoidance. I try hard not to get to the root of the problem. That would be another delaying tactic. Instead, I sit myself before my keyboard to start a conversation.

I have got a few difficult things out of the way. I am not a complete failure. I tolerated the discomfort of not wanting to do and did some paperwork, put it in an addressed and stamped envelope. It is now in a Canada Post box. My prescription medications are picked up but not put away. Sheba is fed. She is waiting for her walk. Other than that, there is nothing urgent. I can put away that uncomfortable ‘I should do’ feeling. I should hitch Sheba up and go for that walk. Fresh air would do us good though I’m not looking forward to walking in wet slushing snow.

It is evening now. The walk over and done with. Somehow things do get done. My tomato seedlings are all transplanted. A few chili peppers got seeded as well as a new variety of tomato called Sunshine Sauce. I had time for a 20 minute Epsom salt soak in the tub before supper. I’m pecking away on the keyboard, trying for a few precious thoughts. A few thoughts/things are better than none. My eyelids are heavy, my mood sober. Better close up shop till the morrow.

It is now a few morrows later. I am not really in the mood to finish this post but I will. I do not want to waste my already spent efforts. What I have learned is that spot between a hard place and a rock has some give. I just have to give up the thought and not be stuck in it. I’ve been repeating the phrase, If I don’t have that thought, how would I feel? over and over these last while. It’s something I’ve learned from Byron Katie. I ask myself that question when I’m distraught and in distress. Somehow it works. It disrupts my stuck despairing, distressing thoughts. A little calm seeps in and I’m okay again.

It is another morning. The sun is shining. I’m here tapping out a few more words. Sometimes the world Facebook gives me what is needed. This morning it is words from Anne Lamott on How We Endure and Find Meaning in a Crazy World.

“No matter what happens to us — to our children, to our town, to our world — we feel it is still a gift to be human and to have a human life, as long as we ignore the commercials how and advertisements and the static that the world beams at us, and understand that we and our children are going to get knocked around, sometimes so cruelly that it will take our breath away. Life can be wild, hard and sweet, but it can also be wild, hard and cruel.

The bad news is that after the suffering, we wait at the empty tomb for a while, the body of our beloved gone, grieving an unsurvivable loss.

It’s a terrible system. But the good news is that then there is new life. Wildflowers bloom again… They’re both such surprises. Wildflowers stop you in your hiking tracks. You want to savor the colors and scents, let them breathe you in, let yourself be amazed. And bulbs that grow in the cold rocky dirt remind us that no one is lost.”


End of July. End of the Ultimate Blog Challenge. This is my last post for it. It is after 4:30 in the afternoon. I’m sitting in the kitchen. There’s a nice cool draft from the two opened windows. I was relaxed but not anymore. Intrusive thoughts, phone calls, Sheba panting at my feet and the sound of traffic through the window. I’m feeling annoyed. I do my 4-7-8 breathing exercise.

Not much better. I lose count of my counting. Sheba is whining at me. The traffic is still so loud and distracting. We head outside. I kick Sheba off the deck with a rawhide chew. It is warm but not too bad. I can hear Sheba chewing her rawhide. At least one of us is settled. I do another round of 4-7-8 breathing. I listen to the traffic. I listen to the kids play at the daycare one house over. I don’t wish or fight for quiet. I accept what is.

I’m a slow learner in life but I can still learn. This month has been all about  learning the things that will make life easier for myself. I’ve been doing the same things over and over, expecting different results. I hadn’t known before that was what I was doing. I really worked on being mindful and seeing things objectively. It has changed how I see and think. It has removed the personal and emotional from many situations. For the first time, I see many things as they really are.

I was very proud of myself earlier in the day. I felt intrusive thoughts working their way into my mind. I saw what they were. I willingly and easily changed my thoughts. I felt smug about it, thinking I’m some kind of saint. But then, later, they came again. I took them personally and emotionally. I became irritated and annoyed with myself. So here I sit now, telling you about it. I think I must accept all my feelings, the good and bad. Otherwise, the bad will cause self-hatred. And no one is a saint.

Now it is almost 8 in the evening. I’m trying to finish my thoughts. July has been a good month. The weather has been volatile, changing day to day and within the day. Maybe we need that to remind us how precious our earth is. It reminds me how precious life is. It is not to be taken for granted. I have to take care and tend to it like my garden. The month and the challenge is over, but I will still come to this space to sort out the weeds in my thoughts. I will continue to learn and discern what is nurturing from what is noxious.



So here I am, in the late of the evening. I’ve wined and dined. I haven’t come up with the secret to eternal wisdom nor happiness. Needless to say, it has been a tough day, a day of clouds and cool temperatures for July. But I did the best I could. Despite the clouds, my yard and garden glowed in the early morning light. It cheered me, standing on the top step. The path led straight to the garage door. Lao Tzu and the Chinese maiden are standing on duty on each side. I’m waiting for Sheba to finish her morning business. My passion for a well lived life remains unabated.

Nothing was really wrong except for my chemistry. My mood is like the weather. The good, bad and ugly played hide and seek with each other. I let them be, but stepped in as a referee when needed. It was tough and painful at times, almost bringing tears to my eyes. But I got through the tough stretch. The bills were paid and recorded. I thought I would leave sorting and filing for another day. I rewarded my efforts with a hot chocolate and a few pages of my crime novel, Moon Music. Faye Kellerman is my new favourite mystery writer. I find mystery/crime novels soothing and calming because they engage me.

Engagement is the key for me on difficult days. I tell myself, I can, I can. I can change my thoughts and how I speak to myself. I can make lunch. I can make a rhubarb crisp. I can do my art projects. And so I did. The rhubarb crisp wasn’t quite up to par. That was because I decided to make it in a smaller pan with same amount of rhubarb. But after I popped it back into the oven for another 20 minutes, it was okay. My indexcard collage and watercolour turned out superb – in my opinion. I experimented with pureeing steamed lettuce for freezing. I put the puree into an ice cube tray. After they are frozen, I will pop them out and store in a freezer bag. I might be going overboard in preserving veggies, but I hate waste. And we have lots of lettuce. I will see how they will work out in soups and chili.

After that being done, there’s the dog to walk. It’s a pleasure after we get going. A sniff here, a sniff there. I like admiring other people’s yards, their efforts. I am sure they struggle, too. We are all trying. We all have our passions. We are all the same. We are connected by our humanity. Thus I feel comforted in my own struggles along with them .


Funny that I have been thinking about passions today. What’s funny about it? I was bored. Maybe that’s what led me to be thinking about passion. I was lacking and I want it back. I could say that well being and happiness are on top of my passion list. I’m sure that they are on everyone’s. Not that I am unwell or that I’m unhappy, but I have found both quite slippery and evasive. They’re always slip sliding away. I’m tired and fed up with their elusiveness.

The wind continues to blow. It sounds like some old lady whining. It sounds like me. I woke up with a bad taste in my mouth. I felt ‘unwell’ for lack of a better description. I’m tired and fed up with myself, too. It’s not how I want to be. I decided then that I was not going to put up with it. No sirree. You know what? I felt better after making the decision.Sometimes it works. Now the trick is to sustain it.

I thought I would give it my best thought shot. I’ve read Breaking The Habit of Being Yourself a couple of months ago. I must apply what I’ve learned. No point in just gathering and hording. I must use the information. I must move. I must think different thoughts. I am well and physically fit. I can work up a sweat in my exercise class. It is good for my heart. There’s no need for worry and fear. I will not break nor collapse. I will get stronger.

It’s a start. Not only am I trying to think differently. I will also try to speak differently. It will be difficult. Another slippery slope. I recognize it. After almost a life time of thinking, speaking and reacting in certain ways, it will not be easy to break the pattern. But I have a thirst for learning. I am willing. That is the purpose of life for me, to learn from mistakes. I’ve never been able to stay down for long. I never knew how. I always get up. I must have a passion for living.

It’s getting late. I must head off to bed. I find I can get to sleep easier if I go early rather than late. Perhaps I can come back tomorrow with more on passion. What are your thoughts on passion?