It’s another first day of the rest of my life. I’m as grumpy as all get up. Summer heat makes my whole body ache on rising. But I shall grin and bear it. I’m going to tackle my most dreaded chore of tackling the paper pile today. I’m not exactly fresh nor energized but mornings are still my best time. We’ll see how I will progress. Nothing happens if I don’t begin. Beginning is hard. Beginning is the magic word.

Purging is the first step. Boy, what a chore! I’m very bad at not opening my mail. That was my first pile. They’re mostly opened now and put in their appropriate piles. I’ve had this problem for a long time. It’s something that I do know. There’s only one way to correct it. That is to open my mail and deal with it ASAP. Let me put it on the list of bad habits to correct. I’ll start off August with opening each piece of mail. Let me to see if I can do that for the whole month.

It is now middle of the afternoon. My box of paper is not overflowing anymore. My bills are paid. I will not try to do any more hard sorting today. I do feel less overwhelmed. Why do I keep doing that to myself, eh? Over and over. I will not try to deal with the psychology of all that. No need to be that gerbil on the wheel. I can just fall off and do the work.

It’s another first day of the rest of my life. There has been a couple of such days since the last. I don’t profess this great or inspired writing. I just want to chart my progress of this journey call life. Once you hit a certain age and certainly after retirement, there are less significant markers. But I can’t say that for this year. Covid-19 is a huge marker of 2020. Myy mother’s shingles experience is memorable but with a good outcome. Sheba’s leaving us for doggy heaven was heart wrenching but natural in the order of life and death.

It’s good for me to do my tapping/talking here. I know I’m not being correct when the words hit the page. I can do an edit. But if I keep it all inside, the words and worries will turn over and over, fester and grows infectious. They can poison my body and soul. This is a good practice for me. Now that I’ve tapped out a few words and thoughts, I will head over to sort some paper clutter. Another day in the life of….


What I know for sure is thoughts can drive you crazy. I have been a bit crazed these last couple of days. Round and round they go like in a mix master. They are well blended now – all in a gooey mess. I’ve been driven slightly mad with it all. That’s why I come to this place to tap out the letters, words, thoughts. It soothes me, slows down the mad rush of emotions swirling within. Maybe I can sort them out one by one. Maybe I can make sense of everything and save my sanity.

The police liason officer have met with me and the woman next door. This is our second such meeting. The first time was last fall. At the time the officer knew that he would have to come back again. It’s too bad that he’s away on leave. But the second officer was equally capable and sometimes it’s good to have a different set of eyes. He got back to me yesterday after his meeting with the neighbour. He sounded surprised that she seemed quite mentally disturbed. I felt a bit ‘amused’ for lack of a better word. Perhaps, after 12 years of experiencing her, I’m finding her disturbness ‘normal’ but she’s just difficult.

At the time of our conversation, I had somewhat recovered my composure. His visit the day before had stirred up alot of unpleasant emotions, of anger and helplessness. And that was what I expressed – my anger, frustrations and feelings of helplessness. Because in the end, all this is about nothing. He understood. He agrees it was nothing, that he spent 15 minutes talking to her. She showed him weeds where there were none. She showed him her messy driveway from our one pine needle on it. He was shocked by the things that bothered her. She took him to her backyard to show our mess between the fence and garage. He didn’t see any mess.

But in the end, as I already knew, there’s really nothing to be done. They could arrest and charge her for throwing rocks at me and tearing my signs down. But it would not be appropriate or fair because she has mental health issues. I agree. I don’t want her jailed either, but it is also not fair to me to have this person harassing me all the time. He also agrees and emphasized how strange she is and how very fixated she is on my yard. I already knew that. She is also very fixated on me.

I do not like it one bit that it is still I, who has to do the accommodating because of her mental state. I suggested that she should get some counselling. He agreed and said maybe medications.  He would call her or pay her another visit. He also suggest that I ignore her and let her mess in those 6 inches along her driveway. I informed him that’s what I have done for 12 years and it hasn’t work. She pushes the envelope way beyond.  I suggest that when he sees her, to measure out the 6 inches with her. We both agreed that this is really not about boundaries. It’s about everything and nothing. I did not tell him that I think she’s playing up her mental health thing with him. She is very smart and clever in these ways. All the same, I wouldn’t say she got all her marbles.

There I have it. Something and nothing. It’s the something about nothing that drives me crazy. But I’ve dumped it all out on the page. I’ve inhaled and exhaled. I’ve done my best. I’m letting it go – again. I will let the drama play itself out. The case is closed until the next time. And I know there will be a next time. Oh, the drama on Preston Ave. is fodder for the Ultimate Blog Challenge. I should be grateful, eh?


You wonder how and why a 17 year old male could open fire at a high school in Sante Fe today. He killed 10 people and injured another 10. You wonder how this could happen so soon after the Florida high school shooting where 17 people were killed. Of course mental health plays into it. But without weapons of mass destruction, there would be less young lives lost. What would it take to stop all this? Some of the answers are quite simple but why are the lawmakers so unwilling?

It’s politics, I know but it’s not something I can understand. I’ve listened and heard all the rhetorics on how all life is sacred, even the unborn fetus. There’s interest groups that abhors abortion and would protest vigorously and violently against it. But what about the lives that are already born?

It’s late, I know for such musings and questions. I’ve just watched the news. No, it is not a good idea to watch it just before bedtime. There’s really  no good time to watch such news. But it is a waker upper, making me feel totally bizarre. WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH US? As Caroline Myss would say, STOP IT. Go put your head in the toilet for 7 minutes. Chill or take a pill. It’s too late for therapy when a 17 or however old person has a gun/guns in his hands.

Sorry, just a bit late night ranting. Trying to find a bit of sanity in a mad, mad world. Sometimes it’s not a bad idea to scream. I’ve done my share. My throat is a bit sore from it all. I will say good night now.


Something wonderful happens when I eat a chocolate chip cookie. I double the pleasure when I have two. My grumpiness melts. That headache fades. Sheba crowds near, hoping for an oops and a few crumbs. I give her a few little frozen carrots. She is happy and gets to clean her teeth on them. Now she gives a grunt of satisfaction. We’re both down for the count. She’s on the floor. I’m on the chair, tap, tap, tapping some insight and wisdom – I hope.

I know that I will pay for my chocolate frenzy this week. I know/have my boundaries. I can’t keep eating them every day. Maybe we will walk a little faster and further today. It is +3C right now. There is no point in wondering what’s wrong with me and the weather. Don’t waste time asking the unanswerable questions. This is how it is. Get on with it. I am – getting on with it. There is POWER in the getting on. There is movement and results. When you just wonder and wonder, all you get is a headache.

Let me tell you the story of my wonders. I could never accept things/people/situations as they are. I wonder WHY, THEY MUST, THERE MUST BE. I always want to find explanations for everything, everybody. I am never ready to face the truth of what is before me. There MUST be another reason, another time, another chance. It WILL be different….. It’s no wonder I’m where I am, eh?

I have to give up on that wonder lust and wander as on foot. Sheba and I have wandered far on our walk. It is a balmy +6C degrees. We took our time, sniffing the dead exposed grass, rolling on the icy backalley. All the quirks worked out. Paws wiped clean, Sheba goes into the house. Meanwhile, I tend to the messy business in the backyard. You guess it, Sheba’s poop. I could very well have turned a blind eye and not see. Somehow, those things can’t be ignored. They are there in the head without eyes.

I take it as a measure of my mental health that I CAN do it. I WILL HAVE to do it at some point in time. Why not now? If the need and the idea arises, why not do it now, if possible? I bend to the task. It is not difficult. One, two, another one…into the bag. It CAN be hard. It’s not glamourous. There is no skill requirement. I will not receive any accolades from anyone but myself and maybe other depressives. We know how difficult such tasks can be in our moods. I hear their applause in the recess of my mind. I take a bow. Thank you! Thank you! Much appreciated. The yard is looking better. I didn’t get it all but it was a full Superstore bagful.

What next? A cup of tea, of course. My life is measured by cupfuls. Not a bad measurement. My cup is always full. I do count my blessings. Mostly to myself though and here. I try to keep my stuff contained. It’s good to have boundaries. No need to broadcast. Hear ye! Hear ye! That’s is not me. It’s good have a safe space. I hope you have one. It’s not that I’m secretive. I’m discreet but I do share. Do you?



I lost my battle to inertia today, sleeping in till after 8.  Then after breakfast, I curled up with a book in the sun room and lost myself in its pages.  It was wonderful laying in the sun, wrapped in my quilt…..living other people’s lives, feeling their emotions and not having to deal with anything real.   I didn’t even make dinner.

But you can handle only so much inertia before you start feeling not so great.  I felt all the weariness of others’ guilt, anger and remorse.  And they’re not even real people but made up, fictitious.  How stupid is that?  But I knew there was a lesson for me in that book.  And I had to get to the end of it.  And so I sped ahead to the last chapters.  Then backtracked to the middle to complete the story.

You see, I have no patience, even in my fatigue.  I cannot do one thing at a time, in order, no more than I can read one page at a time in the order they were put together.  I suppose it is not that huge a revelation. but it is some kind of awakening.  I will have to slow down and learn to dot all my i’s and cross all my t’s.  I might miss too many things along life’s road if I don’t.

I finally did manage to get myself up off the couch.  It was a very painful process.  And Sheba and I went for our walk.  It was equally painful but the important thing was we still did it.  Some days are just better than others.


27097_321356195886_8251743_nMornings are hard in the middle of December.  The sun does not show its face till 9 or later.  So lucky that we have Sheba to be our alarm clock.  She is quite persistent.  If licks on the face, runs at the bed doesn’t work, she will resort to loud barking to get us out of bed.  I am hungry!  I am hungry!  Get up!  Get up!  What is the matter with you people?

So another day begins.  It is 7:25 and we have slept in!  I think about hopping on the exercise bike with my book and mug of tea for a few minutes but thought was all I did.  Oh tomorrow is another day.  I will have to remember that for tomorrow and not let myself down and slide on the slippery slope of will power.  I am an adult after all.

So, this is another morning.  Wake up call again..at 7.  I get up, remembering my promise to get on the exercise bike.  I am feeling low and tired.  It is not visions of sugar plums dancing I see in my head, but the shooting at the school in Connecticut.  It is the cares of the world I am feeling along with my own uncertainties and heaviness.  But time has been my best teacher.  All the thinking and feeling and trying to understand and figure things out has not helped me in the past.

And so I sigh, get out of bed, make my tea and head downstairs to the bike.  I turn on my SAD light and set my timer for 16 minutes.  Those minutes are long and short at the same time.  My thighs ache and I stop to rest and sip my tea.  Hurry, hurry, get going!  Only 16 minutes.  You want to get going to get some good.  Only 16 minutes to read this book.  Pedal!  Pedal!

The 16 minutes are over and so is breakfast.  Those feelings of despair for the world come and go.  When they come, I remember that it does me no good to think and feel them.  I get up and move.  I put the breakfast dishes in the washer.  I wipe the counter.  I put away the towels someone has folded for me.  I sucked up Sheba’s hair off the floor in the kitchen, dining room and sun room with the electric Swifter.

The sun is out and I am sitting here, tap, tapping out my words.  What I am thinking now is about the irony of our world, our lives.  This is the time when we do have the world at our fingertips.  With a touch of a button, we can send a message across the world.  We can talk via Skype to someone on the other side of the globe.  We are more connected than ever.  Yet at the same time, we are more isolated than ever.  I am missing those times when we were more brave, daring…to be vulnerable and talk to each other, face to face, on the phone.  I miss those times when we were not afraid to be friends and say, I like you, I miss you.  I need you.

I count myself lucky that I can feel all these feelings.  Sometimes they are a BIG nuisance.  You have a life to live, you know, and you have to flog through all the heaviness of feeling, just to get out of bed.  But the rewards of trying and doing are very much worth it.  Cultivating good habits help.  I love Regina Brett’s:  Get up, dress up, show up.  Every time I can do that, I know that I am a success.

sunroomI find that I can accomplish great things if I show up.  Sometimes our worst of times can be our best of times.  My sun room is the best testimony to that.  Because of my ‘condition’ of Seasonal Affective Disorder, I look for solutions and possibilities.  And this is the end result.

We are all builders.  So let us build good things.  Let us build a better world.  We can start with just a single block.



We are in the heart of winter.  It is dark, dark outside.  My little Buddha is shivering in the snow.  Sunrise is not till 8:59, another hour yet.  Yesterday, the sun did not come out at all.

It would be so easy to hibernate like the bears, but duty and nature calls.  Sheba is quite insistent.  She KNOWS she is hungry and she’s not letting anyone sleep in.  You try to quiet your bladder, but after awhile you know you have to get up.  So you throw those covers back and step onto the cold floor.  And another day starts.

I’m not feeling up to snuff.  My eyes are gummed up and my mouth feels grainy and dry, like the Sahara Desert.  I am achy, throaty and tired.  Welcome back, SINUSITIS, my old friend.  Your ways are familiar to me now.  I can function quite well with you on my back even though you try your hardest to drag me down.

So, I’m not so speedy or quite as organized as usual.  Is there a race on and are we in a hurry?  Or is there an emergency?  It is good that there are seasons and times for everything….times to work and times to rest, times to speed and times to slow.  We all know how that song goes, but do we listen and hear it?

I’m feeling like hell now.  So I sit back, take my glasses off and rub my eyes.  I breathe and sip my tea.  Sheba is on her mat besides me.  Animals do absorb and ease our distress and discomfort by being with you and being just themselves.  Often we take them for granted  but they are always so happy to see us when we come back, even if we’ve gone for a few minutes.They accept us as we are.  There is no judgement.

I would do well if I could learn from Sheba’s ways….let people know I appreciate them, live in the moment, letting go of minutes, hours, days, years past, of things of little consequence.  Perhaps that’s her purpose…to keep reminding me of the excitement of life, to keep wagging my tail.  The sun will come again.   Ahh, there it is now, shining over my shoulder, lighting my world!   And I have done well in this heart of the winter.

Sometimes when there is no feeling good in your body or mind, you have to go back in your memories for those feelings and live as if.  That is what I did this morning, remembering the pleasure of the cup of hot chocolate, making soup, baking bread.  I remember my body opened up, seeing  Sheba running out to greet me when I came home from work Monday evening, tired and stressed.  Her wagging tail, smile and nuzzling work miracles in easing the tension in my being.

Everything does turn, turn, turn.  Nothing stays the same.  This, too, shall pass.  And for everything, there is a purpose under heaven.  Breakfast is done, dishes cleared and the dishwasher is turning and turning.



The nights are so long now, the sun setting early and rising late.

I was having a dream when I was waken with a very wet nose and tongue in my face.  SHEBA!  It was still pitch black.  I rolled away from her and covered my face, not getting up since I have to work tonight.  I thought about my dream.  It was about mending a coat.

Funny how things get on your mind and come in your dreams, as reminders to take care of your life.  Sure, the winter can be difficult….dark and heavy sometimes.  You feel this inertia, the slowness of limbs and mind.  It is tough sometimes even to break out of a wet paper bag.  So you need these dreams of mending coats and Sheba’s wet nose and tongue to wake you from the dark, even if it is only 5:40 am.   Apparently the dark is messing up her internal clock, too.  Maybe she needs a bedtime snack to tide her over.

I do have two coats in need of mending.  So they are on my mental list of things to do.  It is good to make lists, to have plans, to move, to do…instead of dwelling on my mind.  It  is cold and grey, that I cannot feel joy.  The only feeling I have is like cold, grey dishwater.  Ugh!

So this morning I have had my hearty breakfast of eggs and toast and pedaled for 25 minutes on my exercise bike.  I read for pleasure those 25 minutes while pedaling in the glow of my SAD lamp.  I haven’t mended my coats yet, but I did change my furnace filter and it needed changing!  I vacuumed and tidied a little.   When I was done, the sun was out!

And here I am again bathed in sunlight and happiness.  Another victory!


My days of hanging on to all my stuff and all my poundage are over!  Am I too confident and glib?  No.  I am not.  Gone are the days of careless feasting, buying and hanging on to EVERYTHING by the fingernails, afraid of losing and making mistakes.

I’m doing pretty good so far, omitting my usual bacon, eggs and toast breakfast, choosing congee soup in its place.  I must admit that breakfast is my worse vice, loving bacon and eggs every day.  It will be difficult to give them up totally.  So that is not what I will do, setting myself up for failure.  Instead, I will cut back gradually and maybe enjoy them once or twice a week.

Another thing that I need to do is expend more energy.  I like to poke along at such a leisurely pace that I do not burn any calories or getting anything done.  I’ve already implemented a plan of action… moving and doing routine stuff faster…..killing two birds with the same stone, sort of speak.  I am progressing at an acceptable, leisurely pace. 🙂  New habits are hard to establish.  It takes continuous effort.  But regular, periodic success is better than no success.  By ten this morning, I have already done my meditation, breakfast, dishes and kitchen cleanup, and swept the upstairs floors.

I am working on de-cluttering some some tangible things this morning….. unsubscribing to emails that are no longer of interest to me, sorting out flyers and other objects for recycling, and called my Church to remove myself from the parish.  EEEEEK!  I am a bad Catholic, right?

I was surprised that I had a pleasant conversation with the woman who answered the phone.  When she heard me out, she said that I have to do what works for me in life.  That is the kind of attitude that will keep the people in the church…respect, acceptance and flexibility.  I’ve been told before that if you don’t attend Mass, you are not a good Catholic.  But that was from another parishioner.  During one homily, our priest talked about God’s work is also done outside the physical building of the Church.

And for now, that is where it works for me.  Shedding pounds, shoulds, and musts  is healthy and liberating.  Life is a river that flows, but there are obstacles along the way.  We need to be fluid like the river to deal with the things that show up in our lives.

Writing this post did not feel like a flowing river.  But that is how life is.  Sometimes you flow, sometimes you don’t.  But writing helps cements change to rewire my brain…towards

healthier habits.


I have now come to the conclusion that life without stress is like asking for jello without gelatin.  It is not possible!  It is now day one post three 12-hour shifts of work on your not so typical hospital ward.  I am not complaining that the work is not satisfying.  I am just saying that it is very challenging to be in a caring profession where you are immersed in peoples.  You are in a cesspool of human interactions as well as being up to your elbows in human feces sometimes.  It is very well to start the day with good intentions and noble goals, but soon those fall with the patients or your first confrontations with your coworkers.  I’ve been told that I have high standards and though I try not to hold others to them, I do.  But…here I am, intact after three days of headache and gut burning angst.

I felt quite badly about myself during those three days.  I’m thinking I am such a terrible person to have all these negative feelings burning and churning inside.  But then this 92 year old patient told me that I’m very pleasant and so happy.  She enjoyed me very much.  She told me that every day of those three days.  I did thank her but I will have to learn not to discount myself by telling her that it was a facade.

Then her nephew came to visit her.  He recognized me as soon as I walked into the room.  He greeted me exuberantly.  I was very puzzled as I did not recognize him at all.  I told him he must have me mixed up with someone else.  No, he knew me.  He held up his finger and ask me how many do I see.  He was quite enjoying himself.  It didn’t work.  I still did not know him.  So he pointed straight ahead and ask me which is better, this or that.  Well, that failed too and I was starting to feel that one of us must be crazy!

He told me his name.  I said: No!  You don’t look like you.  You don’t sound like you!  We had such a good laugh and a good visit.  It was as if God knew that I needed something to lighten my day and sent him.  The nephew was my first ever optometrist when I came to live in the city.  I was his patient from age 19 to 42! And I left him because he could not fit me with contact lens anymore.  I had to show my appreciation by telling him that he always had good bedside manners.  That produced some good laughs from his relatives.  Well, he did!  He was very patient.  When he moved to a new office, I had a hard time finding it.  He gave me directions and told me he would wait outside so I could see where he was.  Well, I took too long and he had to go inside, but I did eventually find his new office.

I did not remind him of my last appointments when nothing went right!  I became frustrated and found tears trickling down my face after many fittings for my contact lenses. I have a high prescription and Asian eyes so my lids are tight making it difficult.  He was very kind, saying that we cannot continue our session with tears.  He would cancel his other appointments the next day and give me the whole afternoon.  How many optometrists would do that?

I did have to part company eventually but I could obviously see that I had left a good impression with him.  And I’m thinking that I am not a bad person…..not as bad as I have been thinking and feeling about myself anyways.  I am all talked out now.  The burning in my stomach is gone.  I am rested and at ease.  Sometimes you need a little stress so you can appreciate the jello.  Raindrops are falling gently on the roof of  this special private space.  Life is good.