Not so much after-lunch cleanup to do today. Leftovers are always great for that.  Besides being less prep and cleanup, I find them more flavourful. As you can guess, I am not a fussy eater. I don’t have fanciful discerning tastes. Maybe I should develop some and stop my many ‘good enoughs’. It probably won’t ever happen. I can’t fuss.

I’m just not that kind of a person. I could never make anybody jump through hoops for me. Nor can I make a salesperson, waitress/waiter ‘work for their money’. It’s a demeaning behaviour. It embarrasses me to see someone do that and enjoy it. I was an audience to such a display. I didn’t want to watch but I couldn’t help but see my friend’s smile. The waiter had to tell and describe to us all the desserts offered. We could have very well gone to look at the dessert case. It wasn’t like we had to walk a mile. But then that is just me. It’s no big deal and it was his job. Sometimes no big deal bothers me a lot. I should get over them.

It is 3 pm. Sheba has been fussing but I’ve quieted her. She is still quiet. I will wait till she barks again before giving her food. It is not like she is starving. We can both learn to sit and stay together. Do you know how difficult it is to stay in the moment? I always want to get to the next moment. My mind is already there. That’s what winners do, right? Always a step ahead. Or that’s what we’re led to believe.

I’m always thinking ahead of what I should be doing, where to go, what to striving for. It makes it difficult to be HERE. It is as if I, by myself in this moment, am not enough. I’m trying to change that. It takes patience and time. It is really difficult if you don’t know what the problem is. I’m beginning to understand just the tip of it. It’s like peeling an onion, a layer at a time. Oh, sometimes I do cry with the layer. Change is painful.

Sheba has been rewarded with her supper. She waited till I had poured it into her bowl. She did not rush at it like her usual self. You can teach old dogs new tricks. I am not so sure about myself. I am not consistent with her or myself. Therefore, our bad habits prevail. What I must do with her supper is 1) She has to wait till 3 pm at least. 2) She must sit and wait till I’ve poured the food in her bowl. Do I have the fortitude?

Her barking can make me cave in. It does make me cave in most times. She knows it. But today she has demonstrated that she is capable of doing a down/staying if only for a few minutes at a time. I had demonstrated I had patience to repeat the procedure a few times till Sheba herself stayed down longer each time.

We both can do it. We just have to stick to it. One layer of the onion peeled.



Life, at times, seems to be made up of many necessary but tedious tasks – like cleaning and tidying up. Here she goes again! I can hear you say but it is so true. It is 2:27 pm and I’ve just sat down after preparing lunch, eating it and then what I detest the most, cleaning up. Now I’m writing about it. Ha! The tedium. I really want to have a nap now.

But I know the value of order and discipline. My nature is that I don’t really have a driving desire to do anything. If I have my druthers, I would probably be singing Freddy Fender’s, wasted days and wasted nights. I’m one of those people who needs inspiration, challenges and goals. I seldom plan. I might be in a neater, if not better place if I did. It is never too late. That’s what they tell me. I’m inspired to go that route now.

My plan is to have a plan for the day. I’ve been operating on it for a few weeks now. I’m doing the obvious, the hardest and most hated stuff. What is difficult for me is cleaning up and putting stuff away in a timely as well as neatly fashion. When I was in Grade 1 in Hong Kong, one of our assignment was to get a note from our parents. The note was to identify what they thought our worse trait was. Well, my mother thought mine was paper clutter. I dropped them wherever. It was like a show and tell. I was reprimanded by my teacher – very severely I felt at the time.

Obviously, it hadn’t helped me. I am still that clutterbug. I’m changing my ways though. I’m working on the dishes. After washing and drying, I’m painstakingly putting them away where they belong or finding a better place for them. You’re wondering, What’s so painful about that? Well, for me it is! It feels like I’m going against the grain or my nature. It’s like torture. I wonder if I have some kind of disorder.

Things are getting a little easier though. You can see some surface on the dining room table and my desk. I’m ridding my junk mail (hard copies and emails) faster. I’ve lived many days feeling as if I have something needed doing but don’t know what. FINALLY that dreaded feeling is gone. I’m feeling more at ease.

Hmm. I’m feeling more alert and focused. It helps to identify my problem areas. It is nice to see progress. That is why I come here each day to tap on the keyboard. Some days I have great thoughts, exciting news and projects. Some days I am sad or angry. Then there are the doldrums. There is a lot of it in life. When they are taken away from you, that is the time when you see what treasures they really are. So I don’t mind them so much. They are restful. Maybe it is what mindfulness is – learning to sit and stay in the mundane and tedious until they are no longer so. Until you see what jewels they are.



Sheba was right on the money this morning. 6:05 am was when I felt her cold wet nose, followed by her little snort. It was still pitch black. But I love that part of the day when Preston Avenue was still asleep. No continuous ribbon of cars and only a few foot traffic.

I’m learning to leave my electronics asleep for awhile, indulging myself turning a few pages of written words. Once I start scrolling, one thing would lead to another. The minutes and then the hours would go by. My head and mind stirred and messed up with bad and/or useless information. Instead,  these mornings I am reading Stephen Jenkinson’s Die Wise, a Manifesto for Sanity and Soul. It is not an easy read. I can only do a few pages at a time. Now I might have to leave it for a few days.

He didn’t tell me anything that I did not know before. What it did was to take me right back to the workplace I have left 4 years ago. The scenes and talks were so familiar. I know he is coming from an authentic place. He has given a voice to those things and feelings that I’ve experienced and breathed for years but couldn’t articulate. I am grateful for that identification. It will help me ‘get over’ and heal from my ‘anxiety’ or ‘trauma’. The book is aptly named. It is a manifesto for sanity and soul. I believe that my anxiety was from the denial of all the feelings I’ve witnessed and experienced in the hallowed halls of the Hospital. But how else could I have carried on working without the denial?

These things were never talked about that I could remember. Yes, there was a Health Office but that was mostly where you report to after you’ve been off sick. It was like the Prinicpal’s Office. Most of the time I felt like a truant child, not deserving but abusing. Health care was for patients only. But then this was my experience. I don’t know about others. We don’t talk about it much. It was the same way with after retirement. I don’t hear about how others fare. I just hear about the travelling. That’s what I hear the most. Are you going to travel? I felt obligated to travel just because I am retired.

What happened to me was I fell apart. Or that’s what it felt like. Oh, I did some travelling. I was busy most if not all the time. I wasn’t just sitting around having a nervous breakdown.  I always took pride in being very functional, no matter what. No one probably knew I was having difficulties except maybe the person living with me. Sheba probably did. She had her own anxiety attacks. They were probably from me. She cushioned me by absorbing some of it. She is my best friend.

I am so lucky to have arrive in this space and time. I can now sit and stay with my feelings without jumping out of my skin. I can acknowledge the good, bad and the ugly. I can sit and read Die Wise – if only a few pages at a time.

QUAGMIRE – DAY 285 in a year of…

Day 285-May 9, 2017 @9:43 am

I’m in a quagmire of procrastination. Caught in stagnation of unable or no desire to go forward, sideways or backwards. So here I sit, hoping to tap away my blues. Don’t get me wrong. I might sound morose and am feeling morose, but I’m A-okay. It’s the flux and flow of my nature. It’s what’s out there in the universe. It’s what’s in me. Sometimes there are blue skies. Sometimes there’s not. There’s cycles of the seasons. There’s the cycles of me.

I’ve been navigating my ship for awhile now. I’ve learned the ropes, when to ease and trim the sails. I’ve read the manuals and chartered the course. There are times when there are too many storms. I’m blown off course and/or too fatigued. I’ve allowed myself extra time and more rest. It feels as if I’m stuck but I’m just going at a different pace, in a different direction. I’m going with the wind.

I’m feeling a little better, a little unstuck. I’m learning not to fight the nature of things. Everything in good time. The world is still spinning around and around. I don’t need to. I can sit and stay for awhile.


NOT BIOLOGY ALONE – Day 70 in a year of….

Day 70, September 30, 2016 @8:48 am

shry6065Morning is not a great time to read about a killing and ridding of a body.  I’m starting the day with an ‘ugh’!  It’s a good thing I’m greeted with the cheeriness of autumn sunshine and the splendid hues of yellows and oranges.  I must behave accordingly.  I do have a choice.  I have a mind.  It can over ride my brain.  I am not ruled by biology only.  Think of the reward. Another dollar in the teapot!

My ‘uglies’ have receded somewhat though I feel the tears on the verge of my eyes.  My body cries, nothing is easy and all the other I feel sorry for myself phrases.  I guess I have to let it have its say, too.  We are in this together, my body, my mind and my brain.  We have to respect and cooperate with each other.

My cup of tea is done.  I will/can sit and stay awhile longer till I am finished.The discomfort, the desire to flee has ebbed.  It is tolerable.  I can even feel a sense of peace sitting here discovering my flaws and strengths.  I am inching forward daily.  Another 4 rows on my sweater.  My grapes are now raisins.  One tomato bed cleaned off.  A flash fiction of 100 words for Friday Fictioneers.

Now I have to go and hang up the laundry from last night and plan my day.  What is on your plate?

PAYING FOR CHANGE- Day 68 in a year of..

Day 68, September 28, 2016 @9:08

img_7821The days are ticking off, ever so slowly when you are conscious and counting. Doing different is difficult.  I am so wired in to my feelings and reactions. Moving out of my grooves and ruts takes more than minutes, hours, days, weeks and months.  I have to be patient.  I have to be innovative.  I have to be kind to myself.  No snapping of elastic band on my wrist.  I have to be trained like Sheba – on a reward system.  A Loonie(a dollar) into the teapot for each day completed with a blog post.  I’m worth that.

It’s an uncomfortable feeling to commit, to put it in writing.  I want to get up and make myself a cup of tea. But I won’t. I will sit and stay here with the discomfort. I will sit and finish even though my head is screaming for tea.  At least I’m not screaming for a cigarette as in the past.  That is proof that I can and have changed.

img_7802Another gorgeous day.  I am sitting in my beautiful space surrounded by light. It’s the light I must follow though our shadows are ever present.  I will choose the high ways whenever I am able to.  But I must accept the dark places and not punish and blame myself or others for falling.  I can always get up and dust myself off – again.

Have you fallen?  Did you hurt yourself?  Did you get up?


In our present mindset, there will never be enough time or the right moment for the right thing.  We are forever pulled away from ourselves.  There is always something else, somewhere else and something else.  Here and now are never good enough.  We yearn for better and other times.  At least, that is how I was am. I am trying for better.  Well, here I go again – for better instead of accepting what is. 

IMG_2994What is, is that moments are fleeting.  They are like dreams, evaporating with wakefulness and like dewdrops in morning sunlight.  There will always be things to do – dishes to wash and put away, floors to sweep and wash, things to pick up, the Internet to surf, those addicting games to play…..

Be careful of seducers, vying for your attention.  Can you be still and quiet long enough to hear what pulls your heart?  The morning sun will come through these trees just so in this moment.  It will make the tabletop shine like golden custard in this moment.  Shadows will fall in the next.

Photo on 2015-08-12 at 2.54 PMI am sitting here in nature’s backdrop.  Bees and flies are buzzing around.  Sheba is ever watchful, trying to catch them with a snap of her jaws.  The sun is before and behind me.  I feel the soft movement of air on my neck.  A spruce branch stir in the breeze.  I have nothing to do and nowhere to go.  For this moment I sit and stay.


IMG_1249I’m into the second week of an eight week formal meditation practice in Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn’s book, Full Catastrophe Living.  So far so good but it is not easy.  It should be no surprise to me.  It is easy to tell Sheba to sit but she doesn’t stay.  I haven’t really insisted upon it either.  I give up too easily, so as soon as my back is turned, she is up and away. Like mistress, like dog.

IMG_2293Being the mistress, I’m having more success with staying – at least my body is.  My mind darts here, there and everywhere.  My body wants to bolt, too.  I stay.  My pulse races.  I can feel my heart pounding in my chest.  I breathe and let go, remembering to accept what is at the moment.  I see the poster in front of me.  “Live Each Day to the Fullest”.  The words soothe me and I breathe again.  I feel my heart calming, the beats slower.  I read the line “Live Each Day to the Fullest” again.  That is what I want.

I had not known that it is so difficult to stay in the body.  My mind wants to be somewhere else all the time.  I give thanks to whatever that has led me to this process of discovery. The power lies within my body and spirit.  It is not out there in Somewhere Else.