Day 240 -March 25, 2017 @11:02 am

It’s Saturday, my favourite day. It was sunny but the clouds have come. I am enveloped in grey – perfect for having regrets and disappointments. How do I draw or paint it though? These days I am caught up in a whirlwind of emotions of excitement of discovery and melancholia of vulnerability and impermance. There are things I have absolutely no control of. We talk of acceptance but it is no easy to come by.

I am regretting that I did not go for my Saturday morning swim. It’s the only time that I am most guaranteed a lane of my own. It’s my zen moment of the week. Why didn’t I go? My body cried for not-going- anywhere time. It yearned for time to laze in the morning sun, perhaps to read a few pages, to sketch at leisure. I had to choose. Sometimes my mind is in a frenzy of choices. So. I. Just. Stayed. Put.

Regret and disappointments are human traits. We have that ability to cast our eyes and minds back, regretting and feeling disappointed with ourselves, others and choices. It’s hard to stop yourself. My different today is recognizing that and accepting. It’s okay to regret and feel disappointed but Don’t. Just. Stay. There. Go forth. What was it that I wanted the time for instead of swimming?

My morning sketch at leisure. Reading a few pages. Being here in this moment, tap, tapping out a few words. It’s been difficult to show up. The game is if I fall, wander off the path, to come back again and again to this – my life, words, and loves.

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MAKING DIFFERENT – Day 229 in a year of….

Day 229, March 14, 2017@2:09 pm

DASU4902These days, it’s hard to bring out the paint and the words. Things do not flow but I still stutter, dab and poke along. A sentence is strung. A picture evolves. Some seeds are planted and some are ordered. I have learned to love this process of eking, drip dropping. I am not at a standstill. I am making progress like the tortoise. There is no need to rush. The finish line will come soon enough.

I am learning to reframe, review and widen my lens in this year of doing different. It’s so easy to fall back into easy and same olds. It’s equally easy to do a different thing. It’s easy to do the same in a different way. The hard part is being mindful and staying the course. The thing to remember is we are all the same. We all struggle. No one is perfect. We all fall off the path. It’s the falling that wakes us. It’s an opportunity to learn and change.

day 1I’ve been obsessed with making art this past year, starting with a 100 day challenge of making art every day. Here’s my day 1. I went the whole 100 days, making little arts and then bigger ones. A year later, I’m taking some online classes. They have helped immensely. Now I can talk the talk and walk the walk. I’ve been just talking about my passion for 30 years or so.

Whatever I learn from making art, gardening and whatever…all help to make a better me. Making, doing different keeps us from falling asleep at the wheel. It energizes and motivates me. I learn to see with different eyes, listen with different ears and speak with different softer words. Here’s some of my wonky creations with left hand and sometimes with eyes closed.


From doing different, I am different – capable of making wonky art.

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CLOUDS AND SILVER LINING – Day 225 in a year of….

Day 225, March 10, 2017 @10:33 am

A few days have lapsed since day 2002. My needs are still the same. I am still a clutterbug. The difference is I feel empowered. No longer quite as helpless. No longer a victim. I can help myself. I can work my way out of a wet paper bag if need to. I am learning and progressing in my year of doing different.

Sometimes you just have to stare fear right in the eye. It’s better than being trapped in helplessness, shaking like a leaf in the wind. Some things you cannot change or avoid. That’s all there is to it. You might as well face the music and do the things you most dread – taking/being responsible. You might find it the most freeing thing. The shackles open and fall off. You can move, think and have a plan of action. You find yourself smiling and feeling pliant, moving to your heart’s demands.

On days like these, the sun is always shining. Life is clear as crystal. You can see and feel through all sides of your life. You feel blessed and wondered why you have fought against all of this so hard. This moment is so peaceful. You see all the smiles and kindness bestowed without asking.

It is fleeting. You accept it, knowing it will come again and again. It is the nature of the universe. Our days on earth are short and breathtakingly beautiful as well as painful. Storm clouds gather at the horizon. But there’s always a silver lining. Look for it.

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WHAT I NEED – days 200-202 in a year of…

Days 200-202, February 14, 2017 @ 6:10 pm

I am such a clutter bug. My desk and dining table keep filling up with paper piles. What I need is a secretary to look after all my paper needs. It would help greatly to keep my head clear if someone would:

  • To answer the mail, file and/or delete, discard
  • Pay the bills and file them
  • Make my necessary appointments and take me there
  • Clear off my desk and diningroom table daily

You would think I have a business to run. I don’t. I don’t even have a job to go to. What I need is to give myself a shake and snap out of it. Having put down those 4 items for my secretary, it doesn’t look so much or difficult. So why don’t I just do them myself? Am I tripping myself up constantly, doing the same things over and over and expecting different results. Probably.

I have to keep trying clearing those paper piles every day. It’s a tough one today especially when the weather is so warm. I feel guilty feeling like mush, no energy. I’m like that cake with the icing melting in the rain. I feel like hell.

MacArthur’s Park is melting in the dark
All the sweet, green icing flowing down
Someone left the cake out in the rain

img_9209But I still have control over my mind. With some effort I push my thinking to I can. The beauty of little projects is that it can propel me forward. The success of creating a bit of beauty in my study of palm trees and letting go gave me a burst of energy. It gave me enough oomph to gather all my art stuff off the dining table and move them and all my supplies downstairs. If they were all downstairs, I would be more apt to work there. I have a very nice space there. It’s just habit that I don’t. I’m doing something different, setting myself up for success instead of failure.

I am feeling better, having snapped out a bit. I paid a bill and sent some mail. I decided I will take another interest class for spring. I even printed out the application form. I showed up here. Yay!

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TRYING – day 199 in a year of…

Day 199, February 11, 2017 @3:56 pm

I love trying, making efforts to have a better day, to be kinder and more compassionate, to talk less and listen more, to be more active and less sedentary. I love trying to be just a little better at everything than before. So easy to maintain status quo, dust my hands off and say good enough. I feel a bit of a hipocrate because that’s what I often say. But I am trying in this year of doing different.

There’s so many lessons in our everyday little things, little nuggets of wisdom. I see and hear them when I stop my chattering and fretting. I can hear the voice talking to me. Then I know what it is that I need to do – divine guidance. I take a moment to register it. It makes me feel good. It makes me smile.

img_0075-4That was the way it was this morning. It really is not easy to head out in the dark for a morning swim. The thought is nauseating but I also remember how good it feels after. So I head out. The fitness centre parking lot is pretty empty. The receptionist is just opening her desk. We give each other good mornings. I enter the empty locker room.

I was greeted by the life guard. The water was so still and blue, 3 ropes marking the empty lanes. I was elated as I waded into the warm water. A lane all to myself. No dodging another body. Nobody to grab my toes for going too slow. My solitary swim lasted 20 minutes but I had the lane to myself for 40 minutes. It was good enough. My back stroke is improving. Another Saturday morning swim. Will try again next week.

Swimming is fun. Life is good.



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PACK UP YOUR TROUBLES – day 198 in a year of…

Day 198, February 9, 2017 @6:49 pm

End of the day. I am tired. It’s a full day. I am on track trying not to derail myself. Letting go of worries and anxieties. Trying not to pick up other people’s energies. Setting up boundaries. Being a little playful and experimenting with new mediums in my art. I call it a study of letting go. I make little postcards out of my head, letting go of real and correct. I started with palm trees. Today I added flowers.

When you are busy creating and playing, there is no room for bothersome thoughts and fears. At the end of it, you have something unique and beautiful. So pack up your troubles in an old kit bag and paint, paint, paint! It works for me. A postcard a day in a year of doing different.

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WASTED DAYS, WASTED NIGHTS -DAY 195-197 in a year of…

Day 195 – 197, February 8, 2017 @2:15 pm

photo-on-2017-02-08-at-2-07-pmI’m sitting in glorious sunshine in the warmth of my sunroom. An almost perfect afternoon. I’m loathe to move, to think – to do anything. But I must. Time will fly and soon the sun will be gone. I will be left with a feeling of wasted days and nights. You know how that melody goes. You must know that feeling, too.

That sun behind me is so inviting. I must go and make another cup of tea, sip it and enjoy the sun a little more. This pile of paper can wait for another few minutes. I can tap out a few thoughts waiting for the kettle to boil. How is the new year for you? I’m working out a few nettles. January was tough. But I’m a little stronger, having more reserve for February.

It’s easy to fall back into my old ruts. It’s comfortable to traverse the same old streets even though they are full of potholes. They are comfortable to fall into, knowing their darkness and depth. I’ve climbed out for this month, taking note again not to fall in. I’m trying out new thoughts and new feelings. I’ve been quite deliberate. Maybe I should make written instead of just mental notes of thought changes.

img_9155I’m back. Had my hit of sunshine. The sun is gone. I’m still sipping my tea. Now I better get down to business, pay bills and clear a few papers. I feel daunted but when haven’t I? There are so many other things I rather do but I’m learning discipline. A few pieces a day and I might surprise myself.

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