My 2018 Lenten Challenge

Today is not only Valentine’s Day, but also Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent. As a fringe Catholic leaning towards Buddhism, I choose to think of Lent as New Year 2.0 or 3.0 depending on when Lunar New Year comes around. For me, Lent is another chance to start over.

In previous Lents, I’ve given up social media, sugary treats, meat, coffee, and swearing—though thankfully not all at once. (I’m not that masochistic.)

So what should I give up this year?
Continue reading

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My Experience with Monovision LASIK

I’ve worn glasses since I was eight and contacts since high school to help correct my near-sightedness (myopia). Then last year, my eye doctor told me that I was facing what many folks in their 40s deal with—presbyopia—which is losing the ability to see close-up, which meant it was time for bifocals. Noooooo!

At the end of last year, HB and I decided to bite the bullet and get LASIK. HB chose to get both eyes corrected for distance and use readers for anything close up. I decided to get monovision, which is to have one eye set for distance, the other eye for close-up.

Between you and me, I think I got the better deal. Continue reading

What’s Ahead for 2018? (Ch-ch-ch-changes…)

Like many folks, I have my list of resolutions. Eat healthier. Exercise/move more. Create more art and crafts. Write. Get rid of things which no longer serve me—use it or lose it. Learn new skills such as how to use a sewing machine, video-editing software, additional energy medicine techniques. Meet up with friends/be more sociable. Do something that scares/excites me.

All of this is fine and dandy, but unless I make the time and follow through with some action, nothing’s going to change. So here’s the plan: Continue reading

Message from the Universe: “Don’t Take for Granted This Thing Called Life”

The other day after Zumba, one of my workout friends told me about a friend of hers who recently died in her sleep. Her body wasn’t discovered until four days after she passed on. She was 71 and had four sons, but was living alone.

My friend was shaken because she’s not that much younger than her friend. Also, her friend had shown no signs of failing health and was “perfectly fine” when they met up for lunch the previous week. Shouldn’t there be signs when one’s time is coming to a close?

Every now and then, the songs that play on my Pandora station or radio seem to contain a message from the Universe. For example, lines from a song by Anything Box keep playing in my head: “Don’t take for granted / this thing called Life.” In the context of my friend’s news, I realize how unprepared I am if I were to die suddenly, that I need to be more mindful of how I spend my days, and that I need take care of a few things sooner vs. later. After all, there’s no guarantee that I’ll reach the average US female life expectancy of age 78.94.

Here are some things that come to mind: Continue reading

Lenten Challenge 2017: No Social Media

It’s been almost two weeks since I cut myself off from Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Believe me when I say it’s been one of the toughest things I’ve ever done. Up until March 1 (Ash Wednesday), I had been spending a lot of time checking out my feeds and getting caught up with what’s happening in politics and current events. I hadn’t realized how much time and energy that was sucked up until I stopped cold turkey.  Continue reading

Behold the Starbucks January Tumbler—the Holy Grail of Creativity

Starbucks January 2017 Tumbler

Starbucks January 2017 Tumbler

One of the Christmas gifts HB received was the Starbucks January tumbler, which can be used to get a free grande brewed hot coffee or hot tea through the month of January. It’s the perfect gift for him because he likes his coffee black, and like most people, he depends on coffee to get him going in the morning and sometimes as a pick-me-up in the afternoon. Since he works downtown, there’s a Starbucks on every other block, so using the tumbler is no big deal, right?

This year, however, he’ll be working in various locations, which means it’s more effort to keep track of his tumbler and to make sure he’s maximizing his usage. And so, he has passed the Starbucks tumbler to me. He knows that I don’t like wasting things (almost to the point of it being an OCD), and I’ve just figured out a plan. Continue reading

Paper Planners: Never Say Die

As we head toward mid-December, I found myself at wits’ end because people want to give me dates for important events in January and beyond, and my planner only has December plus a day of January left on it. I thought I could wait until after the New Year so I can get my 2017 planner at a discount, but I felt so uneasy jotting things down on the extra blank pages at the back of the 2016 planner, that I couldn’t take it anymore.

With my Barnes and Noble 25 percent off a single item coupon in hand and some gift cards, I ventured out into the chilly night after dinner to find my 2017 Moleskine Weekly Planner (Large Format) so I can get on with my life.

Why bother with a paper planner? Continue reading