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?
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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

Counting Down to Nanowrimo 2016

Nanowrimo is just around the corner. Although I’ve participated since 2007, I have yet to reach the goal of 50,000 words. Like many folks, I make the usual excuses—too busy, too stressed, too tired—but the truth is, I’m always busy, stressed, and tired. And yet, this year feels different somehow.  

How so? I am more self-aware. After ten years of “failing,” I’m practically an expert. I’ve learned how I work and why I don’t. My strength is that I’m a great starter with lots of energy and ideas in the beginning. However, I know that after a few days I burn out, or I lose momentum very quickly once I see how far behind I’m getting. Therefore, I really need to stay on target with little tricks and incentives/disincentives along the way.

What I plan to do differently this year for Nanowrimo:
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Back to School, Back to Reality

Yes, I’ve been remiss in writing my blog. Now that my daughter is back in school, I don’t have any more excuses. This is not to say that it’s my daughter’s fault that I haven’t written. I’ve just found it convenient to let life and all its bits—both great and small—take over.

So what’s been happening the last six months or so (aside from the dust bunnies and cobwebs gathering around my writing space)? Continue reading