life on the edge

copyright Dennis Maitland

Dennis Maitland, a photographer from Detroit, has made a hobby of taking shots of himself posing on rooftops, with feet dangling in the air. Looking at his belly-tickling pictures, I marvel at the fact that when he first started this project titled Life On The Edge, Dennis actually had a fear of heights. He couldn’t even climb ladders past 10 feet! But with every picture he took, he overcame his fear.

copyright Dennis Maitland

A great inspiring lesson from this chap in Detroit.

the first thing

The first thing you do when you sit down at the computer…

Let me guess: check the incoming. Check email or traffic stats or messages from your boss. Check the tweets you follow or the FB status of friends.

You’ve just surrendered not only a block of time but your freshest, best chance to start something new.

If you’re a tech company or a marketer, your goal is to be the first thing people do when they start their day.

If you’re an artist, a leader or someone seeking to make a difference, the first thing you do should be to lay tracks to accomplish your goals, not to hear how others have reacted/responded/insisted to what happened yesterday.

– Seth Godin

Awesome reminder for my days ahead – that I should never start the morning reacting or responding to what happened yesterday. Instead, I shall learn to be quiet, to listen and think…

And in the midst of impossibilities, make dreams come true.

20 makeup artists. 7 stylists. 230 performers. 3 outrageous costumes. 1 team. It’s all coming together. And it all started with a dream. Wow. Who will I be at the end of these three weeks, and what I have I learnt?

cat dreaming

I should be sleeping right now.

The next three weeks is going to be the culmination of a massive project that has taken almost nine months to build, create and stage. But less of that. And more of what I want to do with the time right after – yes, the idea of freedom has finally made me pause, think and dream.

First thing on my list of to-do’s?

To wake up, stretch… and stay in bed for the next few hours without worrying if I’d missed an email, call, text or whatever.

Next, have a cup of coffee and some rich chocolate biscuits, laze on the couch, read… till I fall asleep again.

Maybe after that, I’ll find the energy to finally exercise, something I’ve missed doing for a looooooong time.  I know The Mother used to be an expert at yoga. She could teach me. Well, if she could get off the couch too.

A long bath seems perfect, after this. Now that I think about it, I can’t remember the last time I took a really long bath. These days, it’s all about hopping in, washing and scrubbing and hopping out, rushing either to get out of the house (because I woke up late) or to get into bed (because I need my sleep).

And then back on the couch again (or the Mother’s bed) to watch one of her many DVDs. She recently begun watching Korean dramas, and while I can’t quite get into them yet, I understand why she likes them. There’s a good mix of humour, warmth and good old fashioned romance in their shows. Or I could convince her that The Walking Dead is fantastic telly. I wonder if she’ll believe me.

Finally, it’s off to bed again, after such an activity-filled day. I wonder what I’ll dream of then, with a day so packed. Seriously though, it’ll be a treat not dreaming about work, because they’ve begun invading my nights. Gah!

Only three more weeks to go.

I can’t wait.

“Books. Cats. Life is good.”

– Edward Gorey




I am tired.

Am I the only one who’s noticed that right smack in the midst of being tired is ire?

No wonder then, that as the days hurtle towards the hugest event I’ve not finished preparing for, I finally found myself surrounded with so many reasons to be angry.

The only comfort then, is that I walked away from those reasons.

‘You never know what lies ahead, what’s being built into you right now.’ The Mother said gently, as she hugged me. ‘You’re just getting stronger. And things will always get brighter.’

Thanks Mom.

i // remember

A dear friend popped into my mind today.

It’s been several months since I last heard from that person and for the weirdest reasons I still can’t quite fathom, I began to recall the conversations we used to have, and the funny circumstances under which we first met.

Like the time we stood at the shop front and tried on different wigs…

The noodles we ate at a nearby Chinese food store, when we stopped being strangers…

Our waxing lyrical over the coffee we drank because it was comfort food…

How we began texting angry messages to each other when frustrations hit us at work…

And the day I got bright orange helium balloons as a cheerful gift but lost them as soon as I got out of the cab. ‘They untied themselves from my hand and flew off into the air!’ I fumed while you laughed. ‘God was watching over me!’ You declared because you knew I wanted to embarrass you with the absurdly bright balloons…

Two years have passed since that friendship first began, but we began contacting each other less and less as work and life got in the way. We were both seemingly happy, or at least, heading in that direction – one with a new love interest and the other, with work that grew interesting.

We still texted occasionally, but the last few messages I received felt a little darker than usual. I didn’t dare to ask too much, because I knew not much would be revealed… and yet, something bothered me.

And tonight, I just needed to ask:

My dear friend,

How are you doing? Is everything okay?

I hope the sun shines beautifully over you – wherever that is, and that you still skip a little, especially on days that feel grey. I wish you great belly-deep laughter and hope you have a lovely cuppa because remember: you are awesome and always remembered.

Your friend always,


i am animal. hear me crow…

‘I’m a penguin,’ The Husband said.

‘I’m a polar bear,’ said Mother. ‘But I wasn’t quite satisfied with that answer, so I tried again, and ended up with Chimpanzee.’

‘And I’m an African Wild Dog,’ the Sister laughed.

We were having our first dinner together with the Mother, who just flew in from Japan this morning at 3am. It was absolutely divine, sitting and talking to her again after so long. And to have someone cook for me, watch over what I needed… I didn’t have to be strong anymore. For a precious evening, I was her child again.

But back to being an animal… I took the test at The Animal In You and got the unglamorous rooster as my animal equivalent.

‘In other words, you’re a cock.’ The Husband chuckled. Right. Whatever!


The Rooster

Key words: fashionable, original, perfectionist.

Roosters are those talented, creative, but somewhat eccentric people who make life interesting for the rest of us. Their bird-like minds are always on the lookout for stimulation and roosters display the characteristically high-energy behavior of their species. They are artistic, creative and sophisticated, with a thorough knowledge of fine wines, cooking, writing, theater and painting.

(Thing is, I don’t know anything about wines, painting or theatre…)

Roosters exhibit a decided theatrical streak as they strut their stuff in the latest fashions. Craving attention, their show-off attitude sometimes generates criticism from those close to them, and the need to be the center of attention permeates every aspect of their busy life. When it comes to clothes, furniture and cars they only purchase the highest quality items and their excessive spending can land them in financial disarray.

(Not true! I do not strut! And quite honestly, I shy away from being at the center of attention, although being on stage has been a very huge part of my life. Or it could be that I’ve just outgrown this part of my personality…)

Roosters are in big demand at parties. With a witty repartee and an ability to mix easily, they flirt shamelessly while reveling in the glow of the spot-light. Concerned about how they are perceived by others, they are only happy if people are talking to or about them.

(I actually avoid parties… because I want to avoid talk in general. Ha!)

The rooster’s active mind is always working on a way to create more drama in its life. Offsetting a feisty and competitive nature is a secretive and aloof side that manifests itself when it feels insecure. (Okay this is too dead-on accurate) And yet, a rooster is a solid friend. (Yay!) Their blunt approach, while sometimes hurtful and tactless, can always be counted on to be honest and frank.

Subscribing to the early bird maxim, roosters rise a little earlier than their competition and could even be accused of having their fingers in too many pies. (Something I am working on right now… streamlining life, that is) The world is so fascinating to the rooster that settling down into any one career would be impossibly constricting. Unfortunately, their earning potential can suffer in a competitive world that rewards specialization. But roosters will succeed when they choose a career that presents a variety of challenges, such as medicine, publishing, journalism or acting. (Okay, so at least I know I’m in the right job)

As a salesperson, a rooster is without equal and can sell anything from real estate to used cars. A hard worker with a keen eye for detail, its creativity and dedication make it a wonderful employee. (This is something nice to hear about me. Yes, yes, I know it’s an automated quiz…) As a manager or business owner, however, a rooster is finicky and picky and tends to alienate subordinates with unrelenting enthusiasm. It is also not a particularly strong team player, and the perceived self-absorbed and sanctimonious attitude breeds resentment. (Guess I should be thankful I am neither a manager or business owner. Boo)


So maybe the accuracy of this test isn’t quite 100% but what the heck. It was fun reading.

high-school worries

‘What if I give the wrong impression?’

‘Will people still like me’

‘What if they don’t?

It’s amazing how after all these years, these questions can still plague me. I mean, come on! Haven’t I grown up already? Aren’t I already a secure, independent adult who doesn’t need approval from people I meet, bloggers I read and facebook acquaintances who really don’t care much about who I am or what I do?

The incident that sparked off this mental tirade was a little mistake I made while reading another person’s blog. I was fiddling with the mousepad and oops, accidentally clicked on the ‘dislike’ button.

‘Oh-my-god! What did I do? I don’t not-like the post! It was a mistake! Should I leave a comment to apologize? Should I ‘like’ the post to make up for the ‘dislike’? What if the person tracks back the ‘dislike’ to me and then, leaves bad comments?’ And on it went, till the rational side of me kicked in and yelled, ‘What are you doing?!’

‘Umm, I’m worrying if someone out there will not like me because of what I did…’ Silly Me replied, somewhat sheepishly.

‘Didn’t you just give your daughter a talk on learning to live without seeking her friends’ approval?’ Rational Me said. ‘Didn’t you encourage her to ignore snide comments and the taunts of bullies, to be her own person because she’s fabulous? Didn’t you just tell her that there will always be someone who doesn’t like her, that the whole world is filled with haters, and that she can rise above all that by focusing on those who do care for her? Didn’t you tell your daughter to stop doing exactly what you just did?’

‘Umm… Yeah…’ Silly-And-Now-Contrite-Me whimpered.

‘Now stop your nonsense and get on with your writing!’ Rational Me said, quiet sternly.

Very meekly, I returned to writing a post (which obviously, I deleted, to write this one instead).

Will I ever grow out of caring what others think about me? Hmm… maybe not entirely. I like people to like me. Who doesn’t? But I am definitely learning how to handle it better. I think.

Dear god… don’t let me be like this till I’m 62. It’s a horrible wretched way to live.

“Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.”

– Dr. Suess