Original Blog Post: March 8, 2020

Every year I wake up on March 8th and smile at the appropriateness that International Women’s day lands on Helen’s birthday. Leading up to International Women’s Day I’ve been reflecting on some very impressive women who have helped me become who I am, women who have supported change and suggested direction and who have cheered me onwards. In the last month I have twice asked Helen “Who is supposed to be our Role Model at 60?” I keep wondering who am I supposed to look like, dress like, think like, behave like, work like, play like? It might sound ridiculous that on the brink of 60 I am still looking for a contemporary woman to gage my progress through life. Today instead of looking for a Shero that doesn’t exist, I have decided to look at the qualities of the most influential women in my life for inspiration.

I want to be as steady and loving as my mother. I want to be as dynamic and open to opportunity as my daughter. I want to be as learned, patient and tolerant a teacher as Lisa. I want to be as good a nurse as Karen. I want to be as calm and centered as Yogi Adrienne. I want to be as fit as Claudia and as sexy as Dame Mirren. I want to dress like Katherine and smile like Meg. I want to inspire happy memories like Cynthia. I want to paint like Marilynn. And I want to be as good a friend as Helen.

There are many items to strike off the list as complete today, but before I start that delightful task I must admit that the last 5 weeks or so has provided me ( and a couple of friends) with more than one opportunity to ask Why are you so driven?  And even though I am very clear as to “Why” Helen and I created the list and set off to complete it, now that I am in the middle of completing it I too am questioning Why is it so important to keep pushing my way through it?


#8. Practice Yoga for 60 Consecutive Days I started January 1st, a new year , a new resolution. Each day I turned on YouTube and did Yoga With Adrienne. Find What Feels Good is her motto. It felt really good to practice everyday. I did this last year as well, but on the 80th day I forgot to unroll my mat and turn on the tv and That was that. So this year I thought if I went in with a different attitude that I would be able to maintain a daily practice after the 60th day. I was wrong. On the 61st day I did not unroll my mat. Maybe I will tomorrow.

#23 and #8 Paddle Widgeon Creek and Hike to Widgeon Falls. We had a dry day in February and set off from Pitt Lake boat launch and paddled across to Widgeon Creek. The local mountains create a beautiful backdrop, fresh snow was heavy on the trees halfway down the slopes. The creek was frigid and crystal clear and took about 45 minutes to wind from its mouth at the Pitt River to the campground. There we pulled our boats up and set off on the hike to the falls. It’s has been many years since the last time I did it, maybe a decade. I forgot how far it was to the fall and even though I had brought my hiking boots I left them in the bear cache with our thermos of tea and set off in my paddling boots. Dumb. I had very sore feet and ankles but the hike did not disappoint ! The falls were beautiful. We hiked back for our picnic lunch of smoked salmon, croissants and tea sitting on the bank of the creek before our paddle back to the cars.

#45 Attend a TEDx The theme of the BEAR Creek TEDx 2020 was “A Shift in Thinking”. There were 17 speakers, 2 bands, a choir refreshments and swag bags. I had an amazing seat 3 rows back from the center stage. The topics were as varied as the degree of experience from a 10 year old boy to a 60 year old CEO. There was a gifted poet, a spoken word artist, an ex-addict, a comedian, entrepreneurs, paraplegic vet and The highlight of my day, Adrian Midwood speaking about his decade long efforts to keep plastic out of the ocean. I did have a shift in thinking on a couple of the topics and I think I will try to get to another TEDX next year.

#47 Participate in the Opus Daily Practice Challenge This is such a huge challenge especially on work days. More than once I would be ready to fall into bed at 11:45 and drag myself in to the studio to complete a sketch before midnight, but I did manage to create Art everyday through the month of February. You can see my efforts in the Gallery.

#14 Hike Aldergrove Park This is a gentle rolling hill, winding through the woods kind of a hike. More like a walk. It’s a perfect meeting place, halfway between our 2 homes, porcelain toilets in the heated bathrooms and close by a lovely coffee shop to get warm up in after our walk.

#58 Apply for the Abbotsford Arts Council Women In Art Show 2020 This was the first time that I have applied for a “juried” show. I entered 3 paintings and 1 was accepted. Last night was a very successful Reception for the show Opening. In spite of snow and rain it was a packed gallery, bumping elbows. I am quite pleased that “Boats on the Beach” was hung in a rather prominent location.

You can see it’s been a hectic 8 weeks keeping up with The List. But “ if you don’t start you won’t finish.”, so I’ll just keep puttering along. As a reminder, Helen and I started the List on my birthday 5 months ago. Today is Helen’s 60th birthday. Our intention is to finish the list in exactly one year on her 61st birthday.