Living the Life of Riley?

Sometimes our past is done before our future seems quite ready.

~ Julia Cameron

Four months have passed since my return to Canada and a decidedly wonderful way of living, without routine or constraints, continues to be my daily blessing.

Some say I’m living the dream. I call it the second dream (the first was swept away in a tsunami of sorts). Be it a perma-vacation or ‘living the life of Riley’ I’m not sure. All I am sure about is that I am not sure of anything.

Over the years, having grown accustomed to a life regulated by school bells, it’s proven a challenge to shape-a-day in their absence. I choose the time I wake, the way I spend my days, and ponder the demise of my old work ethic. There’s not a night that passes without a deep gratitude for living this way.

It’s a good fit me. At least for now. Some are curious, some envious, some judgmental, some inspired, others clearly puzzled by my choice. Surely I must want something more certain, more permanent? Call me jaded but ‘been there, done that’. I like to call it a time of redefinition, to reimagine a different future, one with more autonomy and no school bells.

Allowing the Universe to work its strange and wondrous magic takes an ease and quiet afforded to retirees and those like me. The flip side being with too little stress and few deadlines, the mental acuity slips and the brain power, along with the belly, grows a little plump around the edges. With that in mind, here’s what I’m doing these days…

Vast amounts of time are spent figuring out how to best convey and share my life experiences. Typically however, the floods of inspiration that claim my nights are annihilated by daybreak. Besides, procrastination is way more fun. The wealth of information available at my fingertips encourages hours absorbed in reading, responding, thinking.

Here are a few other things I’ve been up to:

* launched a Facebook Page (Joyful Mourning) about the joy and gratitude of having lost a loved one. Photos and thought-provoking questions posted daily.



* co-facilitated a four-day retreat on Bowen Island for Inner Landscapes

* corresponded with experts in publishing, writing, editing, legal matters, social media, blogging, and life coaching. Huge learning curve.

* was interviewed by Australian documentary maker Toni Powell for her upcoming film on Gratitude

* participated in a week-long summer intensive at UBC: Pathways to Career Success

* house sat for six homeowners, searched for, applied to, accepted and rejected offers from many others. Packed, unpacked, repacked 24 times.


* wrote, edited and published a Beginner’s Guide to House Sitting 



* volunteered at Vancouver’s Feast of Fields (great food to offset the garbage pick- up)

* researched training courses for Life Coaching, Peer Counseling, TOEFL, and Expressive Arts Therapy. No decisions made as yet.

* bought a one-way ticket to New York, from where I presently write 🙂

Any ideas or suggestions to fire my neurons? See something I’m missing? Help? Questions?


My present favourites

Daily Good (

Greater Good Science Centre (Greater Good – University of CaliforniaBerkeley)

TED talks (TED: Ideas worth spreading) Check out Will Richardson and Sherry Turkle

Thought-provoking blogs (e.g. Seth Godin Seth’s Blog, Joanna Penn The Creative PennChris Kennedy Culture of Yes)

Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers (Robert Sapolsky)

The Brain That Changes Itself (Norman Doidge)

Transitions (Julia Cameron)

9 comments on “Living the Life of Riley?

  1. Hi Becky, I think I’m in the jealous category … a bit trapped by my circumstances. That said, we’re having the best Fall in recent memory, I’ve just had a beautiful drive home from my traditional family Thanksgiving and all is well. Hope to hear how you’re doing in New York – I seem to be the only person I know who doesn’t go there upon occasion. Must make that happen! Have a great time! xoxo

  2. Becky,

    Thanks for including me on your list of lucky ones who get to read your wise words and thoughtful musings. I am enjoying living vicariously through your free spirited days yet I know that it hasn’t come without suffering much first… I am hopeful you can completely embrace this ‘down’ time while you make your way through this life of unexpected joys and pain. You absolutely are entitled to getting up when you feel like it and spending your time on what excites and energizes you:)

    Be well!

  3. Do what you wanna do….Be what you wanna be….Yeaaaahhh!!!!!!
    It`s simple dear Becky – I love hearing about what my friend is up to…A friend i`ve reconnected with & value muchly!
    Where are you staying in New York? i`m wondering how the ebook is coming along?
    PEACE be with you & me!

  4. Great to see you still learning…I think it is a wonderful way to spend your days! I am always interested in your insights and what you share. You go girl!!! I am so proud of you. I wish I was half as brave as you. Love ya. Max sends his love too and says he misses you.

  5. Hey Becky,
    Nice pensive post. You have a lovely way with words.
    Always great to meet fellow house sitters. Let’s keep in touch!