green field with crabapple blossoms

Do you ever wish for a life do-over?

I recently started playing a game called Dots on my iPhone. It’s the best kind of game app, in the worst kind of way: When each game ends you are generally left feeling grossly unsatisfied with your score, and immediately click “new game” in order to try and do better next time. Except (in my personal experience) you rarely do better next time.

I’m experiencing my whole life this way, right now. At some point last summer I became burnt out by a crushing, self-imposed blogging schedule on top of my full=time job. I took a break from the blogging, but my job got a whole lot busier. I felt like I was stuck on a hellish treadmill. I was doing a lot of work I hated, mixed in with just enough of the work that I really loved to keep me clicking “new game” every morning. Somehow a year went by, and when I looked up from my cubicle, I realized I hadn’t moved. In a really bad way.

I’ve been spending a lot of time lately reflecting on how to live my life differently. More of the stuff I love. Less of the stuff I hate. (Or at least, less hating going on, however I can manage it.)

Yesterday morning I wrote the following list, and it seems like exactly the re-calibration tool I’ve been looking for (i.e. the way to remove the crappy game app from my life, rather than “play again”)…


  • Am I loving myself?
  • Am I using the Alexander Technique?*
  • Am I physically well?
  • Nourishing my body?
  • Cleaning my body?
  • Resting?
  • Moving?
  • Yoga?


  • Am I loving myself?
  • Observing my thoughts?
  • Choosing good ones?
  • Meditating?
  • Releasing sorrow, pain, disappointment and suffering?
  • Growing joy?


  • Am I loving myself?
  • Roof over my head?
  • Food on my table?
  • Clothes on my back?
  • Clean?
  • Smelling good?
  • Content with my blessings?
  • Clearing the clutter?

Play / Work

  • Am I loving myself?
  • Doing activities I love?
  • Engaged by life?
  • Looking for the joy?
  • Doing my best?
  • Sharing my best?
  • Shining light?
  • Glowing warmth?
  • Feeding life?
  • Making a positive difference?

How are you clicking “play again” in your life?

*The Alexander Technique is a kind of bodywork that I’m trained in. It helps centre me and make me aware of my poor habits of physical use.

Photograph: Field and crabapple trees, Ross Park, May 18, 2013.