So I have decided to take part in a bit of a social experiment, after realizing recently how much could change in my life in one year (ie. a year ago I was laying in a hospital bed and could barely make it to the bathroom and now I am hiking 15km a day across the Great Wall.) I decided that I would live the next year as though it was my last, not in the I am cashing in my RRSP’s kinda way, but more in the how can I soak in every tidbit of awesome! I am choosing to be more aware, to taste the flavour of each moment, the pleasant ones, as well as, the not so sweet. My one year count down started on May 25th, and I am finding that I am excited as I wake up each day, something that hasn’t happened since I was a young child and it usually involved a holiday. Each day really is a gift and simple pleasures like watching water droplets on leaves and hearing the wind blow are taking on new meaning for me. I am trying to remember to soak in ever single step along the Wall as I walk. Today’s gift, along with hiking 12 km along the wall through the Chinese countryside, included my first Karaoke experience. There have been singing opportunities in the past but I was always too shy and embarrassed by what my voice would sound like. Well today I got over myself, embraced my lame voice, and belted out, Total Eclipse of the Heart, by Bonnie Tyler in a small town Karaoke Bar. It was so many things…horrible, ridiculous and maybe even mildly entertaining for anyone from the 80’s, but most of all to me it was freedom! One of these pictures is of Chris, our guide, offering us sashimi from some fresh water fish. It was actually pretty good but you can see the look of doubt and fear on Marc and Rob’s faces. I love BA she will try anything and is definitely one of the most adventurous in our group when it comes to food.

I had to laugh the next morning at breakfast when I realized that the bar where I had my karaoke debut was called Fairyland. Actually, the whole “resort” is called fairyland, complete with decals of unicorns on the windows and sparkly Christmas ornaments hanging from the ceiling. For those of you who know me you are probably smiling because Magic is one of my core values!