Meet Mildred. She has no eyes.

I've had dog fever for about a year. You know how some womens' wombs ache when they see babies, because they just want one so bad? That's what I get around dogs. I would go to the dog park and just watch the dogs play if it didn't seem so creepy. I live in a condo, and having a dog here doesn't really make sense. No yard to poop freely in, too many stairs, and cranky neighbours. But let me tell you what. When Brett and I get a house, hopefully sometime in the next year, we are going to get us a dog. We are going to love that dog almost to death.

When I signed up to be an executive producer for the Winnipeg Humane Society telethon, I thought this would be a temporary treatment for my dog fever. The telethon is an elective course in the final semester of Creative Communications. We spend the semester shooting and editing stories about different animals that come through the humane society, and then we interweave those stories into the live telethon.

The telethon happens tomorrow from 11 am to 8 pm on Shaw. There will be a live stream too, and I'll post more about that on Facebook and Twitter tomorrow.

But first, I have to tell you that my dog fever is raging more than ever. This is Mildred. Mildred was found in bad shape. She had one congenitally blind eye, and the other one had been damaged by a dog bite. They removed both of her eyes, because they were both not functioning and causing her pain.Mildred1

I thought Mildred would be distressed, or maybe a little depressed after losing her vision. But she wasn't. She just wanted her belly rubbed. She wagged her tail and walked toward any voice she heard. She bumped into things, but she never stopped trying to walk around.

Mildred2

This is Mildred today. Her eyes are healing nicely, and she got a major haircut. I didn't even recognize her! And guess what????? She's up for adoption!!!! Someone could take her home tomorrow. I might cry. I just can't believe nobody claimed her after she was found. She's the sweetest. She will make someone with dog fever very happy when they get to take her home.

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How to deal with Sunday night panic

InsomniaI used to lie awake on Sunday nights, lamenting the fact that my weekend was over. I knew I would be heading to a job I didn't love the next morning. Doing a job you don't love requires some "frog in the pot" action. The frog stays in the pot even as the water temperature increases to boiling. In the same way, it's easier to keeping going to a job you despise if you don't take breaks. Just keep going, day after day, and it won't feel so bad. Get a taste of freedom on the weekend, though, and you're screwed. Now you have to get accustomed to it all over again.

My Sunday night panic is different now. The dread is gone, but it's been replaced with something else...the big fear of the unknown...

I should look for a job......What if I don't like it.....Where is my life heading....Will I be good at it?...How will I know if it's right?...I'm in so much debt...

After letting my mind circle around for a few minutes, my body is in full fight/flight. My heart pounds and I feel adrenaline rushing to my extremities. Maybe I even get a little sweaty and have to kick the blanket off. Sleep feels like it's 100 miles away.

So what now? In this moment, I'd rather run laps around the block than sleep. Yet I know if I don't fall asleep soon, my tomorrow self will be a bit crusty.

Can you relate? What crazy thoughts are keeping you up on Sunday nights?

Here's how to make it less uncomfortable:

1. Allow it.

I know this one is hard, but the more you push this feeling away, the stronger it will get. Also, even if you distract yourself from it by watching TV or reading, it will keep coming back. Maybe not tonight, but in the morning or next Sunday.

2. Feel what's going on in your body. 

Check in and see what you're feeling and follow it around. Where is it? How big is it? Notice how powerful it is.

3. Notice where your body is tense.

Are you contracting muscles anywhere? Try breathing in to those areas and see if you can release the tension.

4. Stay present.

Try to keep your awareness in your body. If that's difficult, try to follow your breath. When your thoughts take over, and they will, just come back to your body. Repeat. Eventually, you'll feel yourself drifting away.

My favourite video for creativity

I've committed these last two years to learning an entirely new career—one that requires a lot of creativity. I didn't bank on the feelings of inadequacy that accompany this new path. I thought that when I found my thing I wouldn't cry about work anymore.

Wrong! I cry just as much now, but the trigger is different. I'm not crying out of boredom and dissatisfaction now. Now I cry because I feel like a failure. I'm not a failure, but my mind likes to make up stories like that. This new path requires me to be vigilant about not letting these thoughts break me down. Watching this video really helps:

Ira Glass on Storytelling from David Shiyang Liu on Vimeo.

It took a lotta leaps

IMG_2641I once went to Regina for a first date. For those of you who don't know where that is, it's about a six-hour drive from where I live.

6 hours for a first date. So what does that make you think? That I was desperate? Or adventurous? I know I'd like to think it was the latter.

I also went to Costa Rica twice in one year because the first time I met a guy and the second time I wanted to see if it was for real.

The point is, on my path to love I tried a lot of things. I was bold and adventurous, because I knew that things don't happen to those who sit around waiting for good things to plop into their lap.

I have zero regrets. In fact, being bold was how I met Brett. I went to a party by myself. On New Year's Eve. I didn't feel cool, but I also knew I'd have much less fun if I stayed home.

I've cut myself a fair bit of slack when it comes to my journey to finding my partner. So why was I having such a hard time doing the same for my career?

When I took a life coaching course and didn't become a life coach, I felt like a failure. When I bought a camera and started doing wedding photography but couldn't see myself doing that for a career, I felt like I had wasted my time. And when I paid for an expensive business course and never started a business, I felt sure I was headed for a lifetime of disappointment.

But I was wrong! Now I know that you have to try things. You have to take leaps all over the place, and just because the first leap doesn't pan out, doesn't mean you shouldn't leap again.

Three years ago I felt like the type of guy I wanted didn't exist, ESPECIALLY not in Winnipeg. And I didn't think I'd find work that felt good AND paid the bills.

Look at me now. I've got one of those items locked down (the wedding is in June haha) and I'm in mile 24 of the marathon for the second.

Leap! And then leap again!