happiness

Easter 2020

Like most of us, we had a much different Easter this year. For the last few years we have been creating a new tradition by going to Victoria and attanding service at the Christ Church Cathederal -which really is ressurecting my old childhood traditions (see what I did there?).

So, while we dream of a moment like this one

Instead we have a moment like this one

And that kind of sums up 2020 so far – not exactly what we expected or had really wanted.

However, instead of walking the logs on the beach, having tea at Murchie’s, going to Buchart Gardens, and having my annual visit with my dear friend, we are doing different things. We are studying, playing cards, visiting, playing, and spending time really talking about the deep things in our lives. That is also a blessing. We are healthy – that is a huge blessing. We are home, safe, and loved.

We are also thinking of those who are sick, or home alone, This is a time for hope and celebration, but also a time for love and showing kindness where possible (and it’s always possible).

Happy Easter – everything will be ok ❤️

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happiness

The sun is back

The sun is out, snow is melting, and mud is everywhere. Springtime in Alberta (which means it could still get cold and snow at any time).

It also means the cows are calving and it brings much joy to my soul to see those babies. We took the dogs out for a walk today and checked out some of the new arrivals.

Even though the three of us have always done a lot together, I’m finding that we are spending a lot of quality time with each other and I consider that a blessing.

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Bears and eagles and calves (oh my)

The boy and I took the dogs out for a walk today which made us all smile. It’s been so gross the last few days we haven’t really wanted to go out at all, but we decided it was good for our mental health to get some fresh air. And it was good for us, and for the dogs who didn’t stop smiling the whole time.

I feel very blessed that although we are unable to go anywhere with social distancing, we are able to get outside here and kind of reset our souls. We came across my nephew and the cousins got to have a distance appropriate visit yelling at each other. I saw two bald eagles fly overhead (I love those birds). And we got to see the pregnant cows and a few of their new babies. All the signs of spring except for the snow on the ground – and in Alberta that is also kind of a sign of spring!

Happiness can be found in tiny moments during the day. I remember discovering this when I started this blog years ago and I would spend the entire day searching for a moment of happiness in the dark life I was living. Sometimes those moments just happen, and sometimes we make them happen. But what I know for sure is that true happiness, the inner peace kind of happiness, that comes from within and from our connection to God, or our Higher Power.

Bear- happiest dog in the world!
Cousin visit social distancing style
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Staying connected

It seems that often in the darkest of times we see the most beautiful rays of light. People are calling each other and checking in. People are using Facetime and Skype to visit and catch up. We are able to spend more time with our families if we live with them, or virtually if we are not.

Of course, this is a more dangerous time if you’re living in a house that was unsafe to begin with and I am mindful to say prayers for those people often.

I’ve got a cousin who is on lockdown in Rome with her family, and over the last few days we’ve been sending videos back and forth instead of texts. All pride goes to the side as we stop caring how our hair looks or what we are wearing, and just send our faces and voices back and forth sharing little moments of our lives.

That human connection is important, and while we may feel isolated in our homes we are so lucky that we have other ways of communicating with each other and we need to take advantage of that.

As an introvert I often find going out of my way to socialize uncomfortable, but I’m discovering that for my extraverted friends being forced to stay at home is the same level of discomfort I experience at loud parties or busy places. These extraverts in my life I’ve allowed to “adopt” me and look after me in stressful busy life situations, and I feel now that it’s the job of us introverts to adopt our extraverted friends and show them how we live life on the inside.

I love all of you, my friends and family. I’m so gratfeful to have a strong circle of love support.

Everything will be ok ❤️

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Checking in

This morning the chaplain at the school the girl goes to called home to make sure she was doing ok and to let her know that she could call at any time if she wanted. We all ended up talking to her for a good 10 minutes and when it was over the mood of the house was much more peaceful. I’m sure part of that is because she goes to a smaller, Catholic school, but part of that is that their chaplain is just really awesome. My kids have both always spoken so highly of her. But to think of the time she gave to call all of her “kids” just to make sure they were doing ok – that’s a pretty exceptional teacher.

And actually, one of the boy’s instructors from SAIT set up video calls with each student individually, and when he got off his the boy said it also was a mental health check in. He said the instructor didn’t talk about class, but wanted to make sure he was doing ok

I’ve been seeing some really beautiful things in this, people reaching out, people really sharing. I’ve had many of my people check in on me (virtually), and I’ve been trying to do the same. There really is a lot of love in the world and it seems as though that light shines even brighter in this darkness.

Everything is going to be ok ❤️

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happiness

Tea in a teacup

I’ve been trained so that when there is a crisis I make a pot of tea. In my family tea time was a regular occurrence every afternoon at grandmas table, it was a drink we had with dessert, and it was a drink we had when we were stressed. In fact, years ago after finding a rather large tumour in my neck, my parents took me directly from the doctors office to the Palliser for tea.

So this morning I opened a new box of Murchie’s tea – Canadian Breakfast, which has a maple flavour- and had a real cup of tea in a real teacup from my favorite tea set. Somehow tea in a real tea cup tastes better.

Everything will be ok ❤️

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happiness

Silent Movies

We’ve been feeling the effects of being shut up here only seeing each other. Some of these effects are quite good, actually – it feels like sometimes the sun shines brighter through the dark clouds.

For the last few nights we’ve had forced family fun time and played various card games. It’s been a really good mental health break and we’ve done some laughing and sharing, which makes life feel a bit more normal.

Tonight we put on some old music from the 1930s and pretended to act out silent movies. I’m sure it’s just a step further down our descent into madness, but it brought a lot of laughs and lightened the mood of the house. We all need to keep our spirits up and look for our moments of happiness.

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Costco shopping

I headed out for our weekly grocery trip to Costco. In all honesty, I was very anxious about going – to the point where I was having mini panic attacks as I was getting myself organized (we have a process for disinfecting whatever comes into the house).

When I got there I was so impressed with how they’ve made things as safe and enjoyable as possible. We lined up outside so they could keep track of how many people were inside shopping. They had staff around the store to remind about social distancing, and to wipe things down.

But the biggest thing was how welcoming and kind the staff was. We were all greeted with big smiles and staff was helping customers wherever they could.

After almost a week of being at home, watching things change daily, it was so heart warming to go out and have such a warm greeting. Especially considering the risk these people are putting themselves at every day to make sure we can buy food and essentials.

There truly are a lot of genuinely good and kind people out there. We all get to choose how we want to be. Choose to be kind.

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happiness

Social Distancing – ranch style

I got myself out for a drive today. The last few days have given me a lot of insight as to how mom must have felt most of her life- not able to go out and be with people with out a lot of planning going into it (not that I’m actually seeing people, that was her – but I’ve been able to understand a lot better now how she felt). Granted her reasons were different, but it was a virus related (polio) illness that changed her life.

However, as far as isolation goes, we are socially distanced at one of the best places in the world in my opinion. As I was driving, I looked at the cows getting ready to calf, the snow, the mountains, the mud even. I felt an appreciation for things that I haven’t felt in a while. God really gave us a beautiful world to live in and to look after.

The Homestead
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Day 9 from Grandma’s kitchen

We’ve been practicing social distancing since last Wednesday which makes this day 9 of being home (we did go out twice quickly to get groceries which was an experience).

Last Wednesday I had a messenger chat with my cousin in Rome and began to understand what was on the way for us here in Canada. I let it roll around in my head until Thursday morning when I kept the kids home from school and headed out to get groceries (not to hoard, but for our weekly supply). And then we stayed home.

When things were at their worst in my marriage and our lives were in danger, this was the place I wanted to come to. This kitchen, this house, is my safe place and it always has been. So in the midst of global chaos it remains where I feel we are safest.

Which does not mean we aren’t missing the outside world. Even as an introvert I’m starting to miss the company of others. But I strongly feel we have a social responsibility to keep each other safe.

This kitchen that I feel so safe in – it was built after mom had polio and fell walking into their old kitchen using her crutches. So while it’s a safe and happy place, it’s a reminder too of what a virus can do and how it can alter a life forever.

In the midst of this uncertainty I’m working to remember all that I’m grateful for. I’m thankful for our home, our family, the people working at the grocery stores, truck drivers, doctors, nurses, our government, all the people staying home to let the virus pass. Humans have an infinite ability to show love and kindness.

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