happiness

More than a feeling

Father’s Day weekend is a challenging one in our house. We all miss my dad, and the kids see their friends celebrating their dads and it hits home that their dad not only isn’t present in their lives, but is actively trying to sabotage their safety and sense of peace.

Joy and sadness often travel together and Father’s Day is no exception. The best revenge is a life well lived, and that’s the only revenge I am interested in these days.

How can anyone doubt the existence of God when the world looks like this? I get upset with God at times, but I always know he’s walking beside me. I am so grateful that we are back here where we belong. I am grateful every day, but intentionally so this weekend, for the wonderful men in our lives who show my kids that men are good, strong, kind, wise, people of integrity.

My dad would be happy to see the man my boy is turning into.

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happiness

Driving on the lawn

I have a few really good memories of my grandpa. I don’t have as many as I’d like since he passed away when I was 7, but the memories I do have really impress on me that he must have spent a lot of time with me when I was little.

I remember a few occasions when together we’d commit one of the biggest sins – driving on the lawn. Back then there was a carport where the garage now is, and sometimes grandpa would find a reason why, instead of backing down the driveway, we would have to drive forward over the lawn.

I have this memory of he and I giggling like mad men as he’d say boy is grandma ever going to be mad if she catches us and we’d race across the yard in his truck.

More than 40 years later I found I still have that same thrill as I had to drive across the yard this afternoon.

Grandparents are special. I’m so grateful my parents put in so much effort to build a relationship with my kids – those memories will carry them a lifetime as well.

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happiness

(Don’t) stop and collect yourself

I had a riding lesson today. I was tired, I had a crappy night sleep and I’ve got lots on my mind, but horses are my therapy and I knew I needed the healing time.

I was having a hard time holding him properly in the trot. On one transition I felt totally unbalanced, and basically like I was riding like a sack of crap. I tried to right it, felt myself getting off balance, it felt sloppy, I was annoyed with myself that it wasn’t going how I wanted, so I pulled him back to a walk.

My instructor got after me see, you dropped him and he fell into a walk. I said no, I’d felt like it was all falling apart, I couldn’t get it together, so I asked him for the walk so I could stop and get myself together.

She said you don’t get to stop to get it together, you need to get it together while you keep going. YOU ARE NOT A NOVICE AT THIS. The only way to actually get where you want to go is to keep pushing ahead.

And I was like

You have no idea how badly I needed to hear that.

My horse may be my therapy, but my instructor is like my life coach.

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happiness

Put on a happy face

I feel strongly that in order to truly feel happiness one must also feel all the other feelings. Inside Out did a great job of explaining that for us all and the movie was instrumental in learning to grieve properly after dad died.

So in the midst of gratitude, love, and peace, I also have this intense anger. Like I’m mad as f*ck.

And I need to acknowledge that. I refuse to be Facebook happy – you know where everyone pretends their life is perfect. Gratitude is essential to life, and I am happier than I was last year, happier than 4 years ago, and so much happier than 5 years ago when we were still trapped in that life.

But still, shattered pieces remain of that old life.

I’ve spent the last couple of months dealing with my lawyer again. We are having to take Mr. X back to court. Not only is he almost 70k behind in payments, he’s refusing to pay Section 7, and he’s refusing to say how he will he helping pay the boy’s tuition next year. The boy has worked hard to get into his program and it’s devastating for him that instead of an I am proud of you, son; that I have to take Mr. X to court.

Here’s the catch. If he refuses to pay his share of the tuition the boy won’t be able to go to school (he doesn’t qualify for loans since his dad earns so much money – haha what a joke that is) and if he doesn’t go to school, Mr. X doesn’t have to pay child support. You see where this is going right?

I had a conversation a while ago with someone who said to me that solo parenting must be so difficult since I never got a break.

I responded with, no- that’s not the hard part of it. The hard part is that my kids don’t have a dad. That is the hard part. The hard part is that the man who is supposed to love and protect them is hell bent on destroying them.

And my happiness moment is that inside all this anger and hurt and frustration- I know we will be ok. I know love will win, I know they are fantastic human beings who may be struggling with after effects of trauma, but they are absolutely amazing people who shine love into the world every chance they get.

Over and over I feel like The Who’s in Whoville – we will keep singing and we will keep healing.

And I will keep standing up to him.

I have to. My kids deserve better. So do I.

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happiness

Faith in humanity

We are sitting on our plane in Calgary having arrived safely from Victoria. On the way here a woman had a medical emergency – I’m not exactly sure what is going on

As we taxied in, the pilot asked us to remain seated so they could deal with the emergency safely.

The plane is full. Every single person sat in silence while they arranged for paramedics for this woman. They started to allow people off the plane who were in rows ahead of her, and again in silence people grabbed their belongings and departed.

The rest of us are quietly sitting here waiting for her to be assisted and taken to hospital.

We all get in a rush – to go somewhere, to go home, to get a connecting flight – or just get self absorbed sometimes.

I’m so inspired by the flight attentants and the other passengers who all have remembered that the health and safety of all of us is the most important thing at the end of the day.

Prayers for this woman. I hope she’s ok.

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happiness

Unexpected lunch

We decided to go out for fish and chips today. My parents had a favorite place in town and the kids and I had tried it before. Today however, they were closed- holiday Monday and all. We didn’t know what to do- we had no food back at the hotel and by this time we were really craving fish and chips.

We ended up at the restaurant on the wharf. They were full and there was a wait, but the waitress offered us a spot on the patio. It was a bit chilly, it had been raining, but she said it was enclosed and heated so we decided to try it.

Turned out it was the best decision we could have made. We were out there when only one other lady, we had a fantastic view, and we had an absolutely delicious meal.

The lady struck up a conversation with us. It seems often people sit down and tell us their life stories and today was no different. But she also asked the kids about their dreams for the future and then really encouraged them when they shared. She explained some of her life philosophies about living with passion. We talked about horses, travel, food, and how much we all loved Sidney.

When we left, both kids said how she had said things every really needed to hear and what a weirdly unexpected gift our lunch companion was.

It’s important to stop and talk – and listen- to people. We are all connected.

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