happiness

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

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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happiness

Pink blankie

Some of you may know that I started off my life with a beautiful blue blankie. Much like Linus I took that thing everywhere – it was my security and comfort. Until one day when blankie was stolen from our hotel and never seen again.

It was traumatizing. Seriously. I was 5. My poor parents had the hotel on high alert and even drove back the next day to look for him. But blankie was gone.

Mom tried to give me her old pink blankie that was the same style, and a few of her old stuffed animals, but nothing did it. I have mourned the loss of blankie my whole life.

About 9 years ago I bought a huge, fluffy pink blanket for the girl’s bed. It turned out that while she didn’t care much for it, that it quickly became my comfort. I’d take it to curl up on the couch, to lie in bed, and it even went on a couple of road trips.

The last few years it’s been a much loved tv watching couch blankie. The other day I noticed that it really wasn’t looking great and I had this strong sense that it was time to let pink blankie go.

But I didn’t get it out of the house right away and it ended up on the floor. Turns out that while I thought jasmine liked to cuddle with me, that she really liked pink blankie. And she’s got her own set of issues to deal with so maybe she needs a blankie too.

I think I’ll make her a little pink blankie pillow

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happiness

Strauss

I ended up in a coffee shop today to do my studying. It wasn’t the plan, but sometimes you have to roll with what life gives you and that’s how the day played out. I really wanted some quiet time to try and understand this course and I was kind of hesitant about being somewhere in public that could be loud.

But as it turned out, I was exactly where I needed to be. There were a few other people hanging out, visiting, there was a child playing with some toys, and Strauss was playing in the background. I had forgotten how much my soul loves Strauss. I became obsessed with his music in my early 20s and discovered at that time that my music hating grandma loved him too. She was in her earlier stages of dementia and having a lot of dis-ease about her memory (naturally), and we used to sit here in Grandma’s kitchen for hours and listen to the waltzes. This kitchen has seen a lot, she looked after everyone here in this room, and in later years we all helped look after her in the same spot.

Now that I’m back home again and finishing up my work, I have Strauss playing quietly in the background, and I feel content.

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happiness

Never give up

I started the day out in tears. I saw that there was finally a posting of payment to MEP for our support (that was due by the first). It is $3,000 below his required payment for the month, so as you can imagine is not enough to pay the bills, buy the groceries, and do the other things that the kids need. This is on top of the over $75,000 he is in arrears for.

So I cried. I cried for me, I cried for the kids. What it says to them is how completely unimportant they are to him, how little their safety, security, and futures matter, and how his own enjoyment will always be the top priority. Just like it always has been. I cried because while the courts make orders, they aren’t enforcing them, and are thereby allowing and encouraging his behaviour. I cried because it affects my ability to do my school, to build a new future where I am able to look after us, to regain what I lost. I cried because it feels like God has forgotten about us.

On the way to school this morning we took the backroad like always, and laughed at how drifted over it was. About half way we stopped laughing and started to wonder if we were going to get through. My girl said it didn’t look that bad when we started. And I laughed and said that’s what I say part way through all my bad ideas.

And then we noticed the biggest drift of all, with a car off the road, a school bus stuck in it, a truck behind that (not stuck) and trucks on the other side. And we were stuck figuratively. We couldn’t go back because I wasn’t sure we could turn around, forget make it through the drifts again, we couldn’t go ahead until the road was cleared. So we had to wait.

We sat, watched, laughed, called the school to say she’d be late, and just were. Then finally the bus was pulled out, the truck got through, and it was our turn. There is no way my car should have made it, but we barrelled through and made it to the other side laughing. The tow truck driver waved us over to tell us how amazed he was at our car.

And just like that I thought – never give up– that’s my motto for the year. It needs to be applied to everything I set my intention to. He will not win in destroying my family, my future, my dreams. I will not give up. I don’t know how it’s going to happen, but I will keep trying until my kids and I are where we need to be.

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happiness

End of a year, end of a decade

Usually I don’t get too excited about New Year’s Eve. My birthday is in January, and instead I celebrate that as my personal new year. But this year, I’m quite mindful of the fact that we are closing the door on the most difficult decade of my life. I had a friend jokingly say that the 40s were supposed to be the “fuck-it” forties, where you do what you want, no matter what people think. For me it was kind of more a “fuck-you” forties – but lots of growth and change happened.

I stopped drinking alcohol and caffeine at the beginning of the decade as I dedicated myself to dealing with the anxiety disorder that reared its ugly head during my marriage. My (now ex) husband lost his job not once but twice, which had us move from Rhode Island to Virginia, and then him to northern Virginia without us. The rage and abuse went from a mild simmer to a full out explosion of hatred and eventually the kids and I were able to get out and return home to Alberta. Then my dad died, I got divorced, my son became very ill, I broke my shoulder, my mom died, and my daughter also became ill.

Through this I learned about Ayurveda, studied it in a course to become a practitioner and became connected with a healer who guided me through my life changes. I started attending church regularly in Virginia, made a connection to my pastor who was integral in helping save me and my kids, and for the first time really learned about having a relationship with God. I took a health coach course that helped my interest in healthy living return. I started riding again, which has always been my soul connection, it helped me learn how to be brave again, how to keep going, and how to enjoy life. And finally, I was accepted into a masters of counselling psychology course, and now I have some direction for my future.

I’m happy to say goodbye to this decade, but I’m grateful for all I’ve learned about myself and about my family – immediate and extended – in this time too. When I say how blessed I am to have the family I do, they’re not just idle words. They literally helped save our lives, and have held us up ever since.

So when I think of where I want to go next, what I want to take with me, it’s what I’ve learned from these last few years.

Love unconditionally and bravely

Keep your circle small

Love yourself

Love others

Love God

Be strong, but allow others to help

Laugh often

Happy New Year, may your life be blessed.

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happiness

Will and Grace

Today was our official day to do absolutely nothing, and we’ve done it well. I introduced the boy to Will and Grace (the new version) and we have binge watched it all day.

Already my mind is starting to think about the next course that starts next week, and I can see that he’s also thinking about his next bunch of classes. It makes these moments of nothingness even more important.

Tomorrow is the last day of this year, and the last one of what has been an extremely difficult decade, but one filled with immense growth. One thing I have learned is how important it is to be with the ones you love, and to let them know you love them.

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