happiness

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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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

It’s genetics

I’ve really been missing my parents lately, I find the season change seems to make grief reappear in ways that are just as raw as at the beginning. Grief is not at all like how I expected it to be, it’s not something you get over, more something you learn to live with.

I was looking through some old photos and came across one from when my family came to visit us in Roanoke the first Christmas we were there. One day we all went out for lunch and then walked the streets of Salem window shopping. I was walking behind the family when I noticed my dad and my son doing the exact same walk.

It’s a photo we’ve talked about often, but one I hadn’t been able to find. My dad meant a lot to my boy, he was his role model and father figure, and it broke my boy’s heart that dad died right after we moved home.

But I see my dad in my son all the time, they’ve got the same build, the same mannerism, and the same insane sense of humour.

Those genetics are strong.

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happiness

Laughs and love

We had supper with my cousin and her husband tonight. It’s such an easy friendship to have with someone I’ve known my whole life – all my cousins are such a gift in my life.

I was really grateful for a few hours of laughter and sharing stories. We get so caught up in the day to day that often one forgets how important it is to maintain friendships and to enjoy the moment.

I had a good friend remind me today how vital it is to focus on the present moment instead of stressing about the past or the future.

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happiness

Italians, birthdays, and laughs oh my

We had a big family supper celebrating birthdays and anniversaries. My cousins have always been like extra siblings and I’m constantly grateful for the bonds we share. I laughed so hard my tummy hurts, and ate so much it could burst.

That’s what a tribe is. A big group of people who can fold in together and just love each other.

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happiness

Laugh like you’re a kid

We had an awesome family fun day at the creek today. It’s one of my favorite places in the world to be, and I got to be there with the people I love.

And things like this happened

The girl and I went on an off-roading version of this that had me laughing for a good 20 minutes straight.

Not just happiness, but fun too!

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happiness

Stampede breakfast 2019

Out community hall had its annual stampede breakfast this morning. It was the third year the kids and I helped (since I’m a board member) and it is more enjoyable every year.

This year for the first time we had a dunk tank to raise money for the hall and it was a huge success. Some very good sports volunteered to be dunked in less than ideal weather which was greatly appreciated.

I love our community. I’m so grateful we are back home.

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happiness

Saved by The Hub

The girl had plans with a friend after her final today – they were going to hang out at said friend’s house. Perfect for me, as it meant I could grab her at regular time.

Well, as it happened, the friends mom apparently came home in a bad mood and turfed my girl out of the house so they could deal with family issues.

The problem with this is we live 20 minutes out of town and suddenly my girl was standing in the rain at the park calling me.

Frustrated with that mom? You have no idea. But we needed to problem solve.

I sent her to The Hub, which is the local coffee shop. We have spent many hours hanging out there waiting for one or the other of the monsters to finish a school activity. It’s warm, welcoming, and a good safe place to be.

The girl walked in, explained that she lived out of town and was unexpectedly stranded and asked if I could give a payment over the phone so she could buy a drink and wait.

He told her to grab her drink, wait for me, and that I could just pay when I got her.

When I picked her up, he made a point of saying that anytime she needed to hang out there she was more than welcome.

It takes a village. It really does. I try to be one of those adults who looks out for other people’s kids, and I sure appreciate the adults who look out for mine.

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happiness

Branding and a bbq

We had full out family and community (which really is mostly family anyway) events today with a branding and a bbq. After cold, crappy weather yesterday, and not a great forecast for today I wasn’t sure what to expect, but it was perfect.

I mean seriously, how blessed are we that this is our life?

And I had great visits with people I haven’t seen in a long time.

It was a good day.

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happiness

Seafood and Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day is still kind of a bittersweet holiday. I love being celebrated by my kids, but I sure miss my mom.

I was really grateful that my cousin and her family invited us over for supper tonight. My girl went over early and spent the afternoon helping cook the feast. She did her speciality – lobster bisque – and together they all put together quite the feast.

I am so thankful that we are part of this tribe

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