Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Oh NO...they changed Facebook...

NOTE:  I actually wrote this a couple years ago - - one of the other times they changed Facebook, but it is suddenly relevant again.

Ah, THEY have changed Facebook again.

Predictably there are complaints, petitions, and vows to stop using it due to the aforementioned changes. The comments pour in:

"The new format sucks"
"They didn't warn us"
"I want the OLD Facebook back"
If a 1,000,000 people join, they will change back.
"I don't understand this."
"I can't find [insert random name of application here]????"

As I was reviewing all these comments -- which seem to appear everytime Facebook changes anything -- something occurred to me: FACEBOOK IS A METAPHOR FOR LIFE!!

In the past 2 years -- almost exactly 2 years -- my life has had several unscheduled, unsolicited makeovers. Yup, I got hit upside my  reality by fate, chance and, believe it or not, CHOICE.

Now the changes brought on by fate and chance -- well, I have to admit I did NOT like. Initially, I screamed, I yelled, I threw things (both imaginary and real) and cursed the Universe for visiting them on me like some outside programmer deciding that what I NEEDED was not what I had.

The new format of my life SUCKED.
I wanted the old life back.
I did NOT ask for these changes.

YUP, I was NOT happy with the person who organized and created my universe.

Somehow as the changes kept coming fast and unexpectedly, I decided I could either complain and bemoan them OR I could change my attitude. I sure had NO power over the Divine Programmer of the Universe -- He was not asking my opinion and clearly for some reason HE was bent on getting my attention.

Well, HE GOT IT. Somewhere around 18 months into the cataclysm that was my life, I LET GO. I decided to stop fighting the CHANGE -- I realized CHANGE IS INEVITABLE. Change is the only way to GROW. Even BAD change lets me grow. WOW -- in fact, the biggest and most positive changes I have made came from what, objectively, looked like a BAD change in my world.

Think for a minute -- from the day we tumble into this World as ittty bitty little bundles of cute, we are changing. At first the changes are pretty basic -- our diapers, our stretchies, our formula. They start getting more complicated the more time we spend on this planet. Some, we get input into. Some, well, they just HAPPEN.

When my Mom died -- unexpectedly on the heels of the end of my marriage, I sure did NOT have any input into that little scenario. In fact, in the scheme of things it was the WORST possible timing for two of the biggest piles of change that hit most of us. I was angry. I was shocked. I was pretty much a mess. I went into autopilot and did what I do best -- I took charge and COPED. I managed the funeral, wrote the obituary and Mom's eulogy. My siblings and I spent hours on end sorting and cleaning out Mom's apartment -- where she had been living for YEARS. I did what was needed to care for my child - and frequently thanked the Powers the Are that my co-parent, while having resigned as spouse, continued to be the Parent he needed to be.

As I got further into the change process, I started looking for HELP. I found and read books --> When Things Fall Apart (Pema Chodron), Year of Magical Thinking (Joan Didion), Welcome to your Crisis (Laura Day), Finding your own North Star (Martha Beck) and the book I now recommend to anyone who has had life change the rules mid-game, Broken Open by Elizabeth Lesser. I was a veritable student of how to handle change. My 'team' expanded as I returned to the psychologist who helped me contemplate the end of marriage and my doctor who 'managed' my medications. My posse of girlfriends kept me afloat (and I thank them from the centre of my Soul).

About 3 months ago, something occurred to me. I was HAPPY. Truly HAPPY in a way I have not been in longer than I care to remember. I have given up needing to control things. I have FORGIVEN, deeply and completely, both my 'humanness' and the humanness of everyone in my world. It was not until I got to the FORGIVING part that absolutely everything else fell into place. Now I work daily to make my focus in life doing 'My Father's' work -- loving unconditionally and forgiving everyone for EVERYTHING.

So, now as a new series of 'changes' sweep across Facebook, might I suggest everyone just take a deep breath and RELAX. Adapt, adjust and move on -- it's NOT the end of the world - not by a long stretch just another change you can approach as a way to 'stretch' those change muscles. I am pretty sure the seismic changes I got handed were there BECAUSE I had become too resistant to change. I felt I didn't need to keep learning and re-learning to adapt to changes. I had it ALL figured out. . . now I just accept what is TRUE --> none of us have it figured out. Because if we did, we would not need to be here, in this life, on this earth! 

Monday, July 4, 2011

Rites of Passage

It happened, damnit.

For the past almost 13 years I have been part of an 'on-line' family.  A group of women who started out on a very public message board for working mothers and who, over the years, have migrated through several different incarnations and who now have a private board where we 'meet'.  This group of around 35 women come from almost every part of North America.  I am one of several Canucks who have found we have more things in common with our American sisters than we ever imagined.

As with most families, we have been through our good and bad times.  We have held each other's virtual hands through the journey.  

We have celebrated accomplishments -- ours, our kids', our spouses.
We have cried over losses, big and small.
We have weathered the changes that life throws our way
We have sent our kids off to first grade and to college together.
We have watched our parents age, become ill and transition to the next life together.
We have cried for each other as marriages have broken down and ended.
We have rejoiced at new loves and new beginnings.
We have bragged without shame about our amazing children and their accomplishments.
We have held each other up when those same children stumble and fall.
We have encouraged each other in stepping out of our comfort zones, whether it is for a new job, a new career or even just a new hairstyle.
We have prayed when cancer has threatened those we love.
We have laughed over the silly things our families do.

The difference these women have made in my life defies description. They kept me relatively sane through the 4 years I lived in Canada's northern wilderness.  They reminded me that there really was still a world out there. 

They listened to my rants and tears when my marriage came apart at the seams and I had to find a new way to be in the world.   Now they listen to my dating adventures and remind me to laugh.

When my mother died as my marriage was ending, the words of love and support I got from my cyber-sisters were often the only thread holding me together. 

This past week we experienced the one Rite of Passage I prayed we never would face.  As I turned on my computer I was met with what I at first thought was a posting error.  It was a link to an obituary for someone with the same name as one of our members.  This CANNOT be right.  It is too soon to lose anybody to the next life. 

I held my breath and clicked.

Damnit.  Double damnit.  It was not an hallucination.  One of our members has gone where there is no mainframe or server.  She has logged off one last time.  We are collectively in shock.  The reality has hit us in the face. 

And so we say farewell to our sister.  We cry for her three beautiful daughters who will grow into adulthood without their mother by their sides.  We mourn for her husband who is undoubtedly overwhelmed by his loss and the loss his children are feeling.  We pray for strength for all of them, and for all of us. 

Goodbye, Dearest Ilka, you will not be forgotten.  We will keep your daughters in our prayers.  Know you are loved.  Godspeed, my Sister, Godspeed.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Thank you, Mr. Governator

and Congressman Weiner
and Chris Brown
and Tiger Woods
and John Edwards (the politician, not the guy who talks to dead people)

Your recent shenanigans have provided me with many teachable moments with my 13 year old daughter that I could not have scripted better. Seriously.

One of the biggest challenges facing the parents of teens in this technological age is dealing with  what our kids put out there on internet.

Some of my friends have elected to completely shut off their children from any internet access. No Facebook. No Youtube. No email. Whether or not their kids are logging in on the sly, I cannot say but this strikes me as reactive and not terribly useful longterm.

Eventually kids grow up. They reach 18, graduate from high school and move out. The parental ability to set boundaries and enforce consequences for choices ends then and all we can hope is that something we taught them sticks. The World takes over in the consequence department in a way that parents cannot even dream of. Those consequences can be life altering and long-term.

Forbidding kids to have an on-line presence reminds me of the town where I grew up, when I was growing up there. My hometown is one of the officially 'dry' towns in Canada. Liquor licenses are a non-issue and there is no liquor store. Rooted in the community's strong Mormon legacy, drinking is not just frowned upon, it is pretty much outlawed. [Drinking coffee is similarly sanctioned but I, as a true rebel, delighted in taking my thermos of coffee to the weekly Student Council Meetings when I was in grade 12.]

Now, here's the funny thing. Outlawed as it may be, alcohol is available for the asking. One of my friends father's ran a 'bootlegging' business, bringing in beer, wine and liquor from a nearby city and re-selling it to members not only of our community but also to the large aboriginal population on the Reserve that abutted the town. Roadtrips across the American border into Montana contributed to the thriving economy of a 'wide spot in the road' town less than 50 kilometers to the South. American beer was popular in my old stomping grounds long before 'importing' became popular and brands began to span the world.

One phenomenon that happened often was running wild after high school by many of my devote Mormon classmates. Moving away from home to work or to attend college without a parental supervisor was a double whammy for many. In a city where alcohol is a part of life on a daily basis, kids grow up watching the adults in their lives making choices. Whether the choice is yes or no, it is made on a regular basis -- at restaurants, dinner parties and other gatherings. For the most part, this was not a regular part of my classmates world. I can recall going to dinner with a friend and her parents and when the server asked Mom and Dad if they would like wine with their dinner, the NO was dished up with a look of righteous indignation at even being asked the question.

Anyway, suffice to say that for young adults who had rarely, if ever, seen examples polite refusals of alcohol to suddenly be thrust into the wonderful, wacky world of being an undergrad -- well, it was a recipe for bad choices. The 'no' muscle had not developed. The 'be polite' muscle was overdeveloped. More than few of my friends spent much of their first few years of post-secondary education in a daze. Granted, most of them returned to the fold sometime around their 21st birthday (remember, in Canada drinking age is 19 everywhere except Alberta where it is 18).

So, what does this have to do with the internet and philandering politicians and other public figures? Plenty.

Those parents who believe they can protect their children by keeping them away from the World Wide Web are not only naive, but also setting up their kids for failure in many ways. It is only by controlled exposure to what is out there that our kids learn to say yes and no with their own conviction (not conviction borrowed from their parents or friends). It's kind of like getting your kids inoculated against small pox, exposure to a small amount of cow pox boosts their immune system and the deadly virus cannot set in and kill them.

Having larger than life examples of 'what can go wrong' is a wonderful teaching tool. All of the goof ups of the past few years have helped me open up a dialogue about real world consequences of private choices. Once the Pumpkin quit giggling herself silly about the Congressman's name, we were able to talk about not only how foolish it was for him to take and email those photos but also about how male hormones can make even the most educated, responsible adults behave stupidly. I think the discussion ended with something along the lines of: "So, Pumpkin, if a grown man, with as much to lose as he had, was willing to let himself be overwhelmed by hormones, can you imagine how little control and/or sense a teenage boy has? . . Yes, you are correct, less than none."

Tiger Woods opened a discussion of the importance of not only honesty and fidelity but also of the importance of making sound choices when selecting life partners.

The Governator. . . well it was a wonderful blend of fidelity issues and attitude. When he stated he didn't get the big 'problem' with his behaviour, both of us were stunned. I suppose if he had a spouse who was okay with such choices, there would not have been any harm. But even a Canadian with limited education in U.S. political dynasties knows that Ms. Shriver would be sensitive to sexual dalliances. Clearly he didn't check with her before hand to see where her personal tolerance level sat.

So, my child has an online presence. I (and her other parents) monitor randomly. She hasn't unfriended us on Facebook and she shares with me links to music, videos and stories she finds interesting. The dialogue is something I treasure. If I can slip in some 'life lessons', well, that is just a great bonus.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Sweating with the Yogis

Anyone who knows me, knows I am NOT an athlete. Never have been; never will be. I have tried any number of fitness programs over the years -- Spa Lady, aerobics classes, weight lifting, mountain biking, swimming, Curves, yoga and, very briefly running. In the last couple of years, I have accepted that my fitness abilities are best suited to walking my two canine units, short-term yoga classes and the occasional adventure in virtual sports on the Wii.

Now, the reality is I am approaching 50 and I would really like to be around long enough to see my now teenaged daughter produce a grandchild or two (in the far, distant future). I also want to be healthy enough to spoil the said grandchild and return it to my dear daughter.

My elder sister who has ten more trips around the Sun than I do started doing 'hot' yoga about three years ago. Shortly thereafter she started proselytizing like a recently reborn Christian just back from an encounter weekend with Billy Graham. Like most of my family members, I rolled my eyes and figured she had clearly cooked her brain in the yoga class.

I had concluded several years ago that my view of exercise is like my view of sex and spirituality. It is a private matter and I am most comfortable pursuing it in privacy. I have never been into performance in any of these pursuits. Quite simply I like to sweat and to pray in private.

So, when I moved to Calgary several months ago I was surprised to discover my new residence is less than 10 minutes from a hot yoga studio that is affiliated with where my sister goes in Edmonton. Before I moved I had attended a yoga class and found that I was comfortable working on my flexibility and strength with a small class. Practice and not performance being the philosophy behind the class.

After several weeks of trying to find a yoga class near my house with a schedule I felt I could manage without driving myself crazy to rush home and get to class after work, I was slightly frustrated. At many studios (and particularly the ones in my neighbourhood), classes were run on a set schedule where it was necessary to commit to a specific time each week. Anyone with a child knows this is hard to maintain. Add to that I now have something that occasionally resembles a social life and things get dicey. How do I find a place where I can bend and twist on a regular enough basis to get some good out of it but that does not tie me to a schedule?

On a lark, I decided to check hot yoga studio's class format. Well, it is essentially set up with all classes being 'drop in'. It also featured a "$20 for all the sweating you can do in one week" introductory offer. Seemed like a good idea so I scoped out the class times and emailed my dear sister to get her advice on 'sweating with the yogis' etiquette.

Take a towel. Just like The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy -- always have a towel and DON'T PANIC. Actually, two towels are the best idea. One large one to go on top of your yoga mat, which will get as slippery as an eel in a canola oil plant. Without a towel for traction, just standing upright on your mat is a challenge. A smaller, hand-size towel is good to have to wipe the rivers of sweat off your face during class. Both towels will be drenched by the time you are done.

Remove all make up before class. Seriously. This is not a time for vanity and not removing eye make up has a couple of undesirable outcomes. First, rather than giving you an attractive, doe-eyed look, the profuse sweating will result in a goofy raccoon-eyed appearance. Second (and more important), melted mascara and eye liner will be washed into your eyes by sweat. You will experience excruciating pain and you will cry.

When I arrived for my first venture into the land of sweaty bending, there were more than a few other people waiting for the class as well. I was comforted to see that while a few of them looked like refugees from a dance studio, there were more than a few who looked like normal (read "slightly fluffy") people.

Clothing choices ranged from the latest from Lulu Lemon to Costco brand yoga wear to t-shirts and shorts. Everyone carried a water bottle and the requisite towel or two.

After shedding my outer layer of sweatshirt and track pants, I eased my way out of the dressing room wearing yoga shorts and a top I'd picked up at Winners. Upon entering the yoga room, I found subdued lighting, a slightly rubbery floor and several people already quietly laying on their mats and relaxing. I found a spot near the back of the room and rolled my mat out lining it up with the stickers on the floor designed to keep rows straight.

As I rolled out my mat and covered it with a towel, I was surprised by the temperature in the room. Hot yoga is practiced in heat of between 35 and 45 degrees Celsius, or 100 and 110 degrees Fahrenheit. Perhaps my internal thermostat has gone wonky in my advancing years, but it did NOT feel terribly hot to me. In fact, given my druthers, I would gladly keep my house close to the temperature in the studio.

I am now several weeks into regular attendance at hot yoga. I can almost balance on one foot for more than a millisecond and there is a definite improvement in my flexibility.

Yes, I think I've found my 'sport' is non-competitive, calming and warm.

Friday, March 11, 2011

My life mix tape. . .

I am reading Jodi Picoult's latest book, Sing Me Home. The main character talks about how one of her questions for potential boyfriends was for them to make up a musical mix tape that would describe them. This got me thinking . . . what mix tape (or ipod play list) would sum up who I am in ten songs. . . .

Number One - - and a testament to the person who shaped me more than any other -- is Joan Baez's "Honest Lullaby". Yes, I had a mother who sang to me an Honest Lullaby. From as far back as I can remember she did not try to explain away or sugar coat the less than perfect things that happened in my life. She did, however, encourage me to find the diamond in the pile of dirt. One of the life lessons she taught me is that NO experience is a bad experience, as long as you have learned something from it. I hope I am able to pass that legacy on to my child. . .

And if you should ever wonder
How the years and you'll survive
Honey, you've got a mother who sings to you
Dances on the strings for you
Opens her heart and brings to you
An honest lullaby

Number Two is Jewel's "Life Uncommon". This song speaks to my deep belief and feeling that our world will not be saved by violence and hate but only by love and kindness. This is the song I listen to when I am feeling broken by the World.

And lend your voices only to sounds of freedom
No longer lend your strength to that
which you wish to be free from
Fill you lives with love and bravery
And we shall lead a life uncommon

Number Three is "The Long Way Around" by the Dixie Chicks. Yes, my friends from High School really did marry their high school sweethearts and move into same zip codes (okay, same Postal Codes -- I am Canadian) where their parents live. But I took the long way . . . I recently found that as much as I may have wanted to excise my roots from my life, those people who 'knew me when' and I share a common history that makes ALL of us better, kinder people.

No I, I could never follow
No I, I could never follow

It's been two long years now
Since the top of the world came crashing down
And I'm getting' it back on the road now

Well, I fought with a stranger and I met myself
I opened my mouth and I heard myself
It can get pretty lonely when you show yourself
Guess I could have made it easier on myself

Number Four is "Cool" by Gwen Stefani. This song is captures how, after 3 years and a lot of healing, I feel about my ex-husband and the 'space' I am in regarding our relationship. Although I, myself, have not found a new partner, his choice is a woman I genuinely like, respect and consider a friend and, yes, we are all 'cool'. Believe me no one is more surprised than I at the level of forgiveness and peace that I have reached after what was a painful loss. Guess between therapy and prayer, I found a way.

And I'll be happy for you
If you can be happy for me
Circles and triangles, and now we're hangin' out with your new girlfriend
So far from where we've been
I know we're cool

Number Five is Chinese Cafe by Joni Mitchell. What can I say, I kind of grew up on Joni, being the youngest sister in a pretty 'hippy' family. Joni's songs -- Chelsea Morning, The Circle Game, Big Yellow Taxi, Both Sides Now -- were the soundtrack of my childhood and teenage years, following my sisters around trying to keep up or figure them out (never did figure them out, but that's okay, I LOVE THEM ALL anyway). Now, as I am in what has been called 'midlife', Chinese Cafe paints the picture of my friendships and where we are collectively and individually. As I watch my friends become grandparents and realize that it is not necessarily a bad thing to become our parents.

This girl of my childhood games
With kids nearly grown and gone
Grown so fast
Like the turn of a page
We look like our mothers did now
When we were those kids' age

Song number six would be Great Big Sea's "Here and Now". It is a song about living our lives in the present. I wasted too many years speculating about a future that changed in an instant and beating myself up over a past that I cannot change. So, this is the anthem for my life in the NOW. Sometimes we all need to be reminded that the only time that we can impact is this moment. The thing about Great Big Sea music is no matter how bad I am feeling when I put it on, I am HAPPY by the end of the second or third song.

The hardest part of life
Is to live while you're alive my friend
So sing an unwritten song
Or repent for the deeds you left undone

This is Here
This is Now
It's the moment that we live for
And we just can't live without

Number Seven. No list of songs to describe me would be complete without something from P!nk. I think she is truly the 'voice' of her generation . . . The Pumpkin and I traveled to Seattle (Washington) to see her in concert and it was one of the most energizing experiences of my life. Three years ago, the song would have been "So What" (it was my unofficial anthem to get my through my divorce). But her newest song, F&ckin Perfect speaks to me on many levels. It is the song I wish I'd heard when I was an awkward 15 year old who believed she could not do anything right. It is the song I silently sing to my own 13 year old praying she knows she is PERFECT just being who she is called to be. It is the song I want ALL 13 year olds to know is the truth . . . be yourself and don't be afraid to find out who that is. Follow your inner voice and you'll be fine.

Made a wrong turn, once or twice.
Dug my way out, blood and fire.
Bad decisions, that's alright.
Welcome to my silly life.
Mistreated, misplaced, misunderstood.
Miss 'No way, it's all good', it didn't slow me down.
Mistaken, always second guessing, underestimated.
Look i'm still around

Such a tired game
It's enough
I've done all I can think of
Chased down all my demons
Seen you do the same

Number Eight is Rhiannon by Fleetwood Mac sung by Stevie Nicks in that ethereal voice that is both rough and haunting. When I was in my early 20s I changed my given names. I was the last of six children and the 'well' of names had sort of dried up by the time I came along. As I result I was named after my father's commanding officer (yes, a woman) and my aunt's dog. Not terribly special. Once I had established I wanted to be writer, I knew I needed a more literary name. So, with an affidavit and a couple of government forms, I changed my given name to a long version of my birth name and my middle name to Rhiannon.

She is like a cat in the dark
and then she is the darkness
she rules her life like a fine skylark
and when the sky is starless
All your life you've never seen
woman taken by the wind

Number Ten. "You Learn" by Alanis Morrisette. When I was pregnant with my daughter I overdosed on two particular albums, both by Canadian women. One of them was Jagged Little Pill by Alanis Morrisette. The other one. . . well, let's just say I recovered from my infatuation with it shortly after the pregnancy hormones stopped flowing. I am approaching the half century mark in my life and I remember hearing Gloria Steimen comment that women 'become themselves' at 50. To get to that place . . . the place knowing without a doubt who I am I have learned a lot of lessons. Most of the important ones were not fun or enjoyable during life's tutorials -- pain is a necessary teacher for the big lessons of life, especially if we are not paying attention the first or second time the lesson is presented.

"You live you learn
You love you learn
You cry you learn
You lose you learn
You bleed you learn
You scream you learn"

10 Linkin Park's "What I've Done" For a very long time after the end of my marriage, and the end of my first career, I was into self-flagellation. The level of regret and guilt rivaled that of my dearest Catholic and Jewish friends. [A discussion among girlfriends once came to the conclusion that while Jewish Mothers may have invented guilt trips, Catholic Mothers perfected them and set up the travel agency that books them.] Now, I was raised by a mother whose standard refrain was the guilt is a wasted emotion. It is passive and akin to stewing in one's own juices or spinning tires on an icy street -- a lot of energy is exerted by nothing comes of it. Slowly I let go of the guilt and found my way to forgiveness. I practiced by forgiving others - - people who had contributed to the debacle that had become my life. The last (and hardest) act of forgiveness was to forgive myself. I am still working on it, but I am happy to say that the periods of self-recrimination are much fewer and farther between. I no longer need a steamer trunk for my guilt trips. . . a light backpack is sufficient.

So let mercy come
And wash away
What I’ve done

I'll face myself
To cross out what i’ve become
Erase myself
And let go of what i’ve done

Put to rest
What you thought of me
While I clean this slate
With the hands of uncertainty

"For what I’ve done
I start again
And whatever pain may come
Today this ends
I’m forgiving what I’ve done!!!"

So. . . .what would be on YOUR life's playlist....

Monday, March 7, 2011

Mom said there'd be days like this

I am now the parent of a teenager. Pumpkin, my amazing child, turned 13 this past month. And I'm waiting for the hurricane. The hatches are getting battened and the windows covered in plywood. I am heading for higher ground and pray that the next seven years pass without either of us suffering any permanent damage.

I remember my teen years. They were many things, but FUN was not one of them. At least not very often. Adding to the excitement was the fact that my Mother hit menopause the same time I hit puberty. Yes, it was the House of Hormone Hell -- especially in the 1970s when there was not the same understanding and balms for the biological storm that marks both of these transitions.

My child entered her teens by starting at a new school in a new city. We have moved from the small city where we've been for almost 4 years to a large metropolitan city. The move was for solid reasons -- Mom got a job here.

The one big reality when you are a single parent is that there really isn't anyone there to pick up the slack. Not when you are tired and sick. Not when the one nerve you had left is rapidly fraying and in danger of breaking. Definitely not when you lose your job. So, I did what I had to do when there was nothing that matched my skillset available in our old home. I branched out.

Don't get me wrong, Renfrew and the Other Mother (OM) are great parents. But reality, being what it is, we are not living next door to each other to share the daily benefits and burdens of raising our communal child. They have her with them 3 weekends a months. And even though our new home is substantially closer to them (30 minutes v. 2 hours each way), it is not practical for them to be involved in the day-to-day stuff.

It is what it is. And I am not complaining. Considering the fact Pumpkin was the result of much medical assistance and (in the end) Divine intervention, the very fact I have been blessed with the chance to be a parent is worth any price. The fact the child in question is smart, funny, talented and beautiful, well that is just icing on the already 10 layer cake.

In my tradition of looking at the positive aspects of almost anything, I am trying to focus in the strengths that she has been demonstrating. I realize that her deep sorrow and even anger at having to move away from her core group of friends is a testament to her intense connection and sense of loyalty. Her nervousness and angst at the new city and new school illustrate that regardless of her like or dislike of the situation, she wants to do well and find a way to 'be' in this new place.

She is, after all, my child. She is my Mother's granddaughter. She is my Grandmother's great-granddaughter. The line of women in our family stretchs back to pioneers who left the safety of their homes behind to find a future on the prairie. We have a tradition of adapting to where our lives take us. We are resilient and able to weather the storms.

So what can I say, but Mother Nature --> Bring it On.