Jello Legs + Sweat = Radiance

Hello, World, and all its beautiful inhabitants. I’m back. Same idea, different location.

Last week, I made a list of 100 goals. One of my goals was to revive my blog. I want to…Write. Shit. Down. Lay my thoughts out in text. Here. In this blog about my life and shit.

So, here I am. Maybe you’re here, too. Maybe people read this, maybe they don’t but even if they don’t, I am writing and that was my goal! Whoooo! I have stuff to offer in my head and heart and I am excited for what is to come so I’m going to keep writing and writing some more. You’ll read it eventually. Wink!

It’s been one week today, since I participated rather reluctantly, in Transformation Weekend with Erin Skye Kelly at Infinite Strength Wellness Fitness Centre and well, I feel I have been transformed like some kind of butterfly or something. It’s actually pretty amazing. Not even shittin’ ya.

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I tried to talk myself out not going because it was a Saturday and I like to do nothing on Saturday – it’s one of my days off and all. Plus, I don’t have a social life and I really like just chilling around the house and staying in PJs. Hey! There’s nothing wrong with that!

I texted the owner, Toni, who is also a friend from her NLC Recruiter days and tried to get her to tell me something that would be the deal breaker for me.

“Is there going to be tables and chairs?” I texted. “I don’t want to be sitting on yoga mats and shit all day, ” dreading it already. Not that I have anything against yoga or mats, I just really tried to talk myself out of not going. All the while bitching out my cousin, Crystal, because she was feeling the same. I can jam out but she can’t I rationalized. I talked her in to registering, after all. Eye roll.

“Tables and chairs,” Toni texted back, “Trust. Come, it’ll be good.”

That was it. I went. I couldn’t jam on Toni when she’s been there with me through a lot of ups and downs and I wanted to support her doing this for Fort Nelson. Like, I was doing her some sort of favour, right? Eye roll. I had to tell myself what the hell ever I could to make myself go. That was it and I went. Have to support the friends!

I am so fucking happy and have never felt this alive.

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Saturday came and I got my socks knocked off. I felt like I’ve not felt in a long, long time – ALIVE! Focused and clear. I don’t want to talk too much about Transformation Weekend because it will be different for everyone and I don’t want to ruin the excitement for you. I will say, though, I’m beyond grateful for the spark it lit within me. I feel revived.

Remember the 100 goals I mentioned? Well, one of them was to lose weight and today I started my gym sessions with Toni! Yayyy! I turned 42 and have been telling myself for some time (since I turned 40) that I didn’t want to feel this way anymore and finally, it’s time. Enough talking, more doing. Action, baby! We need action! So I showed up today ready to get sweaty and that’s exactly what happened. I felt like I had accomplished so much in just 40 minutes. I feel alive – still! And, that is super.

I would never have imagined I’d feel this great in just one week all because I took time out of my weekend and took care of ME! I’m worth it.

Jello legs + sweat = radiance. I am beaming inside AND out and that is what life is all about. This place of peace.

Fearless.

Excited.

Strong.

I am so fucking happy and have never felt this alive. 42 is going to be the best one yet!

R

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Rising Up

Well, I lost track but that’s because we’ve been busy giving our yard a makeover among other things. Also, I lost track of days and numbers so let’s just say I won’t be counting days but instead writing for the sake of writing because it clears my mind and heart.

I have realized a few things in the last while since I’ve not been writing. While not writing, I have a lot of time to think about the things I should be writing about. Go figure!

One, I like writing but it takes focus, silence and a clear mind to ‘get in the zone’ hence the reason I don’t write as often as I’d like. There’s a lot of distraction and life is happening around me, so I need to make time. Do it or don’t but writing is therapy and healing so making it a priority is key hence this post today.

Two, I’m so fortunate for my life. I have a super hardworking and handy husband who goes above and beyond at every opportunity to make the kids and I happy and provide a good home and life for us. Look at all he’s done in just six days!

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All of this wouldn’t be possible or happening if we were still living a life of addiction. Fuck, I’m so happy that this is our life. I don’t miss that shit for anything. Addiction is a nightmare. I see people struggling and it’s all because of addiction. It’s the choices one makes each day that keeps them stuck or moving forward but ultimately, it’s all a CHOICE. We wake up each day and choose to be sober and drug free, still, after all these years and our life is good. I’m genuinely happy. Happiness was always short lived when living that life. Fuck that shit.

Three, remembering to be grateful every day for every thing, especially the things we take for granted. I got two calls last week from my cousin Taylor, who’s continuously doing amazing things with her life, thanking me for some ideas I offered up and for encouraging and believing in her. My heart overflowed. It meant so much to me. It took a lot to not cry because it’s a lot to take in when someone says thank you for your help and you hear in their voice, how life changing their experiences were. My heart burned with happiness for her.

I want so many good things for our people. I want good things for the people who wake up every day and strive for healthy communities to make the world a better place for all people, especially our Indigenous relatives. As a people, we’ve overcome so much and the people that are working to improve their communities every day are proof that we’re stronger and more resilient than we sometimes give each other credit for. We’re fucking badass. To all the Taylors and Zakarys in our communities, mahsi cho, for doing the work to improve our communities, you are the next generation of leaders who will bring forth the change we want and need. You are our role models. Thank you for being you, being amazing, being strong when times are tough, being the voice for the voiceless and not giving up even when there’s days you want to. There’s days like that for me, too, but if we gave up, who would lead the way? No pressure. Wink!

So there you have it, some good stuff from my soul. I’m just so thankful for life, the sunshine, the birds, our walls, the helpful guys at Ace Hardware in Fort Nelson, and music that keeps me rocking.

One day, all our people will rise up and be strong and healthy and when that day comes, we will be a force to be reckoned with. I see it already because we model it every day for our kids. We believe in you, Son and Miss Magoonie.

Enjoy this beautiful day.

Renee

Can’t Sleep

I’m wide awake and it’s 11:30 on a Sunday night. I fight with myself to get up and clean while it’s peace and quiet or force myself to get some shut eye. Instead I just write this.

Today Greg and I went for a hunt and saw our first bear and also scored some traditional medicine, diamond willow fungus. We had a pretty laid back day. I napped, too, so that explains the alertness at this hour.

Anyway, not much else to say except I have a lot going on this week, so I best be getting some rest. Good night.

Posts Can Wait, Culture Cannot

I’m two posts behind, tonight and last night. I think? Yes, two, it is.

I have a good excuse though. I’ve been dancing alongside family, friends and community. Dancing to the Dene drums. The medicine of our people.

I got to witness, Taden, drumming alongside men 20-60 years his senior and it warmed my heart. Not only is he super cute, he’s gifted with the medicine of our people – the will to drum and carry on our traditions. What a blessing.

Then tonight, I danced while my husband and son drummed, too. I feel so good inside. Taden also received a drum from Dene Tha drummer and community leader, Fabian. I could feel how happy and proud everyone was for the little guy. He totally deserves to drum all the days of his life.

Although I feel like I’ve not met my “100 posts in 100 days” because I’ve fallen behind, I recognize that focusing on the good things are far more important than beating myself over falling behind. I’m not behind, I just was too busy enjoying life and our culture with my family. Posts can wait, culture cannot.

The video is dark but the drums are loud, and that is the heartbeat of the Dene people – strong and proud. I’m so thankful for this way of life. Something I’ve taken for granted for many years, but now I fully embrace.

Good night.

Renee

Your Choice, Your Problem

So, I was worried I’d have nothing to write about tonight since I stayed home and worked on the NDK newsletter all day and didn’t really do anything worthy of talking about but then I forgot I have teens and shit hits the fan sometimes, like just now. Surely, writing about my personal stuff that includes my family is one thing but talking about their specifics is not really fair but then I remembered life isn’t fair, so fuck it. If it happens, I’m writing about it. All in the lessons, kids.

Lately and more so now that my teenagers are growing up and gaining their independence, it’s been a bit of a struggle to be a sane and “nice” Mom. History has shown that I am always the bad guy, it’s a shitty job but as the saying goes, someone has to do it. May as well be the one who doesn’t fuck around, even if it means, my kids hate me some days. So be it. Do I love my kids? Abso-fucking-lutely! If I didn’t, I wouldn’t be almost losing my mind most days and certainly wouldn’t be writing this.

I asked three, maybe even four, times for 16 to clean up the bathroom and entry way, and it didn’t get done after the third or fourth and final time, so there was some yelling exchanged when I got home from a cruise with Dad. Every teenager knows once it gets to that stage, they risk losing privileges, and what do you know?! The cell was in hand, which seems to be a theme every day these days, so away went the cell phone and that ended the argument with the two parties going their separate ways. Two slamming doors followed. Mind you, it is important to remember that said “bad guy” pays for said cell phone which is a privilege and not a right. Right? Right.

Now what? Well, I’m laying here writing this, and keeping my distance. It’s the smart thing to do. I refuse to acknowledge disrespectful and entitled behavior. When we choose the behavior, we choose the consequences. Done deal. Don’t want to do chores, no cell. Don’t want to go to school, no cell. We are all responsible for our own choices so long as we accept the consequences. I shouldn’t have to ask 3-4 times to do your part around the house. We all live here. Let’s all do our part. What will kids do when they have no adults around to do everything for them? Surely, they will learn real quick won’t they? I can only hope since I know some people (not mentioning any names) can’t live without a cell phone.

Anyway, yeah, so that’s my post for today. Life is tough but I’m tougher. Shit, I’m the parent of two teenagers. What doesn’t kill us only makes us stronger. I’m pretty sure I got balls of steel by now. Lol.

GOOD NIGHT.

Just when you think it’s bedtime, you get a call about 17. Great.

Is it a full moon by chance? Ugh.

Renee

Home

The best part of traveling is the coming home part. We made it home safe and sound. Stopped in Fort St. John for lunch and an oil change, then fueled up and hit the road home bound again. It’s a long 8-9 hour drive but when it’s like summer driving, time goes by quickly.

Came inside and chilled for about 45 minutes before our son got us motivated to head outside as a family and do a bit of yard work. Sis and I burned grass and she raked some, while Dad and Ash dug the fire pit out to burn old straw. Then we set up the gazebo mat and started on the puppy pen for the deck. I think this is going to be the summer of the deck. I’ve not used it much or fully enjoyed it since I hate bugs and we finally got a gazebo with netting. YES! Pincher free summer sounds excellent to me!

I don’t have much more to offer than what I did. At least I didn’t miss posting today. The next few days won’t consist of much either unless something totally amazing happens because I’ll be working from home on the May issue of Na Deh Kleh.

Anyway, I hope life treated you kindly today. Cruising down the highway next to my G-Lo, coming home to our kids, spending time outside as a family is my idea of happiness and HOME. There’s no place I’d rather be.

Good night.

Renee

Missed Thoughts

I forgot to blog yesterday, so I’m one day behind now. Shit happens.

We’re in Prince George. Adult road trip for medical isn’t as fun as it sounds but I got to see my cousins Bradley, Barbara and Peter. If only for a brief moment, it was nice. I don’t even recall how many years it’s been since I’ve seen Barb and Peter.

We got up early, drove to get the tire leak fixed, which ended up being about 2.5 hours but got breakfast while we waited, went to the bank, browsed some shops, got a job interview set up, and talked to Labour Canada. It was nice to get up early and walk, something I never do. I really need to start that. Having Greg along for the walk, was a bonus.

We picked up Brad, went to eat, helped him rescue his truck and then just chilled at the hotel. It was a nice day, just going with the flow.

I’m thankful for these moments with Greg. Although we miss our kids, these moments allow us to rekindle the love and appreciation we have for one another. When we’re together we laugh about the silliest things and just take it easy, do whatever we want with no worries. We often think out loud about our future and what that looks like as our kids turn to adults and leave the nest.

We are having breakfast then heading home to our kids. It’s another good day to cruise with my G-Lo. I love him, our kids and our life.

Renee

F*ck You, IRS

WARNING: MATURE CONTENT

Fuck You, Indian Residential School.

We saw Indian Horse tonight. It made me angry and my heart aches. I felt rage and sadness. As a result, I have a few choice words to share.

Fuck you, Catholic churches across Canada and the world that thought they knew what was best for our people.

Fuck you, Catholic churches, and your holier than thou religion that was forced upon our people.

Fuck you, Catholic churches and your priests, brothers and nuns who felt it was acceptable to torture, rape and beat defenseless Indigenous kids.

Fuck you, Catholic churches, and your institutions where 1000s upon 1000s of Indigenous kids died and never got to see their families again.

Fuck you, Catholic churches, for ripping my parents from my Grandmas and Grandpas, and kids and parents from each other.

Fuck you, Catholic churches, for taking our language and traditions from my parents so that I didn’t learn them either.

Fuck you, Catholic churches, for taking my Dad from me.

Fuck you, Catholic churches, for hurting my Dad so badly that he kills himself every day with alcohol. FUCK YOU!!!

Fuck you, Canadian government, for your truth and reconciliation bullshit. It means nothing when I see Indigenous people killing themselves every day with drugs and alcohol over years of trauma and pain.

Fuck you, to anyone who thinks Indigenous people should “just get over it.”

Fuck you. Fuck you. FUCK YOU!

The one thing you didn’t take was our people’s strength and resiliency, so fuck you.

Renee