This Moment

How would I feel if things were easy? Would I be happy? Would I be miserable? What is happy? What is sad? What is an easy life? Is it real? What does easy even mean? I’m sure everyone has their interpretation of what life is supposed to be like but what’s mine?

I imagine life differently but all I know is what I know. How can things be different, when this is all I know?

I know life can always be better. I know I can try and do better, work harder and there’s always room for improvement but what am I striving for, if anything at all?

What if this is what I strive for? What if this is where I’m supposed to be?

I can hear the wind in the trees. It dries my tears. I hear dogs bark, birds chirp, motorbikes zooming by and yet my thoughts are of this time, this moment. What is next? What is beyond this moment?

Who knows?

Renee

Transitions

What is even happening? Life seems insanely crazy these days. My mind and heart are not aligned and I feel at odds with life.

It’s been a while since I’ve attempted to write. A lot has been happening since I last wrote. I don’t even recall what I last wrote. The husband and I started updating the yard with a fence and a new coat of paint on the house (or modular home), but then I got a call for surgery. Within two days of getting the call, my palm was cut open and I was having carpal tunnel surgery in another province. Aside from that, surgery completely halted any further yard/house work we were doing because it’s near impossible to go to the bathroom, let alone paint a house. I probably picked the worst time to have the surgery but I have relief from pain and numbness so that’s the plus side of it all.

On top of all that, our community is divided and things are quite contentious because for one, it’s an election year and two, members are not being heard by the people they elected nor are they being consulted. I am saddened that this is the best our Council and Administration can do. It’s as if the members don’t matter. Election years suck. Rez politics suck. One dimensional leaders suck. Dictators suck. No matter who’s on Council, no one wins, especially when you have a select few people doing what they think is best for the overall nation without proper consultation. As Indigenous people we complain to governments and corporations about proper consultation yet don’t practise what we preach in our own communities and governments. Today, I’m making a conscious effort to focus on more important things, like my son’s upcoming graduation.

OUR SON IS GRADUATING!! Again, my first-born child is graduating!! Let that sink in. Imagine the craziness that alone brings. I’m losing my mind. My heart can’t deal. I don’t want my kids to grow up but I don’t have a say in the matter. They’re growing up and becoming their own people, young independent adults. It’s scary, heartbreaking, joyous, and exciting times. My husband and I didn’t graduate so this is a momentous occasion for us, somehow we didn’t completely mess up our amazing kids with addiction and chaos. Thankfully, we rose above for them and for ourselves. Our kids deserve so much better than we had and I’m so extremely grateful for my parents and family who helped shape our son and daughter in to the really awesome teenagers they are. I just know they’re going to do really great things with their lives. Sigh…transitions.

What else is there to say? Transitions. Transitioning. “The process or a period of changing from one state or condition to another.” Married with kids to married with no kids (at home). Kid-less. It’s mind-numbing and overwhelming to think of a life that involves only two people (mom and dad) where there were four (our son and daughter). What’s next for us as a couple? I don’t know but it’s going to be weird and it’s kind of funny to imagine. Life, one day at a time with the love of my life is all I can be sure of right now. I’m optimistic that whatever comes our way, we will deal with it and we will be ok.

Transitions.

 

Renee

 

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

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