The Future is Still Bright

“…if we want to be free, we have to let every body be free.  I hate and resent this so much.  It means we have to let the people in our families and galaxies be free to be asshats, if that is how they choose to live.  This however, does not mean we have to have lunch with them.  Or go on vacation with them again.  But we do have to let them be free.”  ~Anne Lamott
I was just sent this quote by a colleague and, it feels relevant in the aftermath of the election so I’m sharing it with y’all. 
My intention today is about how the hell we explain this political sh!t show to our kids?
Let me clarify – how do we discuss the fact that “THE DONALD” is THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA?!?
And how do we talk about this mind blowing result with our kids minus the whiny or blamey voice taking center stage.
I love the quote, “What you focus on…grows”.
If our inner whiner or blamer comes online in the midst of this conversation, we are inviting more whiners and blamers into our day.
Logically resulting in the outcomes that whiners and blamers typically get.
Those results involve  frustration, negativity, surrounding yourself with victim energy and ultimately, an exhausting existence.
F&%k that noise!  I’m here to have way more fun than that in this precious life.
I like Anne Lamott’s quote above because it’s really about defining personal boundaries and respecting other people’s differing opinions.
Choosing to stay in our own lane and surrounding ourselves with positive people and experiences strengthens us.
Because right now, many of us need strength to stay positive and hopeful to keep fighting for the future we want for ourselves, our kids and our country.
Many people in this country have spoken and they have a differing opinion from mine and possibly yours. 
These people, we will call them STRUMPS, secret Trump Voters (sibling privilege to use my brother’s material b/c he came up with STRUMPS…genius). 
Many of us feel blind sighted and now amidst our disappointment, heartbreak and anxiety about our future, we remember we are parents and have to find the right words to explain this outcome to our kids.
The same kids we have been teaching about equality and fairness and that bullies never prevail.
This is the convo I had with my kiddos in case you are looking for some inspiration: 
We have our work cut out for us as change agents who are meant to spread kindness and equality.  This is the reality right now in our country…”whitelash”  is apparently very real.  However, 10 years ago no one would have thought gay marriage would pass.  What we focus on grows…we will handle this defeat with grace and integrity while keeping our heads down to fight for social justice and being a part of a different solution.”
This is how we strengthen ourselves, our platform and our 1/3 tribe.
We keep our heads down and get busy strengthening our tribe by focusing on the country we are ready to inhabit while also realizing that we are the trailblazers and have our work cut out for us.
Many other folks in our country are just not “there” yet as the election revealed.
We have more work ahead than we may have realized.
And like the gay marriage deniers have learned…social justice is real and people like US don’t sit back whining and blaming for long.
Because once we dust ourselves off, we will come back stronger than ever and prevail over the STRUMPS.
And in the words of my 15-year old daughter, “Mom, Americans didn’t fail us.  Hillary won the popular vote by 200,000.”
As parents, we continue to talk about white privilege and “whitelash” and showing up in our lives spreading kindness and a belief in humanity. 
This begins in our homes by strengthening our families from a place of kindness, love and connection.
We are raising the next generation.
Step into your power daily by being the loving and supportive parent you always swore you would be.

I'm guessing that vision didn't involve losing your temper and hurling insults back and forth with the people you love the most.
By creating a positive family dynamic, YOU are strengthening yourself, your kids and fighting for social justice.

Kids that come from connected families - free of yelling, shaming and blaming, grow up to do big things.

These are the kids that become the HEALTHY leaders of tomorrow.
You are a trailblazer and you have received “the call” to make this world and country a more loving one. 
You are not alone.  I am not alone.  WE will do this together.
WE are the change agents and we will continue to strengthen each other by raising our kids to become part of a peaceful solution.

Change Is Hard

As humans we are pattern seeking beings.

Our brains don’t have to work as hard when we continue to live as we have before. 

This is why new experiences and new ways of thinking are challenging.

It takes more effort to change than to stay the same.

However, as most of us know, once the transition is complete, the rewards feel really powerful.

This is how we grow and evolve.

About a month ago, my oldest child, Alec, went away to college.

A major transition for him and our entire family.

As I pass by his empty bed each night, I feel sadness.

I miss that peaceful feeling I’ve had for the last 18 years – knowing that all my people are safe and resting under one roof. 

I love the darkness and quiet at night where the busyness of the day has come and gone.

I love looking at my sleeping children – know they are resting their bodies and growing to enjoy tomorrow to their fullest abilities.

I have been called the sleep Nazi around our house because rest has been a huge priority since they were tiny babies.

And now I understand why this has been so important to me.

I want them supported in a way where they can show up as their best well rested selves. 

Now one of my babies has to do that for himself in an environment that isn’t particularly conducive to a quiet and peaceful night’s sleep.

So I walk by his room and realize I no longer can affect that part of his life.

He is in charge of all his basic needs these days.

This is a big change.

We are transitioning.

It feels challenging and sometimes I feel sad.

We talk and Facetime a lot and I feel a sense of reassurance.

I see happiness in his face and hear a calm confidence in his voice that feels new.

It is almost like he has an inner knowing that I need to see and hear that regularly.

He is showing up for himself and his family during this time of transition in a way that I never anticipated.

It seems like I hear his voice even more than I did when he lived under the same roof.

Alec stays in touch daily with his younger brother and sister through regular Facetime and text exchanges.

His 10-year-old brother, Cory and he talk multiple times a day and it seems like Cory can’t wait to share every detail with his big bro about his latest soccer game or test grade.

Alec is helping his sister navigate the realities of high school and has done some pretty remarkable behind the scenes lobbying to protect her from risky influencers.

He is embracing his new identity away from home in ways that make it feel like he has joined the adult team and is now helping to take care of his siblings from afar.

The beauty in the way he has managed this transition is now supporting me to face the struggle involving feelings of change and sadness.

HE is helping me grow and continue this evolutionary process.

Change is hard.  Transitions are challenging.  Feeling sadness is difficult.

And shifting into a new pattern, role, identity - trumps the hard stuff.

This is what we are meant to do as humans.