the need to control and order and make “perfect” screams inside my head


it’s a fight and a drive, both feeding off of each other


the urge to find order and rightness trumps everything else right now


life spins and my thirst for alignment and structure is paramount


the breaking point is passed


i clean, organize, make right , put in order


nothing is left unturned, untouched


and yet it’s not enough


not tonight


the thirst for more is too much to put to bed


recent nights, it’s been put under wraps, muffled but not silenced


quieted and sated, a reprieve found


yet tonight it claws and scratches


demanding attention


requiring to be heard and attended to.


it hungers for


what’s been put off over and over again


the yearning


whispering to me what it needs


needs, not wants


the need that will only crave more


the longer it’s not fed


so I relent


i give in and loose the binds that hold


freedom of release flows and it is what’s needed




There have been a lot of blogs and videos popping up lately about being grateful and expressing  gratitude. Especially as it relates to people who have overcome tragedy or experienced a loss that has shaken their ability to be happy and feel happiness. I came across one last week that made me think deeply about what it means to be grateful and how I could maybe start to play with that idea in order to try to keep moving forward through what have been some rollercoaster times the last while. With the Winter Solstice just passed I have been searching for a way to celebrate the new start that it brings within me and the chance to begin something that will grow over the next year.


Grateful has always been a word that I have had a hard time embracing. My personal take on the word is that it insinuates that you are grateful, or thankful, to someone or something. Whether that is a spiritual belief in god or more vaguely, the universe, it leans towards giving thanks in a specific direction. Just never really found a place in me that the concept resonated with me in a way that I felt it should. Yet at the same time, I see and understand the concept and wanted to find a way to make it mean something to me as I start this new year.


Living with grief and finding happiness with grief and loss as a part of day to day life is rough. Some days it’s harder than others to find something that makes me smile. There are days that it feels like all I’m doing is just putting one foot in front of the other, and that isn’t how I want to live. That isn’t what I want for the rest of my life. There are other days though that are filled with joy and smiles and being happy that I’m here to live that day and have those moments. Those days are happening more and more. What’s also there is that even on the hard days, I am starting to be able to see the little things within those days that give me even a little something the be glad that I’m there to experience.


So the new year has started for me and with it, the chance to be aware. To purposely look for, and record, the happy in every day. Even on, especially on, those days that don’t seem to have any. A project for myself more than anything else. A picture every day to show myself that not only have I acknowledged that moment but that when I think there aren’t things to smile about I can look back and see that indeed there are.


Sometimes it’s hours lived loudly and fully and being so full of life that I want to scream. Sometimes it’s merely a little smile at the pretty sunset as I walk home quietly along the oceanfront. It doesn’t matter whether it’s big or small, just that it’s there, and it is.


A name is something that we give a thing or a person or a place to identify it, to help us put it in a box or to label it so that we can say “we know how that fits in how I see things” essentially.

We know things and people in our lives by what we call them. A name can convey so much before a person even has a chance to form their own perception. Warships were named for fierceness and to intimidate. Pilots in the air force were given nicknames that captured their prowess and their personality in battle. Racehorses are named to induce any number of stirrings. A place is named after it’s features or landmarks that are recognizable; Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump is a real place in Alberta – it automatically brings to mind what must have happened in that place. It’s descriptive and identifying. That’s what a name is supposed to do, isn’t it?

A person’s name is no different. Most cultures and societies – in recent history anyways – tend to lean towards naming a child at birth, or before birth. Great care is given to choose a name for the baby that is being brought into the family and the community. Sometimes, a name is chosen to represent a family line. A family name,  traditionally passed to the first born, named after a parent to continue a lineage. Heritage and bloodlines carried on in birth names. Surnames are passed down and a way of marking who you are based on where you sprang forth from is born. An easy way to label and identify and box “who” you are before anyone even knows you personally.

More often though, parents choose a named based on qualities or traits that they want their child to have. They choose names that they associate with those characteristics. A son is given a name that infers strength or resilience, a baby girl is named for beauty or charm. Religious names to instill the desire to be pious or faithful. Children named after royalty to emulate that standing in life. So many reasons. Yet it all comes down to a person being given a name. What happens though when that name just doesn’t “fit” that child? Or what if that child grows and finds their own name that fits who they are better than the one they were given?

Many cultures in the world have a tradition of naming ceremonies to embody this. Rituals that involve a person being given a new name upon entering adulthood or them taking a name, chosen by them, to mark who they are… not who they were perceived as going to be when they were infants or not yet born even. Our culture isn’t one of those though.

So we have nicknames that people take on or derivatives of their “legal” names. Or they go by a middle name or even their last name as a daily moniker.

Having used a nickname myself as my day to day name for many years now, it’s come to a point that I have a hard time answering to my legal name anymore. It just doesn’t fit right. Starting the process to legally change my name feels like not only the right thing, but at the right time. Recently having a discussion with my children about it and the comments from them made it all so clear and easy – as they so often make things. One of them pointed out that he identifies with his name and would never change it – it’s “him” to himself. One of the other says he can’t stand his name and would love to change it – it doesn’t feel like him. I pointed out that that is it in a nutshell.

A name is for the person who it belongs to. It’s time to make the one I’ve chosen, legally mine. To some. it may seem like a trivial or pointless step to take, everyone who I care for and love in my life knows, and calls me by, my preferred name already, what does it matter what my government issued i.d says? The truth is though that to me, being legally and officially identified by my chosen name, is integral to me and my journey.

L.O.L.A  – Live Openly Live Abundantly. Born out of a tag line in my emails that I used to use and caught on as a nickname. Adopted years ago and now, simply fits and is me. A name that embodies how I want to live my life and how I strive to. Chosen by me for me.