Wings and Things

I was going to take the day off and then it got filled up with things to do. I am busier now that I am no longer working and wonder how I ever got anything done when I had a business and a full time job. I guess now my time is filled with things I want to do. Lunch with friends, long walks, phone calls with friends and family who don’t live close by and time to just breathe. Getting geared up to move and selling most of my material possessions is an interesting and some times strange experience. I have a difficult time putting a value on material items. I apparently do not have a talent for dickering, they ask what I would like for it and because of my previously mentioned difficulty I just ask what they would like to pay. If the offer is reasonable I’ll accept it. This throws people off and gives me much amusement when they feel the need to explain or justify their offer. I also like to just give things away! So as I go through each room there is a must pack, a must sell and a donate pile. I also have a cannot decide what to do with this pile. Make me an offer on that pile would you please . My house looks like a war zone.

There is something about decluttering and moving that brings a sense of freedom and clarity. A new home and some new furniture mixed in with the pieces I love. The hardest thing for me to pare down is the artwork. Each piece has strong emotional significance for me. Some pieces I have bought or inherited and then there are Howard’s sculptures. I have decided on two pieces of his, the raven that he made for me and a sculpture called the peaceful warrior. A picture of the warrior is at the top of the page and it is made out of chrome bumpers from antique cars that were no longer usable. Howard was into recycling in a grand way. Interestingly, whenever Howard did a warrior piece they were always female, I loved that about him. This piece is not small so I have no idea where it will fit but I cannot leave it behind. Perhaps it will live in my meditation room, I shall see.

Back to decluttering. What a huge job! It amazes me that a person who really isn’t materialistic can accumulate so much stuff. One thing is for certain I have a penchant for home made soap. Going through the bathroom cupboard revealed 21 bars of soap! I have enough soap to last me almost a whole year! Note to self do not buy anymore soap, toilet paper, laundry detergent, olive oil or coconut milk until I am out of them. Seven cans of coconut milk, really! I stop at the store without my list which is still sitting on the kitchen table ( I make lots of lists then forget to take them with me) and then I can’t remember what I have, so I buy more. You run out of anything call me! Except sugar or cow’s milk, I don’t have either in my house. I also own every kitchen gadget known to mankind. So if I haven’t used it in the last year out it goes. The only thing I do not own at the moment is a coffee grinder, it died a tragic and noisy death last month. So if anyone has bought me a gift in the last few years you may see it at my garage sale and please do not get upset. I am downsizing, it is not a reflection on you, your gift or our relationship.

The important things cannot be packed. The magnolia tree Howard bought me for our first Valentine’s Day together is now almost 20 feet tall, the lilac tree that I planted in memory of our child that was lost, the rock wall we built together on a sunny afternoon, these things cannot be packed. These remind me of the life and love we shared and can only be carried with me in my heart. The land, the house and the material things really don’t matter much in the long run. It was the life of the people and the animals that spent time in this place that I hold dear and I will carry them with me, they have shaped me and made me who I am today.

So I give thanks to the land, to Howard and all the animals that have shared my life, for allowing me to grow and flourish in a safe and supportive environment. I am grateful that I got to be part of it. Now it is time to spread my wings and leave the safety and comfort of this soft little nest and part of me is afraid that I will not be able to fly on my own. I know that letting go is a constantly recurring theme in life and if I hang on to old ways of thinking and being my wings will never develop enough to carry me. Today I will fly knowing that the universe will help me and guide me. The people I need in my life, the new lessons to be learned and the life I am destined for are already there waiting for me. I just have to go meet them with an open mind and wings strengthened by a wide open heart! So the next time someone asks me what my sign is I am going to say open!

Peace and love to all

Donna

 

 

Let’s Dance

For most of my life I have always felt that I did not fit in. Didn’t seem to fit with my own family, coworkers, or society. I tried to fit in, I really did. I did what they told me was right and good and tried to be part of them but something always felt off. It was like they were living in a slightly different world than I was and spoke a different dialect.   I wanted to be a part of it so badly that I sacrificed my own beliefs to try. One day, I do not know the date, I realized that I could no longer live that way if I wanted to live. I am now sure that I was not the only person who struggled with this. I’m sure of this because I have met others who felt the same way over and over again. We were struggling to be true to ourselves in a world that wanted conformity and we paid a price.

Some of us turned to drugs and alcohol to deaden the feelings we had inside. Some of us walked away from society and live far from other people, hermits I suppose. Some of us stood up and made a huge difference in the world. We were not thanked for it at the time. Look back over the history of our culture and these people will stand out like sore thumbs! You decide who they were, I am not going to tell you. Please do not judge us for trying to stop the pain, we did not know any other way to do it and felt we had no one to guide us, we felt we had no other choice. We are a passionate bunch and have created some beautiful art, music, movies, books and poetry in our attempt to reach out to you from our hearts. Our hearts pouring out of us in the hope that the pain would stop and someone somewhere would understand. Most of us have not stood out in the crowd but we are stepping out now!

I use the word dance a lot in reference to pain. Anyone can walk with pain but there are those of us who literally dance with it. We get down and dirty with it in a primal way and because of this have much to share with you. I have come to realize that I have been in pain both physical and emotional for most of my life. I did not talk to many people about it. I did not think they would understand. Now I realize that them understanding my pain was not the point. The point for me was I needed to understand it and sharing has helped me do that. This is the story of Donna, pain, fear, joy, celebration, love and hate, the whole enchilada!

I do not have a competitive bone in my body, jealousy doesn’t exist in my world. How do you think I fit in a corporate culture that has a cutthroat attitude? Not so well, so I left the corporate world and just took a job. I have been selling you things since I was sixteen years old and I was good at it but not in the traditional sense. I even used to go to chain stores and teach the employees how to sell based on the corporate cultures mandate of illusion and fear, that was my career. That is not how I sold things though. I sold by not selling! I gave you information about things so that you could make the best decision for you! I empowered you to purchase based on your own wants and needs and had some of the highest sales rates in the country. They could not figure out how I did it. I was honest with you and sometimes I would even send you away without selling you anything, not what the boss wants to see but they couldn’t argue with the sales statistics. I developed relationships not customers. As you can see, out there in the retail world this is starting to happen all over the place. Woohoo!

One thing that people are surprised to learn about me is that I was a classically trained violinist and started playing at the age of seven. I was fairly good and at the top of my class in music school. Then it got super competitive and I walked away. Not because I couldn’t cut it, the competitiveness ruined it for me. I had my first solo at a concert when I was twelve and no one in my family came to see it. I was heartbroken. I walked away from it all a few years later. It was the pain I couldn’t handle. I feel music! Even today I do not listen to music with my ears, I listen with my heart, so it doesn’t matter if it is being sung in a different language, I feel it. I still love the violin, it is the instrument that speaks to me and once in a while I will rosin up my bow and let all the pain flow through me and transform itself into the air as sweet music. Even pain can be beautiful.

I guess what I am trying to say is that the world is changing. There is a shift in consciousness happening all around us and I am excited. I am doing my happy dance! We are moving from being exclusive to inclusive, head thinkers to heart minded, small minded to open minded and oh my God we need that if we are going to thrive as a people. Don’t be surprised the next time you see a homeless person sit down to play a piano like a genius, or sing songs so sweetly your teeth ache. The only difference between you and them is they danced with the pain and have not found their way back to their chairs. They deserve love and compassion as much as you do. Feel the music, feel the pain, just feel. What I once looked at as a curse I now see as a blessing. I help people, I help them heal in many different ways and I can do this simply because I can feel the pain, my own, other people’s, I feel the world’s pain and I am ready to dance with it. So today I say to you, I don’t feel as though I no longer fit in, I was born to do this, I was born to be part of this new way of thinking and help people in whatever form that takes.  This new world that is forming is all about the heart and love. Are you ready to be part of the revolution that is taking place inside of us, are you already part of it? Good, let’s dance!

Thank you Carolyn for the inspiration

Love you all

Donna

The Dance of Grief

Grief is a funny word. I think it should contain more letters and have a harsher sound to it. It sounds soft and uncomplicated doesn’t it?   It is not soft, that is for sure. Experts say it has five to seven stages to it depending upon where you get your information. Seven stages sounds complicated especially since you can go through them in order only to revisit one of those stages at any time. Grief is different for everyone! Just like life and the way humans respond and react to that, it is different for everyone. Remember that.

Dealing with loss is complicated and you can grieve for many different reasons. My grief is due to the loss of my husband and sometimes it sneaks up on me in the strangest situations. I think it’s odd when someone says I lost my husband. I did not lose him, I know exactly where he went and there were times I wished that I could have gone with him. It would have been so much easier if he had lived and I had died, well easier for me. I would have traded my life for his and offered that solution to the universe a few times. The universe had other plans for me.  I have had a few long chats with the universe and all the powers that be, I was not impressed.

Okay grief let’s dance. It was mind blowing how powerful the grieving was. It brought me to my knees, some days I didn’t get out of bed and a few times I just sat in this chair staring out the window not seeing or feeling anything. I had trouble concentrating, I couldn’t sleep, some days I couldn’t even get dressed. Please, oh please, oh please don’t ask me to make another decision. It doesn’t matter how many people you have around you, grief is there waiting for you. I just got this image in my mind of grief as a dust bunny ninja, lurking in corners and hiding under the bed, jumping out at you when you least expect it. Not only are you grieving the loss of the person, you are also having to let go of your dreams and the future you had planned. Your person ( mother, father, child, friend, husband) dies and your entire life is changed forever, dreams gone in the blink of an eye.

I am a practical person and can usually find solutions in any problematic situation. There is no solution for grief. It doesn’t stop and is constantly changing. One minute it is in your face and messing with your ability to breathe and the next it retreats back to its dark corner and waits. I can remember a day when I was out with friends and on the drive home I had realized I had not thought of my husband for a few hours, grief jumped into the seat beside me and I was assaulted by it. My heart screamed how could I have forgotten Howard for those few hours? My mind was on other things and I had some fun with the girls, then the minute I was alone the reality of the situation hit home. This was no ordinary lunch date because Howard was not going to be home when I got there.  Sometimes when I go to sleep I forget what has taken place and when I wake up in the morning it hits me all over again.  Some mornings I wake up and don’t think about it all.

Perhaps I am one of the lucky ones. Because I have always had the ability to go with the flow when grief struck I embraced it. I explored this aspect of the process and went where it led me. Grief also has the ability to transform you and like any transformation the process is not pretty or pain free. The amount of growth for me has been proportionate to how willing I was to experience all that grief had to offer. I have grieved without apology. Despite the fact that I am moving on with my life, I still have moments of overwhelming grief. I had one last night. Driving home, tears pouring down my face and singing at the top of my lungs in great gasps and sobs.  Thank the universe it was dark and no one could see me. I grieve in private and I grieve a lot in my car.

There is no end to this story, no tidy summation to leave you with. The loss is always there, you just learn how to go on with your life and live with the loss. You learn to live with it and if you let it grief can teach you much about living. So please have some patience with the people you know who are suffering a loss of any kind in their life. Just love them through the process and set aside your own expectations of how they should be handling it. Until you have danced with grief you don’t know if you will be dancing a fast and hard flamenco or a slow intimate waltz.  In my case it has been an awkwardly beautiful interpretive dance that changes speed and rhythm on a whim.

Hug people, all the people

Love you all

Donna

 

 

Loneliness and Silence

How do I follow an extremely brutal post about bullshit? Do I make this one all soft and fluffy? Sorry, I just don’t have it in me. I am feeling very lonely tonight. So rather than distract myself I decided to sit with it and explore the feeling. I don’t mind spending time by myself in fact I need it on a regular basis. I don’t get bored very often and can usually find something to do if I am. I spend a lot of time walking by myself and enjoy that. Some days I would just like to start walking and not stop until I reach the other end of the island. Walking is a meditation of sorts for me. I have trouble sitting still for more than a few minutes. Honestly right now I have trouble focusing on anything for more than a few minutes. Walking represents forward motion and I feel stuck so that could explain the appeal of walking. I tried jogging and I hate it with a passion. I am not running unless something scary is chasing me!

I move to my new suite in two weeks and am excited about that. In the meantime it feels as though my life is on hold, I am stuck in the space between my old life and my new one. It is almost as though my life won’t start moving forward again until I am sleeping in my new bed with white bamboo sheets and new pillows. Everything in the bedroom will be new except for the artwork and my lamps that I finally found after a month long search. I always go shopping with a clear idea of what I want, finding it can be the tricky part.

I want to share my life with someone, but is that even possible at this stage? My life is in a state of flux and how do you incorporate someone into that when you don’t know what you are going to be doing. I may have started dating a little sooner than my life permitted. I am ready but my life situation is preventing me from moving forward at the pace I would like to. I realize that this has not been fair to the people I have met.  The universe guides me, I just have to pay attention.

I am not lonely when I wake up in the morning. For example, yesterday morning I was fine. I had plans to go out with my sister and do a few things. We went to the Intuitive Wellness Fair and I got to see a lot of friends, hug people, laugh and buy the tuning fork set I have had my eye on for a few months, locally grown sage for smudging and a new book written by a man who had beautiful eyes and a bright shiny soul. Great more things to pack! My sister and I ran some errands and went to lunch where I shamelessly flirted with the gentleman sitting at the next table. My sister and I share a similar sense of humour so we talked and laughed so hard we both had tears rolling down our faces. Then I went home.

That is when the loneliness hits, entering a silent house with no dogs running out to greet me, and no one to welcome me home from my adventures. Just silence and a pile of things to get done. I miss the noise and flurry of hugs and wet dog kisses. I miss my man waving to me from his workshop where I would stop and we would chat about where I had gone and who I had seen, and I got to talk to him about his latest sculpture and watch life take shape under his hands.   God I miss watching those strong, talented hands work and create. I could just watch him for hours. I think that is why I liked spending time in our boat, sitting there facing him I got to watch him for hours while we fished. I never felt alone, even in the silence. Where there was once art being created, dogs playing, conversations and love there was now just silence and memories.

I guess the silence makes me uncomfortable. Us humans don’t like being uncomfortable do we? I feel the need to fill the silence with something much in the same way we try to fill the emptiness with in us. It is the same thing isn’t it?  Space the final frontier!  In that space and silence there is nothing but me drifting along as I learn how to navigate this new world that I have been thrust into. I have to get comfortable with the space in my life and the silence it contains. Donna is hiding in there somewhere and I get a better sense of her every day. So for today I will sit in that space and explore the vast uncomfortableness of it. I won’t seek out someone or something to fill it. I will just be.

Peace and love to all

Donna

Pay Attention

Once again it is 5:25 and quiet, so very peacefully quiet. Just the sound of the coffee maker, and oh the rooster next door just woke up. I find the call of the rooster to be lonely, not sure why though. It almost makes a mournful sound as if it is crying out in the dark, calling out to someone. I’ve been thinking about people a lot lately, especially in relation too how I feel when I am around them. While I have generally paid attention to my feelings, I think I will pay more attention in the future to my emotions when I am around other people. I would have to say that I am confused by some people and that my emotions get all messy when I spend time with them. Oooh, the coffee is ready, be right back. Steaming coffee in my sunshine mug, life is perfect at this moment.
I do believe that each person who crosses my path or spends some time in my life has great purpose. Once in a while I meet someone and they shake my view of the world. This is neither a good nor bad thing, their presence just changes me. In some ways this could be viewed in a positive manner. Anyone who gets me to question my beliefs and the way I have been doing things has done me a favour. They are contributing to my personal growth. I view this as positive, well mostly positive, there have been a few interactions that I could have done without. This has even happened to me with people I have only spoken to on the phone. I have talked on the phone a lot over the years, thank you Mr Bell, and have made connections with and been changed by the voices on the other end. I’m having a bad day and it can be turned around by a friendly voice on the other end of the phone.
The tools for growth are available to me in many forms, I just have to recognize or acknowledge them. A book, a voice, a smile from a stranger, the person next to me in line at the grocery store can all have an impact on me. Information comes in, I process it and I am never the same again. Think about that for a minute, every person you meet and experience changes you on some level. I think that is very interesting. Our minds and bodies are constantly interacting and changing in response to the world these encounters can have a powerful impact if you are aware of them. No, I need to correct that, you don’t even need to be paying attention, though it helps speed the process along. Some people can have a huge effect on me without me knowing right away. It takes my brain and heart a few days to understand that a shift has taken place. I know it on some level, it just a takes a while for me to integrate this new part into the complicated whole of Donna. It’s, well, it’s complicated. Can you hear me laughing as I type that, well I was. Is there a way to add sound effects to posts? Insert a fit of the giggles here. Yes 53 year old woman giggle, at least this one does.
I forgot to mention that these encounters are not just about you, sometimes it is about the other person and sometimes both people. You just never know at the beginning. Beginnings are wonderful aren’t they, filled with anticipation and hope? Goodbyes are hard, the letting go and the change through loss can bring me to my knees. Pay attention to the people who cross your path, dance with them for a few minutes or a few centuries. Some people have the ability to make everyone around them feel special. How do they do that? I wish I knew, then I could be one of them. I think it happens simply because they choose to be in the present moment with others and give them their undivided attention. I know I want people to hear me, really hear what I am trying to say. It makes me feel as though I matter and that is of huge importance in this world of constant stimulus and distraction. So I should give others that gift when I interact with them. I reach out to the world and it responds in kind. Take time to hear the people in your life today, give them your undivided attention, you may be surprised at what you discover about them and yourself.

Peace to all beings,
Love you all
Donna

Serenity’s Path

When you pull into my driveway there is a locked gate. Just past that gate on the left there was a rather large hand carved wooden sign that hung between two tall spiked medieval looking metal posts. The sign read Serenity’s Path. One day as I was leaving for work the sign had, after many years, rotted and crumbled to the ground. Me being me, I thought, I hope that is not a sign. I now think it was. The crumbled serenity sign reminded me that all things must end and nothing in this life is permanent. The signs are everywhere so look for them!

I lived behind a locked gate in a land called Serenity’s Path. I was happy there, or was I? When I would drive home after work I had to stop to open and close the gate and always stood for a moment to hang all the things from the day that I wanted to let go of on one of the posts. I would then thank the winds for carrying them far away and continue on to the house where my man, conversation and a cup of coffee were waiting. It was my life and while I loved it there was also this feeling of restlessness deep inside me that I didn’t quite understand. I had a wonderful husband, a business, a job and friends I adored so this restlessness confused me.

I asked Howard one afternoon, as we sat on the deck drinking coffee in the warm sun, if he would be willing to sell everything we owned, get in the truck with our travel trailer behind us and go on a great adventure. As per usual he raised his eyebrows, he did that a lot for some of my ideas, and said “Why would I want to do that, I love it here, There is so much I want to do here.” He had plans, so many plans. Now he’s gone, a half finished sculpture still sits on his work bench, and I am sitting here, drinking coffee in my yellow mug, with the same yearning for something more.

I want more than to spend eight hours of my day in a job that I have no interest in and a business that takes up an extreme amount of my free time. What am I doing this for? I am not a materialistic person so it wasn’t to get bigger and fancier things. Society places a lot of emphasis on and tries to convince you that your self worth is tied to being productive and having a career and all the right stuff. We live in a sad sad world that places too much importance on things that really don’t mean anything In the long run. It is all an illusion. Talk to anyone on their deathbed and you will not hear them say I wish I had worked more or had more material things. They say things like, I wish I had spent more time with my family and friends. They wish they had slowed down enough to enjoy the life they had. Don’t be that person! Enjoy what is right in front of you, this precious moment, because it will not last. Nothing is permanent, not the wonderful times and certainly not the bad ones.

There is an upside to all this! With the acceptance of no one thing being permanent comes freedom. I know my grief will not last, I know that bad days only last one day, people come and go and I don’t have to get used to any one way of being unless I choose to. While my driveway is straight, the path to serenity is not. The path has twists and turns, viewing areas and it sometimes doubles back to show you something you missed the first time. Whatever you are going through today, remember, it is only temporary. Learn from it, savour it because soon it will all just be a memory. Also remember it is your choice to view the world in the way you do. You can always change your mind and your viewpoint.

Live like you mean it
Peace and love to you all
Donna

Heart wide open!

It is so dark here in the wilds of Sooke this morning and waking up hours before the sunrise is a new habit of mine. I’m sitting in my chair with the fireplace going and a steaming cup of my favourite coffee. The coffee tastes better when I use my handmade, sunny yellow mug for some reason. This doesn’t make any logical sense, but trust me, the coffee does not taste the same in another mug. I’ve tried to use a different mug but I always come back to the yellow one. I guess me and the yellow mug have a comfortable relationship with one another. I know it’s curves and my slender fingers fit perfectly in the handle.

Comfort is good and bad. I wish my name was Comfort, what a beautiful way to introduce yourself. Hi, my name is Comfort!  I like it and I am sure people would automatically feel at ease around someone with that name. We do some crazy things in order to be comfortable with ourselves and the rest of the world. We will put up with things that make us uncomfortable, in some cases, in order to continue on a familiar path. Better the devil ya know, right? Well, as some of you already know my life had some drastic changes last year. My spouse of 11 years, his name was Howard, passed away within a few months of being diagnosed with cancer. The type of cancer doesn’t really matter, the fact that it ended our dance together on this earth is the real matter. Funny that I used that phrase because we never, ever danced with each other. So, Howard was ill and I had a business and a full-time job. Needless to say, I closed the business and cut back my hours at work, so we had time to be together and I had time to look after things for him. I don’t think many people know that Howard and I worked together with his parents in their family business of 38 years. Yes, I worked with my man and my in-laws! There are a few stories there!  Back to the important parts. Howard and I both thought he would survive this. We never for a moment thought that a man who never got sick and was so fit and healthy would succumb so quickly. He did everything he could to stay here and I was amazed at the strength and grace he possessed when faced with his own mortality. I unfortunately did not exhibit the same grace.

Howard was my anchor, my comfort in a world of uncertainty. My business and my job could be replaced but this man was so special and my god he showed me every day how much he loved me. He didn’t speak about love much, he lived it! His actions, which I think spoke much louder than words, told me everyday how important I was to him. He never once criticized me or made me feel silly or small or less than beautiful. I do some crazy shit so I think that took great strength! He loved me when I was at my worst and my best. He held me as my heart was breaking when I lost the baby we created together and never once tried to stop my tears, he loved me through it. He loved me unconditionally and with every cell. I was comfortable, happy and empowered. Then it all ended.

Okay here comes the messy and graceless part. I could not find the gracefulness in me without seeing it reflected back to me through his eyes. Did I mention that his eyes were blue? A beautiful denim blue that spoke to my soul. Okay, I’m just avoiding the uncomfortable parts. Here we go down the rabbit hole! I was ANGRY!!!! Can you imagine a small 5 foot 3 east coaster angry at the world and spewing it out upon the people she loved and complete strangers in grand and dramatic fashion. No? Okay think of a wild animal (any big ferocious feline should work) ripped from their environment and placed in a small cage and put on display for people to gawk at. Yes, that is a much better visual. Now imagine for another second that this feline was so in touch with the world around her that she could communicate with the universe and caged that was taken from her too. I could not feel anything. The beautiful and wonderful world of spirit (I will post about this aspect later) that I had experienced since I was born was gone. It felt like someone had shut the door and turned off the lights in a room with no windows or fresh air. I was blind with rage and grief. Everything that I thought made me who I was had been taken away.

I love being wrong! My friends and family loved me through the most difficult and graceless period of my life. Now here is the funny part. Despite the fact that my entire life had been destroyed, because that is how I saw it, a whole new life was being born. Even through my rage and grief I could see the possibilities that we’re now available to me. Talk about conflicting emotions! Grief and hope we’re fighting a war inside me. Then I thought about the man I had loved and knew he would want me to celebrate the fact that I was alive even though he was not. He was selfless that way. Howard was instrumental in me learning how to be me without apology. He taught me to stand strong with my feet firmly planted on my path and my heart wide open. He would be upset if he thought I closed myself off from the beauty and miracles of life because he was no longer walking with me in this physical plane. He inspired me when he was alive and continues to inspire me now that he is gone. Thanks Howard, I will always love you and will live my life to the fullest to honour all the love you gave and the things you taught me.  You were an amazing man Howard and amazing men do amazing things.  This last sentence was a little joke between us!

 

Wow, I have gone through a lot of tissues writing this! I just want to say a few more things before I start my day. Don’t be afraid to love with 110 percent of your soul. Love is not painful! Loneliness, anger, loss, isolation, a hunger for connections with others, now those are painful things. Don’t be afraid! I wish I could show you the world through my eyes and heart. Oh yeah, I can do that and have made it my mission. When you see me it shines from my eyes and if you are open you can see the love that radiates out of me and get a glimpse of the world through my heart and eyes. It is a beautiful world but you have to approach it with your heart wide open in order to see it! So for the people that avoided me in the grocery store, there is a softer and gentler Donna walking down the aisles so you don’t have to run away anymore.  I’ll show you the wonders of the universe, yes I smile with my eyes and heart

 

 

Oh yes, and hug people, as many people as you can!

Peace and love to all

Donna