Finding ‘JOY’ despite Trump

I can be a bit cynical about government in general, Donald Trump in particular and the many wrong-doings of our collective governments (specifically where it relates to the horrific treatment of our First Nations peoples; and now Muslims and Mexicans).

But as I visit Parliament Hill in Ottawa today, I am reminded to be grateful!

Grateful? For politicians? And their institutions?

That’s a stretch!

However, as I wander beneath these marbled and vaulted domes towards Canada’s House of Commons, I am acutely aware of all that this decision-making centre has given me.

It has given me the freedom to vote.

It has given me the freedom to write this column and not worry about being hung by the neck for expressing my personal opinions.

AND, it has given me my daughter.

You see, my daughter is an immigrant. She is Chinese. If not for our dear decision-makers who passed laws to allow her into this country, and granted her the right to be a Canadian, I would not have her here by my side.

She would not be seated here on Minister Ralph Goodale’s office couch, asking him what his favourite sea creature is.

She simply would not be here.

And nor would I—a great granddaughter of immigrants.

Today I am grateful.

As our country seeks a reconciliation process with First Nations peoples and as citizens speak out against Trump’s discriminatory policies, I am grateful.

I am grateful for my country and for every single politician (regardless of stripe, position or haircut) who has made decisions to ensure freedom, safety and respect for all citizens of the world.

Standing beneath the Peace Tower in Ottawa, taking photos of my daughter at Parliament Hill’s Centennial Flame and celebrating Canada’s 150th Anniversary of Confederation, I am grateful.

I am eternally grateful to be a Canadian and to have a daughter who was allowed to be one too!


Journey to Joy Part 2


This year I will say ‘YES’ to ‘JOY’ more often!

I recently had a work opportunity to travel to six iconic Canadian destinations in celebration of Canada’s 150. My first instinct was to say, ‘No!’ I couldn’t just leave all of the stories I had to write? I couldn’t pull Journey out of Kindergarten? What about my husband? My friends? The dishes? But then, I recommitted myself to ‘YES’!

So Journey and I find ourselves in Ottawa, Canada. Every museum adventure, ice-sculpture view and Parliament Hill visit has left me grateful to call this stable, open-minded, progressive, kind and gentle country home. All in contrast with the homeland of my girl—China. All countries have their beauty, but in Canada, we really do have it all—the ability to state our opinions, the capacity to be what we want and the freedom to enjoy our sacred lives and callings.

Thank you Ottawa for reminding me how dear it is to be a Canadian, and to have a Canadian by my side to travel with me!