DON’T DIE WITH YOUR DAYPACK ON

“DON’T DIE WITH YOUR DAYPACK ON!”  they said.

These words stuck in my head from our briefing after dinner on summit night.

Every evening after dinner, they would come into the mess tent, do our medical examinations and share with us how they thought we were all doing and what will happen the next day, or later that night in this case.

Dr Erica Peabody - Don't Die With Your Daypack - Chiropractor Cafe of LIFE Fenton

Me (Dr Erica Peabody) Ready for Summit Night

We had 12 guides with our group for our normal day to day and about 50 support staff.  The porters were the ones that carried all of our gear, food water and tents and such.  Everyday they would pass us on the trail and get to camp ahead of us and have everything set up for us for when we finished our days.

The intensity of summit night required the assistance of our normal 12 guides along with 18 additional porters in order to have one to one support for the final hike to the very top.  Having this one to one support for the final summit is the reason this particular company has such high summit success rates.

I woke up nauseated and although I ate a tiny bit of food, I really couldn’t manage to stomach much at 15,000 ft and almost no sleep.  So the climb begins at 1am.  We line up in our hiking line and start to make our way up the trail.  It was the most beautiful night with bright stars in the big African sky.

As we begin to hike, the phrase “DON’T DIE WITH YOUR DAYPACK ON” came back in my mind.  What exactly where they talking about?  I feel absolutely fine.   Were they really serious when they said that?  I am surprised they made such a point to make sure that was clear and that if we needed to hand over the load on our backs to a porter, we could easily do that.  “I won’t need to do that, I feel super strong.”

An hour goes by and I had already overheated once and had to strip my outer expedition-weight goose down jacket off.  The guide warned me to keep it close because I would want it back sooner rather than later.  As I thought about it all, it is close to zero degrees and I should not be overheating at this point.  Then I got the chills.  Then I got goosebumps from head to toe.  Then I got hot again and then the chills.  What on Earth was my body doing???  It felt as though my body was confused and couldn’t regulate my temperatures.

I felt my stomach start to gurgle (which will be an entirely separate blog post) and just after the first hour I realized I was not going to be able to do this summit with the current situation I had going on.  I tried and tried and tried to remain calm and keep pressing on.  I tried so hard to the point I got blurred vision and lost all my strength.  Unfortunately for me my camelbak water hose froze and I no longer had easy access to hydration.

Dr Erica Peabody - Don't Die With Your Daypack - Chiropractor Fenton Michigan

Me (Dr Erica Peabody) Finishing Kilimanjaro Trek

I fell to the ground.  I needed a break and I needed help…and THIS is exactly what they meant when they said “DON’T DIE WITH YOUR DAYPACK ON!”  I understand now.  Sometimes that extra 10-15 pounds, although comfortable and distributed evenly on my back, was just going to be too much, and for me, it was.

Now let’s back up a minute and discuss this concept.  I am not one to ask for help from others.  Of course in my office, I cannot do that alone and have hired help.  But life in general is manageable and when I focus my mind and efforts on something, I almost always can be able to come out on top.  I rarely ask for help, I guess maybe I was raised that way.

There was absolutely no way I could have gone on from that point which is common in those circumstances, hence them having one to one support for that part of the trek.

The greatest thing happened when I fell down.  I was in tears and yelled “I NEED HELP!!!!”  The next thing I heard was “Erica we got you covered.  As I lay on the ground, those from the group that hiked past me put out their hands for a high-five and I heard things like “Erica you are my hero.”  

I realized in that moment that I wasn’t a hero because I was so strong and powerful, I was a hero in that person’s eyes because I recognized that I needed help and asked for it.

Sometimes our admitting defeat is where we really grow into the person we are supposed to be.  Admitting defeat and receiving the help we need is a sign of vulnerability and inside vulnerability is where true power lies.

Turns out that not only did I need my assigned porter to carry my pack, the final 50 steps to the summit, I needed him more than ever.  When it got to the very end of the climb, I would take 2 steps and lean over so my chest would lay on the top of my trekking poles and take a few breathes.  Then another 2 steps and lean over my poles.  You guys, there is a reason NOTHING LIVES THAT HIGH!!!  It was so void of oxygen I didn’t know how I was going to do it.  My porter took my left arm and put it up over his shoulders.  He then took my trekking pole and he took the final 50 steps as the left side of my body (picture the 3 legged race during field day in elementary school).

Even as I write this right now, I get goosebumps from head to toe as I re-live the intensity of that scenario (again, sorry Mom).

“DON’T DIE WITH YOUR DAYPACK ON!!”  I get it now and I am so glad that my subconscious took good note of that when it was said that night.

 

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A MONTH LATER

I have made a commitment to blog frequently and I am not sure how it is one month later since my last blog. I am not sure where the time goes. I am not sure what happened to that month…but to say it has been one of the most impact-ful months of my life is a massive understatement.
A month later I look back and cannot believe the trek up MT KILIMANJARO even happened. It feels like it was all just a Dr Erica Peabody - A Month Later - Chiropractor Fenton Michigandream. My life here in this precious little town of Fenton is so vastly different than the 10 days in Africa that it feels like I was swept into someone else’s existence when I went to do that. I am only brought back to my reality when I stand up in the morning and my feet are still screaming “Yup, it was us that did that!!!”
A month later I sit in my office, CAFE OF LIFE CHIROPRACTIC, and am so very grateful for this life I have created and how much of it I have shared along the way. Although sometimes I feel like technology and social media has taken us a step backwards learning how to have human to human interactions, I am so grateful to have been able to share the experience with all of you over FACEBOOK LIVE specifically and of course YOUTUBE as well (<<<—links provided to my Facebook page as well as to the YouTube clip of my video logs along the entire trip).

A month later I am still stopped all over this precious little town so that people can congratulate me on my mission accomplished.  I get stopped at the gym, grocery store and absolute strangers continue to walk up to me and introduce themselves.  I am so happy I have been able to share far and wide that people have followed the story and lived it with me.  When I get stopped people say things like “Hey!  You don’t know me but I know that you are Dr. Peabody.  I caught wind of your story and have followed your updates along your trip.  Thank you so much for sharing that because I don’t ever think i could possibly climb that mountain but I want you to know that because you did that, I have been inspired to take on ____________ challenge.”  This is the most incredible part of this trip, just knowing that it has spread and ordinary people like myself are dipping into reserves of strength they didn’t know they had.  I FREAKIN’ LOVE THAT!!!  I ABSOLUTELY LIVE FOR THAT!!!!

A month later I look back at just how serious the trip was.  I haven’t shared yet, but two women in the group ended up getting high altitude sickness.  When this happens, the porters put them on piggyback and have to run them down to lower elevation as it can be fatal.  When I say piggyback, I mean 2 hour piggyback while the porter is running 4,000ft down the mountain.  We had an awesome crew and they were able to recover well however in retrospect I can see why my mother was fearful for her stubborn, strong-willed daughter that decided to climb MT KILIMANJARO in the first place.  Sorry Mom, life was waiting for me.

A month later I cannot believe how much richer my life is because I was taught the great lesson of surrender.  Surrender to the elements.  Surrender to the body.  Surrender all thoughts and dreams and aspirations.  Surrender to the moment.  Surrender to the sensations.  Surrender surrender surrender.  In the most intense peak moments of this trip, there was nothing I could even think about aside from putting one foot in front of the other and taking one breath in and letting one breath out.  I know there were a lot of people pushing for my success but I couldn’t even think about any of it or I would instantly choke up and lose my breath.

And just a month later I can look back and say that was one of the most rich and rewarding experiences of my life and I am so very grateful to have taken the time and done the work to make it all happen.  Thank you to each and every one of you for all of your encouraging words and positive energy you sent my way.  Many have asked what is next on my list?  I am not sure as I am still processing this one a month later.

 

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ONE MORE SLEEP

As I wake this morning, I realize that I have one more sleep at home until I leave for my climb!  That is a crazy feeling after planning this trip for almost a year!  It seemed like it was never going to come!

When I woke and thought “just one more sleep” I instantly got so nervous, a good kind of nervous.

A short little clip to share with you what’s happening in my mind this day prior to leaving.

 

 

So many have asked the question “Are you ready?”

I think I am.  I know physically I am ready however “ready” will be figured out retrospectively I think.  When I am in those moments when I am wondering if I made all the right choices in clothing and whether I have enough of the right things with me to make due and make the trip happen.  That will be determined in the exact moments that things are happening.

The question “am I ready?” will have to be truthfully answered on the other side of the trip because I think I am ready but I have never been involved in doing anything like this.

One more sleep…

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I HASH TAGGED AN OFFICE SIGN

This morning I hash tagged an office sign!!!!!

That cracks me up how far we have come on social media!

I wanted to share few details about the office schedule as i head off on my trek a week from today March 2-12!!

Questions? Comments? Concerns? Let us know!!!

It still cracks me up that I hash tagged an office sign!

 

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MANY EMAILS

I receive many emails.  About once or twice a month I get emails that sound exactly like this.  This exchange is copied and pasted from my inbox…

“I have been dying to ask your motivation behind your “living”  Has this always been your life or was there a catalyst?  I recognize the journey and enthusiasm and I am wondering if I can ask your reason?  Would you mind sharing?”

My response:  “There was no catalyst, just realizing that more and more of life slips by fast and faster…I have always lived like this just have taken it to a whole new level recently for no other reason than life is slipping by.  Many have written me asking if I am sick or have some sort of terminal diagnosis (and I don’t) but more than anything is my desire to help inspire others to take action in their lives.”Chiropractor Fenton Michigan Dr Erica Peabody Many Emails

These emails come in regularly and so I thought I would just share in a bigger way than I have before.

As most of you reading already know, I am taking on MT KILIMANJARO in just under 2 months.  No I do not really run a true “bucket list” because I don’t want to do things because I will be dying someday.  I take on these adventures because I want to TRULY LIVE this life that I have been given!

When I wake up in the mornings, I start with gratitude.  I am so grateful for another day and I go about getting up and around and making things happen.  And then I do the same thing the next day and the next day and the next day.  This can get mundane and monotonous however I also plan on life mostly being mundane and monotonous and by default it will stay that way.  Most people experience this.  I think real joy is found in the mundane and monotony of the everyday.  When we can learn to enjoy the mundane and monotony of the day to day, happiness is truly lived because lets face it, life is not one crazy adventure and vacation to the next.  We live mostly in the in between.

I am a rather simple gal at my core.  I love my life, I love my job, I love my family and I love my friends.  I like to have nice things but I usually try to go about obtaining them through shopping the “sale” racks.  I am always prudent with my next steps and am ultra responsible.  In all of that, I do my best to say “YES” to invitations that are thrown my way.  Many times I do not know what I am getting into but I choose to stir up all the courage inside of me and step forward.  I have learned that over and over and over again, LIFE has my back.  And even when stakes are high and probability is down, I choose to step forward anyway and just see what turns up.

I have fallen many, many times, more times than I like to admit or own up to (and for the sake of this blog, I have maybe not shared as much of that as I should) but what do they say?  “Fall 17 times, get up 18!’ and I try to live by that.  Just get up and step forward and see just what appears under your foot.

So I am taking on MT KiLIMANJARO in the beginning of March.  The highest altitude I have been is around 14,000 ft above sea level, “KILI”, as it has been nicknamed, stands at 19,000 ft.  That is HIGH!!!!  SUPER HIGH!!!

Some of you know about my heart condition, some of you don’t.  The hole between the top 2 chambers of the heart that is there in utero never closed for me.  What does that mean?  It means that a portion of my blood skips the trek through the lungs and doesn’t get oxygenated.  It is an issue in my day to day and a bigger issue when I am working out and I manage it by staying super healthy and strong.  Will it be a problem at altitude?  Quite possibly however 10% of the population has this defect and many don’t even know about it and I am trusting that a few of those 10% that have no idea they have it have done KILIMANJARO or something even more intense and succeeded.  I am trusting that LIFE has my back on this one.

But who really knows?  There is absolutely no way for me to know if I am going to succeed at climbing to 19,000 ft or not.  The only real way to know is to train as hard as I can and then show up and give it my all and see what happens.  All that I have read so far is that this trek is treacherous and daunting and a good portion of it is, what my brother refers to as, a “nose down suffer-fest“.  He hasn’t done Kili, he has done way more intense trips than that and is partially my guide, trainer and inspiration.

I am so curious if summit is possible for me, way too curious to do anything else but get over there and give it a whirl! It sounds extravagant to be doing something so intense.  I plan to share the entire story with you so that you may have an idea of what something like that is like.  I also hope that in this process you realize that there may be something in your mind and in your heart that you want to take on and that waking up day in and day out without taking on the challenges just isn’t living enough for you.

It will take us 6 day to summit and then 2 days to descend.  In my mind I am preparing for just keeping one foot progressing in front of the other and see what happens.  If I took that last step, I can probably take this next step.  If I can take the next step, I bet I can take the next one too.  If I can string a bunch of those small wins together over and over and over again, I can make it to the top I just know I can.  When I picture this process, I get choked up as I know it is going to take every single bit of willpower that I have to make it happen.  I am a natural athlete but I have physical restrictions that have deterred me from doing anything too extreme.  This will be a test of just how far I can go.

For my 30th year, I ran a full marathon.  At this point, I do not see a future of taking on any kind of extreme challenges beyond KILIMANJARO.  That will be plenty and such an awesome way to cap my 40th year on the planet and shift into seeing where life takes my next 10.

As I started this post, I get many emails all the time asking why and how and what makes me do these things.  Just LIFE…just simply and purely the desire to really live this life fully.

 

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MT KILIMANJARO

That is a CRAZY IDEA but I LOVE IT!!!” was my response when a patient invited me to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro.

Yes you heard that right, MT KILIMANJARO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The invite came last April 2016 and I am pretty sure both of us suspected something would stop us in our tracks prior to making this happen…but it hasn’t.  And so WE WILL!!!   Chiropractor Fenton Michigan - Dr Erica Peabody - Mt KilimanjaroAHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!

In March of 2015, this beautiful woman named Kelly started chiropractic care in my office, Cafe of LIFE.  She is just a year older than me and had gotten a cancer diagnosis just a couple weeks prior to starting care.  I was in shock and awe that she could have such a bright, shiny composure with so many unknowns ahead.  If I remember correctly she already had a huge scar from one biopsy they had done the week prior.  Kelly was bright and energetic and positive and she had made the connection that chiropractic is going to help her body process everything that is ahead of her.  And it did just that.

She made all kinds of lifestyle shifts as well as underwent heavy chemo and radiation treatments and kept with her chiropractic care all along the way.  Because she was so regular with her care, I was able to follow her step by step through all of the radical changes that those heavy drugs had on her body.  I have worked with many cancer patients over the years however none so vulnerable to share every little detail.  Of course I learned a lot about the cancer going through school but experiencing it with her, from the patient’s perspective, was eye-opening.

And through it all, we became friends.

She did the entire treatment process quite gracefully and came out on top!  She has been clear for a while and one day back in April of 2016 I got added to an email thread she started with a list of other great female friends of hers, that invited us to climb MT KILIMANJARO.

Let me just start by saying that I was ABSOLUTELY HONORED to be included in thread along with her close friends.  My stomach sank at the possibility of taking on the challenge and my head started spinning with excitement as I really pondered what it would be like!

We started a conversation that went on for about 6 months while she waited for her final scans and clearance from her doctor.  In October, we pulled the trigger on putting a deposit down to hold our place with the adventure company.  We continued conversations trying to digest this whole idea and the first week of January we purchased our airline tickets.

Now life is officially in “CHECKMATE” status and this is happening.

There are bits and pieces of logistics to figure out and each day one more thing comes together.

I will continue this blog as I progress through all the details and training and of course share the entire journey with all of you.  Please stay tuned right here as Kelly and I make our progress.

…as we work towards CLIMBING MT KILIMANJARO!!!!  

 

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TWO TIPS FOR THE HOLIDAYS

Hello everyone!!!  I certainly hope you are loving the snow as much as I am.  I am such a kid at heart and love getting bundled up and playing outside.  I have seen a few things in my chiropractic office, Cafe of LIFE, I want to cover and wanted to specifically give you two tips for the holidays to help get through the season as well as winter.

I have made a quick 6 minute video to cover these things and I encourage you to watch “Two Tips for the Holidays” by clicking the YouTube Clip right here!

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I missed connecting with you prior to the first major snow of the season as well as the first major holiday.  However it is still early in December and I know these “Two Tips for the Holidays” will help you no matter what.

FIRST TIP:  The first tip is for shoveling snow.  Most of my patients have been shoveling snow over the past couple days.  We ended up with 10 FRESH INCHES OF SNOW!!!!  on Sunday and into Monday.  I JUST LOVE THE FIRST SNOW!!!  And I really love that we got SO MUCH!!!

When we have to shovel snow, most of us are in a hurry and I would like to bring a little bit of mindfulness and awareness to the process.  SHOVEL LESS SNOW PER PUSH AND DO MORE REPS!!  This means instead of waiting for the full 10 inches to fall at one time, go out every 2 inches or so and work with that much.  Or if you have no other choice than to do the full 10 inches at one time, do it is smaller increments.  In other words, less weight in your shovel.

Shoveling snow can be a major workout and so let’s be mindful.

TIP NUMBER 2:  Often times when we are prepping for holiday parties, cooking can begin very early in the day and go on for hours.  I would say 99% of kitchens have hard floors: tile, wood or linoleum or something like that.  When we stand hours on hard surfaces, it can really take a toll and add a lot of stress on our bodies.  My suggestion is when you get up and you know that you will be cooking and prepping a big meal, put sneakers on your feet before you get started, and this goes for more than just during the holidays. Also the same goes for holiday shopping.  If you have a lot of shopping to do, go out there in good supportive sneakers since that is often long hours on hard surfaces.

So just a quick two tips for the holidays message from your local chiropractor.  I realize that these are super small things and just by having awareness of them, we can move through our holiday season with a little more ease.  Also feel free to share this post and information with your friends and family and make the “most wonderful time of the year” even better!!!

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NOTHING

“Nothing” is my answer.

I was at a family party last Saturday night.  Of course at this age, everyone wants to know how my dating life is and of course, most also know that I am working on building a house, so they are asking about my house.

I walk in the door and greet my cousin (who is sort of in the same boat as I am in life) and her and I discuss much deeper topics and catch up for a few moments.

The next corner I turn, I run into another cousin and the question is “What’s going on with your dating life?’

I respond, “Nothing.”

“Oh really?  Ok.  Well then tell me what progress you have made with your house?”Chiropractor Fenton Michigan Dr Erica Peabody - Nothing

“Nothing”  And honestly at this point in time I don’t really feel like talking about it if that is all I am to this person.  So I cut that conversation quickly and turn the next corner of the house and run into an aunt, “What’s happening with your dating life?  What’s going on with your house?”

“Nothing.  Nothing.”

“No really, what is happening?”

“No really, nothing.”

I turn the conversation around on them and ask some questions about life but it was almost like I had sort of put the kibosh on the connection by answering my truth, which is “nothing”.

I turned yet another corner and a family friend started the same conversation with me all over again.  And then of course is the ever so cliche comment of “How is someone like you still single?” which I constantly hear from every corner of my life.

“Who knows.  Good question.” …and I really mean that.

So here is the deal, people, I am FAR MORE than who I am dating and where I am living!  In fact, I believe the contrast on that particular evening was so strong because I spent the entire day leading up to that party at a most incredible and enlightening seminar on “Developmental Neurobiology” and although I couldn’t necessarily convey all of the information I learned that day in that seminar, I could have shared some.  I am also working on a full Pediatric Chiropractic Certification which is far above and beyond the normal chiropractic degree and is a 2 year post-graduate program put on by the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association that I am incredibly passionate about.

I also have started taking an intense kettlebell class that is changing my entire physical makeup and spending my time at some of the coolest yoga classes.  I also have done a ton of reading and lots of writing, hung out with some great friends and am planning or just went on a trip most of the time.

I also am a pretty awesome Aunt E and I could share lots of stories about my amazing nieces and nephews and the time we have spent together.

But to these people, I am defined by who I date and where I am living.  And quite frankly, since NOTHING is going on with either of those, to them, maybe I am nothing. ..and that is ok by me.

Maybe these people, as we all do from time to time, are looking for some juice somewhere in life that they can share out in the world somehow and in someway.  I don’t really get it.

So I decided that I would sit down next to an interesting friend of the family and chat about running a ski resort, which is what he does, and I learned a LOT!!!  Then I moved on to a couple I haven’t seen in a while but really enjoy to chat about the year just gone by and the year ahead; plans, experiences, travels, fun, laughs, work…all those kinds of things.  I have decided that one or two good conversations in an evening like that is worth way more than trying to get around to everyone and stay as the “single homeless girl” (exaggerated description but you get the idea).

In saying all of that, I am also not really all that skilled in small talk to begin with.  It is not my strong suit as many of you already know.  That is definitely one of my faults but I’m alright with that.  I also realize and am so very grateful that I get to live the blessed life that I do, this is not talking negative about any of that.

Someone said to me the other day, “You know, you have a lot of dating experiences that you should share a little bit about sometime…and I thought to myself that maybe I will.  Stay tuned for maybe some stories over the next phase of this blog as hopefully my “nothing” will start to transpire into an incredible SOMETHING!!!  …or at least that is my hope, on many fronts, but house and relationships in specific. l.

 

 

 

 

 

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DONATION

Hello Everyone!!!  Happy December!!!  Over the past couple years, my chiropractic office Cafe of LIFE has chosen to forgo sending out holiday cards and use that money to increase our donation.

We have decided that it is more important to help those who need assistance fulfilling their basic human needs (of food in particular at this point).

Here is a quick clip of what we do with the money we would normally spend for sending out holiday cards.

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We want to do the most good we can this holiday season and we have discovered sending donation to the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan is one of the best ways to spread our donation as far and wide as possible while serving our local area.  It is astounding that one single dollar can provide 6 meals inside their system.  That is some serious buying power!!!

We trust you are accepting of our choice to increase our donation this year.  In saying all of that, we are still excited and will gladly accept your holiday cards.  In fact, we look forward to it!   Happy Holidays!!!!

 

 

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DEVASTATED

Election day has come and gone and I am left feeling devastated.

Before we go much further, I want to make it very clear that I am not devastated because of who won and who lost, I am devastated because of the friction I have seen increase among our communities.

Let’s be honest and straight forward here, that campaign was the nastiest I ever remember.  I blogged about Tuesday and what it felt like even going to the polls.  But something else was happening.  I made the assumption that Tuesday would be the end of the friction or at least it would begin to subside.

I had NO IDEA that it would actually ramp up!!!  Really people?!?!?

I went to sleep around 9:30 on Tuesday night (you are welcome Cafe of LIFE chiropractic patients, I wasn’t going to be tired for you in the morning over staying up to watch the results).  I figured what is done is done and I slept well knowing I did my part.  I feel a similar way about sporting events, my team will either win or not win and it really doesn’t depend on whether I am watching.Chiropractor Fenton Michigan Devastated

I woke up in the morning and when I came around I realized what day it was, the day after the election and certainly by 6:30am the results would be in (although really got questionable there for a while).

I checked my phone, something I try not to do right out of bed, but this day was obviously a little more special than other days.

Trump won.

“How do I feel about Trump winning?” was my first thought.  “What if Hillary would have won?” was my second thought.

You know that emoji with the face that looks like “concern” and is mostly teeth?  And the other emoji with a straight face and big bulging eyes?  That pretty much sums up my feelings.

I went about my morning and heading in to serve my people at the Cafe at 7:30 like I always do on Wednesday.

I sent a text message to a good friend of mine to chat about the results with someone who thinks similar to me and I moved along with my day.

That was one of the heaviest feeling days in a long time and I know I am not alone when I say that.

Social media completely took over and opinions were flying left and right (no pun intended)…and haven’t stopped since.  I have seen some things that I am absolutely shocked from people I would have never suspected.  I am not at all saying that is a bad thing because we are all entitled to our opinions.  Being that aggressive has gone so far overboard and is so incredibly unproductive it is astonishing to me.

Someone said today “I’m confused, aren’t protests used to voice displeasure for something that can be changed? And if you protest something that can’t be changed aren’t you just bitching in large numbers?”  Hmmmm…very interesting point!!!

And FOR WHAT?!?!  This isn’t something that can be changed at this point.

So let’s get back to work, and when I use the word “work” in this way, I mean let’s get back to our individual work of being good humans, being kind and making our corner of the world a better place.

There is a time of grieving for some people after election day this year.  Ultimately, what is done is done and it is time to move forward.  Fighting fear with more fear gets us even more fear. Trying to fight anger with more anger gets us even more anger.  We need to switch gears.

Extend love and compassion to your neighbors, friends, people in the grocery store, restaurants, and out on the roads.  This is the only way to make the change we really want to see.  Step up and take a stand by extending gratitude for the contrasting opinions.  We are not promised a tomorrow, let’s move on with our lives NOW!

I have felt devastated for what has happened in and among our communities since the election.  It is time to get back to work.

 

 

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