How are you doing? I hope you had an amazing summer filled with fun memories, sunshine, laughter, and levity.

I had a wonderful time at our family reunion as you saw from my last newsletter. Family is so important to me and I loved having the presence of loved ones around.

I had 2 days to turn the house (which is for sale) around into tip top shape before I jetted off to Calgary for my University of Calgary Dare To Lead workshop.

Unfortunately between a minor cold caught at my reunion + airplane air + sleeping with the window open at night when there was wildfire smoke particulate in the air, I lost my voice.

I barely made it through the first day of my workshop and then had to cancel the 2nd day. I was so disappointed.

The next day, I learned through social media that my town was on fire. The planned back burn went sideways and the wind changed the direction of the fire. Our town had to evacuate, and the 1 way bridge which is the only way out was on fire. People narrowly escaped.

That night was one of the scariest of my life. I saw photos of what looked like our neighborhood completely engulfed in flames.

Our neighbors further down the lake who were dog sitting my beloved puppies also had to evacuate the other way out via a very long, treacherous logging road.

My husband drove through the night to meet our neighbors where the logging road met the highway to get our dogs.

I waited up until 2:00 am to make sure everyone was safe. Luckily they all got out ok.

Once I knew my “people” were ok, I was able to rest. We would deal with the destruction tomorrow.

On Saturday morning, I woke up to see a video online of the shoreline. It looked like the houses on the lake side of our community were spared – although we also saw that many in the neighboring community were not.

We were a row back so we still didn’t know if our house was standing.

We received a call the next day and learned we had only lost our shed. The forest and brush behind our house had completely burned.

We were incredibly lucky.

Some key learnings from this experience are:
1. Listen to your intuition – something in me said not to leave the dogs behind
2. Wait for data – there were all kinds of “rumors” on social media about what was gone and what was still there. Many were false – including the one about my neighborhood being gone
3. Listen to your Mom – my wise Mami reminded me that it’s not going to do me any good to doom scroll on Facebook all night. It was true – although hard to follow
4. Allow space for both pain and perspective. It’s ok to be sad about what we lost. There were lots of sentimental items in our shed we collected over the 20 years of our marriage and I’d delight each Christmas when I would reconnect to those beloved items and the memory of who gave them to us – or how/when we found them. I allowed myself space to mourn these things AND also remembered to keep perspective of how lucky we were in relation to others who had lost their entire house / business.
5. Allow yourself to go on pause. This emergency pulled me from my daily marketing tasks to stay “active and relevant” on social media. I knew anything I would put on there in this mode would be inauthentic so I chose to pause instead.

Which one of these takeaways did you most need to be reminded of? Pop a comment down below – I’d love to hear from you.