Life As I Know It

Colleen Crawford

Colleen Crawford, Life As I Know It

Colleen Crawford is a 50-something mother of three boys who likes to write. She operates a daycare in her home and says she is fortunate enough to say, "I get to count ladybugs for a living!" She dabbles in ballroom dancing and loves to dance to the music of life. Sometimes it is as intense and serious as a tango, other times, it is fun and upbeat like the jive. She says she loves to waltz through her days and find precious little nuggets within each day as it comes. "I like to write life as I feel it and that is what this column is about."

  • Trusting the moment

    "The world knows. Don't rush the moment. Trust in the moment you are in." These are the words I typed at 7:23 yesterday morning. Five minutes later, my world as I know it started to . . .

    Colleen CrawfordDecember 14, 2016

  • Messages from the world

    I think the world is always speaking to us. Sometimes we are open to hear the messages and other times, the wisdom of the world around us passes us by. When we are too busy focusing on the moment . . .

    Colleen CrawfordDecember 12, 2016

  • Thankful for invitations

    I was invited to a pre-Thanksgiving feast and before we ate our meal, our host asked each of us at the table what we were thankful for. "Invitations" came immediately to mind and stayed . . .

    Colleen CrawfordDecember 5, 2016

  • Casting a wide net

    I have stumbled across a strategy that works well for me. "Cast a big net and then focus on what you reel in.” I do it often. I sent out mass emails to extended family and ended up with a . . .

    Colleen CrawfordNovember 7, 2016

  • What brutiful moment am I in?

    Brutiful, as defined by Glennon Doyle Melton: "adj.: Life is brutal. And life is beautiful. Brutiful, I call it. Life’s brutal and beautiful are woven together so tightly they are inseparable.. . .

    Colleen CrawfordOctober 28, 2016

  • A day that took my breath away

    A seed was planted about a year and a half prior. It took root and had been growing ever since. That weekend, it was like a peony plant that suddenly burst into bright Technicolor.

 On the day . . .

    Colleen CrawfordOctober 24, 2016

  • What's next?

    It is both terrifying and exhilarating to be standing at this precipice in my life and wondering, "Where do I go from here?" I am nervous about my income level being slashed to an all . . .

    Colleen CrawfordOctober 10, 2016

  • Baby, it's dark outside

    I haven't been doing a very good job of maintaining a regular wake up time, so the shift to early morning darkness has taken me by surprise. The first time I woke up to full-fledged darkness at 5 . . .

    Colleen CrawfordSeptember 30, 2016

  • The need to be heard

    I had not yet completed my on-line "Living Brave" course with Brené Brown when I found myself acting more courageously than I have in a very long time.

 Life handed me the greatest &. . .

    Colleen CrawfordSeptember 28, 2016

  • Independence lost

    When we have our independence, we have so much, so very, very much. When my mom had to give up her driver’s license I became aware of all she lost when she handed over that little plastic card . . .

    Colleen CrawfordSeptember 26, 2016

  • I wouldn't have it any other way

    My son once challenged my "state of happy" and asked me to compare my life to my friends who are single, retired, have paid off their home and are able to make decisions about their . . .

    Colleen CrawfordSeptember 24, 2016

  • Good enough is our friend

    I had laboured over a writing project for more than five years. I had collected so much information that I was overwhelmed at the thought of putting it all together. I had been stuck in limbo for . . .

    Colleen CrawfordSeptember 21, 2016

  • Don't keep score

    A while ago, I read a blog post that was too good not to be shared with a teacher or principal.

 Immediately, I started to write an email to a principal I had once worked with. Then my day got . . .

    Colleen CrawfordSeptember 12, 2016

  • Weaving back the tapestry of my life

    The years surrounding "turning 50" were some of the best years of my life. I was living life to the fullest. They were years filled with making plans and asking people to come along for . . .

    Colleen CrawfordSeptember 5, 2016

  • Meandering thoughts

    I had a free hour at my disposal the morning before my youngest son graduated, so I ran over to my lawyer's office and updated my will. Yes, my timing was strange, but I had this overwhelming need . . .

    Colleen CrawfordAugust 15, 2016

  • Letter to my graduate

    Well, you did it! Today is your graduation day. The hard work, the stresses, the ups and downs, the challenges and joys of your school days thus far are now tucked safely behind you. Today is just . . .

    Colleen CrawfordAugust 8, 2016

  • Seventeen ways to build my courage

    After rereading Christine Kane's "66 Ways to Build Your Courage"(, I circled the points I thought I could tackle and I made up my . . .

    Colleen CrawfordAugust 1, 2016

  • Living safe

    I live in a bubble-wrapped world. I am surrounded by people who encourage, support and listen to me. The only people within this world who challenge me are under the age of four. I'm not pushed out. . .

    Colleen CrawfordJuly 25, 2016

  • Day of Yes

    I woke up to a completely blank slate one fine Sunday morning. I knew I had to come up for air. I had to come upstairs, sit in the sun and inhale. I responded to one inbound piece of communication.. . .

    Colleen CrawfordJuly 18, 2016

  • Shine a little light on your day

    My early morning musing was, "Shine a little light on it?" or "Shed a little light on it?” I Googled my query and found both phrases. I also stumbled upon "Shine a Little Love. . .

    Colleen CrawfordJune 27, 2016

  • Looking for the magic

    I was updating my daycare blog when this sentence fell off the tip of my finger, "My little daycare daughter found a magical forest when we were out on our walk last week. I found a magical . . .

    Colleen CrawfordJune 20, 2016

  • Lessons from my dad

    When I started to collect memories from my dad's family in anticipation of compiling them in book form, I started writing down a few of the things Dad taught me or told me over the years. These are. . .

    June 13, 2016

  • Living the Life of André

    André, our cat, lived a life of ease.

 He ate when he wanted to eat, slept when he wanted to sleep, loved us when he felt like it, teased the dog when he was in the mood, played with the kids . . .

    Colleen CrawfordJune 6, 2016

  • Living the dream

    I think I may have retired some time ago and I never fully realized it.

 Eighteen years ago, I unofficially retired, for a year. Some may call it maternity leave but looking back, I see it was . . .

    Colleen CrawfordMay 30, 2016

  • Life without mirrors

    he more I gaze into the reflection in our bathroom mirror, the more I know I could be happy in a world without mirrors. I was fighting with my hair, trying to tame it into submission. By the time. . .

    Colleen CrawfordMay 23, 2016

  • If money is the worst of our troubles

    If money is the worst of our troubles "If wealth is lost, nothing is lost. If health is lost, something is lost. But, if character is lost, everything is lost." — Unknown If money can. . .

    Colleen CrawfordMay 16, 2016

  • Valentine's Day, celebrate who you are

    It may have taken the better part of half a century but I am happy to say Valentine's Day no longer magnifies my state of being single. One Valentine's Day stands out to me. I received a red rose. . .

    Colleen CrawfordFebruary 14, 2016

  • Letting joy take the driver’s seat

    One of my little daycare family exudes “joy” out of every fibre of her being. She greets her day, her friends, her friend’s parents and the games she plays with an exuberance that is absolutely . . .

    Colleen CrawfordFebruary 9, 2016

  • It is a good life

    It is a good life My life isn't perfect, but it is perfect for me. That statement is my new motto. I said this out loud after living one of the most uncomfortable weeks in recent history. You . . .

    Colleen CrawfordFebruary 1, 2016

  • Call to action moments

    As I was setting up a writing page on Facebook, I came upon a "Create Call to Action" button. I liked the sound of those words and immediately I knew these were words that were going to . . .

    Colleen CrawfordJanuary 25, 2016

  • The blessing of abundance

    Thanksgiving morning, I woke up to find this message in my inbox and scoffed out loud: "If you are a writer and you are not writing, somebody is missing their blessing."— Arthur Bronner . . .

    Colleen CrawfordJanuary 4, 2016

  • The Missing Christmas Card - Part II

    (written Dec. 24, 2014) Six years ago, Mom and I went out to spend several days with you after Christmas. It was the beginning of “our story,” not just our family's memoirs. It was the beginning . . .

    Colleen CrawfordDecember 28, 2015

  • The missing Christmas card - Part I

    written Dec. 24, 2014) I peek inside the mailbox every day, wishing I could be expecting a Christmas card from you. But I know better. It won't be coming this year. Not like the years that have . . .

    Colleen CrawfordDecember 21, 2015

  • That which makes a house a home

    I received an invitation from someone I worked with several years ago. She asked me over for coffee. "Are you free this evening or tomorrow evening or on the weekend?"

 It has become . . .

    Colleen CrawfordDecember 7, 2015

  • Let Kindness win today

    If anyone spoke to any one of my children the way I speak to myself, I think the mother bear in me would come out and I would wrestle them to the ground. I would make them apologize and promise . . .

    Colleen CrawfordNovember 16, 2015

  • When did they stop writing love songs for me?

    One day recently, I wondered "When did they stop writing love songs for me?" It was a little bit of a sad day when I realized they aren't singing "my" song on the radio any more. . .

    Colleen CrawfordNovember 3, 2015

  • What life un-teaches you

    "A toddler will naturally pick up something correctly." After I heard this statement, I sat back and watched the toddlers in my daycare. They have more than heavy lifting figured out . . .

    Colleen CrawfordOctober 26, 2015

  • Walking with the current

    I have unintentionally directed my attentions towards "selling myself" recently. And it has been a rather positive experience. I have the direct comparison of the year I spent scouring . . .

    Colleen CrawfordOctober 23, 2015

  • The seasons of our lives

    As I looked out the window this morning, to a cloudy overcast day, all I could see was our green lawn.

 Our lawn has never been greener than it has been this year. Our summer of intermittent . . .

    Colleen CrawfordOctober 6, 2015

  • Connections

    Colleen CrawfordSeptember 21, 2015

  • Trust and prepare to be amazed

    I used to obsess about my finances. I planned, I projected, I did my best to pay down debt, save and have a little "in case of emergency" fund. I budgeted and accounted for every single. . .

    Colleen CrawfordAugust 10, 2015

  • Still Colleen

    I titled this post almost a month ago but the words didn't follow. This morning, a few shared posts on the importance of recognizing the signs of a stroke on my Facebook feed reminded me of one . . .

    Colleen CrawfordAugust 4, 2015

  • Tips and tricks for dealing with life (or quicksand)

    The week has been a hodge podge of emotions as I adjust to the changes within my daycare world (and by extension, my budget). I feel like I have been trudging through quicksand and trying very hard. . .

    Colleen CrawfordJuly 27, 2015

  • Tips and tricks for dealing with life, or quicksand

    The week has been a hodgepodge of emotions as I adjust to the changes within my daycare world and, by extension, my budget. I feel like I have been trudging through quicksand and trying very hard . . .

    Colleen CrawfordJuly 21, 2015

  • The ring

    When Mom and Dad were married, it was for forever. People kept the promise "’til death do us part" in that generation. When Dad placed the wedding band on Mom's finger on their wedding . . .

    Colleen CrawfordJuly 14, 2015

  • Becoming the person others believe we already are

    "We normally become what the person closest to us thinks we will become." — Mountain Such a simple statement reflects such a profound truth. I can see time and time again . . .

    Colleen CrawfordJune 30, 2015

  • In the blink of an eye

    "In the blink of an eye, everything can change. So forgive often and love with all your heart. You may never know when you may not have that chance again." — Author Unknown

 I read . . .

    Colleen CrawfordJune 23, 2015

  • In the blink of an eye

    "In the blink of an eye, everything can change. So forgive often and love with all your heart. You may never know when you may not have that chance again." — Author Unknown I read this . . .

    Colleen CrawfordJune 19, 2015

  • I may not be there yet ...

    "I may not be there yet, but I'm closer than I was yesterday"— Author Unknown There have been days, weeks and months when I felt like I have spun my wheels and gone nowhere. I have . . .

    Colleen CrawfordJune 16, 2015

  • I can see clearly now

    "It was like opening a door and going into heaven. I could see. Everything wasn't a blur."— a quote from my aunt upon getting her first pair of glasses. 
I had a very similar experience. . .

    Colleen CrawfordJune 10, 2015

  • Enduring friendships

    I have been very fortunate to hold onto several friendships throughout the many ages and stages of my life. I am blessed with the comfort of friendship in my life. But it didn't always feel this . . .

    Colleen CrawfordMay 26, 2015

  • What I have learned from dancing

    I have stopped and restarted taking ballroom dance lessons several times over the past 17 years. I felt my passion dwindling as the last block of lessons I had paid for came to a close.

 I was . . .

    Colleen CrawfordMay 19, 2015

  • Ways to build courage

    Stepping out of one's comfort zone and doing "just one thing" that doesn't feel easy to do is a sure fire way to build courage.

 Ever since I read an article on ways to build courage, . . .

    Colleen CrawfordMay 11, 2015

  • Walking against the wind

    Whenever we go out walking, it seems we always walk into the wind on the first lap of our walk. Our only consolation is that very same wind will be on our backs on our way home and make the walk . . .

    Colleen CrawfordMay 5, 2015

  • Life lessons 

    Small things become so big when they start to pile up on a person.

 I feel like I have become a poster child for procrastination. I have honed the art quite well.

 Lately, "income taxes&. . .

    Colleen CrawfordApril 27, 2015

  • I knew what I was fighting for

    The very good thing about finding your very own sense of happiness and contentment is, once you have known that sensation, you fight hard to regain it if you lose it.

 Moving to Saskatoon was a . . .

    Colleen CrawfordApril 14, 2015

  • Friendly alliances

    Life is fragile. When we wake up to yet another day in our life-as-we-know-it, we are blessed. That moment, that day is a gift.

 I have been spending time with a friend who has been dealt one . . .

    Colleen CrawfordApril 7, 2015

  • Dust is the glue that is holding this family together

    Version:1.0 StartHTML:0000000228 EndHTML:0000004913 StartFragment:0000002473 EndFragment:0000004877 SourceURL:file://localhost/Volumes/CompositionFiles/%20%20Pagination%20Copy/Xtras/%20Columnists/. . .

    Colleen CrawfordMarch 30, 2015

  • Don't jinx yourself

    People have been telling me "don't jinx yourself" on a rather regular basis lately. I don't believe in that line of thinking for a moment.

 I regularly voice my appreciation for what . . .

    Colleen CrawfordMarch 17, 2015

  • The sun will shine again

    I am not certain what the magic formula is for this feeling of contentment I am feeling these days, but I like it!

 I think the blue sky and sunshine are making the difference. Soaking up good . . .

    Colleen CrawfordMarch 2, 2015

  • The easy life

    There is often much written to appease the lonely and broken hearts around Valentine's Day. I have read articles where single parents were singled out and honoured. I have never considered myself . . .

    Colleen CrawfordFebruary 25, 2015

  • Sometimes we just need to surrender

    "Take care of you first. Surrender to the moment and just trust the tides will take you where you most need to be (sometimes desperate moments take us to hard places, but just the right place). . .

    Colleen CrawfordFebruary 18, 2015

  • A few kind words

    I was promoting my daycare business at one of the various online sites where I advertise and clicked on the "Review Rebuttals" tab. I've checked on my reviews various times since I have. . .

    Colleen CrawfordFebruary 10, 2015

  • When you are ready, it will come

    I am finally feeling open to accept the gifts of the universe. I have been aching for this, the return of finding a connection to the world outside of my head and finding the way to connect the . . .

    Colleen CrawfordFebruary 3, 2015

  • Thinking out loud

    I didn't realize it at the time, but I could have been sitting down and having a conversation with my brother when I wrote down my thoughts of the day at the day's end. I was fortunate enough to . . .

    Colleen CrawfordJanuary 27, 2015

  • The icy patch

    I thought I would take a brisk after-supper walk to the mailbox one night. I gave myself 10 minutes to get there and back, as I thought the extra push to move a little faster would maximize the . . .

    Colleen CrawfordJanuary 20, 2015

  • The eyes have it

    They say the eyes are the window to the soul.

 An adoring new parent gazes lovingly at their brand new baby. Two people newly in love reflect trust, hope, fear, anticipation and adoration. Then . . .

    Colleen CrawfordJanuary 13, 2015

  • What does Santa’s mom worry about?

    What do you suppose Santa's mom worries about?

 Do you think that she is disappointed about the fact that her son is unemployed for all but one day of the year? Or do you suppose that she . . .

    Colleen CrawfordJanuary 6, 2015

  • Unremarkable

    The more I thought about how fitting that particular word was to describe our year, the more I realized what a blessing it was to have such an unremarkable year. It means we are much as we were a. . .

    Colleen CrawfordDecember 31, 2014

  • Just show up

    I have walked at the side of too many people who have faced great loss in their lives this past while. I walked into this role with precious little first-hand experience. It is unfortunate to say I. . .

    Colleen CrawfordDecember 17, 2014

  • Happiness is in the moment you are in

    “Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.” — Buddha Life is sending me little messages everywhere I look.

 An inspirational email spoke . . .

    Colleen CrawfordDecember 9, 2014

  • A day to honour memories and move forward

    Twenty-seven years ago, Dec. 7, 1987, is one of those days that stands out from the rest. It was a day of drama. ? ?I had left my husband for the third and final time days before. I remember waking up on the morning of Dec. 4 and thinking, "This is the

    By Colleen CrawfordDecember 2, 2014

  • Love your children, young and grown

    When a young man lashes out at society in the most brutal of ways, I cannot forget the fact that he is someone's son. I have three sons. I cannot help but wonder. We take on the world when we raise a child. We do the best we can with what we have. We

    By Colleen CrawfordNovember 25, 2014

  • The place between yes and no

    One of my most favourite places to be is the spot somewhere in between "yes" and "no." ?? You apply for a job and the deadline for applications has not come to pass. You extend an invitation and await a reply. You put yourself out on a limb and offer a

    By Colleen CrawfordNovember 12, 2014

  • Preserving his future

    As I tossed around the idea of participating in a ballroom dance competition in Montreal several years ago, my (then) 23-year-old son was whole heartedly supportive of the idea. His exact words? "Go! When you start repeating your stories when you are

    By Colleen CrawfordNovember 4, 2014

  • Measure of success

    "The measure of success is not whether you have a tough problem to deal with, but whether it's the same problem you had last year."?- John Foster Dulles I once asked my mother-in-law how things were going. Her response? "Same crap, different pile." I

    By Colleen CrawfordOctober 28, 2014

  • Life is like an old pair of shoes

    I have a very hard time giving up old shoes - the shoes that fit properly, the shoes I can actually walk in, without throbbing pain as an after effect.?? I have bunions and the widest part of my foot is 4 1/2 inches across. To find shoes I can wear

    By Colleen CrawfordOctober 22, 2014

  • Endure the moment

    Yesterday was one of those daycare days that normally has the ability to have me running for cover the moment the last child has left for the day. But after all was said and done, I felt like I had conquered the day, not the other way around. There were

    By Colleen CrawfordOctober 7, 2014

  • Dear Sweet Sixteen

    Dear Sixteen-Year-Old Me,?? I'm going to write you a letter. A letter you won't fully understand or believe until you actually live your life. It is a letter that could change your life. But the question is: "Is that a good thing?"?? In about three

    By Colleen CrawfordSeptember 30, 2014

  • An accidental day

    There is nothing I like better than a spur of the moment day. One day, looking at a grid map of our province became the catalyst for a most excellent afternoon.?? My adult son commented that he had recently driven down the highway to my childhood farm.

    By Colleen CrawfordSeptember 23, 2014

  • What would you wish for?

    I had a deep and meaningful conversation with an (almost) six year old one afternoon. ??I thought I would pick dandelions until his mom arrived (I never did run out of dandelions) and as I did so, I would point out the ladybugs I found and he collected

    By Colleen CrawfordSeptember 16, 2014

  • The dream

    When I was married, my husband and I purchased a 10-acre plot of undeveloped land in northern Alberta. We were young, full of dreams and high hopes. ?? Our plan was to clear the land, buy and build a garage package (which would become our home). The

    By Colleen CrawfordSeptember 9, 2014

  • Creating your life

    I am a firm believer in the power of making your intentions become your reality. I have a strong sense that when you act and believe your life is going to unfold in a certain direction, it will. I don't believe there is anything magical or mystical

    By Colleen CrawfordAugust 26, 2014

  • Choose happiness instead

    "You can either give negativity power over your life or you can choose happiness instead. Take control and choose to focus on what is important in your life. Those who cannot live fully often become destroyers of life." - Anaïs Nin These are such wise

    By Colleen CrawfordAugust 21, 2014

  • Accept change

    Sometimes we see it coming. Other times we don't. There are times we think we know what to expect but life throws us a curve we weren't expecting. Usually it is a little bit of "all of the above." Change. Personally, I love my ruts. I have learned from

    By Colleen CrawfordAugust 14, 2014

  • Beware of ill fitting shoes

    One day, two of my barefooted two-year-old girls (from my Daycare Family) were sitting on my lap. I couldn't help but stare at the perfection of those little toes. Toes that had not yet been squished into ill-fitting shoes. Toes that had not conformed

    By Colleen CrawfordAugust 5, 2014

  • Odd man out

    What would I feel like if I spent 10 hours of every weekday with two other people who spoke a different language than I do??? What if those two people seemed to have a special connection and words were truly not necessary to speak with each other???

    By Colleen CrawfordJuly 22, 2014

  • White lace and promises

    It was Feb. 24, 1978. Ah, the '70s. It was a simpler time. A time when marriage meant forever and destiny was summarized up in the phrase "happily ever after". Back in the '70's, getting married was the answer to most everything. I didn't worry about my

    By Colleen CrawfordJuly 15, 2014

  • Becoming as good as you should be

    "Treat a man as he is and he will remain as he is; treat a man as he can be and he will become as he can and should be." - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe I was enduring a "terrible tantrum" phase with one of my children when I asked my mom how she managed

    By Colleen CrawfordJuly 8, 2014

  • Small Adventures

    My favourite entertainer (Jeffery Straker) came to our fair city recently. So, I asked a friend if she was interested in going to see him. I received a resounding "Yes!" as an answer and I was off. I invited two handfuls of friends to join us. One group

    By Colleen CrawfordJuly 1, 2014

  • Musings as I mow

    I don't know what it is about mowing the lawn, but my mind goes into deep-thinking mode as I go about the mindless task of circling the lawn as I tend to the job at hand. This morning, my thoughts drifted to the lilac bush that still stands on our old

    By Colleen CrawfordJune 24, 2014

  • I love my age

    I think we can use age to be an excuse for many things.?? "He's only a baby," so they don't sleep on a schedule or walk or talk or anything that exceeds the expectations of that age.? ?"Terrible twos." An excuse? An explanation? Once again, a two-year-

    By Colleen CrawfordJune 16, 2014

  • Going with the current

    There are times when you follow your heart, your instinct, your calling or whatever. And everything unfolds perfectly. As if you were following a well choreographed plan. Other times, you make a decision and it feels as though there are roadblocks at

    By Colleen CrawfordJune 9, 2014

  • No regrets: you can't live in the past

    I visited with my middle son's daycare provider a while ago. My son was two years old when we met Addie. She cared for him until he was almost 11 years old. Nine years of drop-offs and pick-ups, and the stories that each one of us must have heard about

    By Colleen CrawfordJune 3, 2014

  • Appreciate Mother Nature close to home

    I went along for the ride when my second son drove out to his farm one night.? His offer came with a cup of coffee ready and waiting for me in the truck. Conversation came easy and it was simply nice to get out of the city.?? It was when we took the

    By Colleen CrawfordMay 27, 2014

  • Cleaning is highly overrated

    Ever since I started taking an interest in other things that life has to offer, my house has suffered. I used to take pride in clean, organized and de-junked closets and drawers. Now? The closets have doors, don't they? And if you can close a drawer it

    By Colleen CrawfordMay 22, 2014

  • Ten minutes at a time

    I wasn't quite ready to leap out of bed when my alarm went off this morning. So I hit the snooze button. Ten more minutes ...??I hit it a few more times, each time relishing every moment of those 10 minutes. I enjoyed the gift of those extra minutes.

    By Colleen CrawfordMay 22, 2014

  • This is exactly where I am meant to be

    It was a small, un-momentous moment.?? Mom and I were sitting in the coffee shop at the bus depot one morning as we waited for her bus. One of the employees was washing the floor around us as we sipped our coffee. Mom commented on the clean floor. I had

    By Colleen CrawfordMay 20, 2014

  • Out of the mouths of babes

    Children are transparent. When they smile, it lights up a room. When they laugh, it is from their heart. When they cry, it is like the world is ending. When they love, they love with their whole heart. They live and breathe what they see. They are little

    By Colleen CrawfordMay 20, 2014

  • A simple path

    "There is a simple path to follow, which appears only when you calm your mind. It leads you on a beautiful journey back to your original self; the perfect, beautiful you." - Bryant McGill I accidentally stumbled across this "simple path" when my life

    By Colleen CrawfordJuly 22, 2013