Tina Hallock
December 3, 2018 | 2 min read

Mid-term elections are over. Political ads will cease. Thank goodness! No matter where your political ideology takes you, it seems to me that we are paddling against the stream. Each person paddling alone, often in same direction, with similar destinations. Being the parent of a child who struggles can be a lonely, discouraging place. It sometimes felt as if we were paddling alone, even though I knew there were others out there. As things calmed, we might get a little ahead of the current and then the rush would come and we couldn’t get ahead.

We spent many a day feeling as if it was us against them and that we needed to fight for what we needed. I am not exactly sure of the turning point when we decided that inviting others into our canoe to help us paddle might get us somewhere. We realized that we were all wanting the same end goal: a healthy, emotionally stable child. We also recognized that if we were paddling in the same direction gathering our supports and collaborating around a preferred future would not only be best for my child but paddling together would be far more productive and lessen the load on any one person. And so we worked together, collaborating on that preferred future.

And while this all sounds utopian, there were certainly bumps. Some people insisted on leading the charge in their own canoe instead of joining us in ours. Most of the difficulty came from wellness being less than linear. Even during these rough times, I am sure that we all would have been better off in the same canoe.

Rough patches happen. Everyone isn’t going to see eye to eye. And if we always go back to what we know and look for the common ground we can collaborate in ways that matter…ways that make a difference…ways that get us further in our journey to wellness.

Collaboration (many paddling in the same canoe) is always better.