Tough times demand change. Fortunately, as Canadians, we are not alone in these times of economic challenges. We are, however, collectively forced to examine some of the essentials and rework them to establish balance in contention with change.

For Alberta, this meant voting in an NDP Premiere during the last Provincial Election and just this week, the greater voice of the Nation voted into Parliament, our new Prime Minister, a Liberal leader in response to the need to change out our Conservative P.M.! Dealing with change is often disconcerting, daunting, stressful, downright scary.

In the past month I have had the opportunity to spend some extended time in the West (Calgary and Victoria, BC) as well as in the East (Montreal). I also drove through the northern states of the USA (North Dakota, Minnesota, Michigan and Wisconsin), and what I can tell you without reservation, is that we are all bitten by the unrest of our government, at the mercy of volatile economies, and those powers that drive them. All of us are balancing our lives with delicate measures as we wait for the tides to recede and a hopeful economy to return to our shores.

Waiting is tough; it forces us to realize we cannot control some of the major aspects that affect us so gravely. Waiting for your pay cheque to arrive, vacation to come, your children to get home, dinner to be ready, an economical downturn to rise up again, the phone to ring … These things that are out of our control, force us to find strength either from within or from those supports around us.

Over the past six months in particular, I’m working with a lot of people who’ve lost their form of employment and have hired me to improve their marketing documents. For these people, the waiting game is the hardest. Particularly in Alberta, where for so many years the energy industry has protected us from the elements that the rest of Canada has been forced to deal with, such as unemployment, budget declines, housing prices, etc., Albertans are now getting their distasteful dose of hardship. And for Calgary, where Cow Town is a tight network of brothers, sisters and a business community that take care of each other in tough times and finds solutions to help a good friend or colleague survive (we are the philanthropy capital of Canada, folks!), we now must scale back our charity and care for our own essentials of life, with very little for some of us to spare for others.

Setting the gloom aside, we also know that change can be the harbinger of positivity: new beginnings appear from the shadows of devastation. I’m experiencing many clients who are embracing their passions, now that their job is no longer blocking the pathway. I’ve seen family dynamics shift, where the main income earner is passing off the role to his or her partner to manage. I’m also seeing a younger generation become much more involved in voicing a personal politic and celebrating the results of a nation in response to this.

In essence, we have no choice to but to keep moving, keep treading water, keep the faith. Try to find value and comfort in the opportunity to transition a career, rely on the help of a partner or friend, learn a new skill and spend more time with family. If one thing is for certain, it is that nothing ever stays the same.

Love and luck, my friends,