The Eulogy: 2015

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The Eulogy: 2015

Over the last few days I’ve witnessed so many who’ve cursed or eulogized the last year; yes 2015. Instead of rejoicing in the 365 days of life God allowed them, they dismiss the gifts of grace in hopes of happenstance instantly or magically changing their circumstances.

What makes a person believe that the tick of a second-hand tock is going to erase the hardships, the failures, the could-have-beens, the should-have-beens and the never-have-beens?

Good things happen, bad things happen, terribly horrible things happen and yes; wonderfully fantastic things happen. This is what we call “Life.”

Were there hard times in 2015? Sure. After 15 years I still miss my mother. After 8 years and counting, I still cheer-lead for my son with Down syndrome to live an amazingly fantastic life. Day after day I still watch my dad as the effects of diabetes and dementia take their collective toll.

This is called “Life” and it’s a gift; rejoice in it. Psalm 118:24 – This is the day that the Lord has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it.

While attending a funeral recently, an 89-year-old gentleman graced me with conversation. In sincerity and optimism he looked squarely at me and said, “Chief, life is too short. Enjoy it.”

What do you say to that?

I thought about the many who hurriedly stowed away 2015 in hopes of better times, the comment I could not respond to on life’s brevity, and my own take on the passing of one calendar year to the next.

I’m going to be honest with you; am I where I wanted to be on several levels at the end of 2015? No, not at all.

– I wanted to increase my walk with Christ

– I wanted to be a better father

– I wanted to be a better son and brother

– I wanted to be a better friend

– I wanted to be thinner and healthier

– I wanted to not be so guarded

– I wanted to cycle more, and eat ice cream less (debatable)

Am I bitter? Have I plastered Facebook with admonishments over a 2015 unlived, have I darkened others’ days with tales of “unfairs” over the last year? No. Not at all. It was a fantastic year. It was a 365 day blessing of mercy that God gifted me. It was yet another year in my life well lived.

This is not a criticism for pessimistic postings. It’s a reminder that if you think back over the course of the last year you will find;

1. The bad things that could have been avoided, possibly required more of our time and attention.
2. The horrible things that could not be avoided, we should be thankful that we’re still in this life to grieve, learn or recover.
3. The good things that happened probably resulted from our hard work and dedication.
4. The fantastic things that happened probably included someone else’s support along the way.

If you sat on your thumbs in 2015 waiting for what you thought owed and were disappointed, then sitting on your thumbs in 2016 will probably only result in much more soreness and even more criticisms come next New Year’s Eve.

Don’t be so quick to eulogize the passing year for its failures, as they represent the “you” who experienced it. Instead, embrace the positive and learn from the each opportunity.

Failure is not getting knocked down. It’s refusing to get back up.

See you at the end of yet another superhero’ish calendar year 2016.

Do Good,

Scott
Originally posted at scottsilverii.com – The Eulogy: 2013 / 2014

FIT@50 / week 40

boots

FIT@50 / week 40
Big Shoes
 
Facebook launches these memories and top posts apps along with other fun and invasive things every so often. I admit, I fell for it. My top 3 posts for 2015 was my retirement as Chief of Police, my marriage to Liliana Hart and Max & me.
 
It was the perfect trifecta. Those three simple pictures illustrated the Big Shoes approach I take to life. It’s not about outdoing anyone else. It’s about being present in the lives of others.
 
It’s about leaving a giant footprint wherever I’ve been placed in my life. Giving everything I have to doing the best job I can. Now that often means finishing last in a race, or second on a test, or maybe having a book release that tanked in sales.
 
No matter. It’s the effort that matters. Did I give everything? When I crawl off of life’s many battlefields, did I take anything with me that I could have left out there in the way of effort?
 
I appreciate the sentiment of working smarter than hard, but I treasure the ethic of hard work. I recall raking leaves until my 7 year old palms blistered and bled. You’d thought I’d been bitten by a shark, but my dad would send me back out until it was done and done right. Those are lessons that benefitted me in the toughest and most dangerous of times.
 
I don’t get today’s tenor of neither working smart nor hard. When did that become dishonorable? When did an honest day’s work get exchanged for this false sense of entitlement? When did pussyfooting around life’s responsibilities replace two feet firmly planted in reality?
 
Leave the biggest footprints you can in this life. Work so hard that they will never be filed without an equal or more Herculean effort. And when they are, make sure you acknowledge that person, who too, still honors the American ideal of honest effort.

FIT@50 / week 39

bayou bridge

FIT@50 / week 39
Let’s Walk
The water in the background is Bayou Lafourche. Growing up in Cajun Country I swam in that bayou, paddled a pirogue in that bayou, fished in that bayou and played in that bayou.
I never once in 50 years ever walked across that bayou. Not until recently. It was a Saturday festival downtown and we looked for the rare space to park.
I suggested we walk. And we did. About half way across I stopped and told Liliana Hart it was the first time I ever walked across this bayou. Of course we had to take a pic to memorialize the event that was 1/2 a century in the making.
Becoming FIT@50 I’ve stopped worrying and conquering everything in my path, squeezing into the closet parallel parking spot and getting everywhere 15 minutes early.
How many bridges are there in life that we avoid walking across because we just gotta get there fast?
It’s a simple picture on the surface, but on this Saturday afternoon I actually walked across water – Bayou Lafourche.
Do Good,
Scott
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What A Year

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What A Year

My wife and I are hustling to accomplish everything we still have on our plates. That was until I read her 2015 recap she’d prepared for a monthly newsletter. It was after reading this (below) that I realized – WOW – what a year.

Feeling like I’d neglected this blog, I looked back at some point and realized something had to give (or bend.) I’d worked so hard to build this site over the last years, but life’s demands had other plans.

It’s funny to become attached to a blog site, but I believe it’s been a natural extension of my life. I’ve introduced you to my family, my job as a Chief of Police and now an author and private business owner. You’ve traveled along my journey to turning 50, and the realization that life just gets better with hard work and a positive attitude.

My goal for 2016 is to return here. I look forward to seeing you and to meeting new friends. I also wanted to include this annual recap from Liliana Hart.

Merry Christmas,

Scott

2015 At A Glance

by Liliana Hart

January – I had no idea what was in store when the year started! RILEY: FIREWORKS released and we took a trip to Washington, DC so Scott could sit on a board of Chiefs of Police from around the country, and so I could take the Griswold tour of DC in the brief time we were there.

February – I had the honor of being asked to speak at the Library of Congress in Washington D.C. on Romance in the Digital Age. It’s one of the greatest highlights of my life. We also broke ground on our new house (whose idea was it to build a new house anyway?)

March – CRAVE released, Scott had a milestone birthday (Yay for 50!), I had a birthday (29 again!), AND we got engaged. It was a busy month.

April – I’m sure a lot of stuff happened in April. I paid taxes. I remember that much. And THE WITCHING HOUR released. After writing the tax check I went into a coma.

May – In May we headed to Dallas for the Romantic Times conference, where we both sat on panels, signed books, and had a great time with readers and friends. DIRTY DEEDS, a novella in the JJ Graves series, also released.

June – We tied the knot in June in a lovely ceremony with only our immediate families. It was a complete and total surprise to everyone but us, and it was awesome seeing the looks on their faces. Weirdly enough, we both went back to work a couple days later, but we made a weekend trip to Biloxi, and then we did a four-day bike trek through wine country in California. I didn’t die.

July­ COOPER: THE TIES THAT BIND­ released and we made a trip to New York for Thrillerfest, where we both spoke on panels and signed books. We saw Book of Mormon (which was Scott’s first musical ever), and he decided he wanted to still be married to me after it was over, so whew on that one. We took another trip back to New York the week after for the Romance Writers of America conference, where I spoke and had a lot of meetings with publisher type people. We made a second trip to Broadway to see Wicked this time. When we got back we took a family trip to Biloxi where my sisters-in-law taught me the wonders of the roulette table.

August –THE MACKENZIES: HAPPILY EVER AFTER released and we took a trip to Denver, Colorado, where we went whitewater rafting and didn’t die. We also rented a Jeep and took day trips to look at some amazing scenery. After two months of marriage, we still love each other and have discovered we don’t suck as traveling partners. My husband retired as Chief of Police at the end of the month and became a civilian for the first time in 26 years. It would’ve been a lot more convenient had I gotten my speeding ticket before he retired.

September ­– We made a trip to Indianapolis to give an all day workshop to writers. Then we traveled to the French Lick resort for a few days, where I discovered the wonders of lemon-drop martinis. Scott couldn’t wait to get out of there because the place was haunted. I couldn’t wait to get out of there because everyone went to bed at 9:00 and it was creepy.

October – We started the month by taking a team of 19 Cops in Kilts to the Warrior Dash in St. Francisville, Louisiana, where we raised a ton of money for breast cancer and got very dirty. Then we took a trip to Chicago to the International Association of Chiefs of Police conference, where my brilliant husband gave a workshop on data driven policing. Smart guys are hot, y’all. We also got the new idea for our co-authored series while touring the showroom floor, and we ate a lot of pizza.

November – This was the first month all year we didn’t travel. We sold our house in Louisiana and had to get out in just a couple of weeks, so we spent the month packing and shoving things into storage. It wasn’t until the week of Thanksgiving that we realized we should’ve waited until after the holiday was over to move out of the house. But we spent time with family and ate lots of pie anyway.

December – THE PROMISE OF SURRENDER releases, and I’m finishing up TROUBLE MAKER, which is a brand new surprise MacKenzie novel that will be out in February. It’s due December 21st, which is perfect timing because Scott and I leave for Las Vegas on the 22nd. We spent a week in Vegas last Christmas and had a great time, so we thought we’d do it again and get some adult only time in, because the day after Christmas we’re taking all the kids and our family (totaling 18 people!) to Disney World. We’ll be ringing in the New Year with fireworks at the Magic Kingdom. Pray for us.

I hope your 2015 has been as blessed as ours has, and best wishes to you all for a safe and happy 2016. I can promise 2016 will be a year of more books (including Shane MacKenzie’s).

WOW – we really were productive – Here’s to a Smashing 2016!! – Scott

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Chief Scott Silverii’s Last Day & Final Message – I’m Taking The Sign

I want to say Thank You for these last years as Chief of Police. They’ve been an amazing experience, and while times were trying, most were rewarding.

It’s a tough job. but one I’ll cherish for the rest of my days.

We’ve always made great use of social media’s power and my last official act was another fun opportunity to speak with the city that made serving them a joy.

Do Good,

Scott

Chief Scott Silverii’s Last Day & Final Message – I’m Taking The Sign

Does It Count?

If you visit with someone in your dream and it is so real that you see, smell, feel, hear and sense everything as if you were awake, does that count as visiting with them?

I’m not talking about outlandish, sci-fi, or other world experiences. I mean with people. Often I’ll meet someone and we hit it off like old friends. After a few quick comments, we begin to share testimonies in a natural flow of conversation. I always believe the Holy Spirit brings believers together.

If we can sense those transcendental connections in person, why couldn’t we experience in the subconscious or dream state?

Does It Count?

God covers all the bases.

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God covers all the bases.

Holding Max while he sleeps, I miss my mom more than ever. Always wishing that he could’ve known his “Nonny,” breaks my heart. For most of his young life I seldom mentioned my mom—speaking her name remains painful.

As he matured I began to talk about “Nonny” and show him pictures. She was a God-loving, gentle soul. They would have loved each other.

After 20 years unmarried, I finally began to pray for a wife because God placed that desire on my heart. It took over a year of faithful prayer to meet the woman God chose for me.

Last year we began merging family visits and activities. Her mom also came to visit on one of the early trips. Guess what they  call her?
“Nonny”

God covers all the bases.