FIT@50 / Week 89: Thanks, Thanksgiving

FIT@50 / Week 89: Thanks, Thanksgiving

Earlier this week I’d posted a question about fried or baked. I received plenty of comments that not only left me hungry, but realizing there are many more ways for preparing a turkey.

The next day I asked if you could have anyone – past, present or future join you for Thanksgiving, who would it be. I first expected to get answers like George Washington, Jesus, and Tom Brady.

Instead, the outpouring was so emotional, I once considered removing the question from my feed. Then I considered that everyone was only expressing what they felt most deeply in their hearts.

Deceased and estranged parents, siblings, spouses, children, in-laws, grandparents, friends and loved ones lost way too early or who had grown way too old.

It first felt like a punch in the chest as I read every one of the responses. I thought about my mom who I would’ve loved to have met Liliana Hart and Max. Next I thought about my dad who passed in September, who had it not been for the ravages of dementia, would’ve loved knowing Liliana Hart better and enjoying a little more time with Max.

Then the wrenching of my feelings turned to empathy for all of us who’ve lost uniquely special people in their lives. People who enriched us if by only their mere presence, and not by their bold actions.

I was reminded by so many answers that a deeper lost was felt for those unknown, never known or passed without passing paths. The spouses who never met their in-law, or the adult whose grandparent died long before they were conceived.

Greater still were the wishes of spending a day of thanks with angels miscarried, aborted or taken back into the merciful arms of Christ before reaching an age of accountability.

It was a humbling day of thankfulness, but for so many like myself, it’s also a day of re-mourning, regret, wishful wishes and realizations of never will be’s. But, by the grace of God, it is well with my soul, as I trust it is with yours.

I don’t regret asking that simple question, and I do rejoice in the responses, who instead of harboring the sadness of loss or missing, chose to share not only their replies, but their memories with everyone else. Isn’t that one of the most wonderful ways of ensuring they actually did spend the day with you?

This Thanksgiving was a bit different for Leah Silverii & I, but what looked like a doomed day inside a cross-country airplane ride, ended with leftovers at family and one excited Max. For that, I am also thankful. So here’s to getting through the day with a grin to end the night.

Thanks, Thanksgiving.

Do Good,
Scott Silverii

FIT@50 / week 77


FIT@50 / week 77
It Just Is:
Ever notice when you’re questioning one of the kids about something, they stick to one reply, “It just is,” like a politician testifying before Congress. Chat with the youngster long enough and you’ll find yourself under a barrage of questions. To which you’ll default, “It just is.”

This week has been extra busy and stressful in the household. Leah has a huge book deadline, kids are in full school swing, I had a flight, and then a flight and then a flight to do everything from a tax meeting to pick up Max before heading back to Dallas.

Leah posted to social media about how great I’d been this week. My first reaction was “it just is.” As in it’s what you do for family, and then I pounded my chest in the sport of manly points earnings.

But her post didn’t stop there. More important than all of the nonstop get and go was that it was Leah’s dad’s birthday. He’d passed away a few years back.

I was busy out of state and was floored when I read her post thanking me for being there to pick up the slack while she focused on meeting her deadline. She also posted, as she’s said before how she wished he and I had known each other.

I felt like a heel. Sure it’s easy to get on a plane, and shake a few hands, and sign papers and be here and there and anywhere whether it’s teaching the boys how to freestyle, or picking one up after band.

What I should’ve come through on was remembering it was her dad’s birthday and the way it devastates her each year.

We started an outreach about a month ago for divorced folks, single parents and remarried couples working to make it work this time around. First marriages are tough. They fail over 50% of the time. Subsequent marriages fail about 63% and fail exponentially greater as they go.

What I’ve learned as I’ve grown FIT@50 is that communication is key. But there’s more to it than waiting for the other person to stop talking, so you can start. Active listening is a better term. While I tuned it to the task list of what to do, I should’ve sought her heart’s beat for the list of how she feels.

Well, her book’s almost done, the kids are in class and at least one little boy is happy to be away from his other Louisiana home near the Gulf of Mexico. As for me, I’m still learning. Maybe we all should keep an ear out for each other’s internal voice.

Do Good,

Scott

FIT@50 / week 76

FIT@50 / week 76
Not There:

I’m prompting Max to prep for bed. While it takes a little longer, he eventually gets there. I finally warned him with a stern wag of my finger to wrap up the tub time. I came back in his bathroom after sorting his school clothes and he had a head of hair slathered with Old Spice body wash.

I grunted, “No. Not there.”

He proudly continued to rub it over his head. It never registered with him that what he was using was body wash and not shampoo.

“See.” He proudly held a bright yellow hand towel up and ran it through his hair to rinse it. “I wash.”

I dropped to my knees next to the tub in half prayer / half guilt for over reacting to the infamous Old Spice mix up. The thing was, it wasn’t a mix up, and it wasn’t a big deal. It was Max doing his best on his own to scrub up for another day at school. He was not only proud of his accomplishment, but also boasted a savory scent of grandfatherly masculinity.

After he was tucked in and off to sleep, I joined Liliana Hart in the living room to catch up on writing. I began to think about what I said to him, “Not there.” With my one year anniversary of my retirement as Chief of Police, I mused over that comment.

What if I’d listened to that same comment at times in my life? Admittedly, there were occasions that I should’ve known and heeded the warning, but we’ll save those for another less-public forum. I’m talking about people in your path, that for the sake of conformity or custom, tried to divert your direction in life.

What if I listened to the “voice of reason” when I wanted to enroll in graduate school in my forties after having been away from college for twenty years. What if I listened to the “friends” who thought I should’ve stayed in my position before becoming Chief of Police because it was safe and protected. What if I listened to a room full of “detractors” laughing at my first attempt to publish a book, and not because of the content, but that I’d dedicated it to my best friend who had always encouraged me during graduate school although he’d dropped out in eighth grade.

Finally, what if I listened to myself when God said it was time to retire. He didn’t mince words. It was clear, but I rationalized by looking at retirement and saying,
‘Not there,” for almost a year. What if He’d listened to me and said, “Okay, you’re on your own.”

While there are wonderful people offering wise counsel, do yourself a favor and weigh what they have to offer by what is right, what is important and what is yours. Even if the person you should ignore is you.

Being FIT@50 means I get to sit here in peace without the world’s problems being my problems, and Max gets to go to class with magnificent smelling hair.

Do Good,
Scott
Chief Scott Silverii, Ph.D.

FIT@50 / week 72

FIT@50 / week 72
Release, Relief, Renew:

Talk about a week for the books. This has been one emotional roller coaster for Liliana Hart and I. Maybe more like that ride that spins and you’re in a tea cup until you vomit. No, that’s not the ride. I really don’t know much about rides because they scare me. The same way Liliana scares me the week of a new novel.

We survived the release of her 47th title on Tuesday. Barely.

We cut our European adventure short to head home for catching up on lots of work. Instead, we discovered why we travel so much. It really stinks not having the kids at home. Sure it’s quiet, and we can stay up or sleep as we wish. There are no house chores or responsibilities other than paying the yard guy with exact cash.

As fate would have it, we scored an early return of four kids, and meandered through a series of cancelled and delayed flights to round out the team with Max. Who would’ve imagined it last week, but the band was back together.

Within the context of our crew, we focus on doing things with one or two of the kids in one-on-one activities. I risked personal safety by asking the 14 year old if she wanted a driving lesson. Before I could finish asking, she’d thrown on both sneakers and was down stairs waiting by the door. I wish she moved like that for Sunday morning church.

I’ll admit, not having had a daughter, I’m kind of at a loss around the two girls. We really had a great time. She, because she was driving, and me because I was alive. I also kicked it with the little dudes almost every day this week by running errands and an orthodontist visit.

There’s something about making decisions when it’s not your mouth stretched open with metal extractors. But, I either approved more dental work, offered the staff tickets to a Rangers’ baseball game, or put the youngest on the market for adoption. I told them Liliana would call later to straighten things out. Three days later and a van keeps driving by the house playing nursery rhymes. She’d better call quick—I’ll miss that little dude.

Finally, tonight all four of us guys headed to Gateway Grand Prairie church for their Top Gun themed men’s night out. Zip lines, dessert trucks, volleyball and a worship session that began with guitars ripping on the movie’s soundtrack. Now that’s church. We high-fived and ate ice cream until it was time to drag it on home. Totally exhausted is the way to end a Top Gun night. Funny part was when I snarled, “Yeah, Top Gun” and they all shrugged while waiting for more ice cream. They’ll learn about Maverick one day.

Reflecting on this week, I cherish the moments that have made it so special, but I dread admitting the reality. Truth is, this is our last week of summer all together. Max goes back to school on the 8th and the others head off to a camp all week.

Liliana and I joke about how nice it is while they’re in school. We get so much more work done that way. What I’ve learned getting FIT@50 is that it isn’t about the work produced but the family moments created. I am thankful for a week that included a major book launch, early returns of the kids and surviving driving school. The landscape will look drastically different next week, but no worries. Faith says push forward, and push forward we shall do.

Until next week, “I feel the need. The need for speed.”

Do Good,
Scott Silverii

 In case you missed last week, here you go. Remember to please visit and like my Facebook page for updates

FIT@50 / week 65

Family Vacation
FIT@50 / week 65
It’s Because:
Guys, this week has been so incredible. It was actually after 11:00pm before Liliana Hart reminded me it was Friday and that I’d forgotten to post my FIT@50. That’s just how amazing this week has been.
This was our first family vacation since Disney last Christmas. We swam, BBQ’d, go-carts, arcades, stayed up watching movies, and ate bacon late at night (don’t ask).
It was also our anniversary (I remembered)
Memories from my childhood were so strong this week as I watched the kids stumble sleepily into the kitchen for breakfast, or sprint along the sun-soaked boardwalk for the beach, or snuggle next to each other beneath cool sheets for a movie.
I reveled in how much fun we had although there were so many different personalities, interests and expectations. I also wondered how Liliana Hart and I pulled it off.
Then I looked back at a post my friend Todd Prevost shared of a picture our SWAT unit took in 2003 at the completion of one of the most grueling trainings I’d ever attended. It hit me.
I realized “It’s because.”
It’s because in my youth, my dad would teach the school year and then take a summer job so he could treat our mom and us seven kids to a family summer vacation.
It’s because my mom valued what was vital at the time and stayed home to raise seven kids despite barely scraping by on our dad’s school teacher salary. Of course back then parents didn’t treat their kids as their friends or equals, so lack of money was never discussed in our presence – focus on family was.
It’s because in my career I’d known people who valued protecting families, not just theirs. They would commit to duty on nights, weekends and holidays to ensure other people’s families were as safe as their own.
It’s because I worked in difficult assignments with amazing public servants who although loved their families, always set their personal satisfactions aside for the sake of allowing others the time off to share special occasions with family.
It’s because even after being divorced for almost 20 years, and losing my way, that an amazing woman found something deep inside of me that she felt was worth loving – my desire for family.
Do Good,
Scott

 

FIT@50 \ week 13

2015-06-07 22.44.18

FIT@50 \ week 13

Sacrifice: Putting Others First

WOW, what a week of being FIT@50. I got married—how cool is that.

Liliana Hart​ and I had planned the wedding months in advance, but even before that, we had options to throw any size event, anywhere we wanted. The choice was simple – lets do this for our families.

Putting others first was the right decision. Our kids come after God, so to make sure not only the young, but the not so young could join us, we stayed in our hometown.

There were five other people on this planet involved in the planning. They too chose to put others first, because they were kind enough to honor our request and not let a word slip about our surprise.

I believe because we chose to put others first, the wedding went off without a hitch. It included our most favorite things: Family, food and cake. I’ll confess that when it came time for cake, I did put myself first.

The bible encourages cheerful giving – that includes giving of yourself for others. Sacrifice: Putting Others First

Do Good,
Scott

FIT@50 \ week 13