FIT@50 – Week 93: It Feels Good

How do you encourage your kids to lean on the truth?

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 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 73

FIT@50 / week 73

Kinda Weird:

We came back to Louisiana for a few days while the kids were tucked away at summer camp. There were things left to do right before school resumed. Had it been notebooks and rulers, we would’ve knocked out quick. It was more involved – it’s always more involved.

Thanks to an unscrupulous builder (much more on that later) we’ve no base camp with Max heading back to the grind next week. With the helpfulness of our community, finding digs was no problem.

For now, Liliana Hart and I are checked into a hotel. It’s nice, but it’s a local hotel. One night we decided to walk across the parking lot to the Sonic for a snack. A big cup of ice cream type of snack.

It was super humid with the stale scent of impending rain wafting through a windy night. I walked to the big order screen and mashed that iconic red button. Soon we were recipients of late-night goodies.

As I looked around the parking lot, it fell over me like a moist sheep’s skin just out of the microwave – Reality.

“You know, it’s kinda weird.” I mused.

“What’s that?” Liliana replied with the expectation of never knowing what I’m about to say.

“It wasn’t long ago that I was the Chief of Police here. Now, I’m living in a hotel room and walking across a vacant parking lot for ice cream.”

She huffed, “True. I bet people would think, man, the Chief fell on hard times.”

Walking back while wishing I’d worn a tugged down baseball cap, I thought about how different my life is versus the way it recently was. Then I thought about why it mattered if people saw me walking back to a hotel room in my own home town. I was with my wife after all.

About half way through the rain puddled parking lot, and just as I fished out the last pieces of Snickers topping my ice cream, the realization returned.

I really didn’t care.

I was in a city I love, with the woman I love, eating the snack I love. Matter of fact, even the late summer’s humidity was nice to soak in once again as we kicked through warm rain water.

Come to think of it, it really doesn’t matter who you were or what you did or where you did it. What really matters is that you did your best while doing it, and now you get to enjoy life because of the effort once given. Even if it means walking from your hotel room to push the red Sonic button.

Do Good,

Scott

Chief Scott Silverii, Ph.D.

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FIT@50 / week 67

FIT@50 / week 67
Just Do It:
 
I can tell you that the last place you would have found me on a Thursday night is the opera house. Yet, guess where I spent Thursday night? Yep, downtown Dallas at an opera house.
 
Liliana Hart and I do lots of things for and because of each other. We’re a team, and it’s what we do. But when it comes to finding something that five very different kids agree on, she and I have learned to just do it.
 
So when she nudged me and the boys off of the pergola following our summer Insanity workout session to shower for the opera, I was a little less than enthused.
 
Max had a walking boot on after a not-so-well thought out jump from atop an eight-foot stone wall that surrounds our property. The going was like molasses through the snazzy crowd of cocktail and wine drinkers.
 
Perched up in our fancy opera seats so the girls and Liliana Hart could absorb the spectacle of what was Beauty and the Beast, the boys and I intermixed distractions, snacks and interests.
 
I really didn’t want to be there. Really, I didn’t.
 
Then I snapped this pick of who I thought were my accomplices in malcontent. Their expressions showed me what I suspected all along. That it really didn’t matter what the whole of our family did, as long as we did it together.
 
So, I’m even more convinced that whether it’s the opera, the beach or the kids singing show tunes, it’s best to just do it. And to be honest, it wasn’t half bad.
 
Do Good,
Scott
In case you missed last week’s FIT@50 & Please Join me on Facebook.
 

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 63

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FIT@50 / week 63

Retired Watch:

I’ve worn this watch for many years. It’s probably not worked more often than it has.
Yet, I wear it without fail. Why?
It’s what I’ve tried explaining to Liliana Hart for years.

This watch has been with me through the best and worst times in my life.

While strapped around my wrist, it has hugged my sons, been complimented by a United States Attorney, swam miles in pools and open water, endured years of graduate school, survived bullets zipping by, attended funerals of my closest friends, traveled across country and abroad, and attended my wedding among just a few experiences.

Mostly, this watch has dutifully been there whether it kept time or not.

It’s been more about sentimental memories than the practical need for time keeping.

Why?

Why am I retiring it today? Like many decisions in life, it’s just time to do so.

Unlike ceremonies involving the awarding of a watch for retirement, the reverse is going to happen. It’ll just be left somewhere between Maui and home.

Where?

Where? It’s not overly important or geographically symbolic. It’s just a place to leave it like there was an original place I first fastened it years ago.

I also decided it was best to leave it as opposed to storing it in a dresser at home.

Why? This watch has been through too much to just sit in a drawer. It deserves better – broken or not.

Who?

Who knows, maybe someone will also enjoy it. After a trip to a watch repair of course.

Do Good,
Scott