Lead From The Front,
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.
FIT@50 / week 73
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.
NOTE: If you like my posts, please make sure to Like, Comment or Share them.
Unplugged & Replugged:
Last week was an amazing experience. I spent the weekend with my wife,Liliana Hart on a Trek Travels cycling trip through northern California. The grapes were the only things online out there. No cell or internet service, and the wifi was spotty to say the least.
So what did I do with my cell phone? Used it as a camera to capture pics of the beauty of our country and the fun with new friends.
I’d unplugged. And it was actually okay.
In the same week, I had a three book deal with Amazon’s Kindle World set for release. This was my biggest writing obligation to date, next to my doctoral dissertation. It required manuscript uploading, cover design downloading and entering keywords, metadata and marketing blurbs.
I’d replugged. And it was actually okay.
It’s the balance that we all seek. It’s the fine line between obsessive and unconcerned. It’s taken almost 50 years to not avoid it, but hopefully not another 50 years to embrace it.
So in this 16th week of rocking 50 years on Earth, here’s to cycling and reading – both passions I enjoy sharing with you.