author moments, travel

Local Symbols

On a recent trip to wintry Utah, we walked through a forest of aspen trees. Our guide on the adventure talked about the way the trees are all connected through their root systems. Utah has the aspen tree as a state symbol. It is meant to remind that we all connect through our roots. We are all interdependent and intertwined. We depend on the same earth for nourishment and sustenance. We are inseparable from one another in meaningful, sometimes hidden ways.

And still, each tree comes up as an individual. We all appear to stand on our own, with our own strength. Don’t forget your roots, though. Those connections make it harder to pull us out of the ground.

As I walked through a souvenir shop in the same town, I saw a sign on the back of a display…Utah is the Beehive State. My travel buddy had wondered at the strange almost poo-like shape on road signs…now the answer! A beehive. I said something to the shop owner and he chimed in about the origins of the symbol which came with the early Mormon settlers. The hive speaks about working as a unit. Staying together. Creating a sweet reward at the end. The land of Milk and Honey.

In a time where a feeling of community often seems lost, both of these symbols stuck with me. So too did each of the people who shared their meanings with such confidence and eloquence. We are all connected and working together seems necessary to make things that are beneficial and meaningful. A couple of random insights from recent travels.

author moments, awareness, challenges

It’s Been A Week

This week is one for the record books. 

So much to do in my own day-to-day life. The normal tasks. The one-off tasks. The fitness regimen. The community service. The people time. Travel. Life a-z. Then a boom hits. A real shocker nobody could ever plan for. Indirect connection. Direct connection. Neither matters when the boom is so hard the shock wave spirals for miles and miles. That’s what happen when a child dies that is interwoven in communities near and far due to school, church and sports connections.

My community is mourning the loss of a young girl. The day-to-day life seems insignificant yet life continues for our family. A guilt one should not want to feel. As a coach of young girls, I check in on social media. I text. I watch. I have to keep an eye out. I see so much hurt. I check in with other parents to see how grief is setting in on their home front. I see sadness on faces that normally boast bright smiles. I see prayer groups running non stop. Everyone is trying to get by with a little help from……

God

The community

Family

Friends

Loved ones

Many are holding on to cherished memories. Many are wondering why they didn’t get to say goodbye. Others are thinking why did I not do this or maybe why did I say that. When loss hits without warning so many raw emotions are stirred up. Time has become a thief. Time is no longer an option with that person. The loss of not doing is what is so hard.

Healing has begun for this community in some ways. No one will really ever understand the why behind this incident. None of us will really be exactly the same. Some kids will learn lessons and some will sit in the darkness for many reasons. Life is full of experiences and unfortunately death is one of them. Living through loss is where growth can happen even if it’s extremely hard in the moment. I’m learning how to be a better parent for example. I’m learning how to talk more deeply with other parents on how they are handling this type of grief and/or teaching moments.

I am however not passing judgment on the young girl. I am not passing judgment on the others involved. It’s not my place. It’s also not for me to decide who was in the wrong. My job is to be patient. To learn. To love. To be present. That’s it. Just a support role. A support for whomever needs it. When they need it. Today. Tomorrow. A year from now.

I will think of the color blue a little differently now. The baby blue hue that is a memory of her bright light on the world. A soft color to represent an angel in the distance. May her new journey be one that allows her to soar among the powdery blue skies. 

As one is set to be layed to rest. I pause. I reflect on my choices. My guidance to my kids. This could be me. This could be you. This tragedy can happen in your community. Teens are not invincible despite their beliefs. It’s great to feel invincible but we all know as adults how dangerous feeling invincible can be. For now I’m one of the lucky ones. I get to hug my teen. I get to continue the process of looking at colleges. I get to support my teen during this grief.

My heart goes out to the parents who don’t have that ability any longer. My strength goes out to the families whose children’s lives were spared that night. For they feel a different kind of grief and relief and guilt. My resilience is going out to the family of the one who ultimately has to face the legal system for this unfortunate situation. Another angle of this dilemma many may forget about but one that is equally challenging. Families will hurt for years to come. 

As I close my eyes to drift into a peaceful state I say a quiet prayer for all. Everyone needs something. May peace be granted to all in the ways that each needs for healing. I am also praying for healing of all involved in the other teen incidents that just happened to occur close by in the past few weeks as well.

The teen shot leaving school.

The teen stabbed with a box cutter in the school bathroom.

The football player gunned down at the mall.

Signing off as a lucky mom today. Heartbroken for the kids and families impacted by these tragedies. May this be a reminder that we as parents are not invincible. We can all be faced with that uncertainty one day. Stay humble. Be kind. Do what you can to help others. You may need the support one day.

author moments, challenges

Just Because…

Just because I can, doesn’t mean I will.

Just because I want, doesn’t mean I need.

Just because I do, doesn’t mean I should.

Just because.

Every day. Every week. Every month. Every year. We are all faced with should I? Could I? Would I? The decisions of life. Yes. No. Maybe so. I live in the world of yes most days. I don’t like no’s. And maybe so’s should always be yes if I’m asking but mostly no if somebody is asking me.

Just because.

If you want something, do you go for it?

If you need something, do you find a way to get it?

Did you ever get something, just because?

If I wanted a job, I’d find a way to get it. However today I see many who want jobs but have no will to get it.

If I want new shoes, I’ll buy them. Most times I don’t need, I just want. Definitely not practical but sometimes it’s just because. This is funny because the same folks who don’t have the will to get the job are also the same folks who will wait until their shoes are falling apart before getting new ones. I find the irony in this is I plan to have a backup in life. Whether it’s my shoes, my car or my job. Others fly by the seat of their pants. They have no plan, just because.

My just because is more about because I can, I will, I do. Others just because is more about because I can’t, I won’t or I missed out. Goals. Dreams. Desires. These are words in my wheelhouse. Limitless opportunities is what I always see.

Others see speed bumps, road blocks, and find excuses. Reasons not to drive forward. Reasons to sit in the parking lot today with no plan for tomorrow. No umbrella for the rainy day. No extra money for that special day. The longer you sit in this stage the longer you dread the future. All you will see is things you can’t have. You can’t do. You can’t achieve.

Just because.

Just because you need mental strength to battle the game of life. My opportunist self won’t let my mind loan out my precious head space to the I can’t of life. Will you let others invade your head space? Will you let your asshole boss dictate your long term worth? Will you wallow in self pity when life deals you a bad hand? Will you sit in status quo mode while those around you grow and prosper?

Just because you are at some unfavorable stage in life today, doesn’t mean you are stuck there. You just need will power, a little hope and a strong desire to change your circumstances. This all starts with your mind.

The I can do it mentality.

Just because you can.

Just because you will.

Just because you want to. 

author moments

In the Dark

It was pitch black. Nothing to see around you. The darkness of the early morning hours was compliments of blackout curtains. The room was quiet. Not a creature was stirring.

Then out of nowhere.

It happened.

The significant sound erupted.

Ah-choo! For the sneaky sneeze that snuck up on her. The bark of a cough that almost spun off the sneeze in harmony and then the more foul sound of….

A cross between a loud fart and and a shriek of a sound created when she realized she did that in the quiet room where sounds seem to echo without hesitation.

Tears of laughter begin. Oh the humility. She was beside herself. The sneeze. The cough. The fart. All sounds together. At once. She had to face the others in the room. Tears of laughter. Tears of humility. They continue for some time. What may have been nothing became something. Because she couldn’t contain herself. 

How does one explain the bodily function of a cough plus a fart plus a sneeze? Snartough is the name I made up. She snarttoughed this morning causing havoc in the quiet room. Was this a first? Will it happen again? How would you handle a situation like this?

There were no lingering smells. There were no upset faces. It happened so fast. It was just a few crazy moments in time. Three bodily functions that may never raise an eyebrow in isolation but together they caused chaos and embarrassment.

Just a random post to capture a real life experience of recent days. 

author moments

Trust

I don’t trust many people. I probably will never fully trust more than a handful of people and even then I may only trust them as far as I can throw them. I’m not bitter about trusting others due to a bad experience rather I am realistic. People are messy. Trustworthiness is almost a lost skill in todays day and age.

I may trust you to do the right thing. If you don’t do the right thing, I need to examine why. Did you have an alternate agenda? Did you lack the experience needed to make a good choice? Did you cower to another party who influenced you to do the wrong thing? Did I neglect to to set your expectations clearly on what my definition of the right thing was at some point?

Many times we choose in life. We choose right or wrong.  We choose green or blue. We choose what we so desire. My desire or choices may differ from yours. It doesn’t make my choices wrong just different. I am okay with different as long as your choices don’t impact me negatively. Somehow in life perception doesn’t always align with reality. 

Example: my friend is gay. My friend alerts family and friends. Doing the right thing in my mind means supporting my friend. Others choose differently. When my friend gets hurt I lose trust in the guilty party. My perceived good choice is noted but the reality is not all choices are the same.

This is where trust comes into play. I undoubtedly trust those who are near and dear to me over and over again. Those who offer unwavering support whether I am rich or poor. Their trust from me comes when trust is earned. I don’t set a time limit. I trust on the onset but don’t fully trust until a loyalty threshold has been met. It’s an unwritten rule in my mind.

We have to trust family at the onset but in many cases family can screw you, leading to deeper trust issues because it hurts more when family violates. I’ve seen it in my family and I’ve seen this happen in other families. One may cheat. One may steal. One may lie. Some do it all. 

On the flip side if you have my trust but lose it, there is no guarantee you can get it back. I will offer grace when I can but I can never guarantee full trust after it’s been lost. There is history. Historical data that is etched in my memories. Many deserve a second chance but some don’t. The closer you are to me the bigger the responsibility to uphold trust is. 

For example: if I trust you to be a good person and not take advantage of another and you repeatedly continue the behavior I no longer grant trust. I am always thinking one has an alternative agenda if the behavior continues.

I trust my gut often. Sometimes my gut tells me to stand clear of people, places or even situations because an environment may be toxic or hostile. In these situations I always trust my gut even if I end up being wrong. It’s just better to be safe than sorry.

Who do you trust the most?

Who is close to you that you don’t trust?

Who or what causes you to be reserved in certain situations because of trust issues? Or maybe not trust issues rather a questioning of motive or purpose that makes your trust guard to be put up?

I know many who don’t talk about trust thus I made a post. Just a thought post for you to think about.