family, perspective

Bad Things Happen In Sets of Three

I have been told over the years that things happen in sets of three. Mainly it’s been around death that I was told groups in threes. I haven’t really dwelled too much about it over the years because it hasn’t been so close to home.

This week life shook me a bit. First the death of a colleague from a not so distant past. He lost his battle with cancer. In his prime he was healthy, fit and the life of the party, many gatherings which I attended with him. As I watch the tributes to him online I have both happy and sad emotions. Why did the world lose such a bright spirit? Why did he exit in what seemed like a long and painful way?

Only a few days after, one of my bright-spirited friends lost her dog. This passing may seem trivial to some but this was her child. The trusty companion had been through schooling, marriage, death and even a pandemic over some 15 years of dog life. I’m sure age was the factor here but it doesn’t make it easier. Saying goodbye to a life companion is hard. So very hard.

Hours later as I write this entry my dad is clinging to life in his own aging battle with dementia. The word is that his time could come in hours or days. Just not sure. Is this the third in the set of three this week? Does knowing make it easier? Are we ready for the passing of such an important family member? So many questions.

Death is unfortunately part of life. Tomorrow is not guaranteed for anyone. As I deal with the loss of the week and the pain of life I also thrust forward to see new light. What’s around the corner? What can I be thankful for? How can I keep pressing on?

I don’t shift focus to diminish the loss, rather I use the experiences to strengthen my stride in life. To live as much as possible in the time I have ahead of me. It’s these defining moments in time that I have to find a way to make an impact to honor the life lost. There isn’t really a roadmap to doing so. I just follow my heart.

The clip below spoke to me as I wrote this post and thus I am sharing it with you.

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As I think of funerals today and how they are so different I opted to write this short story to honor not only my connections who have suffered losses but all those who endured a loss and pushed through the new normal of saying goodbye in these pandemic times. Whether it was a zoom wake/funeral or immediate family only gathering, grief and goodbyes are never easy.

In closing, I hope my dad musters the strength to push forward for selfish reasons, but in reality I want him to spread his wings with the angels to take away the pain and suffering of his final days. If he becomes three it was meant to be.

perspective

Value

I have thought a lot about value in the past few weeks. A few articles I have read, some life experiences and then some other circumstances pushed the value proposition in front of my eyes again. Below is my take on my value perception today.

My first note is relating to essential jobs and the current state of the employment scenario. Many teachers, caregivers, grocery clerks, nurses, among others are female. It appears there is a shift in roles on the employment side that reflect more women in the workplace are noted as essential. How do we value these roles and the dual nature still expected on the home front as teacher and cook and so on? My perception is many overlook this value on the home front. I could be wrong or I should say I hope I am wrong but time will tell.

Next up is the value of independence. My perceived value of independence is off the charts. When it comes to my kids I think they need to be self-reliant when they enter adulthood. They need to independently seek answers to find solutions to problems they didn’t anticipate in life. This is ever so important now because we are in unprecedented times. There is no roadmap. We need to teach our kids to bend and flex so they have value in times like this.

A different example of independence would be relating to getting time to do things on your own. Being able to spend money on your own. Make decisions independently. Whether you you are a homemaker, student, or bread winner in your family having the opportunity to spend independently has value. Limits can be set on amounts but there is a huge value in independence from a financial or recreational perspective.

Moving on, self worth is an area some overlook. The value set on oneself is extremely important. In a household, if one spouse devalues another there is a rippling effect that can take shape amongst the ranks of a family. Each person within a family needs to know their value. Each amount may be different but if one doesn’t articulate their value it could be overlooked.

This has surfaced a few times for me when I look at role reversal during corona. A once male-dominated family may be more reliant on the female spouse income during this turbulent time. That is a big value in that family now, to maybe have health insurance and steady income from the grocery clerk job. That value might have been overlooked in the past or maybe thought of as a hobby. Either way it should be noted even if temporary.

Finally, self care including fitness, friendships, healthy eating and so on. Self care ties into so many aspects of life. One must feel good in their own skin to support others. One must be in good mental, physical and emotional shape to endure critical times such as corona that make one dig deep to navigate troubled waters. Self care has a value that many overlook. Poor decisions in the past may lead to painful times today. Don’t underestimate the value of self care especially in today’s environmental conditions.

Value is everywhere. The examples above are not all-inclusive. Look around your world and define not only your value but those around you. Think about independence, self care, contributions and communicate with your tribe. Set a plan for yourself in the not-so-distant future to grow your personal value. Share your growth with others.

Don’t be a discount coupon in life. Don’t let somebody redeem a lesser value for you. Demand premium value for you. You are always worth top dollar!

perspective

The Offer

The offer came with sacrifice. The offer on one side looked good. The offer on the other side looked rather different. How does one decide to accept or deny the offer? One decides with careful consideration I hope.

Now the offer type doesn’t really matter. It could be a new job offer. It could be a promotion offer. It could be a relocation offer. It be an offer to buy a home. It could be an offer to buy a car. At the end of the day an offer is just that. An offer!

An offer can be accepted. An offer can be rejected. An offer can be counter offered and/or negotiated. In any offer there are various parties involved. It’s a transaction of sorts.

For my example here I will use the sports team offer. I coach a competitive-level team thus I extend offers for kids to play on my team based on skills, talents and overall spots available on my team. Not everyone gets an invite. The main reason being there are normally more applicants than available spots. Just like the job market. More candidates than openings.

When offers are extended one person could be overjoyed by their offer and another could feel like the offer is not reflective of their worth. If one accepts the offer and one denies the offer, should there be any negative feelings toward the one who denied the offer?

In my mind the answer is a big fat no. An offer is made and the other party has a choice to take the offer or decline the offer. It’s pretty simple.

I recently had a property for sale. I got an offer to buy it. I didn’t like the offer. I provided a counter offer. This is customary in a real estate transaction thus it’s noted as generally acceptable to deny or counter offer. This also reflects my perception of my property’s value. It may even have some emotions involved in the decision if I had owned the property a while.

As a person, if I applied for a job and I received on offer but the compensation wasn’t enough to pay my bills, meaning it wasn’t a good fit, would my friends be disappointed if I didn’t take the offer? It would 100% be my choice so I would think not, unless one of those friends was assisting me financially. In that case a friend may think I should take the offer as some money is better than no money. If the company was disappointed, I would just be honest with my reasoning and let them know if budget money frees up to call me back. This 100% has to do with my personal value and how I would not settle for less than what I thought I was worth.

Circling back to the sports team example, if I was the coach of a high school soccer team and I offered a slot to boy A on varsity and a slot to boy B on junior varsity should there be any worry that one may deny my offer to either team?

I wouldn’t think so because as a coach I know I made offers to the players I thought were best for varsity. If the varsity player declined their offer, I would have a runner-up or next-in-line person to offer the open slot to. If on the other hand, the junior varsity player didn’t accept their offer what would I do?

Nothing. I would do nothing unless that person asked what they could do to get better for the next tryout. I would only provide those details if I was probed. The offer was denied thus I would move on until the next review of open slots next year.

At the end of the day offers get made in so many areas of life. The sooner we all learn that we can’t win all the time the better. Finally the Patriots football team/fans learned that lesson before another Super Bowl this year. It is also important to learn that we should never judge another until we have lived a day in their shoes.

The emotional aspect of the house sale could have to do with a family member being deceased and the only memories left were made in that home. How do you put a value on that?

The emotion involved in the job scenario could be how hard the person worked professionally to reach a certain pay level yet the job offer was below the minimum threshold that person set for themselves.

The emotion behind the JV offer could be that their best friend made varsity and the other person didn’t think the game would be fun without their bestie. Or maybe it was a set of identical twins and one made varsity while the other made junior varsity. How tricky would that scenario be?

Life is tricky. Balance is important. Understanding and valuing the other side of an equation and offer can sometimes get missed especially when emotions are high. Remember no good decision is made when emotions are high.

Always take time. Maybe 24 hours to evaluate offers to see the pros and cons before making a rash decision. I know when dealing with real estate offers they are time sensitive yet the time allows for consideration.

This post spurred from a couple of online articles relating to high school sports, the value of a coach and also the lack of sincerity of coaches who make cuts! I’m a coach. I make cuts. It’s not easy but I normally have reasons. Some may agree with me some may not. That’s life.

When I read negative articles I often try to put myself in the other person’s shoes and wonder how this situation has impacted them. I then reflect and take action as needed. I wish more people did that vs. casting judgment.

I also took action after reading the articles and let my daughter’s basketball coach know how much I appreciated her time and coaching of my daughter. A good coach can help grow confidence and further passion of an activity or sport. A coach who only cares about winning can knock down a player’s confidence in a pinch and simultaneously instill a dislike for the sport once loved.

Just a night of reflection and writing time for me. It is my hope that this blog reaches someone who needs to hear this message:

You define your personal value.
You are a reflection of yourself, make yourself proud.
You say yes or no to all things in life.
You can grow from adversity.
You can win if you choose to win. It’s all about choices in life.

We all make mistakes. We all have the ability to bounce back after crazy times ensue. Will you take the next offer if it’s lower than you hoped for? What would you gain from taking a subpar offer?

In home sales if an offer seems inferior you may have to step back to evaluate deeper. If you have to pay x more dollars for three months while you get a new offer was the first offer that bad? Decisions, decisions.

Life is full of decisions, opportunities, curve balls, and offers. You will never make all the right choices. But one can always learn from missed opportunities. Life is a gamble.

Keep gambling!