Saturday, December 26, 2020

Sincerest Gratitude for Days Gone By

 2020 threw so much at all of us. This year was a year of complete change for each and every single person; in some way shape or form. Knowing that this dreadful year is coming to a close, I need to express my most sincere gratitude to everyone for a few things. 

 

First of all, for adapting. We learned to live with uncertainty. We learned that we have to handle all things that life throws our way. The Good. The Bad. The Beautiful. The Ugly. We learned to live through the unknown.

 

Secondly, the beauty of the human spirit. The level of resilience that we all had to learn to face was profound and inspiring in many ways. We had to learn to let go of what we knew and let live. We had to learn to work in different environments. We had to learn to create, to manage, and to love in different ways.


Finally, and most importantly, for all of the calls, texts, DMs, comments, thoughts, and prayers for myself and my family in the passing of my father. (Click Here to Learn More About My Incredible Father) I tried to keep up and respond as much as I could, but I never expected the level of outpouring that I receive from so many people. (So terribly sorry if I have yet to respond, I promise in time I will) Thank you with all of my heart - you have no idea how much it meant to me and how much it helped me in some moments that felt true missing and longing.


This blog post it to ALL of you! For everything you managed to achieve this year, or for just making it to the end of this year. I know that this year has been nothing close to “normal,” but it is the cards we were all dealt. And to be here at this moment says a lot - because we made it!

 

Yet, I still have to show my gratitude to 2020; we do not know how strong we are until we are tested in every way. Thanks for testing me, I am building strength as we speak. Happy 2021!

 

Should auld acquaintance be forgot...

And never brought to mind ...

We’ll take a cup of kindness yet,

For auld lang syne.

Monday, December 21, 2020

Mark on Our Hearts



Preface - I wrote this blog less than 12 hours after the news of my father passing away…

 

As I lay in bed, I cannot help but wonder, what is the meaning of this whole thing of life? What is our purpose here? I lay here, thinking, and now writing while feeling tremendous hurt and longing. Yet, weirdly filled with peace, strength, and focus that I have been missing for a while now.  The fact is due to our fallen world, you cannot understand sadness without experiencing joy. Just like you cannot understand joy without experiencing sadness. It’s the complexity and the conundrum of our human experience of life. It’s our ying and our yang.

 

I have eyes filled with tears over the recent loss of my dad, Craig (Friday voice… I hope you know what I am talking about!). This life event forces me to contemplate the "why;" the meaning of life. Reflecting on my dad's life and the work he did while he was here for 69 years and 19 days. I can only think of the impact he had. The vast outpouring of condolences and stories friends and family are sharing.

 

What is the purpose of this whole thing called life? I mean, let’s be real and I have said it many times on this blog - living with intentional and for the sake of time is a goal of life. Some attain it and some do not. Dad did.

 

My understanding of Dad's purpose is this…

 

Dad may not have been a touchy-feely loving type but he loved unconditionally. He loved selflessly, in the truest terms for both. In this imperfectly perfect way, natural to himself, and human. This is the perfection that he instilled in all of us, his wife, his children, his grandchildren, his friends, and his loved ones. (In fact, I am just finding the far-reaching impact that he had on so many people, this fills my heart to no end!) This is the level of kindness to one another that we should strive to achieve.

 

We may not be able to see dad or touch dad, but we damn sure still feel him. The mark that Dad left all of our hearts. That mark and his legacy never leaves us, ceases or ends, ever. (Obituary)

 

Dad - I promise you I will never forget what you told me. The duty and responsibility you placed on me in our private conversations. I feel light and clear, it does not mean I do not miss you; I always will. It means you left your mark, and that is all you wanted.


Tuesday, July 28, 2020

First Time for Firsts

Life is so full of first. First steps. First Home. First Car. First Love. First Day of School. I know I haven’t been blogging as much. I have been so busy with life that sitting down and doing what I love has not been a priority like it should have been. However, there have been some significant changes in my life over the past 90 days (more to come on those). So many firsts! First steps in new directions. I won’t go into a lot of details just yet, as I am still drafting this part of my life that I have neglected. 


The irony is that all the firsts in life have been lessons learned, both sweet and sour. But what I find most fascinating about this is as I talk to people about my life, I actually see that they project their own fears onto me. Statements like “you’re so brave,” or “I could never do that,” or “isn't that scary?” But let’s be honest first are not scary. They’re terrifying. I once read a quote that I loved: “feel the fear and do it anyway.” When I read this quote, I was in a very safe place. It is so easy for me to take heed of those antidotal sayings when you’re not in that state of mind. But when a decision must be made, and there is fear about the possible outcomes. How do you react?

 

I am not asking anyone to be on my journey of life. But I have found relative success in firsts (and framing it as an opportunity). I have found that in my life, I have taken the chance. It is kind of build into who I am. I always knew that with any real reward, this there risks. And the two, risk and reward, walk side-by-side, dancing a decisive dance around you, waiting to see how you react. I have made some decisions in the past several months, like 10 months, that have led to this very moment in time when I am still learning to accept the fear and embrace the first. The fear of moving me and my girls to North Little Rock. The fear of putting myself out there to meet new people. The fear of new roles and responsibilities as I grow in my career. The fear of leaving an employer of 8 years to see what else the world has to offer. The fear of falling in love again.

 

Feel the fear and do it anyway – they say… I cannot make anyone take the first step in a new direction. Or to travel the path less taken, but I can say from my own experience that with every step and with every first, it gets a bit easier. I am not saying that the steps get less “scary,” but I have learned to feel the fear and do it anyway. We all know that we have to take risks to receive the reward. If I frame this in a biblical context, faith, in and of itself is a risk – but what do you have to lose? Nothing really. But you do have the whole world to gain. I must say, these past few months have not been easy, but the feelings I am feeling are very real. For the first time in life, I am learning at a deeper level. I am allowing myself to let go, and live by faith and firsts, one day at a time. To let go of control and live first. To choose the necessary good of peace over unease and stress. But to feel the fear that comes with all those firsts and do it anyway.

 

Thank you for rocking with me – always!