There was a rainbow. A simple little rainbow in the sky.
How many times have we had the chance to just stop and take in the world around us?
Most of the time we let it pass on by. We don’t take any time to let the beauty of a bunch of organized colors arcing across the sky.
I wonder when other things started to take over, like Netflix or Fortnite, that drew our attention away from the wonders that surround us.
I started to look for smiling faces in the things, not people, that I see every day. It is interesting that I can see them all over the place.
The world is a pretty good place if you look for it.
I was driving home the other day from the gym with a million things on my mind. Out the window I notice that the sky was getting darker by the second. Rain started to fall and you could feel the rumbling thunder.
This scene kinda reflected how I was feeling. There was doom on the horizon. Many pending storms coming and I wasn’t sure how the heck I would make it to the other side.
Sometimes I power through it and emerge victorious on the other side. Sometimes I come out the other side damaged.
That is how I saw seeing these challenges on the horizon. I was too locked into what was in front of me to realize the obvious. So many times we only see one way, the path that is directly ahead.
I turned 90 degrees to mostly sunny and clear skies.
There is always an option. It might be a little obscured behind something but there is always another way. There are always options.
It is never as dark as it seems.
Find the joy.
I have a choice. I can stay in the storm or find a way through.
Tons of people will wish someone a happy memorial day. People of facebook will take issue with that but I’m OK with it. They say it from their heart, it comes from the right place.
There is one movie that represents what this day is all about, Taking Chance.
I never buy running gear at full price. My method is checking the racks at Marshalls and buying whatever fits. Most of my buys are a season or two out of style and some of the worst colors ever invented. I really don’t care, the stuff is cheap!
The other day I started investigating compression socks after seeing so many people run with them. I took a leap and paid full price, a shock $60 a pair.
I think I have turned a corner.
I bought a new running jacket at full price. The old one was brought in 1998. What a difference in tech and fabrics. Why have I waited so long?
Today I ran the most miles in a very long time and I can say I will be buying more of these socks. I was susceptible but I am now a believer.
I decided to give myself a big push to do something that would physically challenge me.
I have been feeling a little stuck so I thought maybe that adding a little pressure, pain and discomfort was really all I needed.
I got a little nudge from the family and a random dude at a sandwich shop. It really wasn’t anything he said, it was his jacket. His jacket was from the 2017 Marine Corps Marathon. I checked my phone and saw I could enter a lottery to get a spot. Some sites online said it was only a 15-18% chance of getting in. I got in.
It is odd to think I will spend more money than I wish to admit flying the family to DC to watch me suffer for 26.2 miles.
Right now the best part is running at about 4AM most days. It is dark and I’m completely alone. Each day that I run I feel like it is a mini vacation.
Other days, longer runs on Saturday, totally suck.
Maybe this was the little push I needed.
Don’t mistake the push as a personal issue, it is 100% work related.
The best sleep of my life has always been under the stars. Mostly I think it was due to the fact I was dead tired but there is something about the fresh air that makes you sleep deeply.
Many nights we just laid on the ground and slept. Just stopped walking and laid right down. Dirt, mud, water was the bed for the night. No tents and the only time sleeping bags were allowed it had to be 32 or below.
The only thing we carried for sleeping was our poncho liner, aka the woobie.
A poncho liner was just a nylon blanket, wicked thin and usually very old, that you could tie to your poncho for extra warmth.
I bought a woobie on ebay maybe 20 years ago because I missed having one around.
The family might have a quilt to cover up while watching a movie, I’ve got my woobie.
I can’t really articulate why I love it so much. I’m pretty sure you could ask any toddler the same question, they don’t know why but they love it.
We all need a woobie no matter how old we get.
(I sometimes wish I could bring it to work.)
I was at an elementary school today helping a few people and I spied these bottles in the corner. At first I thought it was one of those reward jars until I looked a little closer.
The jar to the far left represents how many weeks you have from birth to 18. You can figure out the rest.
She had these as a reminder of how much time she has left until her son turns 18. 52 short weeks of influence left. A tiny amount of time and a tremendous amount of influence until he leaves for whatever is next for him.
It got me thinking about the last 52 weeks of my life and this one song came to mind.
The song makes me think of my brother PT. What we wouldn’t give for just 52 more weeks or even 52 minutes.
In a blink of an eye everything changed and he was suddenly gone.
So many things left unsaid.
So many stories not shared.
Those bottles and this song has me thinking about not letting time go by without really holding on to each second.
Sometimes people say there are good times and bad, but what if they are really all good times? The bad usually fades quickly anyway.
Savor the good and it is all good.
(PS – the kids are still not allowed to use their electronic devices. savoring is wicked hard right now but I am trying.)
sometimes you need a pair of scissors.
Today was like any other workday.
Before leaving the house I use the Starbucks app to order a cold brew coffee. I love cold brew. The only thing better is nitrogen coffee. I buy that at another place from time to time. I always buy that one with cash to hide how expensive it is.
When I opened the straw I was confronted with something I had never seen before. One end of the straw was sealed shut. Shut! No using it for drinking coffee.
I could have used some scissors but I just held the straw for a while.
It spoke to me.
So many times in my life a door was closed.
That saying about a window opens when a door closes used to make me mad. It seems the people who say that are those with all the doors open.
This straw made me think of some of the Henry Rollins books that I have read. He has this saying about lemons that I just love. You can’t write it, you just need to hear it.
This straw reminded me that there isn’t always a window, sometimes you gotta make your own.
Sometimes you need to go full on Kool Aid man and crash through that wall.
It was a no technology break for the kids. Not because we are some great family or out of some desire to talk more, it was because the kids were breaking rules and being rude.
I was really hoping that after about ten days without social media, Netflix and video games the gravity of their actions would sink in.
Maybe I had forgotten what it was like to be 12 and 14. The world somehow centers on them and they don’t see outside of themselves very well.
Aidan did kinda clean his room. A tiny miracle.
Sammi is playing a board game right now with Aidan. If they actually reach the end of the game without yelling will be another tiny miracle.
I really thought it would be easier as they get older but it seems like it just gets more complicated as the year tic on by.
Nick sometimes brought his mom’s walkman to recess. It was unlike anything I had ever seen. The earbuds were just buds and the device only took one battery. I’m pretty sure it cost a fortune as there wasn’t anything else like it.
We listened to Billy Joel endlessly. Sometimes rewinding and listening to the same track over and over again.
Today I was painting baseboard listening to Pandora. Some Billy Joel song came on it and it transported me back. I hated school but hanging out with Nick made it worth showing up for.
I always thought if you had just one good friend in life it would be all be OK.
That is maybe my only regret from joining the Corps, it kinda broke something inside me when it comes to friendships. I can’t really explain what it is or what is missing. I think it is only something a vet can relate to.