This blog is a collection of stories on the ordinary days of today and a documentary of the days of the past. Thank-you for reading and allowing me to share. Enjoy your ordinary days and hopefully the bits and pieces of mine will resonate with the moments in your lives that bring you happiness.
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November 26, 2014: Joy
My kids are so different. By now my oldest son has viewed the above picture and is rolling his eyes. Although Zach is a man of few words, I know what he is thinking.
"Time to close the yearbook."
Ben holds on. Zach moves on. And Grant is now smack dab in the moment.
As I drove home from work yesterday, I watched the sun set on a cool fall night and remembered the same drive a year ago. Instead I was driving to my son's state championship football game in Lincoln.
Fast forward a year, Ben is now graduated and in college. And Skutt is back in Lincoln, playing for a back-to-back state championship.
I teared up as I drove. Great memories poured into my mind and into my heart. No doubt it was a memorable night.
Now that I can reflect on a win and a great night, I can also share a personal confession.
I was not the good mother cheering from the stands. Instead I sat in the bathroom and paced the interior halls by the concession stands during the entire first half of the football game. My son was gracing the field of Memorial Stadium. A high school boy's dream. And his mother couldn't find the nerve to watch.
As I sat in a bathroom stall gripping my scapular (prayer rope), I got a text from Garrett.
"Great interception, Ben!!!!"
I excitedly responded, thanking him for the news. Confused, Garrett inquired why I didn't see it.
"I'm in a bathroom stall" was my response.
"NOOOOO....go watch the game" prodded my soon-to-be husband.
But I couldn't do it. I was too nervous and a believer in karma. Skutt was ahead. Re-entry into the stadium stands could potentially throw the game. So I paced by the concession stands and I watched on the strategically placed television screens. And Skutt continued to dominate.
By half-time, my nerves were calmed. I felt safe to join the Skutt crowd. And then we won. Tears and hugs filled with joy followed and were abound in the stands and on the field. Although I wasn't physically participating in the first half of the game, I felt that the contributed karma from my clinched scapula and pacing the innards of Memorial Stadium had paid off.
Fast forward a year. You now have my first confession from last year. All sugar-coating aside, I spent the first half of my son's state championship game hiding in the bathroom and hanging with the concession stand workers.
Today's confession is that I cried a bit as I remembered the game. And the tears weren't from the small bit of the game that I saw live, it's what I saw after. The joy of the win. Watching my son, his coaches, and teammates sharing this moment was unforgettable.
As drove I home yesterday, cherishing this memory with welled up eyes, I called Ben. As any good mother would, I wanted to share with him my reliving of the moment and to tell him I was tearful.
"Why are you crying, Mom? Are you sad?" asked my college son, now eons away from his high school years.
What I told him was the truth. And it was far from sad. My tears were happy.
As I reflected on that glorious night, I remembered a full heart bursting with happiness. I watched my son and his team feel immense joy. There is no better feeling as a parent than to watch your child experience joy...raw, pure, beautiful joy.
That was it. That was how I felt. My tears stemmed from knowing Ben would have this memory forever. And that made me very happy.
Whether reward for hard work or the joy of unconditional love from a soul mate, a parent's heart fills watching our children experience happiness and joy. When it is earned with their dedication and hard work, it is simply bliss.
So that's what I told Ben. I was tearful in remembering that happy time, knowing that he would cherish that win and that memory forever.
His answer to me...
"Mom, I think Grant's team is good enough to make it to state his senior year. Just think, you can do it all over again in three years and Grant can win a championship too!"
Close the yearbook or not, I do love this kid's positivity. Yes, Ben, I wish for Grant the same joyful experience. And next time I will try to sit in the stands and stay out of the bathroom for the first half. But the prayer ropes will definitely stay in my pocket.
(And a big congrats to the Skutt Skyhawks for another state championship win this year. I KNOW your parents are sharing in your joy with you :))
In Dr. Seuss' language, my thoughts on the day would go something like this...
"You have a brain in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. Unless someone truly cares an awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not."
Well, I will just sum it up by saying that today certainly wasn't an ordinary day, but I will accept that. Life is full of changes, good and bad.
Sometimes the toughest part is figuring out if life shake-ups are truly a good or a bad thing. Personally, I have found my biggest life challenges have turned into opportunities. Doors opened to new people and adventures. A new chapter in life.
I am bullish in my view that this will be the case once again.
When the unexpected creeps into the door of normalcy, the best response is not one of self-doubt, anger, or fear. The best response is gaining perspective and self-awareness.
Time flies when you're having fun.
And when you're a little busy.
This morning Garrett asked me when I last wrote a blog.
"It's been a while" was my answer. Upon further review, it's almost been over a month.
I've had no reason for the delay, other than the combination of being busy and knowing the content of which I wanted to write warranted more time and thought than my more typical whimsical stories told. Although I have had an arsenal of stories that I have wanted to write about over the last month, I knew that this one needed to top my list.
A common question asked of me is in regards to my work life is "Sandy, what exactly are you doing these days?"
This is a valid question since I have been very open in sharing my work journey over the years through my blog. And I've had a career that has gone from very conventional to unconventional. It's much easier to say "I work for XYZ Company and my job title is Chief Do-Something-Spec…
A picture is worth a thousand words. But let's start with six...
"And they lived happily ever after..."
I bought this little sign more than seven years ago. It caught my eye at Target while shopping for milk and kitty litter on a weekday school night. The boys were in varying grades in school and I was single-handedly running my daily household.
Recently divorced, I was also dating a man from Denver. Garrett. Our relationship felt like forever, but the 550 miles between our homes was a stark reminder that our long-distance relationship was more like a fairytale than reality. We were reminded of this frequently by the people who knew us best.
"Guard your heart. Long distance relationships rarely work out."
"You are both good people, so be realistic in where this is going."
But the funny thing about love is that no matter how practical-minded or mature your mindset, your heart guides you to places that are scary to others, but quite comfortable for you…