February 10, 2016: Day 65

Afternoon neighborhood shooting
Day 65 was one of sharing life with an increasing awareness that there is no such thing as normalcy. That is a facade.

Quote for the day....

"Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans" ~ John Lennon
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The morning...

The listening tour continues, but only after fulfilling parenting responsibilities for my youngest son. My day started with a meeting at Skutt Catholic High School before their school day began. I am always greeted with a smiling familiar face when walking the halls on these frequent encounters. A great way to begin my day.

(90 Days Off realization #1 - Being present for young adult children is just as important now as it was they were little. Bigger kids may mean fewer problems, but the problem-solving involved typically carries higher magnitude in long-term impact. (i.e although packing diaper bags, planning naps, and choosing activities are important to the life of a thriving toddler...career counseling is always an impactful work-in-progress).)

Mid-morning coffee was with a friend who brought me great motivation and vision on life purpose. The intent of this meeting was for me to be there for her, as she had just suffered a tragic personal loss. But as with all great people we encounter in life, those of high integrity and great faith, I left as the one inspired and energized.

(90 Days Off realization #2 - Fulfilling our Godly purpose on earth, to the best of our given talents and ability, is the stepping stone to the gift of eternal life.)

The afternoon...

A session with my trainer at the gym. Garrett and I (and Grant on occasion) use the same trainer at Lifetime Fitness. He is great. This is my guilty indulgence that pays dividends back. I'm challenged. I feel better. And I enjoy the company. The community of people inhabiting the workout level have become another source of friendly familiar faces.

(90 Days Off realization #3 - Work life balance not only involves balancing family with work. It is allowing ourselves time to work on our 'person'; spiritually, physically, and emotionally. And for every individual person, this perfect balance is unique.)

Garrett's session with the trainer followed mine. I sat at home during his hour of intensity, preparing an in-depth Apple report for my upcoming investment club meeting. A perceived sleepy afternoon next to a window flooding my upstairs with winter sunshine. As I basked in the quiet of the day, I glanced at my phone checking the time against Skutt dismissal. And then I received a text...

As I sat in the comfort of my home, blocks away a someone was shooting a gun. I soon found out that blocks the other direction, the same man fled and was now holed up at an apartment complex, shooting at police officers.

Gazing out the same window that brought me comfort minutes before, I now hypothesized the shotgun-toting criminal being one of the vehicles that breezed by my home while I sub-conscientiously watched in ignorant bliss.

The outcome was very good with no injuries or death. But with the chaos that ensued the path of this deranged man came feelings of vulnerability. No one and no place is safe anymore. Exchanging texts with my son in school lock down was a stark reminder that the innocence that I felt in my own childhood continues to slip away from my own children.

I called my mom, my out-of-town kids, and gave everyone an extra hug today.

(90 Days Off realization #4 - We never know what each day will bring or God's ultimate plan for our lives. Never wait for tomorrow what you can say and do today.)

The night...

My investment group meets monthly. This month was my turn to present an in-depth analysis of my assigned stock, Apple. In addition to analyzing stock picks, sharing life with this dozen or so established women is a highlight of my month.

Without giving out ages, I will note that I am the only 'under fifty' member with a majority of the other ladies retired from esteemed careers; physicians, lawyers, journalists, business exec's, judges, and other professionals. This is a class act group who take their investing very seriously, which is evident by the long-term results.

I joined the group with some hesitation a few years ago. I questioned how I would fit in with generational differences and perceived contrasts in life priorities. What a blessing it has been to be part of this group. Every month I learn how to live life from the 'A List' of female mentors.

(90 Days Off realization #5 - Support systems and friendships come in all different forms and in unexpected places. Try new things and always be open to learning from people outside your inner circle of comfort.)

Thinking I was too busy to return a call to a friend, I was going to send a text asking for a delay to another night. And then I came to my senses. It takes the same amount of time to exchange texts as it would to just call. So I did. On my twenty-five minute drive home, we had a great discussion on the need to forgive others, both from a human and Christian standpoint. She helped me grasp my personal journey toward this tough task and I helped her. Our texts later were to thank each other for the mutual support. That's what friends do.

(90 Days Off realization #6- Forgiveness is not easy. It needs to be deliberate and requires careful reflection. Forgiveness is ultimately for 'me', not for 'them'.)

And then the night ended with a quick dinner with my husband. Always a favorite way for us to end a day. We had great conversation, catching up on our respective days, but we also disagreed on a particular matter.

I share this not to air our dirty laundry, but to be clear that life isn't always a fairy tale. Not for me. Not for anyone. Too often in life, we compare ourselves to perceived 'perfect lives' of others. I mess up. My kids mess up. And my husband and I do not always agree on everything.

As humans, we are all messy and imperfect. That is real life. The lesson to share is that each time Garrett and I work through adversity together, whether it be work, kids, or each other; we grow as a couple.

(90 Days Off realization #7 - Never go to bed angry. And just because you feel it, doesn't make it right. But if you feel it, say it. Talking things out is a great thing.) 

That's a lot of realizations for one day. A good thing.

My word for the year is 'aware' (this came from a discussion with my book club group...love my monthly eclectic groups). Being aware and open-hearted and minded to people and circumstances around me provides both clarity in my journey and revelations on the journey to come.
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A glimpse into the next few days:

Day 66 (Thursday 2/11): Travel to Denver with my husband.

Day 67 (Friday 2/12): Day in Denver with Colorado family.

Day 68 (Saturday 2/13): Travel to Chicago to meet my high school girlfriends

Day 69 (Sunday 2/14): Remsen St. Mary's Class of 85 invasion of Downtown Chicago

Day 70 (Monday 2/15): Travel back to Omaha

xoxox

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