March 6, 2016: It's a Wrap. Day 90

Day 90 of my '90 days off' started with a 6:00 a.m. wake-up call from our alarm clock.

Deep in sleep, I was unaware where I was at; Omaha, Denver, Remsen?

My slumber was brought back to pleasant reality with a soft kiss to my forehead followed by Garrett rolling out of bed.

Definitely Denver. And I'm an adult. Childhood years in Remsen are behind me.

Garrett worked on his computer in the next room while I finish a great book. In the dark of early morning, 'When Breath Becomes Air' lit up my iPad and my conscientiousness as I read the final words of the book as told by Paul Kalanithi and his widow, Lucy.

This book was particularly meaningful to me as I had just met Paul's family when visiting my parents in Kingman, Arizona. It covers life and death, so eloquently written by the young neurosurgeon who died just a year ago at age 39.

As a new staple in my 'must read' library, this book follows the great work of Atul Gawande. It reinforced to me how I want to spend my post-90 days; finishing the work I started over three years ago in improving the human experience in healthcare.

An 8:00 a.m. church service followed with a potent sermon centered on the theme of why Jesus wouldn't win an election today. A sentiment of moral superiority is abound in the world, both in politics and religion. Definitely not the direction set by Jesus or the Bible. But humans choose otherwise.

Life continued to happen with a call from our neighbor on one of our pet guinea pigs dying overnight. The cause was likely old age based on an anticipated short life span. Our neighbor went on to tell us how Cookie, our dog, refused to leave our house last night.

Typically Cookie happily goes to our neighbors, anxiously awaiting overnights at her home-away-from-home. Last night she refused. Now we know that she kept guard of her dying house companion. Animals have such a keen sense of all that is going on around them.

During Garrett and my ensuing bike ride through Ken Caryl and the beautiful Deer Creek Canyon, I pondered this obvious difference between animals and humans. Do humans not possess this same sixth sense as our animal friends or are they just too distracted with life to notice? I believe the latter.

With a plan to travel to Fort Collins to spend the day and night with my oldest son, Zach, a text from noted son told me to 'take our time'. I was happy to hear this was because he was cleaning up. A bachelor pad is always a scary prospect for a mom.

Ben, my middle son, and I had a brief conversation as I shared the demise of guinea pig #1 and wanted verification of his identity (George. Randy survives).

Grant, the youngest, is traveling abroad with 30 or so of his Skutt classmates. He is now in Paris. Travels through the week will include other parts of France, Rome, and Monaco.

Each of the three boys made this trip their sophomore year. As I shared some of Grant's pictures with Zach, we both marveled on how times have changed in the seven years since Zach was on his European adventure.

Zach didn't bring a cell phone (had a flip phone which he bought with his own money just the year prior) and we didn't have a single update on his trip until he hit American ground eight days after he took off. With Grant, the updates and pictures are continuous with the school and other parents' social media posts as well as a parent group text.

Even Grant is 'live' with me. I just had a text exchange with him. Mothering from across the ocean included advice on his getting some sleep.

Zach stands by the past method of after-the-fact communication to be superior to the live feeds of today. I am not going to pick a side, other than agreeing that times have definitely changed.

For those who have missed it, Peyton Manning announced his retirement today. I pointed out to Garrett that both Peyton and I will start our new chapters tomorrow simultaneously. A coincidence? I think not.

Currently it is 9:31 Mountain Time. I am watching 'The Iron Giant' in Fort Collins with Zach and his roommate, Nick. Next up on the viewing list is 'Spectre'.

Garrett and I enjoyed a fun day with Zach and Nick, eating in downtown Fort Collins and touring the local New Belgium Brewery (ending with us all going down an indoor tornado slide built for employees. very cool place).

After a full day of togetherness, Garrett has driven back to Denver while I stayed put. Tomorrow for me will be a day with Zach on his day off. Much is planned for Day 91.

My 90 day journey is just a couple of hours from being in the books (technically I have until midnight Central Time).

Many have asked me "What is this 90 day thing?" Others have wondered what big hoopla is going to happen when I wake up to Day 91 with Day 90 officially in the books.

Answer to Question #1:  The 90 day thing was not only my self-proclaimed time off from work, but it was also a sabbatical from making any major decisions. That meant I didn't answer questions on 'what's next'. I didn't know and wasn't expected to answer. This allowed me to be the avid listener while sharing life with others.

What life would look like for me, whether where or what, were questions not on the table. Because that was part of my 90 Day rule. The result was 90 days of pure joy, reflection, and resulting clarity. More blogs to come that are more specific on this subject.

Answer to Question #2: Think of my 90 day landmark as similar to the big 100 day celebration they have in grade school. It's cool when you get there, but just a milestone. Tomorrow the work begins in bringing reality to the clarity gained. A work in progress. There are 'days left in the school year' to get to the end. More to come on that as well :)

For now I will close out my night and bask in my 90 day gift to myself. A call to tell my husband good-night followed by a movie with my oldest (while perusing pictures on FaceBook on my youngest's European adventures).

Life is good indeed. On to Day 91....

Fort Collins sunset


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