Friday, July 29, 2016

July 29, 2016: He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother

And the road trip begins...
Purportedly I'm bossy. But that's coming from my brother. So what if I like the car at optimal temperature while we travel across Nebraska? It's not my fault that his car doesn't have a good temperature between really cold and really hot.

If you feel it, say it. So when I was cold, I told him. And when I was hot, I did the same. It's his car, so climate control is his responsibility.

But he just gave me the stink eye as we traveled west across Nebraska on Interstate 80. Acting like we annoy each other, but loving every minute of our time together on the road.

Eight hours. Three comfort stops. Two thunderstorms. And his daughter (my niece), Ky, sleeping in the back seat through it all. Matt and I just bantered in the front. Just like old times.

I love road trips. Especially with family. When Matt and Ky decided to visit us in Denver for the weekend and Matt asked that I join them for the drive out, I was all in. With my oldest brother, we typically laugh most of the time we're together (did I mention that I have soooo many unbloggable stories, like me driving him home from his recent colonoscopy??).

As opposed to all of our childhood family trips where I was placed in the middle of the back seat of Dad's sedan with Matt drawing imaginary lines which I wasn't allowed to cross, this time I got my own seat. Front seat. Passenger seat. Golden.

Time to get even for all of those years of torture in the back middle. With the invisible lines came rules....

"Don't cross or I'll punch you in the arm."

"Don't look at me!"

The torture of being the youngest sister. But this road trip....

I was the pampered queen. Paybacks.

"I'm a little warm. Can you turn it down?"

"You might want to slow down. That rain is really coming down hard, isn't it?"

Don't get me wrong. I love my brother. But I equally like to give him a hard time and one up him in our verbal banter. We experienced the joy of three siblings born within a year of each other. Now we are all grown up, but some things never change.

But we had a great time. By the time Ky woke up outside of Denver proper, we updated her on all of our antics and the drive in general. It was a good one. We laughed and laughed.

My brother is the best. Everyone who knows him, knows this to be true. We love Matt. Salt of the earth.

And know that we are having a wonderful time in Denver full of bike rides, hikes, and family time. Tomorrow we will meet up with the oldest two Lane boys in Fort Collins. Life is good.

Family is a blessing. I love mine. We are perfectly imperfect, finding humor in our little quirks. If only our third wheel, brother Mark, was here to join us. Some of my best lessons in life were learned by being sister to my brothers. Never giving me an unnecessary break, but always there for me. The many laughs we share are just frosting on the cake.

The fun part is watching our kids follow suit. Never a dull moment when we are all together and the moments I most look forward to sharing.

Me and Ky. Goal is 2 hikes each day during our time together this weekend.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

July 10, 2016: Continued Genuine Support

Today Robbie and I ran a 5K.

At 7:00 a.m.

In Council Bluffs.

And our husbands joined us. "Continuous genuine support" Robbie posted on our adventure. A true statement, although a little tongue
in cheek.

Truth be told, neither husband had planned on joining us for our little escapade. But I think they are both glad they did, as are their spousal runners.

It all started last week with some text interchanges between me and Robbie. We felt like we needed a race on the calendar. Something to keep us motivated and an excuse to run together. After some Google searching, we decided on the Beat the Heat 5K this morning. With a quick on-line sign-up, we were committed.

My next logical step was to add this event to my Outlook calendar and invite Garrett. Truth be told again, my sending the invitation is more of a placeholder to keep my husband in the loop and our calendars in sync. His acceptance of this invitation traditionally does not automatically mean he is bound to attend.

But he did accept and I did twist it a bit a week later to indicate otherwise.

Fast forward to last night. Garrett and I were winding down, getting ready for bed, when Garrett coyly asked what our next day looked like. Likely he had eyed the calendar event on his iPad.

Without missing a beat, I reminded him of the race in the morning and that we would need to get up at 5:20 a.m. Did he remember accepting the Outlook invite from me the week before? Garrett didn't remember us discussing him joining me <silence by Sandy> and then reminded me that Sunday morning was the best stage of the Tour de France. He would like to watch it live. Did he really need to go with me?

Appalled, I listed off a litany of reasons why he should...

It was the 'right' thing to do.

It would be so nice to have him there with me.

I named off everything in my elephant recollection of past undesirable events over the last six years when I accompanied him.

I threw in the fact that we hadn't done anything socially all weekend and this was our 'big event'. We were going out with Russ and Robbie, but instead of drinks and dinner, it was a run and breakfast.

And then the clincher...

Garrett: "Russ is going?"

Me: "Of course. Russ always supports Robbie on her runs. You need to be there to support me too."

<I hold my breath, not really knowing why I want Garrett to go, other than to win this battle of wills>

Garrett hesitates, but then can't help himself.

<audible laugh with accompanying eye roll>

Garrett: "You are running a 5k and it's in Council Bluffs. That's 3 miles, Sandy, and a short drive across the river. You need support for this??"

Now I do have to admit that the half-marathon in Lincoln was a bit more of an endeavor then this weekend's 5K. And it was very nice on that rainy Sunday in May to have our husbands greet us at the finish of thirteen+ miles. But it would be equally as nice to have Russ and Garrett with us this time as well.

Determined not to give in on two accounts: No forgiveness for the eye roll and breakfast with the four of us increasingly sounded like a great idea.

Me: "Yes, I do need your support. Russ gives Robbie his and doesn't even think twice about it, whether it's a 5K or a half-marathon!"

And then my husband did what he always does so well. He was kind and sweet. With a peck on the cheek, but with his eyes still laughing at what he saw as comedy in my argument, we set the early morning alarm for my race and his support.

The first alarm, his watch, went off at 4:30 due to operator error on my part (oops). I stayed asleep until the 'real' alarm at 5:20. Garrett remained up for an hour, unable to fall back asleep as he 'anxiously' awaited our big morning.

Off to the races, we picked up Russ and Robbie to begin our run/group support/social event. As Russ and Robbie climbed into the back seat, Robbie didn't miss a beat to comment on Garrett's presence.

Robbie: "Garrett, I can't believe you wanted to go. Thank goodness Sandy sent me a text telling me you were coming, otherwise Russ would still be in bed."

Garrett: "What?? Russ, were you seriously not going? Sandy said you were going to support Robbie and that I needed to do the same."

Russ: "It never crossed my mind. Never even considered it. I would have totally been in bed."

<the car erupted in laughter>

We collectively laugh, finding humor in my argument for sag support for a 5K in Council Bluffs. But no one complained as we enjoyed good lighthearted conversation during our morning drive into Iowa. The boys went to Starbucks while we girls caught up during our 3.1 mile run on the Wabash Trail. And then we all made our way back into Omaha, enjoying more good conversation and a great breakfast at the Leavenworth Cafe.

Home by 9:30 before Grant even noticed we were gone. Shower and church followed with the easiness of a laid-back Sunday morning. A great morning with continued genuine support from two great guys while running with my favorite race buddy.

A 10K is next on our race list. Likely the guys will need to get matching t-shirts for this one. Garrett's only request is that we find something in Omaha the next time around and not quite so early.

I will support him on this one.

Another race finish!

Thursday, July 7, 2016

July 7, 2016: Vulnerability

Random picture taken from the Downtown Hilton.
For no particular reason other than 'life is good'
I had a friend once tell me to never trust a person who is afraid to show their vulnerability. The comment resonated with me. I had never thought of this before.

We were brainstorming on how to help another friend who was recently displaced from their work. Both of us wanted to help this mutual friend, helping him get back on his feet. I questioned his alliances. I was leery of their intentions.

My friend stated it best.

"I don't fully trust some of his friends. One I have known for over 20 years, but I really don't don't know him. Through all of his own trials and tribulations, he has never shared or shown his vulnerability. Never trust someone who is afraid to show their vulnerability."

Point made.

I spun over this one in my mind. This friend in question had shown the same stoic face to me as well. When things went bad, he clammed up. All was good. Never to be seen in a negative light.

How unrealistic. Human existence is the replica of imperfection.

Trying to prove otherwise is a falsehood. An impossible existence.

I have often professed to the importance of owning  your own story. That doesn't mean that you have to share your story with everyone. Personally, I choose this level of transparency, but this is not requirement for everyone.

The key is not to try to hide, lie, or conceal what has happened in your past. Not everyone is entitled to know these personal details, but the flip side is that the story that defines you, whether your fault or by some aberration of nature, should not be retold into a fable.

I worked once with someone who obsessed over his past. Not only did he not own his own story, he constantly wanted to rewrite it into something that was a lie. Not what really happened. He was terrified of others finding out about his past.

The ironic part was that most didn't even care. Other than him. He spent years worrying about people Goggling his name. Finding out about his past life. Rather than owning it or telling people it was none of their business, he instead cowered and hid. He lived in lies and falsehoods, created for no reason other than feeding his ego.

A miserable existence.

But he couldn't see it. The fear of being exposed for his failures was paralyzing to him. So paralyzing that it jeopardized the people around him. Those he was afraid to show his vulnerability. He wanted to paint a picture of a life different from the one he lived. He did not own his story. He ran from it.

He spent a colossal amount of time trying to recreate his past rather than living in the present. A huge waste of time over his great fear of vulnerability.

In the end, it was all a house of cards. It's only a matter of time when it will all collapse. An unfortunate end to a journey that could have taken a different road.

Authenticity. Transparency. Integrity. Honesty.

Words we all live by, but unfortunately anomalies in today's society. We are who we associate with, as my parents have continuously told me. And whether we are 16 or 50, this golden rule holds true. Regardless of age, ethicacy and righteousness should never go out of style. With age, we should even more so practice what we preach. No excuses.

Maybe I do err on the side of over-sharing my story and showing my vulnerability. But I'm okay with that. My best friends and role models show me the same. We are the most imperfect group of humans trying our best to improve and learn from our stories, good and bad. If I can share my journey and connect in a way that helps one other person get through theirs in a positive, less painful, manner, I have succeeded.

Vulnerability. Not a bad thing. Painful at times, but a part of real life. Failure is a fact of life. Owning it should not be seen as a disgrace, but an honorable attempt to lead by example and make right in the second chances given to us.