Thanksgiving is a time for family for many of us, including me. It is a nice change of pace from the everyday to have a few days of laying around, eating at weird times, kids pretty much running the show, and spending time with family. Family time reminds me that I didn’t come into this world by myself and I shouldn’t try to go through it by myself. While my friends are valuable to me, there still is no replacement for family and the way they understand you because in so many ways they are like you.
In the same way, holidays give me the opportunity to spend some running ‘family time.’ My wife and I usually run alone, getting our workouts in when the other is able to be at home with the kids or wherever the day will allow. We don’t get to run together very often, and I think we’re both ok with that because it is a time of quiet, peace, and reflection for each of us. Holidays allow us the opportunity to run together, however, and this morning we shared an easy run on a nice peaceful trail near Gainesville, FL. It was nice just to share that time together that didn’t require a lot of conversation or effort – we could just listen to the sound of our feet on the ground and our breaths syncing up as we jogged along the path and enjoy one another’s presence. While my friends and family are both important to me, my wife is my best friend and the most precious thing in my life and it is awesome to be able to spend this ‘family time’ together.
I love to travel and explore/run in new places encountering new people, but I’m reminded today that it doesn’t compare to holiday family time or a quiet run with my wife. Thanks be to God.
It is cliche, but we probably all need more reminders to be thankful. For me, this is a week for Thankfulness.
I’m thankful for a God that cared enough for me to send his Son for my salvation. I’m thankful for a family that taught me lessons of faith in my childhood and have reinforced them throughout my life. I’m thankful for a wife that has stayed on the journey with me, no matter how wild, crazy, and out of control it has been and no matter how many times I’ve run our ship ashore. I’m thankful for kids who keep things in perspective for me and motivate me to be a better person. I’m thankful for a job that provides for my family with plenty of great food, a beautiful house, and all the comforts we need and almost everything we want. I’m thankful for friends who listen and who also talk when necessary. I’m thankful for my health and the motivation to watch after it. I’m thankful for quiet moments in each day that I can pause and just be.
I have so much to be thankful for, so why ever complain? Perhaps I should be more mindful of being thankful when a complaining thought arises, and not just in this week of Thankfulness.
San Diego is a beautiful place for just about anything. There is something so calming about the water that it makes me want to just keep running next to it as far as the path will allow. I could run for days along the coast I believe.
So how ironic it is to me that this is the home of so many Fighting Ships. In the harbor there are U.S. Navy vessels of today that are outfitted with all of the latest technology, and 18th century pirate ships that are on display for us to marvel that anyone could live and work in those conditions (and everything in between). The angst, struggle, and carnage that happened aboard these vessels doesn’t seem to fit the serene harbor they sit in today.
Life is like that sometimes; there seems to be angst, struggle, and stress happening all around and then I find a place to come to harbor and be peaceful. Fighting Ships are necessary in life, they are the work that must be done. But calm harbors are also necessary and I hope I can run in those for days.
What an amazing, and somewhat sad, difference between Old Downtown Los Angeles and one of the world’s greatest entertainment zones, L.A. Live. Only a few blocks away from one another, they provide a stark contrast and present an interesting thought to ponder…
What in my life am I allowing to decay right now that some day I will look at and try to replace with something ‘better and newer?’ I doubt anyone in L.A. intentionally turned their backs on the beautiful theaters and terrazzo sidewalks of old downtown, they just didn’t keep them sharp and fresh and eventually they looked at it and decided the only thing to do was start over 5 blocks away. I don’t want anything in my life to see that fate – if it is worth having, it is worth my attention.
I don’t particularly like the cold, but if it is going to be cold, I like it to be like today – “cool and clear.”
Cool and clear is something that I’ve been striving to be more everyday. Not “cool” in terms of stylish or aloof, but “cool” in terms of calm, cool, and collected. Everyday I run into situations that challenge my ability to stay cool in business relationships, interactions with the kids, and frustrations with co-workers. What I’ve found is that I can’t control any of those things, the only thing I can control is being in a ‘cool’ state of mind as much as possible so that those other things don’t disrupt me or my focus. When I do that, I achieve that state of ‘clear’ and it is amazing what my mind can do in the moment when it is clear and engaged in conversation, challenge, or problem that it might encounter. My run today was cool and clear, I’m going to try to make the rest of the day the same.
Traveling for business can be a bear, and it can be a blur. Often, it is hard to remember when you’re in the moment that there is a greater purpose for that travel and it is rooted in the importance of CONNECTING, really CONNECTING with people. This can only be done face to face, in conversation, talking about projects and opportunities.
Today, when I got confirmation that those CONNECTIONS made last week are going to lead to contracted business, it was a great reminder. It is the reason why staying in the moment when traveling can lead to such beautiful results both personally and professionally.
We’re kicking this adventure off on the left coast with a great morning shot of a classic trolley car in downtown San Fran.
These trolley cars have true ‘grit’ – “the disposition to pursue long term goals with passion!” I hope I am still working as hard as they are to accomplish my goals at that age.