What you Don’t Value Until it is Gone

I haven’t been writing here much. Maybe its the hustle and bustle of work, maybe it is outside of work things seem pretty great, maybe its self-centeredness, maybe its just laziness. Any excuse will do. The reality is that it is probably most closely linked to undervaluing daily mindfulness; all of those other things are just contributors to that core problem.

This week, however, my family has been gone visiting grandpa and grandma so outside of the 8-5, I’ve had a lot of quiet, alone time. I’ve had some really meaningful conversations with friends I haven’t talked to in awhile. I’ve been completely on my own schedule. And I’ve probably done more self reflection than I’ve done in a long time. This morning, I went for a slow, quiet run on this final Saturday before they get home, and it dawned on me…

You don’t really value things appropriately until they are gone.

I undervalue sitting and reading a book with my kids or running a few errands with them on the weekend. And they’ll both be gone from our home in less than 10 years. I hadn’t thought about that until I didn’t have the luxury of their time this week.

I undervalue a 10 minute conversation with my wife about something that is important to her or important to me. And when we don’t do it, those 10 minutes are gone and wasted. I longed for just a few minutes after dinner with her every night this week.

I undervalue the importance of writing in my life to express things that are in my heart, not just in my mind. And every time I don’t write it down, I lose a little bit of the passions of my heart.

I undervalue sitting still and being quiet even when there is a long list of things to do. The list of things to do will never be gone, but quiet moments are fleeting.

I undervalue the beauty of the place I live and take it for granted when I don’t stop to appreciate the blessing of our home. And the place we live is ever changing.

And I undervalue the importance of allowing my passions to be a more central part of my life; casting them off as “dreams” or “things I like to do when I can.” And opportunities to purse our passions don’t stay open forever.

I’d like to sit here and say “NO MORE!” I’m not sure that is realistic. Life gets going fast sometimes and takes us on wild rides we don’t anticipate. But I will sit here and say I will try harder. I will try harder to be more reflective and value mindfulness more regularly. I will try harder to slow things down in life and appreciate them for what they are before I lose them. And I will try harder to develop a consistent and deliberate appreciation for those things that are right in front of me and may soon be gone.

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Life, the Liberty Bell, and the Pursuit of Happiness

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Last week was a good week. It all started with a Monday morning run and I knew it was going to be a good week.

The week started with LIFE, just regular old life, but we lived it. Between running the kids around, cleaning the house, work, and errands, our family made time to eat dinner together, play outside, and read books before bed. It was just life, but it was awfully satisfying.

On Thursday and Friday I traveled to Philadelphia for work. In Philly I did what I do best – new business development conversations to help drive business for our company and ongoing client relations with an existing client. Around work, I squeezed in a morning run in the historic district of the city, and stopped to snap the above picture of the LIBERTY BELL. It was pretty cool to run on cobblestone streets where Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, and Paul Revere once walked to the pub.

The weekend held the PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS. Eight years ago I left the college basketball coaching world out of frustration with the ‘business’ the game had become and in search of more stability for my family. I still get frustrated with the business of the game, but in the last eight years I have realized that coaching the game of basketball is still a passion of mine. Over the weekend, I coached a boy’s high school AAU team in a tournament and was able to feed┬áthat passion. We won some and lost some, and we were able to teach lessons in both that made them better players, a better team, and hopefully better men.

That all would have made for a good week, but what really made it great was the ending…when I arrived home Sunday afternoon, my wife and kids greeted me with hugs and kisses and we set out on a family bike ride. We enjoyed the warmth and the breeze on our leisurely ride and on the way home made a rare all family grocery stop for dinner supplies. I grilled burgers and we sat on the back porch and ate together to end a pretty great day.

I thank God that I am able to recognize and realize the blessing HE provides in so many ways – in life, in work, in family, in fun, and in hobbies. I truly believe that we all have the opportunity to be thankful in each small area of our life if we choose to make the moment we are in a meaningful moment. Today started with a Monday morning run too, so here’s to another great week.