One of the upsides of social isolation has been the benefit of extra time in our schedule. Usually after work we’re running the boys around and have other things going on at night. With our calendars wide open we’ve started a new family tradition. As soon as Becky and I are both done working for the day we go for a walk.
After a day of work it feels excellent to be able to enjoy some fresh air, stretch out my legs a bit, and spend time with the family. It’s an excellent opportunity to slow down, take a deep breath, and connect. Sure, the boys are usually flying past us and running circles around us in their roller blades, but we usually get some short bursts of conversation with them as well.
Getting back to real life will feel great, but there are moments of this awkward pause that I’ll continue to savor while we have the opportunity.
Chalk up tonight as another time when I had started typing up a blog and then realized it was better to pitch it and go in a completely different direction.
As we started winding down for the night Becky had the idea for the two of us to chill on the couch and watch Josh Krasinski’s new YouTube show, Some Good News. What an awesome way to start wrapping up the day. Check it out here if you haven’t already seen it, it’s awesome! https://youtu.be/F5pgG1M_h_U
The entire 15 minute show is focused on only good news. That’s it. Nothing but good news. Talk about exactly what the doctor ordered! During the clip he spends time with Steve Carrell, his old cast mate from The Office. It was the 15year anniversary of The Office so they shared some great memories from the series.
Becky and I used to watch The Office every week and it is still one of our favorite shows. After watching Some Good News we had to load up a random episode of The Office. “The Convict” caught my eye and pretty soon we were laughing as we watched “Prison Mike” scaring the rest of the office straight. It was awesome!
The day has been solid all around, much to be thankful for. I’m so grateful for the way it wrapped up. Nothing like Some Good News, The Office, and laughter to close up a day.
What a wild day it’s been! Nonstop twists and turns. It started off with the normal, an incredible peaceful and serene morning run. Throughout the day there were moments unlike any before as the chaos of COVID-19 seems to pop out from around almost every corner. Such an interesting day filled with normalcy and the unknown; both co-existing unlike anytime I can remember.
The way I see it, there are three options I can choose from. Thanks to the beauty of free will I’m able to choose whichever I’d like and then accept the consequences and rewards of each. Today I really saw the three options more clearly than ever.
I can focus on maintaining normal as best I can. I can be overly optimistic and positive and ignore the wild changes this virus has created. Yes, I’d totally enjoy living in a fantasy land, but I could do my best to live life normal and curl up in the warm blanket of the known. Odds are I’d have moments of happiness in doing the same things I’ve always done, but there would most definitely be things outside the norm that would drive me either bonkers or into a state of deep depression.
I can go with the flow, kick the known and the same old to the curb and go with the wild whirling dervish of change. Toss aside all the things I’ve been used to and become one with the constant chaos and upheaval of tradition. It would so freeing and liberating to be able to go in a completely different direction… but then I’d also have to set aside all the things that have gotten me to this point. All the tools and routines that have helped me be successful. Where would it all stop? At some point it would almost be like change for the sake of change. With no stability I am sure I’d slowly drift out of control and away from my goals.
So far neither option quite seems to fit, but that’s where today comes in. There were time in which I had to realize that I may need to let go of doing things certain ways because they’ve been successful in the past. The world has changed and I need to change with the times. On the flip side, there are com some concepts which are almost always the right answer; they just need to be deployed differently. In the face of constant change the right answer is sometimes found in drawing from the past.
It’s in third option that I found joy today. The changes left me feeling liberated to try new things. My foundation of past normalcy helped guide my responses in the chaos. Throughout the day there was this beautiful friction between chaos and normalcy. In the friction between willingness to change and holding onto the normal were many new solutions that were the best parts of both. Without that strain between them I wouldn’t have found what appear to be some of the correct answers.
There are so many people I look up to for many reasons. When thinking of each there are many moments in which I see their successes and am inspired. These are the moments that “made them,” so to speak. Many of us have heard of the stories of their greatness, incredible works, and career highlights. We’ve heard of the miracles they’ve performed, the lives they’ve saved, and the ways they’ve changed the world. I can’t help but be motivated and inspired by them in those moments.
At “home church” today we heard the story of Jesus and Lazarus. As a lifelong Christian I’m sure I have heard that story well over a hundred times. It’s one of the stories we hear every Easter season and is often quoted as one of the great things Jesus did. For some reason something hit me a little differently today. I didn’t realize just how the story showed a “human” moment of weakness in a couple of ways.
In that moment and in others like it I am so thankful to see the humanness of Jesus. There’s something about seeing a bit of human weakness that helps me feel closer to Him. One of my favorite stories is coming up very soon; when He prays in the garden of Gethsemane. Instead of being the completely perfect being there is a moment when we see that even God in the flesh of man has a moment of human weakness. It helps me understand that when I make a mistake it’s not the end of the world, how I respond to it is what is important. There isn’t an expectation of living perfection, it’s not realistic. By following the teaching of Jesus I can live closer to who I am called to be. In seeing His moments of weakness I find I can follow him more openly, willingly, and closely.
As I thought about this while on our walk and in the quiet of my workshop I realized that it is in seeing the moments of humanness from all of my heroes that my ability to connect with them increases. When I see their frailty I can more closely relate to them. The seem more human than the super heroes they seem to be based on their accomplishments. I am grateful for those glimpses of humanness.
While up in my workshop I got a little stuck on something. It was frustrating me and I tried to fix it only to make it worse. I drew in a deep breath and happened to catch the picture of Dad, the boys, and I that hangs on the east wall of my workshop. All I wanted to do was call him to ask him for some advice. As I still often do, and more often in the workshop than anywhere else, I talked out loud to Dad.
“Dude, I could really use your help on this one. How the heck do I fix this?”
After saying it I felt better already. It was like the stress lifted a little. I took another deep breath, rubbed my cheek, and then looked at my project again. Within less than a minute I had an idea spark in my head. I grabbed my clamps (one of the tools Dad taught me to use more often than I ever thought necessary) and went to work. It worked! How crazy is that? I’m not sure how or where the idea came from but I’m chalking it up as an answer from Dad. If he was around to physically answer a phone call from me today I’m positive it’s the solution he would’ve thrown my way. What a cool way to wrap up some quality time in my shop today.
When Becky or I have a special event coming up we usually exchange the same banter. If there’s normally a gift that someone would give or receive for the event we usually have the following exchange:
Me: What would you like for your birthday?
Becky: More time.
First off, she was very surprised when I gave her just that once. I was able to find a Time Turner from the Harry Potter movies to help her travel back in time so she could be in more than one place at once. Too bad for her it was obviously broken. 😉
For reals, that’s the one gift that I’ve realized I would like more than anything. It’s wild to pause and think about how fast live has been flying by. Odds are that I’m either at or past the halfway point which just boggles my brain.
Part of the reason it flies by is that I’m always attempting to pack more in. There is so much I want to do and experience that life can sometimes turn into a sprint. I love it and I am thankful for life like that, but sometimes it leaves me thinking about the “what if’s.”
Due to social distancing for Coronavirus my Saturday went from fully planned to completely and totally unplanned. In some ways it was like having a bonus Saturday. With zero agenda here’s a brief rundown of the day:
- Slept in until 9 – it was glorious!
- Breakfast and coffee with the family
- Family walk before the rain
- Clean all the floors in the house and rearrange some stuff
- Relax for a little bit
- Eat a lunch of bacon and pancakes
- Prepare a pan of sliders for supper
- Went up to my workshop to work on a new project
- FaceTime with Mom and Gavin
- Make / eat supper
- Watch Jumani 2 with the family all snuggled up on the couch
- Give LuLu some bonus petting
- Chill and blog
- Go to bed long before 10pm
On a normal Saturday in March I’d be running Dominic or Gavin somewhere while Becky ran the other elsewhere. We probably would’ve gotten up early for yoga and gone grocery shopping late in the afternoon. Most likely church at night and then crash from exhaustion. Usually have a thought nagging in my head thinking I wish I had more time in my workshop or without an agenda. Busy.
Today was a total bonus Saturday and I’m thankful for it. A day like this was more peaceful than I would’ve expected. Usually I love being crazy busy. Today I appreciated the opportunity to go my own speed all day long.
I am so thankful Gavin has decided to earn the Hiking merit badge for Scouts. Of all the badges he could’ve focused on during this time of social distancing it’s pretty much spot on.
Today we knocked out his first 10 miler at Perrot State Park. Gavin’s hiking plan had to be adjusted slightly as there were many people swarming the parking lot and main trail up Brady’s Bluff. We adjusted and went on several trails that are much less known and were able to avoid the crowds. In total we only saw about half a dozen small groups on the trail and we all have each other a very wide berth.
After spending much time in the house it was so excellent to get out and spend time outside. Being lost in the beautiful bluffs with my family was awesome and just what the doctor ordered. Throw in an awesome workout (just shy of 2,000′ of elevation gain) and it was perfect.
Without the merit badge I’m sure we would’ve had several walks, but nothing like this. With the specific goals to reach it’s helping to motivate us to do more than normal. Today I’m very grateful for the Hiking merit badge, it’s been an awesome experience for the entire family!
Today I worked from home. It was a trippy experience and will take some getting used to. Not spending time with either of my sets of co-workers is going to take a lot of getting used to. Video conferencing certainly helps but it’s just not quite the same. While there are so many changes, fears, frustrations, and so on from our current situation there are a handful of bright spots.
My commute today was one fo the shortest of my entire life. I walked about thirty feet southwest, turned, and went up a flight of stairs. From the top step I walked about 15 feet to my workstation. Pretty brutal, huh? My round trip travel time today was a grand total of four minutes compared to my old normal two plus hours. Amazing how much more time there is in a day!
I usually head out to my car to grab a bite to eat and to enjoy a bit of quiet alone. Today was quite the opposite. I stopped working, commuted all the way home, and spent time eating and hanging out with Gavin. We shot the bull, played a game, and then wrapped up with plenty of time to head back up for my next conference call. How cool to have some bonus time with him throughout the day.
Our supper consisted of leftovers so it was pretty wild to stop working, walk in the house, and eat supper at 5pm. I kept scratching my head thinking that it must be way later than it was after we ate. This was almost an hour earlier than normal and was another example of finding extra time in the day.
After we ate we went off for a walk as a family. Being able to have extra time together was great! It was also so cool to see so many other people out doing the same. Especially on days when we don’t have our morning run I really appreciate that extra time of chilling while getting a little exercise with Becky and the boys.
I really wish we could go back to normal, but there are many things to be thankful for in the meantime. Sometimes I need to look a little deeper for them and other times they jump right out and surprise me like today.