Birthdays and Benchmarks

Sense of Family

When you see or feel a sense of family, what comes first, do you need to observe it first or feel it or would just a thought be enough.

This weekend I felt all of it and I think using we makes sense. It was another added layer to our sense of family as we ventured out. We had it planned, family game night, now that our Friday football nights have ended.

It had been a while since we had all of us together. The planning was easy this week. We are all into the school schedule routine. Heads down to the five week mark as our first benchmark.

The boys did it. They came out strong. They saw their hard work pay off. I could not do what they do and give them major props for listening to us as we push the importance of staying on track.

We are trying to instill as I have written and have observed that staying the course is easier when the bumps happen if you’ve been working your plan up to that point. My college kids helped verify my premise as I saw them want to derail the entire class or job due to one bump.

The flight or fight response kicks in and it’s easier to just blow it up and level the playing field. Yes, for the moment that is correct when the bump in the road happens. It is later with experience and age you realize that is not how it really works in life.

My mission with my family and my sense of family has shown me if you accept the hurdle and work through it you come out stronger, wiser and on the right path. Life throws you under sometimes to force change, to force you to work through issues and rewards you with the over moments.

My birthday is tomorrow. It is not spent under in the hospital with a brain bleed, not speaking or being understood. It will be spent as an over milestone having gone through more than I thought I could handle, that my body could take. Why, I’ll never really know.

I do know this. I would not be this forty-seven year old resilient woman if I had not worked through it all. To my family, my friends, my colleagues, my students and my mentors I thank you for guiding me still.

I could not be me without you.


Mission Snowbird


Do what you want as you are living your goals right now.  We listened to a goals CD and even though I was extremely tired that was my take away.  It was day two of our thirty-hour mission Snowbird and after listening to a book the prior twelve hours it was my fiancés pick.

It seems to have sunken in.  My motivation after completing our road trip was to get to work on our son’s first college visit in combination with getting his grandmother from one state to another later in travel season.

I said to my fiancé that doing these service missions forces us to take some time to be together and see other parts of the East Coast.  The election is fast approaching and our country is in such constant debate, state by state.  It was the perfect time to drive through seven of those states and see what signs, bumper stickers and media are taking hold.

It varies and it is felt with conviction either way.  You feel part of it all as you ride state to state and see the majority change from one candidate to the other.  We rented a car for the ride back and it happened to have Canadian plates.  I felt weird being Canadian at times depending what state we were in and the majority opinion being displayed.  Sometimes,  I felt excited to try it out and others worried we were being judged.

Hurricane Mathew was evident along the roadside in the Southern States.  It was not just a news topic which is why I like road trips to experience, even just for a little while other parts of our country.  When we hit the New Jersey Turnpike on our way back home and saw the New York City skyline with the Empire State Building lit up in Red, White, and Blue we both were in awe.

I found out later today, sitting back in the pickup line at my son’s school that it was in honor of the Stand4Hereos with the Bob Woodward Foundation ten year anniversary.  It was lit for just that night.  I was too tired to take a picture and just took in the moment, kicking it old school.  When I saw the picture on a facebook post and learned more I smiled and sent it to my fiancé.

He thought the same thing I thought that it was that way all the time and I knew he felt what I felt.  We pushed through to have this over moment knowing we had witnessed and shared something special.  It came after twenty-six hours of him driving and yet if we had not pushed on we would have missed it.  You end up right where you need to be exactly when you need to, most of the time.  The key is to go with the flow and take in those chores, task and work commitments while enjoying the over moments in between with those you care about the most.

I am proud to be a New Yorker, an American and enjoyed being viewed as Canadian for fifteen hours on this particular road trip.  I plan on staying no matter what the election brings.   If you have not taken a road trip, or it has been a while put it on your list of things to do.  We are diverse and we are fortunate.  Get out there to see it for yourself.  It makes coming home better and our task seem smaller as they are just mile markers on the road while what we need to focus on is enjoying the view.

Thank you to all who serve and the heroes who support them for their continued fight to get the care and services they deserve once they come.  May they all come home soon.