Hearing that right song at the right time.

Life has a way of wreaking havoc on you. Whether it’s that broken heart, that challenge at work or it’s that heart pain that drives you to ER all day. The pain seems to have no end at some points. But. Then you hear that song. That one that gives you the courage to stand up, the one that makes you laugh, that one that makes you smile in that amazing memory. I am so thankful for music and how it can change your entire mood.

Today is a day about reflection

I tried so hard to sleep in today, to get more rest, to wake up with an extra bounce in my step (yah. x-tra tigger mode). But yet I woke up early, stretched and decided to finish out this new show.  This new show I was given a sticky note 2 weeks ago w/ the name on it from a peer at work.  She said “you have to check this out” and I am so glad that I did.  I was a little absorbed in watching in these last two weeks but as the show came to end this morning I cried.  It swelled a lot of emotions with me and I had to stop and say why am I crying (seriously).    I quickly rolodexed my thoughts, flipping thru each one like was that why? how about this one?   was it my mom, was it failures, was it missing my kids, was it missing the woman I love, was it feelings of joy of the home I have created, was it the challenges in my new role @ work, was it.. was it.. was it..   darn that rolodex was full of ‘was it’ and I had to stop that entire process and just breathe.   I am human, I have feelings and this morning was about just letting that all go and letting me feel.

This morning as I sit in my living room, looking at a table I built, looking around at the Family Pub like environment I have created that is ready for awesome memories I think dang.. I did it.  I finally did it.   It took me a long time to get here but this is not the end of the journey this is just a milestone and I get that.  This show I watched had a lot of tearing down, building back up of businesses and relationships.  That resonated with me, I have gone through so many changes so many different experiences that I need to let that sink in.   With each experience I grow more, I learn more, I embrace more, but I don’t do well on taking it all in at the moment.  No, this is not a “youv’e read to much of your self help books josh”.  This is real.   This moment right now I am thankful of everything to get me here, my family, my health, my relationships, my work, my passions, my drive.

Last week i received a text I would never imagine that I would ever get.   before I say it, let me set the back drop.  My mom recently had a medical emergency, my brother, my dad & I all rallied to the hospital.   The end result was that my mom needs to relax more (that is my non professional opinion).     I know she was stressed after and dang how the brain fools you with making you think something is happening again.   for example, after my heart surgery (the 2nd time) I kept feeling like it was happening again & again & again. .It was like ground hogs day over & over again.. it was seriously crappy, but after much meditation and refocusing I found my path thru that and now after 6 months I feel so much better.   For her she was just starting that pattern and I got a tip that this was happening..  So, i reached out to her and explained what i had gone thru and that my mind was playing havoc on my anxiety and kept fooling me into thinking it was happening again.  I told her it was normal, and that she can control that.    she said   “you are very wise”.    OMG what?  nope. I’ve lived thru so much crap that it would take a lifetime to write it down.   but  yet i cried and I still am getting teared up right now thinking about that.   They raised me, they created my life, they shaped me, but now I realized that after I left home my journey is mine, my shaping, influences, fun, destruction, happiness, sadness were through my journey.    So what’s my point?   We are all wise from our journeys.   Be kind to others and listen, their experiences have nuggets that can help you.   back to my mom.   I’m just glad she is doing better.

I was asked recently how my new role is going and I said it will be great in 2 months, the best job ever.   Then i was reminded friday from a really good friend that if your not challenged you will be bored.   Darn he was right.  is this the best job ever?  I’ll answer that now.    This job has made me pull every bloody scrap of knowledge from my brain, from tech, leadership, analytics, thinking, math, programming, partnerships, strategy, writing, communicating, etc..    I am using everything, it is exhausting, hard, tough, but DAMN it is rewarding.   I could have not done this role prior, now is the time and I am glad that I have been through everything prior to this to make me ready.   My only gotcha is that I need to embrace when my brain hurts, when my ideas fail me, when I can’t ponder how to fix “it”, I need to stop and say ‘this is awesome’.   so..   I love my job, I love what I do, I love it and I will recognize that better.

Okay..  time to shut the flap (close the laptop), get some coffee/water & figure out what awesome memory my son and I will create today..      I hope you have a great day, or whatever day/time you are reading this you enjoy that day, that time, that moment.. cry, feel things, be real, let go and be you..

HILLY

Live. One life. So do it.

As I reflect on the last month all I can say is wow. Transitions galore. Life has been crazy busy and now the calm, I’m sure before the next storm.

But before the storm arrives let’s just take a deep breathe and say heck yah. The new house is great, new job role is rough but good, and the kids are all doing amazing.

It is so hard to just stop and say wow. Look what I’ve accomplished.

So today I do just that. Embracing the now.

I guess saying I can’t do something makes me say “watch me”

There’s times in life where you hunt for something, you keep searching and then finally you stop. You tell yourself I won’t find it, I will have to create it and pour my heart, mind and body into it.

Today is that day, now is that time. I am creating what I want.

I wish you the same.

Hilly

Finding my way back.

As I start thinking about next weekend and taking a break from house projects to get outside, I desire to find the next lake, a new lake, somewhere I haven’t been before to see a new place, a new town, possibly a new brewery.  I’m not sure where to go yet, but having a NorCal Map is my starting place.   I hope to explore more, wander a lot this next weekend and make new experiences that I can bring back to my blog.

how does this relate to finding my way back?  well, I’m finding my way back on a lot of fronts.   Health, Peace, Happiness, Family.  I am looking forward to the next 4 months.

HILLY

Thinking road trip to somewhere

As I sit here in my comfy chair, listening to “keep the wolves away”, I start to think about how hard my parents worked their entire lives to keep my brother & I fed, housed and on a great path.   The times were different, the money was not something we talked about and I can say that everything I experienced is what made me who I am in my core, my values and my moral compass.   While life has changed, the battles have endured, the loves have been lost, my core remains intact and I am keeping the wolves away.   What do I mean by wolves? The challenges, the hatred, the negativity, the crap…

so how does this correlate to road trip hilly?   Well..   I think it’s time to plan a road trip w/ the kids to adventure new places, new towns, new roads.   No. not right now.  school is about to start.  I’m just thinking of starting to plan something magical, with seeing all three kids in one place at one time and enjoying this great country.    I’m thinking of pulling my RV to a few good scenic areas & meet up w/ my older kids as we go..   I think I can pull it off. . Just needs a little bit of planning on the stops, but will keep it fluid so that making a right or left turn off the path is a-ok..

How does this relate to the first paragraph?  well.  a lot of my great memories of growing up were in the back of the VW van on the road exploring into the national parks, Canada, all parts of California.

Wander on!

Great learning from today.

Earlier this week I went paddle boarding up in Auburn ( it was amazing ), and I jumped into the water, or should I say I feel backwards on purpose to get wet since it was so HOT.  I heard a POP sound in one of my ears and finally today I decided to go see the doctor to see what is up (not painful, but irritating) with it.  before I get to the results, all my heart, pulse & weight #s are PRIMO!.    My heart is beating at a great rate, BP is actually better than good, almost EPIC.   AS for my weight, well i’ve kept it at the same # for 3 months’, so It’s time to dial up my workouts & continue my quest to eat better ( slow & steady is my path on this one – not freaking out over a pound here or there, just changing my habits).

okay.. back to the ear.   He checked it out and said that I should probably not fly any where for a bit, but no rupture, no major fluid and I’m cleared to go swim/snorkel which is great news since I’m headed out there again very very soon.

So what’s the learning?  well the doctor asked me what my heart tattoo was about.  I told him after my heart challenges that my tat is a reminder that every day is a new day, you don’t know how much time you have left so you have to get out there & do what you can.  Whether that be learning something new, paddle boarding, surfing, sky diving, etc…   He said he was having this very conversation with his spouse about if you just work, invest, save for a future retirement that may never come (aka – you wont’ be here anymore).   He shared with me that recently a patient he had was diagnosed with brain cancer and was given a specific amount of time to live.   He said this made a huge impact on him and that he was on the same page now – each day is a gift.. use it..

Here’s the learning.   We all mess up, we all do something we regret, the best is get past it, each day is a new day..  get out there, make a difference, enjoy what you love to do, if you don’t know what gives you passion, then be like “yes man” and try try try..

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Spiders, Crabs, Black waste tubes … OH MY!

I haven’t written in awhile and there has been a lot going on that needs to be written.   So..  where to start?

Most pressing on my mind is around the “moral compass”, so I’m going to start there.   In 2001 I started writing a book where I discuss going through work & life changes and how to detect, define and then make changes based on what is happening around you.  I picked the book back up this week to review it, make adds and overall get a feel of if I had said enough.  Well.  I have not said enough, there are more chapters to write and I noticed how a lot of blogs could integrate nicely into the book.  so.. why does this all matter? in the book I started one of the chapters like this..

“A major form of motivation for this book is that I believe that in all people there is an inner will to be better, to drive to more successes and that sometimes the right tools and people are not available to make this happen.  ”

I still agree with this statement and I do believe in all humans there is an inner will to be better.  however, I will say that sometimes the lens has been so skewed that doing the right thing or focusing on doing better is not what is focused on.  I have found myself a few times over the last week asking myself what is my moral compass?  how should I react to a given situation, what should I focus on, how can I not make others upset by speaking the truth, how can I not get thrashed on while preserving my compass.   Well, as you can imagine it was like 3 highways in so-cal merging into a one way downtown road..  a frickin chaotic explosion of noise & ugh.   While I was out enjoying some good parenting time with my son in so-cal I was faced with three “moral compass” challenges with folks not on the trip.  I know my reactions matter, how I handle things matter and also being a good role model for my son is very important to me.    As the situations emerged I had to check myself before any reaction, I had to think thru it and sometimes that meant me saying “I need a minute to process” and think through all the different data points.  To me this is like applying every life filter, experience, moral compass, financial impact, etc..    This was not easy in the midst of trying to enjoy the vacation and I had to employ my mindfulness (meditation) activities real time throughout the trip.  I found my quiet times were focused on breathing, getting centered and letting go of the swell of emotions that were brought up.  Let’s be clear, when i say emotions I’m not talking about “oh I miss that person”.. nope it was all the feelings of what had happened and all the scars were ripped off again kinda of emotions.. (cool visual huh)..

so..  how did it go? well I had pushed to the point where I had to react and be very direct, holding others accountable for their actions.   I focus my life on being positive, so for me to get this point of having to hold others accountable for bad behavior was no small feat.   I did realize that my tolerance has decreased over the years of bad behavior and my words are getting more succinct than ever (bonus).   Nonetheless I held one person accountable and that was met with such a jaded response I had to take a moment to reflect on what happened..   While I won’t get into the details, because only a few should know the inside scoop, the situation helped me understand that for some folks you have to hold them accountable and then let them go learn on their own..  Let them fall, let them learn however that will happen.. It’s not my responsibility to help them thru.. it’s my responsibility to be honest & true to myself.  Hold my moral compass up and be able to look myself in the mirror every day… not somebody else..   This was a good learning, however I do have remorse for the level of accountability I had to discuss with that individual.. it sucks.. that sucked… etc…    okay.. so..  Net Net:   (here comes the cliché comment)..  “You know your own truth”  nobody can tell you it.. so own it..

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Let’s keep going on this quest.. shall we?    I have spent two weeks on vacation so far (50% done) and the first week was all about getting my house (physical house) in order.   My focus was to make it a home for my kids and I.   Making it a place of peace, love & kindness.  Establishing new norms, purging out old stuff not needed and overall I pushed really hard to make it happen in a week (insert the “oh tenderfoot”), and as you can imagine it’s not a one week process.. it’s a journey in of itself. Now that I’m on week #2 things are shaping good, it will just take time to make it a home.   Whether it’s the new kitchen table that is absent right now to the garage being 100% organized, to all the walls being decorated as we’d like, etc..   Time will make it a home and also the great experiences that will happen there/here.   Week #2 was all about getting out of the house, from camping at the coast, to a trip to so-cal to being gone from the home.   It was amazing and I’ll discuss more in a minute, but for now it was a great reset when I came back..

Okay..  let’s shift to spiders, black waste tubes and crabbing..   Okay.. first let’s start with the most recent.   I took my son on a trip to So-Cal to do a few things:  Beach – hopefully to get into the ocean, legoland – of course (if you know me then you know this), and hit a few museums, surf locations, colleges..   Well my youngest isn’t really the beach go-er as I’m finding out.  while he enjoys it, he’s not like me in regards to wanting to go tackle waves and get out there to surf.   So we spent a few opportunities at the beach and it was peaceful, but I’m looking forward to surfing next time with my gear and testing my limits (dropping in on a right faced beautiful wave).   In regards to Legoland it was EPIC as always, the new adds are amazing and the master builders there have upped their game on the mini land (especially star wars).   Now for more epic-ness, I decided to rent a convertible vehicle, since he had never driven in one.  I went after a Camaro, however upon arrival all they had was a brand new “mustang”.  We both were very pleased by this, especially since my oldest loves mustangs it would be fun to try what he has owned a few of.   We pulled the top down, sync’d up my phone and jammed with some “Dirty Heads – ‘All I need'” on the speakers.  Dang life was good, he was smiling ear to ear and we were both present in that moment.  Okay. fast forward to our last night there, Dirty heads still playing, top down, driving into the food part of the town and we both saw a spider, about a 1/2 inch wide.  I thought for sure it was on the outside of the window, oh but I was W R O N G .. it was on the inside that sucker was about to have some fun with us..  I took my hat, tried to swipe it off the window, I failed.. it fell on my leg and then immediately fell to the mat and crawled under the seat.   I safely pulled over, used the cell flashlight to inspect every part of the car, which was tough AF and I couldn’t find it..   At that very moment I took a deep breath and said to myself.  My kid is watching how I respond to this, we have no option but to get back in and keep going.. so we did.   we both were constantly looking at our legs the entire trip back to the hotel.  Yah I’m not a fan of spiders.. sorry but nope..  so upon returning the car we told the rental gal that there was a big a&& spider in there.. she navigated away from the car quickly.. LOL. sorry whoever gets that next..  somebody is living in there..  Enjoy that..

let’s continue on to Black Waste Tubes..   Part of camping is about dumping your dumps at the station.  This last camping trip to the coast was like a scene out of the movie RV.  First, the camping trip was awesome, met some new folks and had a great time learning how to crab from the kayak (I will be doing that again).   but let’s get back to the waste.  So as we were leaving the camp site, we hit up the station to remove all the crap (literally) from the RV.   We first went to where I normally dump, I walked up 5 cars to the station to see what was going on and check out the setup (is there a water hose, etc..), I spent a few moments laughing about getting a spreader & a splitter (RV quote)  with the guys, but I quickly realized the guy dropping was his first time so I walked back to the truck, looked ahead and saw the next station had 2 cars in line.. (BINGO.. let’s go).. so we drove ahead to the next station, the guys at the last station all waved and understood.   this is when it gets good… we pulled up to the line, there was now only one RV at the station..  Jackpot!  I was thinking oh yah..  one and done and we are on the road home..   well. not so much..   Three folks got out of the RV and it appeared at first that they knew what to do..   oh was I wrong about that..    They pulled out some “new” “jazzy” hose/waste tube that pulls it all together in one apparatus..  they hooked up the water line to it..   then …   (hold..  if your eating..  I would not read this part.. )    Okay.. so they didn’t hook up the waste line, instead they opened up the black line, then opened up the big tube and then tried to hook up the large black line (backwards).  the onslaught of green, fecal matter exploded out onto the person..  unfortunately the person was wearing flip flops (sandals) and all that glorious sick water went all over that persons feet.   But that’s not all.   there was a few items that got caught on the big tube, so the individual used their bare hands to grab it out of the tube to fix the clog.. realize that it was just openly pouring into the waste wash and then draining into the right tube.  OMG it got worse (how could it?). well they didn’t have gloves so they got plastic bags and started picking up the big pieces and putting it into the waste line.  I was laughing so hard (inside of my truck cab) that I couldn’t handle it..   I knew I should have recorded it.   So.. then they pulled gray water line w/o having it hooked up as well. so then that dumped out.. flip flops, gray water..   YUCK YUCK..  so then after the gray water was done, they hooked up their flush line and did that..   and what felt like an hour of watching them flushing the line all the stuff was already out of the RV (or so we thought). so they washed down part of their mess from the station and drove away..   well.  they forgot to close their lines and spilt matter the entire way out of the camp ground..  YUCK YUCK YUCK..   I may be a novice RV’r, but that was an epic fail.  #FAIL.     So what’s the lesson on the RV trip?   not sure yet. but the time spent camping was amazing!   good memories had.

and how about a summary paragraph to shore this all up in a few sentences.  Nope..     I’ll exit this post this way..   You know your truth, nobody else does.