I just read a post on Facebook by a former colleague who shared his grandmother who he felt a close kinship with passed away on Sunday. He’s quite a bit younger than I am, probably about the same age I was when my beloved grandma died. I read the post and shared my sympathies as I sat on my front porch. This was my grandma’s wicker chair that my parents bought her one birthday from Cracker Barrel. I’ve had it for about 15 years.
- Using my ADHD superpower of hyperfocus for good – namely obsessing over a creative problem until I came up with a creative solution for a work project 💪🏻
- Texting stay-in dinner prepping and plans with my fiancée 🍽
- Remembering that I’m at my best when focused more on process instead of end product (be that a personal goal, work project or target marathon)
- Informal group runs begin Tuesday evening 🏃🏼
- A running friend group-texting pictures of his newborn grandson and his other months-old grandson 👼🏼
- Receiving multiple updates from my mother and sister about my almost-three-year-old niece using the potty. I loved the pride they exuded about as much as my niece’s developmental milestone 😍
- The number of old friends who I have not spoken with in a long time whom have contacted me lately
- Daydreaming about summer activities
- The return of spring temps, if only for a couple of days
- Coming home late after a long day of work and still finding the desire to write this list
- Spending time with my mom on Mother’s Day (I wouldn’t be here without her)
- Beers at MadTree brewing and deep conversation with my fianceé
- Unexpected invites to run from friends I have not heard from in quite some time
- The weekly “How to ADHD” video podcast (Assertive Communication, say what?!)
- Organizing help tools (I hate organizing)
- Lots. Of. Sleep.
- The view from my kitchen window as I sit and type this
- Cool, early spring temps that I’ll miss in a couple of weeks
- The people who inspired me to write these daily gratitude lists
- Not necessarily not caring about certain things, but gaining perspective and in turn, identifying what’s really important while moving forward
This photograph has a story that begs to be told.
It is part of a collection of old family photos that I inherited a few years ago.
There’s nothing to indicate when or where this picture was taken.
I don’t recognize the couple. They don’t appear in any of the other faded images in the collection.
They look so in love though, spending a perfect day lounging at some lakefront beach.
I wonder what happened to them after someone captured this perfect moment on film.
Did their love endure? Marry? Have children? Shoulder heartbreak and tragedy together?
Did they ever think back to the day this photo was taken with fondness?
I like to imagine they re-visited the beach years later – wrinkled and frail – remembering their younger selves frolicing and laughing on its sandy shore.
I’d like to think they reflected on how their love grew richer and deeper every summer after this photograph was taken.
My niece suddenly starts pointing at people sitting at my parents’ dinner table and announces their gender.
She stops once she gets to my fiancée. I’m sitting between her and my fiancée. I lean over toward my niece.
She pauses for a few beats as she looks at me and then scans the table.
Eight years ago he had just turned two and a half years old.
He will graduate from fifth grade in a couple of months.
He toured the middle school he will attend in August just last week.
A month ago I stayed with him on a Saturday night.
We played video games, ate bad food and watched a movie.
As we got ready for bed he said, “I love you, Bubba.”
I responded, “I love you too. Always will.”
Nine and a half years ago I remember cradling him as he suffered through his first cold.
He let out a miserable whimper and nuzzled his face into the crook of my arm.
I knew at that moment, in the deepest of places, I would love him and help him along his journey in this world for as long as I was able.
Today, I looked at a photo of him as a two-and-a-half-year-old laughing at a goat during a visit to a petting zoo.
I felt that familiar unconditional love well up again as I contemplated the image.
Time may fly but feelings remain steadfast.
Gratitude in Review 2018
Looking back, here are eight things I’m grateful for in 2018.
I’ve been pretty shameless sharing with everyone how lucky I am to have started dating Tirza in 2018.
We briefly met once before she agreed to go on a date with me. I sent her a Facebook friend request after bumping into her at a running event in late November 2017.
I didn’t even know if she was single and it took me two months (and a couple of drinks) to muster up the nerve to ask her out.
She agreed to go on grab a slice with me on Friday, Feb. 9, National Pizza Day. She promptly text me the day after that first date asking if I wanted to grab a beer at a local brewery the following Monday. I’ve been pinching myself ever since.
2. New friends
I also met a great new group of running friends because of my relationship with Tirza. I experienced “Donna loops,” was invited into homes for post-run eats and drinks, and endured some gentle ribbing for training with a different marathon running group.
3. And friendships that endure
The new friends only added to the rather large cast of characters already in my life. I’ve known many of the people pictured above for years through running. We tell jokes and occasionally discuss the rough patches we each experience in our lives.
Outside of running, I also got to spend a weekend with an old college roommate in November. We visited a comic book convention, played D&D with his 8-year-old son and just fell back into the comfortable rhythm built on two decades of friendship.
4. Speaking of running …
Even though I felt burned out at times, I ended the year on an up note when it comes to running. I currently feel re-energized and ready to race in 2019.
Here are some stats from 2018:
I made some great memories with my mom, dad, sister, niece and nephew this year. Tirza even impressed my tight-knit group of weirdos with her eating habits and that one time she forgot to meet me at my house for my birthday dinner with them . We all wrapped up the year with great Christmas together.
6. Meeting a few famous people
I was given the opportunity to chair two panels at the Cincinnati Comic Expo in September. I met “Doctor Strange” actor Benedict Wong and Clark Gregg, the man who plays “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D” Director Phil Colson in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
7. Counting blessings
While saddened to learn of the passing of comic book creator and legend Stan Lee, I was also reminded how lucky I was to have met him in 2016. His passing also was the first of many that reminded me how important it is to appreciate the interactions I get to have with others. In more than a few instances, 2018 proved to be a sad year for those we lost.
8. Pushed out of my comfort zone
And finally, as uncomfortable a process as it has been, I am glad life still presents opportunities that push me out of my comfort zone. I don’t think that I’m the best in front of a camera but work this year has made me get over myself and become more confident in who I am.