Family, Food For Thought, Inpsiration, Journal

Being in Service

It hit me that being in service does not always mean getting to volunteer at a non-profit or feeding the homeless. Sometimes, it is being available to your own loved ones. It means showing up regularly so they know to rely on you. To be their anchor, their person who they know will support them without judgment, pity or opinion. It means that being acknowledged, or hearing a thanks is not the end game. The ultimate reward is that they are okay. That they are loved, taken care of, that they are here, now.

I always thought that being in service meant doing things for strangers, but more and more, I see so much more opportunity to be there for ones who I see on a regular basis. It could mean just a call, a quick coffee, a check in to see how they are. Too often, it is easy to take the ones closest to us for granted. To wait for them to seek support or mention something rather than just reach out and touch base with them.

I realize now that when I open myself to being in service, it truly does not matter who it is that I am doing things for. Because being in service is not about ego, pride or acclaim. It is about showing up for others, noticing them. Really seeing them in their space and being ready to serve without question.

Happy Monday!

Family, Food For Thought, Inpsiration, Journal

Halfway Done

Photo by Walter Walraven on Unsplash

Each new month in 2019 surprises me as it feels this year feels faster than most. Yet as I write that, I know it not to be true. I realize what’s changed are the new and sudden things in my life that make the year to be slipping by. I began this year with the tacit agreement that I would focus on my law firm a 100%, and that has brought on not only challenges, but so many amazing opportunities. I am truly blessed with the mentors I have, the people I am continually amazed how many I actually know in the field of law (from immigration judges to bad ass attorneys in various areas of law), and new things I am learning (from immigration law to Google sheets).

Each day brings something different, and I am also proud to say that I still get to be in service through volunteering, BNI, doing some pro bono work, and learning new areas of the law so I can grow as a person. Then there is also my fitness and my new accountability group which has pushed me to set even higher goals. So June now appears to be January for me again except now I have 6 months to do even more than I planned at the beginning of the year, but you know what? It is okay. I accept the challenge, and encourage others to do the same.

I love learning new ideas, meeting new people, spending time with loved ones, finding ways to do good. My father and my aunt are my inspiration as is my family.  And so while 2019 is almost done half way, to me, it feels like a new beginning.

Happy Monday!

Family, Food For Thought, Inpsiration, Journal

A Quiet Memorial

Photo by Justin Casey on Unsplash

In high school, college and most of law school, I treated Memorial Day weekend as a holiday that got me an extra day. I realize that speaking about sacrifice or appearing patriotic may appear strange from someone like me, but I have become blessed to meet many who have served, and and are currently serving, and it’s been made me wide awake how truly great my crossfit family is. Their quiet participation and acknowledgement of others has made my world a bit bigger for the better.

The word family, tribe are thrown around, yet until one shows up, really shows up for others when they have no reason to, it hits home that’s what the people serving abroad and domestically doing. To willingly accept an assignment that could lead to death and those who have died protecting this place I call home is humbling, awe inspiring, and frankly needs more than just a holiday.

So today, I thank all those who have served before, serve now, sacrificed their lives so we can exist, I can only say thank you, but also try to find new ways to be in gratitude for those who do so much for us, and perhaps I have taken for granted.

Food For Thought, Inpsiration, Journal

John Wick, Rocky, The Matrix

Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

What is it about certain movies that I can watch over and over again? Specifically, the new trilogy John Wick, most of the Rocky’s (excluding 5 but including Creed 1&2) and The Matrix (just the first, the other two are hard to sit through). I could watch them while they are ending, or midway through, but the excitement of seeing it from the beginning baffles my wife. Especially Rocky IV which I probably have seen a few hundred times. The David and Goliath motif has always intrigued me, and more so when I’d like to think I would perhaps one day do the same against impossible odds.

The movies represent the what if’s in my life. A life where I not only stand up to the challenge, not over overcome it, but kick the shit out of it. Yet I also know that’s not exactly true as I know I have overcome a lot, but the movies represent a flashier way to get things done. The truth is, life and overcoming challenges is not always pretty or involve killing or punching someone, but pushing through your own demons, and self-pitying stories. It is taking the same step over and over towards the same vision. It is doing the boring things that you don’t want to do (like be on a treadmill for over and hour) or being  mentored by others. Giving up your ego. That resonates because in each of those movies, the hero gives up their pride. Goes to work. Learns the ropes. Then kicks ass. I do the same except no one want to see my life again and again.

But maybe just maybe, they might.

Family, Food For Thought, Inpsiration, Journal

Daily Celebrations

Photo by Hello I’m Nik on Unsplash

One of the privileges of celebrating Mother’s Day and Fathers Day or any annual event is the chance to give gratitude and be present in days where family matters. Yesterday, I felt immensely blessed to celebrate so many women in my life who represent the best of what it means to be a parent. It hit me that each day presents us with a chance to do that. Yet, I think it makes sense to have special days because, too often, in our daily grinds, we forget to recognize the important people in our lives.

There were so many birthdays for my father and aunt that I know look back with affection, and I am glad I got so much time to continually tell them I love them. I know when they left here, they knew they were deeply loved. And now in some ways, I celebrate them daily through these special days for others. Because of them, I now know how much these events mean.

Yes, there is regret, a tinge of grief, but there are also moments to smile, laugh, share happy tears and joy with so many who work so hard on a daily basis to make it better for others. And I realize now that it’s good to acknowledge people who do things unconditionally not for them, but to be inspired by them. To be around their positive and loving energy. To love learn from them, but mostly to love on them.

Family, Food For Thought, Inpsiration, Journal

Roiling Within

Photo by Mitch Lensink on Unsplash

From the social media pics, it looks like an amazing weekend. Yet within, emotional ache boils my senses. Each thought about what ifs, could’ve beens, should’ve beens. Roiling inside me over and over, grief, loss, loneliness, abandonment. Each moment turning into another and it makes me wonder for what. Yet the smiling pictures, the food, the drink, the smiles all shared to the public to show happiness, fun, light when within I choke in the darkness of sadness and hopelessness.

There are bright spots, small smiles, remembrances of the past, a time with a lot of emotional baggage, and where just got to be. A time before losing Ziba music, my father, my aunt, and others. A time when it felt that life would go on forever. So much shared laughter, fights, silly arguments, but fun. So much fun. Friends who befriended anyone that they met from me, and before long they had their relationships with them. Gratitude fills me to have people in my life who take time to get to know others. Who think its enough that I brought the person to their attention, and forms a friendship.

Thoughts and feelings all over the place, this monday. A beautiful weekend on pictures nothing more than pretence, illusion that I am living a happier life than I am. But there are moments, far and few between, there are moments, yet those brief moments don’t make it a happy life. Just a lived on.

Roiling within, I put these words out so others many no, no it wasn’t a good weekend, it just looked that way. Curated. Captioned. But not the full story. Not even close. I look back, and I wonder when regret and loss stop choking me, making me roil.  When will it go away? Or is it just a new reality where loss is part of life, and letting go of things that don’t serve you the new reality?