Sunday, April 13, 2014

Pep Talk: "Facing Fallout"

Fallout. Sucks.

The fallout might be a personal or professional relationship that once held such promise but no longer does.

The fallout might be our physical health that once held such promise but no longer does.

The fallout can arrive from many different directions, hit us when we least expect it. Have us wondering, “Are you kidding me?” I love those commercial clips - I forget for whom they toll - we see on television, especially during sporting events. Have you seen it? The legendary football coach Vince Lombardi, on the Green Bay Packers’ sideline, bellowing to anyone within earshot who might be listing, “What the hell is going on around here?’’

Got a few going on right now. A buddy and his long-time bride busting up. Two of my favorite people in the whole wide world. Great parents to a college-aged daughter. Love hanging with them. Thought they had the right ingredients to finish the race. It’s what I get for thinking. Life gets complicated, doesn’t it?

Another family near and dear to my heart also busting up. I’m part of it. This family is big, with many members. We share a similar spirit. Well, actually, I think we share several similar passions, ranging from a devotion to exercise to a devotion to community to a devotion to fun.

“Nothing lasts forever.” So true.

I wonder about the fallout. Speaking from personal experience of two marriages that ran out of steam, the fallout centers around kids. You can’t split them in two, right? You can’t clone them. When the team, whether family, business, athletics or whatever, splits, adjustments must be made. It requires us to adapt. Often, it ain’t easy. In fact, it can be quite painful.

I don’t know for certain what has allowed a somewhat somber and melancholy mood to settle over this simple dude from Missouri who loves to write these weekly Pep Talks for your consideration. I think it stems from the fact it’s my birthday time. Yep, chronologically Father Time has assigned me a new digit, 56. Why does that number seem far advanced than 55? I’m not smart enough to figure that out either.

What I do know is that life at this stage offers many great things: a pending wedding to the most amazing woman in the history of ever, plenty of exciting projects at Victory Productions and great gratitude for the continued good health for two beautiful children who are chasing dreams and goals.

But there is regret. I’m missing my kids. One is 24, living in New York City and kicking butt as an aspiring member of the Late Night With Seth Myers writing team for NBC. The other’s an emerging young woman beginning to consider college choices as she prepares for a final year of high school. Way too busy with school, life, a boyfriend and preparation for one more volleyball season for the Denver East High Angels. Halo! Halo! (Sorry, the weird dad comes out occasionally.)

To the point of this musing. There has been fallout. Because these kids have been forced to live in two different homes after decisions their parents made, I have not experienced as much of their lives as I desire. I’m struggling to see my computer screen clearly right now because of the tears welling in my eyes. Time lost, never to be retrieved. I’m giving credit for these emotional moments to advancing age.

The fallout when things go awry. How will we react? Victim or Student? It’s our choice. Choose wisely.

I think of a few who inspire me to choose the latter. In particular, men from the Denver Rescue Mission. The knuckleheads right off the streets, battling addiction to drugs and alcohol. I am blessed to lead their chapel service each Thursday morning and encourage them to achieve goals and overcome challenges. They know about fallout. You do, too.

One has a dream to start an exercise program for the men. This mentor is a veteran, a Marine. We’re working with the Colorado Fitness Association to round up equipment and volunteers to lead the exercise classes. You go, David!

Another man currently living at the Mission is musically inclined. Plays a mean guitar. We’re talking about starting a band. Full disclosure, I’m all in for this so I can participate as a lead singer!

Dealing with life’s unexpected twists and turns. It’s tough. It usually requires us to venture far from our comfort zone. It’s like skydiving from an airplane. It’s a good reminder that if we want to fly, we must be willing to crash.

Facing the fallout of life’s disappointments. Home. Work. Elsewhere. This week let’s take a cue from the guys just off the streets. Let’s face them with courage, not fear, as our guide!

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