So, lately I have been busy beyond belief. This isn’t stated to imply that others aren’t equally busy.
But busy honestly isn’t better. In fact, it can make you less effective, lag in impact, and affects your ability to produce results that matter.
With that in mind, I want you to know that I’m not planning on going anywhere long term.
But, after thinking and mulling some things over, I think I need a little break. I have only ever taken one, and that was when my brother, Tim, passed away.
Space is good. Quiet is sometimes even better. Social media gives us opportunity to connect instantaneously over any number of subjects, for many reasons, and in powerful ways.
It can also drain, cloud boundaries, and create urgency that perhaps shouldn’t be there.
Resting allows us to come back refreshed, energized, and with perspective that is renewed.
I’m counting on it!
I love you, cherish our community together, and will be back May 6th.
I found this post regarding the Boston Marathon to be poignant. There was no author mentioned.
As some of you know, I was 1/2 mile from the finish line when the explosion went off.
I had no idea what was going on until I finally stopped and asked someone.
Knowing that my family was at the finish line waiting for me, I started panicking, trying to call them. Diverted away from the finish line, I started walking down Mass Ave towards Symphony Hall still not knowing where my family was.
Right before the intersection of Huntington, I was able to get in touch with Bryan and found out he was with my family and they were safe. I was just so happy to hear his voice that I sat down and started crying. Just couldn’t hold it back.
At that moment, a couple walking by stopped. The woman took the space tent off her husband, who had finished the marathon, and wrapped it around me. She asked me if I was okay, if I knew where my family was.
I reassured her I knew where they were and I would be okay. The man then asked me if I finished to which I nodded “no.” He then proceeded to take the medal off from around his neck and placed it around mine. He told me “you are a finisher in my eyes.” I was barely able to choke out a “thank you” between my tears.
Odds are I will never see this couple again, but I’m reaching out with the slim chance that I will be able to express to them just what this gesture meant to me.
I was so in need of a familiar face at that point in time.
This couple reassured me that even though such a terrible thing had happened, everything was going to be okay.
On Monday, once I started crying, I simply couldn’t stop. My 11-year-old came and quietly placed his arms around me, hugging me tightly. And I cried some more.
I cried for the injured individuals, the assault on freedom and our republic; forged through trial and sacrifice, as well as for the eye witnesses seeing horror first hand.
When Sandy Hook occurred, I posted this rather obscure quote from Mr. Rogers. Now, it is quite prolific. No mind…I simply love it.
Here’s to the Todd Beamers, the policemen, fire fighters, and first responders everywhere. And I bow the knee to those who found themselves on Monday, acting as such.
Not because they chose to be in that position, but because they were. Freedom has a way of instilling benevolence, generosity, and compassion. It always will.
I believe that Americans are good. They are generous. They understand deep down that sacrifice gave them the ability to choose. And they rise to the occasion again and again when the chips are down.
I love our country. I am deeply grieved. Evil rears its ugly head, with the false perception that it will close in, smother and kill. But in the end, freedom will prevail.
I believe this with my entire being. Sometimes one needs to pause, regroup, and evaluate; even if but for brief moments. And then? Then it is time to press on.
If I want hope to remain ignited, I must take the time to look. For there are those who reveal the fruits of freedom through personal actions.
In 2009, I was challenged by my brother, Tim and my dear friend Sherra Humphreys, to start a blog.
Over three years later, here I am.
I love the personal growth it has afforded me, and the opportunities that have presented themselves as a result of being faithful.
Social media brings a wealth of connection and invitation to communicate within a broader spectrum.
I love watching influence grow…sometimes fast, sometimes slow.
It is my belief that nothing is eternal except the human soul. Through TommyMom, I have had the privilege of connecting with many of them.
Some have been nearly lifelong friends; while still others have landed in this community through connections I don’t personally possess. Regardless, I am the better individual for experiencing community with each of you. In fact, it would be safe to say, I love it!
We have laughed, cried, and even celebrated together. You have contributed thoughts and ideas, have challenged and shaped, questioned and quipped. Again, I love it.
I am humbled, grateful, challenged and engaged. I look forward to the future and love the possibilities of expanding and growing to include an even broader base of people; celebrating, sharing, experiencing growth and loving together, on this journey called life.
Happy Valentine’s Day!
After a series of “heavy-revvy” posts, I decided to travel waaayyy back, to the first few month of TommyMom’s online existence. Ever have a stellar idea get out of control quickly? Of course not. Your house and life are perfect, right? I have had many people tell me that the “Potty Points” idea I have shared far and wide has revolutionized their lives. Clearly, many of us need to get out more. In any regard…I hope if you haven’t seen this idea it is helpful, while also wishing that even though Christmas is gone, you will get a hearty laugh out of a “great tool gone bad!” The comments left by people who were “crying they were laughing so hard” were worth the vulnerability. As always, trying to keep it real here. Over and out.
“The Most Wonderful Time of the Year” is in full swing.
The following is another simple, great addition to your holiday wish list…
I hope it finds its way into your home.
You’re about to see what a cutthroat dynamic addition it’s been to ours…
Please remember, if you will, that I live in a house full of men.
Even the pets are male.
Aside from my own mother, God bless her very existence, there is nary another female in sight.
The competition at times is stifling.
There is no such thing as a “friendly” game of anything.
Please don’t misunderstand…
For the most part, Sons #1-#5 are great sports.
But there is only so much you can do with an environment that is constantly dominated by males.
May I draw your attention to an addition to our continuous and constant educational pursuits that is a tremendous asset?
Behold… “Potty Points.”
It has a nice ring to it, does it not?
I must give full credit for this idea to two individuals…
my friend, Jeanne Bradley, and Bill Gates.
I’ll explain another time about Bill…I promise.
The concept is a fabulous one.
You post a simple white board in a space that is susceptible to “useless down time”…
or “potentially productive time” that is otherwise “wasted.”
I don’t think that I need to elaborate any further for you where ours is located.
On this board, you converse with family and friends…
or in our case, anyone that happens by, in need of a restroom.
I post photos and memorabilia…
topics related to what we are currently studying…
“Love notes” to Sons #1-#5…
(I’m quick to admit that they don’t necessarily see them that way).
It is great for ongoing conversations…
Slipping pop cultural references into our studies…
Poor, poor “Office” obsessed child…I’m praying for you.
( I actually found it quite clever and hysterically funny…don’t tell Son #1.)
In keeping with the spirit of the season…
I decided that we would engage in simple word derivatives/word formulation activities,
so I posted this:
- The question was:
How many different words can you make out of Merry Christmas?
For the remainder of this post,
my personal thoughts are italicized for the sake of ease and clarification for the reader.
I’m just reporting this as it happened…
and continues to happen.
I started the game with several words…
Others chimed right in…
“Hmm, this is fun…a nice respite to the often heady nature of this board.”
Day #2: I came in to this message about a third of the way down row #2
“Nice try, Madre…you thief! Please ‘thank God for the effort to be polite here‘ see #15 and delete #38.”
Later that evening, my husband comes to me where I am deeply engrossed in reading.
“May I speak to you?” “Uh oh…what’s Son ( fill in a number here) done?” “Is it bad?” “Are stitches needed?”
“It seems that you have overlooked a rule in the word formation game.” That’s it?!?!
“You can’t use a letter more than once if it’s only in the word(s) once, you know.
I think that word #32 is your writing.
Can you change that asap?”
“Good Lord, you’ve got to be kidding…this was supposed to be a FUN activity!”
Enter Son #5 who doesn’t yet read beyond simple words…
“Can you come to the bathroom with me?”
He points to the board and says, ” I would like to add the word myrrh to the list. And please put an initial behind it for my name. I want people to know I did it.”
“Myrrh?!?” Hmm…am I spelling this correctly? Can it be that Dr. Raymond Moore and Dr.Oliver DeMille are indeed, correct??!?…that if I “leave a child to learn naturally, they are fully capable through a third grade education?!” That if I “inspire don’t require” it all works out in the end?!?!?
Son #2′s initial contribution?: Cher.
He, along with #1, needs serious intervention measures.
This morning at 1:00 a.m. …
It’s “hero hubby” again…
“Do you know who is using double letters that don’t exist in the phrase?!?” Word #s 75,76,and 77 are all infractions.”
“For the love of everything moral and decent! Do you know what TIME IT IS?!?!”
Son #2: “Psst…Mom!” ( urgent whisper)
“Do you think we could move to a holiday phrase or song title next?”
“That’s IT! Where’s the eraser?!…
Happy Hanukkah to those celebrating!..
do Driedle games ever resort to this?!
Postscript: Son #5 has contributed 5 words as of this post…the last of which was “mime.” I’m seriously following up on the reading claim..
I mean it.
To expound on Bill Gates: I had a friend who cut his hair for years. One day, he mentioned to her that he was especially concerned with the time wasted in walking from his car in the garage to the side door where he entered his house. He decided to hang a map of the world on an empty wall he passed by to remedy this problem! He stopped “roughly 15 seconds” on his new route to the door, and learned “specifics about each continent and the countries on them” in doing so. Sometimes we make education far too difficult!
Legacy isn’t primarily created in the glory-filled moments. Rather, it is consistent and simply choices that are significant that produces it day by day.
Challenges bring out so many things in folks.
People who have been involved in past “battles” sometimes tap back into the emotions surrounding those battles.
Others who are afraid by nature, tend to let that fear get the better of them, even if only temporarily.
Some just like to complain, because if they don’t have something to complain about, they would complain about it!
Still others like to exaggerate their plight in hopes that they will be seen as high achievers when the dilemmas get worked out.
Don’t get me wrong. I am not underestimating things that happen to create stress. It is very real, and when it occurs; hopefully it can’t be attributed to you!
My point is…
none of the actions above provide anything that is closer to a solution.
They might make us feel better temporarily…
but often times they only fail to move us forward.
Make no mistake…
they are contagious and self-perpetuating.
you can hear people lamenting about the same things…
in the same ways…
and they’re still no closer to a solution.
It’s an energy drainer!
these types of actions can steal the optimism that others have as well.
I want to remind you of some things:
1. Mentoring/Coaching without compassion, is either bribery or bullying.
You have to have compassion for people’s plights.
I know that I don’t want to ever be accused of not being “people focused.”
However, in the midst of being people focused…
2. Try to steer clear of Quick Solutions.
If you are solving all of the problems…
other people aren’t learning how to solve them.
Your job does not include solving everyone’s problems for them.
Teaching them that sometimes waiting for things to settle…
or taking the time for a longer range solution…
will not only save time in the long run…
it is often far more effective and is just good mentoring/coaching.
3. Allow for individuality…
that gets the desired results.
People aren’t always going to do things the way we want them to…
but as long as it isn’t in blatant disregard for policy or authority…
people need to put their own brand on how they perform.
This only emphasizes the last point even more.
Productive problem solving is then just one more thing…
that individuals can put their mark on…
with your guidance!
By modeling confidence and consistency…
you set the example for how you want others to respond to uncertainty.
I am reminded of a quote that sums it up!
“In a crisis, don’t hide behind anything or anybody. They are going to find you anyway.”
Thanks for all you do for kids,
As a follow up to my brother, Tim’s thoughts on Friday; it is my profound pleasure today, to share an e-mail that I received a month after his death. I can’t tell you what it meant to me, along with the friendship that has resulted from it. I am grateful to Spencer Ruf for many things. At the bottom of his e-mail is an indication of his willingness to help me with “whatever I needed.” He meant it. Here he is, helping me do one of my most feared and highly anticipated jobs: cleaning out my brother’s garage.
We had some great laughs about a few of the things we found, including this antique chicken pitcher. Scary on many levels. This was the beginning of the great “snowlapalooza” in Seattle. While we were going about our task, it snowed nearly 3 inches. I was concerned, in that Spencer had no 4 wheel drive, a long distance to travel, and it was getting interesting by Seattlelite standards! When I voiced this, he responded with a simple but telling statement: “I just got new tires last week. I’ll be fine. And besides, you never leave the team.”
And he hasn’t. Nor have any of the other tremendous gentleman who coached with my brother. They have checked in on me, run every ongoing detail by me, accommodated each and every request and provided comfort and strength; proving they are in it for life, rather than just a game. I am deeply indebted to all of them.
Legacy. It’s powerful, it’s built action upon action, principle upon principle. And it is what you will leave.
Make it count.
Tim certainly did.
Good afternoon Teri,
I hope life has started to settle back into a pattern for you over the past month or so and life is resuming with some sense of normalcy.
Over the past month, I have been able to take a step back and do my own reflecting on my life and priorities. First of all, I just really wanted to share my appreciation of how awesome a guy Tim is. I know, being your brother and knowing him a lot better than I did you know this, but just felt I needed to share.
He really is an amazing individual and as I reflect back, played such a HUGE and pivotal part in my life on a whole bunch of different levels. He was an amazing coach to me when I was in school, an inspiring mentor to me when coaching with him, and a great friend to myself, my wife and family. Not a day has passed by that I haven’t thought of him, or haven’t continued to be influenced by his actions and words. I will forever appreciate him and the role he played in my life. In high school, I lived in a divorced family of 6 kids. My dad was in a different state, and Tim was very much a stabilizing male role that was critical for me as I was learning to make my own decisions. When we coached together, he helped show me by example and through our talks, what truly is important in life. Even though I never told him this, (because he loved coaching so much), our discussions were one of the reasons I stopped coaching; in order to be the dad I felt I wanted and needed to be for my 3 kids. As a friend, he continued to be a shining example of how I could be a better person, by always living for others with God as a guiding force. I know how much his football ring meant to him; and you knew that as well, as you wore it to the memorial. I just wanted to share that I came across my state championship ring a couple of weeks ago. Coming from a modest family, I never bought a ring because I couldn’t afford it. As a surprise, Tim gave me one when we were coaching together as a (much too generous) birthday gift one year.
Just shows what a thoughtful and amazing individual he is!
After not putting it on my finger for many years, I have started wearing it again in pride and honor; not for the football win, but as a remembrance of him. Not a day goes by where I don’t miss him; but know he is aware that he is still influencing me, so is smiling!
The other thing I wanted to follow up on, is that I was very serious in my offer to help take care of things up here if you need help. I can never pay back the many things that he did for me, and am happy to help out as much as I can; if you require someone local to help complete any tasks or actions to make your life easier.
With appreciation forever,