At year’s end

As the year comes to a close…

It’s that time of year for reflection and action as we learn from the days behind us, and look forward to the days ahead. The here and now is a good place to be. There is much joy, and much to be thankful for during the holidays; as well as a chance to dig deep. Amidst all of this, there is a dance between joy; and at times, an unexplainable sadness.

Goodness, kindness, and community are highlighted during the Christmas season. It is embedded in the movies we watch and the songs we sing; a hope for a better world, and a hope for change. We cheer for Scrooge, who finally sees that people are the most precious commodity. We shed tears of joy as George Bailey discovers that the wonderful life he has been searching for has been right in front of him the whole time.

Now the sadness, well there must be a reason and a place for it too right?

The holidays are also a time for togetherness, which can potentially make time alone feel well… lonely. I believe that this idea of togetherness highlights those who are no longer with us, and still hold a part of our hearts. All of us have lost someone to some extent; whether it be death to the body,  the heart that has lost hope, or a relationship faded. All things that have passed need to be mourned.

This aloneness does not have to equate to loneliness; it may be necessary.

 These times may be a call to reflect, remember, accept, or take action.

Who we are and what we do matters in this life. 

We live in the space between joy and sadness, so we must seek the purpose that is within that space.

Starting Somewhere

“Well, you gotta start somewhere,” I said to myself the other morning.

I woke up with a mind full of ideas, and about an hour until I had to leave for work. There was so much that I wanted to do, and it was a little overwhelming. I was thinking about projects at work, an upcoming Christmas party, playing guitar, writing a blog, New Year’s Eve plans, writing a story, reading Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson (part of the Stormlight Archive, fun read), hitting the trails, doing some push ups, and the list went on… and on. All this at 5:15am, and I had only been awake for a few minutes.

“Just breathe,” I said to myself. “Start there, and lay a foundation for success.”

So I decided to close me eyes and breathe. It was an exercise in meditation, and it was hard to get started. It takes a lot of effort to calm a mind, to de-clutter thoughts; but once you get started, it begins to make more sense. After about 5-7 minutes, the feeling of anxiety had left; and instead, a sense of peace came over me. The need to do everything was replaced with do something, which is right where we need to be.

The rest of my time that morning was spent reading, and it was good.

I felt focused and ready to take on the day at my workplace, and I was very effective.

It was a good day, all the way into the night; and throughout the day I reflected on the idea of starting somewhere. All the good we bring to this world comes from intention, and success does not come without doing the work.

So what started as a breath, is actually a foundation for success.

Tales from the Trails

I was running some trails last night up on Observatory Mesa here in Flagstaff AZ, and I found myself drifting into some deep reflection. These trails in particular are behind the neighborhood we lived in for 12 years, and I hadn’t run up there much since we moved two years ago.

The sun was setting, and dusk was here. The wind was blowing, and a slight mist began to fall. A dusky mist is a magical experience.

I have spent many hours on that Mesa on solo runs, pack runs, and family hikes. There are lots of memories, and lots of dreams. This latest solo run, in particular, spawned the idea for this blog. A series of reflections from trail runs.

Trail running has been part of my life for the past 6 years or so. I have experienced community and brotherhood, pain and suffering, adventures, fear, extreme heat, and extreme cold. I have found myself laughing out loud, talking to myself, and even singing out loud. I have also had runs full of tears, not from physical pain, but from deep emotions that were unlocked through the experience.

My goal is to write something after each run that speaks to me, and I hope this connects to anyone who enjoys experiencing life or digging deep.

Now…I think I’m going to hit the trails.





Bitter Sweet

It’s a bitter-sweet symphony, this life.

I feel this way at times during the holiday season.

Joy and sadness mingled together to make a melody that speaks deep into my core. It’s a time to embrace friends and family that are here, and lament those that are not.

The true beauty of this song, is the mental and emotional plain you can find yourself on. If you allow yourself the time to dive deep into both the joy and the sadness, we may find ourselves at a place of clarity. Personally, both aspects of this bring me to a place of action.

I’m a day dreamer, many of those dreams attainable if I put myself out there. Most require me start laying a foundation to build on. Any relationship that we want to maintain, grow, or establish; require us to do something. It can be as simple as making a phone call, or grabbing a cup of coffee (or tea if that’s your…well…cup of tea I guess).

I just watched It’s a wonderful Life last night with my youngest daughter, which in itself was great experience (I’ll take any snuggle time I can get with my kids nowadays). It was a good reminder that true wealth and fulfillment is not found through monetary means; but rather, in the relationships we have. I love the quote at the end (which I reference a lot) “No man is failure who has friends.”

So let us embrace both the song of praise, and the song of lament this season; as we remember that which has passed, and that which lies ahead.