A few years ago, I was ducking through the Denver airport when a guy ran by on one of those George Jetson moving sidewalks. He was in full-boogy mode…suit coat open, necktie streaming over his shoulder, briefcase in one hand and a sheaf of files in the other. He was obviously a business traveler hoping to make a connecting flight…and he was well on this way. There was one thing he didn’t count on.
In this case, the moving sidewalk ended and he wasn’t ready for it. When he tried to transition from moving sidewalk to terminal carpet, he had just reached terminal velocity. His briefcase, papers, and upper torso continued on at speed when his feet stopped, pitching him forward about 3 feet in the air, but parallel to the ground. Gravity doing what it does, he piled it on the ground. Papers flew everywhere.
I’m not sure if he made his connecting flight, but I guarantee you he never forgot the layover.
I told you all that because I had a similar experience earlier this week. It wasn’t an airport sidewalk, but a project Kelsey and I were running hard on – and gaining speed – came to a halt in a ridiculously short amount of time…like, minutes. It came as such a shock that I sat down on the chair in our bedroom and admitted to Kelsey “uh….I don’t know what to do next.” It wasn’t as if I had nothing to do, but after putting so much energy and momentum into this one thing, when it stopped suddenly, it felt like the moving sidewalk ended and I was facedown in my files like the guy in the airport.
It was time for a family reboot. Kelsey, Queen of Priceline, scored us a couple of nights away. We loaded up the entire family The Abominable Snowman – the big white 15 passenger van that we save for special occasions when we all want to go somewhere and headed out of town.
I’d be amiss to say I’m not still a little bummed about the mystery project going pear shaped, but after a few days away with the family, I am (re)convinced of a few things.
My wife and kids are really, really funny. There were more untweetable comments than we usually gather in a month. I think we play off one another. Grayson and I, for instance, have the uncanny ability to both blurt out the same corny retort at the same time. It’s a little spooky.
I can’t afford not to think big. One of the best parts of the Project That Met an Untimely Death was that it was gargantuan. The payoff was massive. The scale was, to use an overused term, epic. Even though it knocked the wind out of me when it failed to materialize, I later recognized how alive I felt at that level. I’ve allowed small projects to busy my brain, unaware that they were sucking the life out of me. No more.
I can make things happen but I’d rather hear God. Even though our getaways are exponentially harder with the addition of each child, for some reason, when we get out of town, I hear from God. I had a couple of profound dreams in the last few days. I had some great quiet times pushing a stroller through a hotel hallway in the early morning hours and listening to the Daily Audio Bible on my Blackberry. I crave that more than The Next Big Thing.
So there you have it. It was a cruddy week. It was a great week. We’re still standing and that’s not something everyone can say. (Not) The end.
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