Bobby’s World : Heroes



I present to you Bobby’s World, monthly musings from the one and only Hubby!  


A few weeks ago, a fellow teacher and I were talking about our upcoming field trip to Washington DC and inevitably got on the topic of Arlington cemetery, which led to further conversation on the D-Day invasion during WWII.

We were talking about what it must have been like to have been a soldier on that stormy morning of June 6th 1944. Perhaps you had volunteered after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Or maybe you had been drafted later as a replacement, as the death tolls rose higher and higher. Regardless of how you got there, you were crammed into a boat with other young men who were all asked by their country, future and present, to answer the highest call of citizenship; to defend their country and their freedom.

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The other teacher and I thought out loud, “What must have been going through their minds?” As the low rumble of the Higgins’ landing-craft motors churned through the high waters, I can imagine their hearts and minds trying to cope, sort and make sense of the barrage of emotions that were being thrown against them. Memories of home and loved ones far away, dreams of the lives they’d live if they returned home, silent prayers uttered to God above; all the while fear of death lingering in their thoughts and being stifled as deep down as possible. I’m sure many of them accepted what seemed to be the inevitable, and stared into the dark waters thinking of nothing at all.

And that fear of the “inevitable” was well warranted. The first wave at Omaha beach would endure a staggering 50% casualty rate, according to more conservative historians. Imagine for a moment, your life determined by the probability of flipping a coin.

It was in these young hands that our future hung in the balance. Many in their early twenties, and a few probably eighteen years old. What weight, what responsibility pressed upon that American youth who were asked to sacrifice their world for ours. Known as the “greatest generation,” it was not as much that they earned that title as it was simply who they were all along and displayed true greatness under such incredible pressure.

(One of my favorite post-rock songs written on behalf of the Greatest Generation. Instrumental.)

These men were heroes. They fulfilled Hemingway’s definition of courage as being “grace under pressure.” And such grace must be strong if it is to compel men forward across a half-mile of open beach under the hail storm of endless enemy fire.

This Memorial Day, I encourage you to remember those who have fallen on behalf of our nation, across our nation’s history and around the world. Personally, I like to close my eyes and think about the places that they went and the conditions that they faced. The frozen ground of Valley Forge and the rolling hills of Gettysburg. The fields of the Somme and the jungles of Vietnam. The forests surrounding Bastogne and the deserts of Iraq. The Chosin Reservoir of Korea, where my deceased neighbor Frank watched his entire platoon disappear in minutes. A small, unnamed village in Afghanistan where 1st Lt. Daren M. Hidalgo, my mentor and company captain at West Point, would pay “the last full measure of devotion.”

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This post is kicking off a series for my future monthly posts, appropriately titled “Hero Series.” Through these posts, I will be highlighting some personal heroes of mine (some real, some fictional) and calling out their character traits that I hope to model in my own life. While it is my hope that you may be introduced to some new heroes and to hear some interesting stories about the lives of some personal heroes of mine, the goal is that you would be inspired to think about your heroes and what it is about them that make you look up to them.

Who your heroes are says a great deal about you. It shows what impresses you, what you hold in high esteem, what you value and who you strive to be. I look forward to sharing my heroes with you over the next few months, and I hope you do the same with me.

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*Hero #1 Hint* My next post will focus on a person who was called “Plain Jack” growing up, Irish by birth, middle name was Staples, and died on the same day as the John F. Kennedy assassination. (No googling for the answer!)

Photo Credit

Friday Finds 5.26.17

Its the weeeeekkkkeeeennnnddd! And a long one at that.

Hubby & I are making our way to the B-Low so he can meet our sweet niece and we can spend some time with my family. I am very excited.

Fingers crossed the traffic isn’t too bad.

Here are some links for ya

  1. By hubby’s request. If this doesn’t make you dance, I just cant help you.
  2. Gah, the struggle is real. But, I am thankful for the reminder.
  3. My nanny head is nodding, also my wife head and daughter head.
  4. Booty poppin.
  5. yum.

Flipping the Script

I have a feeling I am about to tell you something you have heard before.

I know I have heard it, read it, talked about it more times than I can count.

Somehow though, it hasn’t been until recently that I have actually started going after it, like really-truly-whole-hearted going after it. I guess something about the ump-teenth time finally sunk in.

So even if you’ve heard it all before, maybe this will be the final push for you too.

Lets chat about thoughts, your inner dialogue, self talk, whatever you call all the chatter in the wonderful mind of yours.

Take a second and ponder the thoughts that come up most often for you in a typical day. How about when I tell you to think about specific things like your personality, your value, things you are good at, things you are not so good at, your fears, your dreams.

If your anything like me, much of what wants to pop up is negative. It is very easy for me to think of things I am not good at, but harder to come up with things I feel confident in. When I consider the thoughts that come and go through out the day its often a litany of scolding to myself about silly things like spilling my coffee and thinking “story of my life.” Or when I consider my dreams it is way to easy to think “yeah but your not smart, fit, organized, you-name-it enough”

Off it goes, the black hole of negativity and shame all at the hands of my wild running thoughts.

Here is the thing though, the thing that I am finally doing something about, I have control over my thoughts, you do too. (I know, I know, but I did warn you earlier that you have heard this before). Here is the reality, when I live from a place of “every bad thing that happens is ‘just my luck'” I am creating that narrative. I am choosing to take pause at the negativity and claim it as the thing that defines me.

Lets pretend your thoughts are like water to a plant, and your garden is only filled with two things, positivity or negativity. Where you choose to invest that water is what will grow, simple as that.

Often though, we live like the choice is made for us. That negativity section of the garden somehow screams loudest for water, even tricks us into thinking that feeding it will magically change some of the negative plants into positive ones (oh you know what I mean, like all the times you (read “I” ) have thought, “if I just hate my body enough I will beat it into being ‘beautiful'” or “If I believe I am bad at something, I will be motivated to try harder”). I don’t know about you, but I have never watered a weed patch well enough to turn it into a flower garden, mostly because I have never had a garden, but you get the metaphor.

2 Corinthians 10 tells us to “take every thought captive and make it obedient to Christ.” In case you didn’t know, there is not one time Jesus calls you dumb, stupid, or ugly. In fact God calls you his workmanship, says you are beautiful, and has chosen you to accomplish good works. So making those thoughts obedient means getting them in alignment with what God has already said about you.

Remember earlier when I said you create the negative narrative? Guess what that means, you can also create a positive one, and its all about that thought garden. Choose to tend positivity. When the negative thoughts scream for you, shut them down and go after positivity instead.

Seriously though, I know the temptation is there to write this off as woo-woo or whatever your dismissive descriptor of choice. Its easy to wallow in your circumstances and believe your powerless to them. It’s why I have heard this a thousand times and never did anything about it. But I am telling you, its worth trying. I mean, even if it seems woo-woo to you, what do you stand to lose by taking a couple weeks to try and change the script in your mind?

Nothing right? If you try, and it doesn’t work, your mind can go write back to fighting those weeds into flowers just like it has been. But what if you try and it works? Oh my, it could be amazing!

Start simply just taking notice of your thoughts at all. Become aware of moments and circumstances that are triggers for negativity, think about how you might be able to change that. If you believe in God, try to think about what He would say to you about that.

How about we start there and next week we can get more practical? If your already a pro at this, I would love to get your input on some tips and tricks.

Until then, I want you to know, you are a work of art, you are capable of greatness, you offer something so special to the world, who you are is wonderfully enough, and I am grateful for you.

 

 

Friday Finds 5.19.17

So maybe being off work this week made me forget its Friday. Oops.

Better late than never though, yeah?

Here is what I noticed on the internet this week:

  1. Hubby and I are going to a wedding tomorrow! We could not be more excited for these sweet friends of ours to tie the knot. & in case you wanted to know, I’ll be wearing this and these.
  2. Adding some of these to my pre-bed routine.
  3. I spent a wonderful day of this week off at my favorite place in the world, the beach! Anyone have a recipe for homemade sunscreen? I would love to try one, this one has potential, but thats some interesting ingredients.
  4. God has done this for me a few times, and it never gets old. Some helpful words from another writer along the vein of Mondays post.

Progressive Workout

Hey friends

Welcome back for your weekly workout. I am so glad you’re here!

This week we have a 15 minute progressive workout. What does that mean you ask?  We will do 4 sets of 4 moves, starting with a basic move and adding on to that move every 30 seconds.

So for example, in the first set, you will start with your left leg forward doing a standard lunge. After 30 seconds, you will add a curtsey lunge, so you will do a regular lunge, then a curtsey lunge until the bell. When that bell rings you will add a reverse fly, so you will lunge, curtsey lunge reverse fly. Each set will have a total of 4 moves by the end, and you will do a final round of 30 seconds performing all 4 moves for the total 30 seconds.

I promise explaining it is more confusing than actually doing it.

So go get those weights, a mat, and your favorite playlists and we will get to it.

 

Your written breakdown

Set 1

  1. Lunge left
    With left leg forward, step right leg back, keeping hips square ahead. Lower righ knee to just above the ground, so left leg is at a 90-degree angle, with the left knee and heel in line.
  2. Curtsey lunge left
    With left leg forward step right foot back and slightly past the outside of the left heel, keeping hips square. Lift and lower the left leg to 90 degrees.
  3. Reverse flies
    Stand with feet close together, slightly bend the knees, hinge forward at the waist. Extend arms in front, palms facing each other. With arms straight, lift arms outward (like a bird)
  4. Tricep Kickbacks
    Stand with feet close together, slightly bend the knees, hinge forward at the waist. Bend arms to 90 degrees, palms facing each other, lift so upper arms are slightly higher than your back. Bring upper arm in towards shoulders, then extended back squeezing the triceps

Set 2

  1. Lunge right
    With right leg forward, step left leg back, keeping hips square ahead. Lower left knee to just above the ground, so right leg is at a 90-degree angle, with the right knee and heel in line.
  2. Curtsey lunge right
    With right leg forward step left foot back and slightly past the outside of the right heel, keeping hips square. Lift and lower the left leg to 90 degrees.
  3. Bicep curl
    Weights in hand, elbows tucked close to sides, palms facing ceiling, slowly lift and quickly lower
  4. Overhead press
    Standing with feet shoulder width apart, lift arms like a goal post, arms bent 90 degrees and upper arm parallel to the floor

Set 3

  1. Squat
    With weight in the heels, lower as though you are about to sit in a chair, making sure your knees do not go past your toes
  2. Hop back to plank
    From standing, bend forward lowering hands to the ground, hop (or walk) feet back into plank
  3. Pike
    Starting in plank position, push your hips up into downward dog, lower back to plank
  4. Knee to elbow tap
    As your return to plank (from above), with leg parallel to the ground, tap your right knee to your right elbow. Return to plank, then to pike, then tap left knee to left elbow.

Set 4

  1. Hip Bridge
    Laying on the ground, legs bent with knees up, push your heels as close as possible to your butt. Using your glutes, lift your hips squeezing the whole way.
  2. Calf raise
    Begin with your feet flat, lift to tip toes. Lift and lower.
  3. Chest fly
    Lay on the ground on your back, with weights in hand extended arms out and in at 90 degrees from your body.
  4. Skull Crushers
    With arms overhead, keeping the upper arm in place, lower the forearms to 90 degrees with weight hovering over your forehead, lift back up to straight arms, extending to pinch in the triceps.

 

 

Do Me a Favor

Would you do me a favor today?

It would really mean a lot to me.

It is no secret that depression has been a frequent follower of mine. I have found myself thinking of the constant struggle within me when I find that naggy monster at my side. Maybe if depression has followed you around too you know exactly what I am talking about. The whole, desperately wanting people to come alongside you, but being terrified of actually being with people. Needing friends more than ever but feeling like you don’t know how to be a friend, or how to ask for what you need.

This podcast challenged me over the weekend (warning there is some rough language). It brought words to some of the feelings I have had in the past and sometimes experience now. I was reminded of the wonderful friends and family who have come alongside even when it was hard, and probably very frustrating and confusing.

Today though, my heart feels heavy for others in this bitter place. The place of needing and wanting but not knowing what or how. The heaviness becomes pretty unbearable when I think about how easy it is for those people to hide, and to be glossed over. Honestly I can be one of the best hiders.

So if you could, just reach out to someone today. Tell them your thinking of them. Better yet, remind them why you like them, remind them of all the goodness you see in them. You never really know what burdens those around you carry. What I do know is, speaking life and encouragement to someone takes a little piece of that burden, and we could all use some help from time to time.

Friday Finds 5.12.17

Friday is upon us. Its the freakin weekend AND I am off work next week.

Even better, my brother and sister in law are coming to town.

Enough of my excitement. What do you have going on this weekend?

See anything worth mentioning on the web? Here are a few finds of my own:

  1. Our loudness is a bit embarrassing, but here is one American trait I for one, can be proud of.
  2. Learning how to have compassion for yourself is hard, but such valuable and crucial work.
  3. Warning, sex content ahead. I found this took some pressure off though, so share I will.
  4. Chance the rapper AND Bieber, are you kidding me?! (Also I fully accept that this is a guilty pleasure, and I am okay with it.)