Sunday, June 12, 2016

It Has Everything To Do With Being Home At The End Of The Day

Shortly after my alarm sounds, and after I complete my morning routine, I grab a cup of coffee, sit at my desk, check social accounts for work and blogs and scroll through social media feeds. This is how my work day starts. Weekdays. Weekends. It's all the same. Less than 30 seconds after getting situated at my desk this morning, my heart sank. All of my feeds were plastered with news about the mass shooting at the Orlando nightclub, Pulse.

I read a few articles and Twitter updates, grabbed my coffee and relocated to the kitchen table. Lisa was fixing breakfast for the kids. I told her what happened. I could tell her heart fell to the pit of her stomach like mine had.

A few hours later, they confirmed 50 people had died and another 53 were injured. This was now the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history.

For the remainder of the morning, and through the afternoon, I tackled work stuff and wrote articles. However, despite the effort to distance myself from anything related to social media, I was distracted by the thoughts running through my head. I could feel the weight. The darkness. That place I go to when stuff like this happens. To process it all. I don't stay there long.

I think that holds true for a lot of people. We have those places we mentally go to, when tragedy strikes, and we sit with it. Process it. Try to make sense of it...if that's even possible. 

For me, it was thinking about the people who went out last night to meet up with friends, have a few drinks, and dance. It was something they had planned. Looked forward to. Having fun. I remember years ago when my weekends included going to nightclubs. There was excitement in the air. Loud music. Boozy conversations. The last thing anyone had on their mind, back in the day and last night, was not returning home because of a mass shooting.

I thought about the decisions Lisa and I made when we started our family. We vowed to never board our kids. No more vacations. No more weekend getaways or overnight trips. If we leave the house together, it's never more than a few hours. We don't go out at night.

When we made those decisions four years ago, and as our family increased, it was solely because of our kids. It still is, however, the fundamentals behind these decisions has expanded. It's no longer just about the zero trust we have with any boarding facility, the profound negative impact it would have on our kids if we left for even just a night or the mere fact that you couldn't pay me enough to leave our kids for a week or weekend.

In the here and now, it's also having to think about putting ourselves in unnecessary situations, places and environments that could potentially be high risk. Don't get me wrong, I'm aware that even with the most well thought out efforts, something could happen to one, or both, of us. No one is immune to tragedy. But, I think that now, we're living in a time when we have to think more about what we do, where we go, the risks, and everything between.

There's so much hate and violence and sporadic terrorist attacks and mass shootings.

I realize a lot of people will say, "You shouldn't let these terrorist groups and attacks hinder your life or control where you go or don't go. If you succumb to the fear, they win." For those with that frame of mind...great. Travel on. Travel until your heart is content. See the world. Embark on those luxury vacations. Bon Voyage!

I don't need to get on a plane and head to Disney World just to prove I'm fearless and won't allow "the enemy" to control my life. Confetti won't fall from above and the red carpet won't roll out upon my arrival. No one is going to pat me on the back and say, "Great job Lisa! You didn't let the enemy win!"

For me, in my little dog mom world, it has nothing to do with who wins. It has nothing to do with living in fear or not living in fear. It has everything to do with being home with our kids at the end of the day.

Our kids depend on us for everything. What would happen if we weren't home at the end of the day. They wouldn't understand why. The stream of events to follow would be uncertain. Their world, as they know it, would crumble. There isn't a single thing, in this entire world, that I want to see or do to the point where I would risk putting our kids in that situation.


I'm 42 years old. If I haven't done it or seen it by now, chances are I won't.

I'm okay with that.

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