Tolling Bell

There are times in life when the world seems against us. As if everything we touched, planned-for, or even expected to happen, suddenly goes awry. The sunshine seems a little darker, the air becomes a bit thicker and our views cloudier. My words are not some new revelation here, we all experience these markers of uneasiness in our lives at some point or another. There are days when it just seems marginally ok to simply remain in bed rather than face the reality of a new one, and with it the potential trauma it may bring. This year certainly has pushed many of us to new emotionally charged internal holdings in a lot of new ways. For me, after faring well through what the rest of us have been forced to deal with in this new world of isolation and fear, my life still managed to take another sudden turn recently.

I received a phone call several weeks ago which completely rocked my world, in a bad way. It came with some warning I guess, but the reality of the dialogue made it real and official. I’ve taken a couple of weeks for some much-needed reflection and contemplation towards the long-term implications associated with the content discussed. Hours walking the local high school track and several 10-hour drives over to another state and back for business, have allowed me a welcome opportunity to better compartmentalize my emotions on this one. Some of that recent COVID stuff has taken a toll but in a different way. Troublesome and inconvenient- yes, but not soul damaging by any stretch of the imagination as this new revelation has been. The old saying goes: “this too shall pass”, unfortunately for us, it will not. It is a new reality.

When facing adversity, the conceptual framework presented below rings true I believe. Initially, you should try to march confidently forward investing in your reserve fortitude during rough patches in life. It could take some effort to do this for a sustained amount of time, but in order to become potentially victorious, it is paramount to at least try.

Imagine two boxers fighting in a ring. They are evenly matched and fully capable of defeating one another. As soon as the first-round bell sounds, they march towards the center and begin the encounter. Together they dance strategically, but there will be two scenarios that play out over time. One of them will conquer and the other will fail.

In the process, the canvas may become familiar territory. A place where the knocked down athlete spends time before regaining composure. It will either mark the end of his fight altogether, or the start of his resilience to get back up and continue. A mindset whereby a true battler is determined to not stay down for very long.  This will be our approach too, make no mistake there.

Though in the end, one challenger will not win. He still does everything within his power to remain formidable. In doing so, an internal fire remains burning strong within, regardless of the number of times down on the canvas or previous losses in the column. There are no guarantees ever with any adversity. In my mind, it is still much more subtle to get up all bruised and bloodied then to remain down for the count and accept defeat. A concept we will never accept with our son, ever.

For the winner, his pursuit was relentless, and the preparation admirable and determined. Perhaps he too possesses a never-say-never approach to becoming victorious. The same attitude we have acquired through the years with Kaden. I actually think we as a family possess some of the character traits and attributes of both combatants, having been there many times over. Down for a bit, and also with hands raised in victory.

My son has Stacey, Aryn, and myself to do his fighting  for him, he remains unaware of day to day trials and tribulations. His world is pure and innocent. Soon all three of us will accept a new role on his behalf, once again. It is what we do. We are fighters, we are mighty fighters. We know how to do this, never fear.

Your adversities may be long, and the road leading through them could be littered with potholes. Know as you proceed forth towards new uncertain obstacles, you can still manage to do so with full purpose and vigor. Never be afraid to get knocked down, the real key is making sure you get back up each and every time no matter how slowly.

And remember too, no one ever said life was going to be an easy journey. But one ever said you couldn’t re-define what it means to you either. Allow your ever-strengthening spirit-will, to lift your physical body from horizontal to vertical, again and again as needed.

Life is going to through curveballs out of nowhere to each of us without warning.  The real question is… how do you respond when it does? Do you step up towards the challenge or quickly fall down in overwhelm?  We have been floored countless times, but never remained there. Nor will we on our new adversity

When there is such a unique situation with a child as we have, the uncertainty of life takes on an entirely new understanding and deciphering of it. There have been a million and one difficult conversations endured together with respect to him. Each and every one of them we faced directly and remained confident and strong in our purpose. This one too shall be approached the same way. Perhaps this new adversity is just my periodic kick in the ass from complacency  reminding me to never take our circumstance for granted.

In three weeks, we will get fitted for our new gloves.

It’s almost showtime.


Please join me on October 1 in Meredith NH for my only stage appearance of the year in New England. See Eventbrite under my name for details.


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3 replies
  1. Aric H. Morrison
    Aric H. Morrison says:

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  2. Katherine Heigel
    Katherine Heigel says:

    Greetings from Ireland. I am a singer-songwriter and stumbled upon your site. Glad to be here. I am going to read more of your blogs and follow you. I love the boxing analogy in this one. Nicely done.


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