A Running Vacation – A Runcation

It’s been a couple of weeks since I posted an article, there are a couple of reasons for this.

1. The last two weeks I’ve been on a vacation (runcation) with my wife which consisted of 7 days on a cruise ship. It was awesome.

2. I wanted my last post to sit and stew for a while because as I’m sure you can imagine, this last week has been a little tough.

The Runcation

As the name would lead you to believe our vacation was in fact a cruise that involved running. More aptly, the “Run For Fun Cruise”. This cruise started in Fort Lauderdale and took us to Princess Cays in the Bahamas, then to St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands, and finally to St. Maarten which is a small island owned by both the French and the Dutch.

It was a beautiful trip with even more beautiful people.

I convinced my wife to take this trip because of the company we’d be keeping, and it despite the slightly higher cost, I think it was a good choice. My friend Bruce Van Horn spoke twice on the cruise and we got to hang out with more people from our neighbor Canada than I’ve ever met in my life. It turns out they are actually as nice as people claim them to be.

The Healing

The other reason we decided to take this cruise is because it covered the week where the anniversary of Layla’s passing would occur. We knew it would be a really tough week and we thought maybe it would be a little easier to bear if we could spend our time together on the ocean. I also think this turned out to be a good choice.

As we’ve done since day one my wife and I took this time to lean in on each other as opposed to away from each other. It’s been our key to sanity and healing and if I only had one piece of advice for other couples going through something difficult it would be lean on each other. You have to go through the tough times together.

I want to end this post by telling my wife how much she means to me and how proud I am of her in the past year. She’s a rock. She’s my rock. And without her I would never be able to wake up everyday and do what I do.

 

An anniversary I’m dreading…

Today I’m doing something I’ve never done before. I’m sharing on the blog something I sent my email subscribers earlier this morning.

I generally don’t do this because the email subscribers have taken that extra step to be a part of the community. They’ve opened the door just a bit further. And they deserve to get content above and beyond what I post here.

But today is a bit different.

I’m getting ready to start something I feel called to do. Called to do more than anything else I’ve done in the past year.

The below email I sent to my list will explain it in more detail. (A note to my subscribers, this won’t be a regular thing, you’ll still be the first one’s to get exclusive content, I promise—but this is something I’m really passionate about.)

Here’s the email:

It’s fast approaching the anniversary of the worst day of my life…It hasn’t gotten much easier.

In three weeks it will be a year since our family lost our precious daughter. I thought there would be some comfort felt over time. Maybe even a little sense of understanding. But the more I think about it, the less sense it makes.

If you’re getting this email then it’s likely you know the story of why I do what I do, but if you have received this email because someone you know forwarded it to you, then you can get the back story here.

Since May 1st of last year I’ve written almost 200 articles, published a new book (about golf and it’s healing nature), and started a podcast. Not to mention met some incredibly awesome people along the way. But in spite of all of those great things, when I lay down at night I still have that sinking feeling in my stomach that reminds me I lost my daughter.

I lie in bed and stare at the ceiling wondering why it had to happen to us. Not that I’d wish it on anyone, but I’m also not a martyr. Or don’t want to be one at least. If that seems selfish, I’m sorry, but I’m just being honest.

The only difference between now and one year ago is that I’m willing to accept this is my circumstance. I’m willing to take it for what it is and try and move forward. I don’t want to, but if I’ve learned nothing else in the past year, it’s that I can’t change the past. I can’t go back and do it over again, and if I could, there’s nothing within my power I can do to change the outcome.

God had his plan, and who am I to change it?

I’m sure I’m not alone in this understanding, but does that seem to make it any easier? I’m willing to bet you’ll agree with me and say, “No. It doesn’t.”

When Layla passed away I had no idea where my life would go. What would become of it. And I still don’t. But what I do know is that I’m not willing to sit by and wither away. In the nine months we were graced with her presence, Layla showed us that a smile can change the outcome of a day. A giggle can make all the bad feelings disappear. And because of that I’m on a mission.

A mission to make something of my life. To make something of her life. To share her memory with the world, and what her memory has done for my soul.

In three weeks I’m starting a new book project.

It’s going to be five books total and each book will cover a different stage of the grieving process. I’m not sure what I think I know that makes me qualified to write these books, but I don’t care. I’m writing them anyway.

But I need your help.

I want to include stories from you, my cherished readers. Because you are the driving force behind what keeps this blog going. If you didn’t read it, I’d probably still write (because writing is part of me, it’s part of who I am), but I wouldn’t feel nearly as inspired each day to do so.

If you’ve experienced the loss of someone in your life please reply to this email and share your story. If you don’t want me to include your name let me know (I’ll most likely change all the names anyway as to just ensure everyone has anonymity) and I’ll gladly ensure I use a pseudonym.

But your stories are what matter. This is a community of people who care for each other, and want others to not just survive, but THRIVE.

Also, if you know someone who is not on this email list (which means they didn’t receive this email originally) please share this with them. Forward it to them and have them reply back to me with a story. I want to know HOW you have coped with the loss of someone important in your life. HOW you have gone about living in spite of the challenges.

It’s never easy, but if we can come together and help create something amazing, then maybe we can help someone else.

If you are on this email list all you have to do is reply and your email will come straight to me. If this has been forwarded to you and you’d like to share a story then you can email me at the address below.

chandler@chandlercrawford.com

Much love,

Chandler

P.S. If you’re not on this email list and it was forwarded to you then you can join the email list here, it’s totally free and you’ll get a bonus book about life.

 

That’s the email. I feel passionate about this book project and the only other thing I feel this way about is my memoir, which is something I’m not sure I’m ready to write yet.

If you want these emails, then you can join below or in the sidebar. But really, I want to know your struggles with grief and what you’ve done to survive.

Go ahead, shoot me an email, you never know what may come of it. One of the coolest people I’ve ever had the pleasure of talking too I met through a Facebook message and a call to action similar to this—his name is Bruce Van Horn, and in 2 weeks I’ll be running the Ft. Lauderdale Half-Marathon with him and then departing on a 7-day cruise where he’s speaking.

You never know what can happen when you take a small leap of faith and reach out. There will be someone to catch you.

Join the Old Soul Newsletter

What’s your transitional object?

A couple of weeks ago I had Bruce Van Horn on The Old Soul Podcast (you can find that episode here).

One of the things we talked about on the episode was transitional objects. The main example we used were children and their relationships with things such as stuffed animals, blankets, and pacifiers. Bruce talked about how those objects are ways for us to express or convert our emotion through during times of transition.

As I’ve gone on for the last couple of weeks I’ve thought about it quite a bit. I’ve thought back to transitional objects in my life. There have been a few.

There was a beanie baby bear. There was a pillow. There was my thumb (which took me way too long to give up). And there was an Alladin comforter.

Now, the Alladin comforter nearly went to college with me.

After I graduated from Basic Training in the Army and came home to get ready to go to college, I began packing my bags. As I packed up my room my dad was helping me put clothes and books into a suitcase and some boxes. I folded up my Alladin comforter that had been with me for as long as I could remember. I was 18 at the time.

As I started to put the blanket into a bag my dad stopped me. “Are you really going to take that with you?” He asked.

“Well…Yeah.” I said. But then I looked at the comforter and I looked back at my dad. In that moment I knew it was time to give it up. But I didn’t want to.

It wasn’t really the comforter itself that I was attached to. It was the comfort it brought me. The memory of being nestled in my bed for as long as I could remember.

It reminded me of safety.

Going to college didn’t automatically make me think of being unsafe. But it was uncomfortable. I didn’t really know what to expect. And the comforter was supposed to give me some continuity.

It was supposed to be something consistent in a time of transition.

But objects are just objects. Why do we attach such sentimental value to objects?

Maybe it’s something a loved one gave to you.

Maybe it’s something you bought at a yardsale while you were with someone you care about.

But ultimately the object just represents some memory of a time, place, or person in your life.

So the continuity isn’t with the object. It’s with your memory.

It’s with you.

If you feel as if you’re stuck in a time and place then take a look at some of the things in your life. Some of the things you feel a special attachment too. Are they transitional objects? It’s not as if I’m asking you to burn things in your backyard, or throw all of your belongings away. But if there is something you’ve been looking at for years and wondering why you haven’t gotten rid of it, maybe it’s the thing that’s keeping you stuck.

Not just the object, but the mindset of being tied to a certain time or place.

The world changes with or without you. And people are scared of change. But in order to move forward you have to accept change. And sometimes in order to do that, to really embrace the change, you have get past transitional objects.

Getting past transitional objects doesn’t mean you have to strip the memories. In fact I want you to do the opposite. I want you to remove the object from the memories and allow them to live freely.

This might seem a bit philosophical, and it is, but when you tie memories and experiences strictly to objects, you’re not allowing yourself the freedom to enjoy those memories and experiences independently. And doing that is what will allow you to move forward and create exponentially greater memories.

So, what’s your transitional object?

What habits I have

I never walk around my house with my pants unbuttoned. 

I don’t do this because someone I grew up around, and despised, did this all the time. He’d walk around with his pants unbuttoned and no shirt on.

There is nothing specific about this attire that I can pinpoint as a pet peeve. However, the whole thing just seems disgusting to me.

I apologize if this offends anyone. It’s not directed at you, person with your pants unbuttoned. It’s just something branded in my memory bank.

He’d also slap a pack of Marlboro Reds agains his hand several times. Then untwist the plastic and open the pack.

With a flick of is wrist he’d pop the filter of a cigarette out of the top of the box and grab it with his teeth.

He did this religiously and meticulously. With a strike of the flint in a lighter smoke would billow from the fire of the burning paper. Then he’d take a draw and pop his jaw. Out would come a smoke ring.

It was a masterful display of such an ugly activity. And I hated it every time he did it.

But it was a habit he had. Not just the smoking. But the ritual of it all.

I’ve often caught myself chewing on pens. The clip that attaches to your shirt. The clicker pieces that pushes the ball point out the end of the pen. The middle of the pen when I really in deep thought.

The pen doesn’t matter. It could be in a bank. It could be my son’s or a friends. I know—it’s gross. I get that all the time. But I can’t help it.

I do this because I was a stressed out child. It’s a nervous habit that has turned into an all the time habit.

Do your habits define you?

Habits define the legacy of the man I mentioned before. When I think about him I think about the bad habits he had. Manipulating people. Yelling randomly. Lying. Apologizing incessantly—but without emotion. I think of his habits.

I think of the habits I don’t want to have because of him. In a way—he was an inspiration. An inspiration of the kind of man I would do everything in my power to avoid.

When I became a stepfather I thought of him. Almost every day. And still quite frequently. I thought of how I wanted to treat my stepson, who eventually became my adopted son, MY son.

I thought about what the opposite of a role model looked like—and I thought of him. It was actually a pretty good model.

Another habit I have is that I tell my son I love him at least 10 times per day. The exchange usually goes like this:

Me: “Corbin, you know what?”

Corbin: “What?”

Me: “I love you.”

Corbin: “I love you too.”

The habits I have are related to one another. They are all intertwined like Christmas tree lights from the year before. All leading to a light that needs replacing.

When you read a self-help book that talks about habits. Most of them will talk about getting rid of the bad habits. I think there’s some value in that approach.

But I also think there’s a different way to look at it.

If you try and quit a bunch of things there you’ll end up with a lot of white space. Which will eventually be filled with the same habits you were trying to quit. It’s like riding a ferris wheel.

But if you take one good habit at a time and focus on creating and refining that habit. Then you don’t leave white space. You just pull the old switcharoo.

You have habits because of experiences you’ve had. People you’ve known, admired or otherwise.

And just like understanding your experience, if you understand why you have a habit or don’t, then you have something to go on.

New Episode – The Old Soul Podcast

Today’s episode is a chat with a friend whom I’m honored to have met. About seven months ago I went to an event called The Patriot Cup. It’s put on by an organization known as The Folds of Honor Foundation.

Folds of Honor provides scholarships to the children and family members of service members either fallen in combat or wounded in action. They truly do great work.

The Patriot Cup is an invitational for service members that is a Pro-Am golf tournament. I went this past year and met Rex on the range during our practice round. We hit it off pretty well and hung out quite a bit over the course of the weekend and since the event we’ve stayed in touch.

Today I have him on the show to talk about his military experience and his experience as a professional writer. He’s now a senior writer for Golfchannel.com and is featured on the Golf Channel show Morning Drive. 

This episode we will dive in and talk about the experiences in our lives that have led us to this point and we’ll throw some golf in there as well.

Thanks for listening and I hope you have a great week.

Please take some time to leave a review on iTunes or Stitcher. You can do this with the links in the sidebar. 🙂

Page 5 of 38« First...34567...102030...Last »