Reflections on the Christmas Tornado

This year has been perhaps the craziest year I've experienced in my lifetime.  We had the most insane Christmas this year, and it helped me really put things into perspective.  On Christmas Day, a tornado hit my parents home just as we were all sitting down to enjoy our Christmas dinner. There was no warning, no way to prepare...no time to even get under the table.  It just seriously spun up, slammed into the house and then was gone in 30 seconds.  Along with the front porch, the front roofing, the entire garage roof and lots of back fencing.  Debris was found hundreds of yards away from the house, and it was just miraculous that nobody was injured.  All the pets were safe, all the kids were safe...we were sitting in a room surrounded by glass, and it didn't shatter; we were completely spared, and that type of situation will make you evaluate your life pretty quick.

So instead of New Year's Resolutions, I have just changed some priorities based on that life altering minute that I feel will actually stick, because lets face it, who actually sticks to their New Year's Resolutions...for more than a couple of weeks?  

So here are some of my new thoughts on life and how I'm going to live mine.  I am fully aware that not everyone will like and/or understand my new philosophy, but well, to put it bluntly, I just really don't care.  You try getting hit directly by a tornado and then see if you care too much about what people think when you re-prioritize your life.  By the way, here is a picture of some of the damage...

So, here is my list...

1.  All old grudges, anger, frustration with people...done. Gone. I don't have time to hold on to any of that junk in my life.  It's not fair to my health to keep that inside, and life is too short to worry about keeping all that festering.  So to anyone I was angry with, I have let it go.  I am ridding myself of internal conflict.  I have to say it's pretty freeing.

2.  Just because I have let all that frustration go does not mean I am a doormat.  I have stopped holding onto relationships that are toxic.  I am surrounded by a wonderful network of friends here in Frisco, and thanks to our military travels, I have friends scattered all over the globe.  We have friends we go out with on the weekends, friends who help us in our spiritual walk at church, and friends we talk to throughout the week.  I have some amazing girlfriends in my life who are so supportive and loving, and there is no need to hold on to anyone who isn't a part of helping me be positive and helpful in my daily life.  

3.  People have long mistaken my kindness for weakness, and I am becoming unafraid to say no.  Saying no hurts people's feelings, and I have typically done things or been roped into things in the past that I didn't want to do because I was afraid of "being mean".  No more. I am not obligated to anyone except my family.  I feel obligated out of love to do things for my friends, which I will continue to do.  But for those people who see me as a sucker who will typically say yes to something to make their life easier at the cost of my own comfort or time or energy, I am going to say a lot more "no's".  

4.  We had made the decision that Eli was not thriving (and was in fact, wilting) at his school, and had therefore decided to pull him out of middle school two days before the tornado hit.  But after the tornado hit, all of my fears and questions about if we were doing the right thing simply vanished.  Eli was not being bullied at school, for those of you who are reading this, I know that would probably be one of your first questions.  It wasn't an issue of his treatment, because I believe he will dearly miss his friends.  But he will see them after school and on weekends, and of course on Xbox.  (of course!). No, this is a very involved situation where I genuinely feel the school is failing its students.  I am happy to discuss our situation privately, but not publicly.  So feel free to reach out to me via comment and I will discuss.  I am excited about our curriculum and moving forward with this, and I feel it is the perfect solution for our family, so I have zero hesitations.  Thank you tornado for removing the anxiety about this situation from me.  Chase will remain in public school where he is absolutely thriving, and it is absolutely the right place for him to be.  Each child learns differently, and we are doing what we feel is in the best interest of each of our kids.  

5.  I am not taking crap from anyone.  My family was freaking hit by a tornado, so what did we do as soon as we got home?  My husband took me to the gun store and bought me the gun I have been wanting for a long time.  Ammo, head protection, the concealed carry class, the testing class.  It's all set up.  Folks, I have been in a tornado.  I am ready to protect myself against anything that comes at me and my family that I could have any ounce of control over.  I am done playing games with the school, with the general public, and with friends who disguise themselves as friends to get me to do things for them.

So in summary I want to say that I am absolutely blessed.  Blessed with an amazing family.  Blessed with amazing friends both near and in far away places.  Blessed with a support network I can call on at any time.  And blessed with the knowledge that my entire family's life was spared.  I want to mend fences where they can be mended.  But I will not lose sleep if they cannot be.  I have my strong faith in God, the love of my family and friends, and an amazing peace about where my family is headed in 2017.  I truly hope that it doesn't take something as drastic as a tornado to make you all re-evaluate what you have in your life and what you want to change. Don't wait for something like that; life is too short.  

So for 2017, my plans include vacations, lots of time spent with my girlfriends, becoming a teacher to my Eli and growing that relationship, and making more time for date nights with my husband.  Family is my priority.  Friends are my gifts.  God is my salvation.  That's all I need.  

Happy New Year Friends...May you be blessed in the upcoming year.

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