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It was a busy day for me, and it had a terrible night the night before too. I didn’t sleep well, snoring was happening and I’m not pointing fingers at anyone. I got up at 3:00am to get ready to go wait in line to get my youngest son into the preschool of my wife’s choice. I got there at 3:30am and waited in my car. At 4:30am I left the warmth of my car to sit in the cold with a small group of other moms, who I can only assume were jealous that their husbands didn’t get up (they were all married, we were talking) but there was no way to verify that. My beautiful wife got there at 7:10am, well rested to the chagrin of the other women who looked a hot mess. Then I took off to take our oldest son to school which starts at 8:00am, which is always the best part of any day. A 40mph car ride that, to him, feels like 70mph; rocking out to “dad’s songs” (send me an email and I’ll get you the link); and his laugh which I love. I mean, I absolutely love.

As I pulled into his school my front passenger side tire went flat.

BOOM.

(and the room goes silent)

What about my meetings? What about my projects? What about where I need to be, and the people that are expecting me when I get there? …oh wait.

I don’t have a job. Now I’m not saying that to get a reaction of pity. I actually pity myself, let me tell you why.

If that would’ve happened on a Monday when I was going to work, with my team meeting at 9:00am, I would’ve been freaking out and stressed out. I would have called my wife, who works about 3 minutes from his school, and I probably would’ve been angry at her for some stupid reason. The snoring, or the waking up early or the pre-school sign up would have all come to play when justifying my anger and frustration (keep in mind none of those things have anything to do with the tire or the timing).

The reality is, tires go flat sometimes, it is what it is. It’s not the end of the world and I don’t think I would’ve had that same perspective if I was deep in the grind of working.

I think this time off is helping me set healthier perspectives. Because I didn’t have it before. Let me tell you the 3 things I got to do because I wasn’t stressed out, annoyed, freaked out or held to a calendar. I got to…

Bless people.
I got to spend time with the AAA guy who put on the spare (I have a truck and didn’t know how to do it, it’s more complicated on a truck). I got to ask him about his family, his faith, his life. I wasn’t on the phone juggling everything or trying to manage from afar, I got to be with people for a moment.

Be the best part of myself for my wife.
Sometimes the worst parts of us come out, for a meeting, a deadline, etc. I’m not dismissing those things, they are important. But are they important enough in a rational moment to justify showing the worst parts of ourselves to our loved ones? I don’t think so. I actually think that is a sin, disguised as urgent and shut down with a “you just don’t understand”. If you think you could be at fault in this, send this blog to a loved one and ask them what they think.
P.S. That’s how we grow in self-awareness.

Give thanks in times of trial.
Ok, so I’m not OJ, but I feel the trial, and I’m not trying to beat it, I’m trying to learn from it. For the first moment since I was let go (which happened 2/27, I’m writing this 3/11) I got to give thanks that I’m in the position I am in, or lack of position if you are in to puns, which I am. If I was working-working-working away I would have missed all of this, blew it, apologized for it and never written about it. When things feel like they are at their worst, Jesus wants to help us be at our best. I got to say, “Thank you Jesus for slowing me down, even if it hurt to do it.”

So, there you go. If you are going through a hard time, if you have been let go and you want to talk about it, call me (714) 600-0354. I’m here for you, many others are too, but I am, and we are in this together.

– Justin Herman

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