This weekend, I was able to make a quick trip to Philly to visit my family.
It was very last minute. My sister talked me into it on Saturday night. I bought a ticket and I was on a flight Sunday morning.
I got straight off the plane and took an Uber to south Philly to get to the Eagles game. It was there that I met the entire clan. We went straight into the stadium and we had the best time. The Eagles lost which is a real bummer, but it’s okay, we’re still the champs.
In my family, the Eagles mean a lot. Any time we can get together and watch the Eagles, that is a good day. I was in the stadium surrounded by people I love.
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My Dad, myself and my sister.
After the Eagles game, I went to meet my Mom.
We decided to meet at our favorite neighborhood bar. My aunt was driving us back to Mt. Airy and as we were passing the art museum I heard “yo Stoddart.” I look out my window and Lora and Tim were right in the car next to me. What are the chances?! I was only home for 12 hours and somehow we were all at the same stoplight at the same time.
As we were driving, I was yelling at them out the window and I talked them into meeting us for dinner. Before I knew it, I was with my mom, my stepdad, my sister, Big Tim, Lora and baby James. Suddenly, I felt this overwhelming sense of peace and happiness.
My beautiful mother.
Sitting down with my mom is the best. No matter how old I get and how “successful” I become, she still needs to take care of me. I let her. I love it. I act like I’m big and bad but when my mom wants to feed me or rub my back, I let her. She is a strong woman. She has been through a lot and throughout it all, she has kept her passion for life and she remains the most caring and kind person I know. My mom’s heart if full of love. Love is the emotion my mother lives off of.
Big Tim is my oldest friend. It’s strange to even call him a friend because he is more like my brother. He is family for sure. Lora is his wife and she is the most beautiful soul. Then there is baby James. I’ve never been so excited to meet a baby before. It’s not just any baby, it’s Big Tim and Lora’s baby!!! He is perfect.
We all laughed and we caught up and baby James ate hummus off my finger tip. It was amazing.
Baby James. Yes it was 10 at night and yes the baby was in the bar. That’s how we roll.
There is truly no place like home. I loved my time in Florida. I love Nashville. I am grateful for all the places I have been and will continue to go. But Philadelphia is a special place. I can walk into McMenamin’s and shake hands with strangers and run into people who babysat me as a kid. I can complain about the Eagles and I can order food that is made with love. Not this gourmet hipster shit like they serve in Nashville. I mean simple, fresh, family food that brings us together. I mean simple food, that is made for the only purpose of sharing and enjoying with family.
We ate, we laughed, we hugged and we said our goodbye’s.
As I was on the plane the next day heading back to Nashville, I was feeling this strange combination of happiness and sadness. I feel so immensely grateful for my family, but I feel sad that I don’t get to see them as much as I would like to.
These trips are reminders to keep in touch, they are little kicks in the shin to remind me to keep calling, keep saying hi and keep telling my family that I love them.
As I got back home to Nashville, I gave Juliana a big hug. I told her all about my amazing day and she told me about the beautiful blog post she wrote. Seemingly, we both came to a realization that we should always been mindful of the people we love the most and that we can’t lose sight of that in our work and our ambitions.
Life is short and without my family, what’s the point? These are the things that matter most. These are the things that make all the other things worth doing.