Relationships. Relationships. Relationships.

A Quick Reflection On My Trip To Maryland

Read time: 4 minutes

Welcome to The Ascend Archives Tuesday Tale, a weekly newsletter where I share a story about a transformation, revelation, or change in thinking that has helped improve an aspect of my life.

I’m finishing up this newsletter on hour 27 out of 36 here in Austin.

I landed at 6 PM on Monday from a trip back home to Maryland. I fly out tomorrow at 6 AM to Boise, ID for a work conference. And boy did I make the most of my time here.

4 hours of writing. 2 client meetings. Drafted 10 social media posts, 2 newsletter outlines, and 1 client proposal. 1 therapy session. A 3 mile run. 1 yoga class. 1 intramural basketball game. And I even snuck in a haircut.

So given I’m waking up in less than 6 hours, I just wanted to share a quick reflection on the past 10 days visiting family and friends.

Making Memories

I have lived away from Maryland for 10 years now: 4 years in Michigan, 4 in Chicago, and now 2 in Texas. I’ve always tried to make the most of each trip home by spending as much time with family and friends as possible. But something felt different this trip.

Not only was I intentional with my time, but I was 100% present.

My mind wasn’t stressed about work. I wasn’t thinking about what I was missing back in Austin. There was nothing I had to plan for. I got to enjoy the time I had with people I don’t get to see all that often.

It led to some meaningful memories:

  • A Saturday at Bethany Beach with 27 holes of golf. 6 beers. 2 transfusions, 2 fireball shots. Hibachi dinner. And a lot of sake

  • A delicious dinner and great conversation at my cousins’ favorite restaurant

  • A short visit with my Pop Pop who is battling Alzheimer’s. His hearing aids weren’t working well but since he’s an expert lip reader, we still got some good laughs in

  • A lunch catching up with my Nana. (Shout out to my sister for treating with her $100 gift card from work)

  • A workout class taught by my sister that had me running faster than I ever had before on a treadmill

  • A last-minute 9 hole tee time on a Thursday at noon with my cousin (perks of having autonomy over my own schedule!)

  • An afternoon reminiscing with one of my lifelong friends over 18 holes and dinner

  • An inspiring night at my friend’s charity fundraiser on a rooftop overlooking downtown DC

  • Late-night fried chicken and milkshakes while watching the video of my best man speech with the bride and groom

That doesn’t even cover everything and I was only home for 10 days!

So Much Gratitude

All of these memories stem from relationships. They are all me doing things I enjoy with people I care about. They are relationships that I have invested in over the years even while I didn’t live at home. Through phone calls, text messages, and FaceTime calls.

This trip was a huge reminder for me of what is important. Besides health, my relationships are my top priority. Above work, hobbies, passions, etc.

When I am present with the people I care about and am intentional about building strong relationships, people notice. On multiple occasions, my friends and family went above and beyond treating me to the experiences that led to these memories.

My friends wouldn’t let me pick up a breakfast tab. My buddy paid for the entire golf round and dinner at his country club. My cousins treated me to an expensive dinner and drinks. My other cousin treated me to lunch and golf.

I know I technically “don’t have a job” but I’m making enough money and have plenty saved to afford all of these things and some. They 100% didn’t have to treat me to those things, but they all wanted to. They care about me and appreciated the time we spent together while I was in town. And for that I am so incredibly grateful.

So I just want to say THANK YOU. And when you all make your way to Austin, Terry Blacks BBQ on me!

Pop Pop the Legend!

It was a Great Day to Have a Day

Thank you for reading! As always please reply and let me know what resonated, what didn’t, or what you question. I love chatting about this stuff!