The Opposite of Down and the 5-Second-Rule

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From Notes from the Universe:

“Raise your sights and broaden your steps.
Because doing one without the other
is the same as doing neither.”

One time, I was advising a security guard student who had been shooting at 3-yard targets and his groups were sufficiently close that I moved his target to about 1-1/2 times the distance. Right away I could tell by the set of his pistol that his sights weren’t properly aligned, and his shots would either hit the bottom of his target or they’d miss entirely. I explained this to him, but he didn’t listen.

He didn’t pass.
He didn’t hit the target at all; his shots were where his aim was, which was nowhere near that target. I saw the dust from where they hit the ground beyond and below the target.

The farther away your target is, the higher you have to raise your sights.
And you may get lucky with closer targets, but any deficiency in your aim will be magnified the farther away your target is.

I tell my students it’s best to practice small distances a LOT.
I advise them to practice 50 rounds at 3-5 yards.  Because they can see the target more clearly at that range, it’s easier to correct how they’re squeezing the trigger or gripping the pistol and then see an immediate effect on the target.

Once they’re hitting the target in a consistently small area, then they should move the target back a couple of yards and practice with another 50 rounds, keeping in mind that the farther their target is, the more important their sight picture is.

Ah, I need to take this sighting advice myself for life in general.
I don’t even know what my sight picture is right now because my gaze has been focused on the ground: one step at a time. Get through this minute. This hour. This afternoon. This day. It’s coming up on a year that Jake’s been missing, and I feel like, man, I just got through Christmas.

Every day feels like he just left. Not the event but the shock of it. It’s like I’m always in a daze of traumatic shock. And not even with the blessed numbness that comes with that. The everlasting suck of pain, man.

My birthday is May 1, and then there’s Mother’s Day.
I can’t hide.

Ever since he disappeared I’ve wanted to hide but I can’t because life goes on.

Life is so rude.

It’s saying, “What’re you doing? Get that front sight up.”
I grumble back, “I’ll show you my front sight.”


Here’s another Note from the Universe:

“If you understood the extraordinary gifts
that every single challenge in your life
makes possible, even inevitable,
you’d celebrate your challenges,
new and old alike, as the omens that they are
of new beginnings and spectacular change.”

Celebrate my challenges.
That really feels like a lot to ask.
I don’t know if I can do that here.
But I can pull my gaze from my feet.
And I can get curious about what’s ahead.

I’ve designed my life to be happy and exciting this year, and I’ve purposely stayed involved in the community so I would choose to honor my word instead of my fear. I continue to show up, and through this determined mindset I’ve gained a perspective about what is important to me, and about who loves me.

My friends keep showing up. People I didn’t know were friends keep showing up.  My husband always shows up, and so does my son, Josh. I appreciate how each presence shows up differently, whether it’s a persistent invitation, a hug, a funny video in FB messenger, or a small gift. When people show up, I know that I matter and that Jake matters.

I think the “extraordinary gifts” mentioned in the quote not only pertain to insights but also to opportunities. Maybe I can’t celebrate right now, but I can lift my eyes and take longer strides. (Sorry, honey. Only so much these squatty legs can do.)

Upside down.

Upside down is not down. It’s really just a place where you don’t feel in control.
Control’s an illusion, anyway.
So maybe the extraordinary gift in this situation is finally understanding that.


And I can stop screwing myself over.

You gotta watch this vid:

The 5-second rule has helped me abolish about 75% of my procrastinating.
I do still put off doing the dishes.




5 Commentsto The Opposite of Down and the 5-Second-Rule

  1. Stella says:

    You & Jake are in my prayers.

  2. Jean Hargis says:

    You are amazing Stacy! Still looking for the upside in life which has to be the hardest thing you have ever done. Will continue to pray that You can sense God’s love and presence in your life and that you keep on counting your blessings in spite of the agony of each new day as it seems you are doing. Keeps me aware of my own lack of consistency in focusing on the positives. You inspire me and I expect many others with your courage in facing each new day. Thank you for keeping me in the loop about Jake.

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