A Temporary Denouement

After the hustle leading up to Easter, it’s nice to have a bit of a slowing-down forecasted. The kids will be on spring break, I’ll have a week between semesters, and I’m taking a few days off from work. I’m anticipating sleeping closer to 8 hours a night, at least for a little while. Perhaps I’ll even be able to read a few books.

Things are winding down at work as well, as I hand off responsibilities. I want to leave the Air Force well, and have closure. The tradition is to have a luncheon. Since my departure is almost like a retirement, after almost fifteen years of service, I know my co-workers want to do something big. I’ve never been one for parties in my honor, but I am willing to go through with it for them. I do get to ask the machinists to make something for me, which is cool. When I left my previous base they made me a pair of brass knuckles which doubles as a bottle opener.

I know my next job will be challenging, that the grass isn’t always greener,and perhaps I’m projecting too much-but I’m really looking forward to this change. My stress levels are lower. I feel hopeful. I make a practice of gratitude, but it typically starts out as being a bit forced, whereas now it’s spontaneous and flowing. My mood has been stable. I don’t feel like eating junk food all the time.

I know they won’t connect to it now, but I hope in the future my kids will understand why I left the military, that it wasn’t easy, that it scared the shit out of me, but I did it anyway, because Who Dares Wins. I hope they internalize how I set goals, worked toward them, and achieved them. I hope they soak it up and learn from it for their own lives, which I’m pretty hopeful won’t turn out terrible.

Hope. Hope is something I haven’t consistently felt in about 2 years. It’s nice. When I was at my lowest, the most stunning aspect was the absence of hope. Perhaps I will also leave behind this tough season I’ve been weathering as I take off my uniform for the last time.

 

 

 

 

 

Owning my body

I was talking to a dear friend earlier. She’s a makeup artist, and her husband is a tattoo artist. I realized both of them work in helping others own and customize their bodies. I think that’s beautiful.

Prior to that conversation, I managed to do a 25 min pilates routine with Paloma crawling all over me while I had spaghetti going on the stove. When dinner was prepped, I went to jiu jitsu. It was a short class, but one of the most technical, effective sessions I’ve ever had on the mat.  I feel great. I can often be in a rut, waiting for my alarm clock or lunch or sleep. I don’t want to be in stasis until I die. I want to be awake, to be present, to learn, to experience, and move.

I want to feel great all the time, but I know that’s not how life works. Still, I’ve been having a lot of nice days lately.

Things are looking up. Tomorrow is Maundy Thursday. For me, this year, it brings to mind the importance of relationships, specifically friendships. Also,for me, #squadgoals are mostly hoping to join or start a squad.

We caucused yesterday. This was our first time living in a caucusing state. It was disorganized, and they ran out of ballots. Towards the end, the kids were cold and tired, but they made it. Utah seems at times ruled by religious zealots and rednecks. It was encouraging to see a lot of progressives out, of various ages, colors, economic brackets. The enthusiasm was infectious, and it was therapeutic to be with a multitude of people who give a damn. It’s so easy to be cynical and not care- I did this around 2005 as a defense mechanism. I got better.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Imma be me

I wrote in a notebook: “I want to be the Alton Brown of jiu jitsu.” I didn’t do anything with it, and stumbled across it later. I tapped my pencil on it (I like to do my initial draft of things freehand) and thought abut the phrase. It’s no longer what I want. Not at all. If I were to write an aspirational mission statement this moment, it would be: “I want to be the best version of myself I can.”

Tragedies and stressors can be useful, in that when things are settling down, you have an opportunity to look at how you’re living your life. You decide if you want to reassemble it with all the same pieces, or get rid of some crap and make or find new pieces.

I wrote a long post on Friday. So much of the text was tied to that day, and was to be published immediately. I wrote abut how it was my service anniversary, and how I had very different but very involved situations as a supervisor on the 18th. Then The Little One had multiple seizures, a helicopter ride, and a bad hospital stay to deal with. My contented insights no longer felt appropriate.

Plus, it was anchored around Agent Orange’s weird-but-good cover of Metallica’s “Seek and destroy.”

Still, tragedies aside, I am content, for the first time in a long time. I accept my circumstances and decisions, and the path they’ve illuminated for me. I accept I will not have many moments of comfort, that I will have to remain fluid, that aside from God and gravity, there is very little in this world upon which I can depend. My contentedness and acceptance of turmoil and uncertainty will serve as a darned serviceable makeshift solid thing, a piece of driftwood upon which to cling. I will accept all of this, and I will be myself.

And also, Imma be me because the Alton Brown of jiu jitsu is basically Batman. I can’t handle that at this moment. But when that baby singsongs “Dad’s home!” as I walk through the door, stumbleruns to me, and hugs my knees, I am an invincible superhero.