Merry-Go-Round


Life is an ever-revolving cycle of good, bad, and in-between. At the end of each year, and the beginning of the next, friends, family, and strangers advocate a new year and a fresh start. We nitpick the things about ourselves that we hate the most, wish to perfect, or wish to alter and we make resolutions to do so. Many, if not all, of these resolutions are subsequently broken.

It seems that we as a species need a trigger to make a change within ourselves. Each new year acts as a trigger similar to a reset button on a console game system. Those who struggle with their insecurities procrastinate and make excuses, often waiting for the first day of the year. For a while, they might find success, but statistically many will fail.

If they need a trigger to find the motivation, what will they use to drive themselves once the trigger is in the rear-view mirror?

I think the reason for this thought process is watching the updates of my friends and loved ones on Facebook. Those that have been vocal about the resolutions they selected have thus far been successful. Will they all? No, of course not. Would I like them to achieve their goals both long-term and short? Absolutely. I want nothing more than the complete and utter success of everyone I know, but I also stand ready to comfort in the event of any failure they might perceive.

While I had a resolution last year – to blog more – this year I am going back to the tried and true method of constantly bettering myself as opposed to using the first of January as reason to hit the start button. My focus and dedication is generally strong enough to begin a task on some random Tuesday just because that is when I get it in my head to begin. It worked in 2010 when I lost sixty pounds. It worked in 2009 when I decided it was time to go to college. It worked in 2006 when I decided it was time for me to be a sergeant.

I am comfortable not needing the trigger. I will succeed without a reset button. I will set my goals and I will achieve them or I will not waste my breath.

This weekend was uplifting in a strange way. I know many of my soldier friends would admonish me to say so, or laugh at the inconceivable notion, but putting that uniform back on was just right. It felt right. The Army National Guard is a much slower pace than the active duty, but being among those types of people and wearing the responsibility of a guardian – so to speak – is comforting.

One thing that was strange was the pull I felt for active duty and deployments. Watching the mini-unit within our armory that is preparing young men and women to leave for basic training was like my own preparations for the military ten years ago. I could see the nerves in their movements as much as the resolve in their eyes. It made me want to relive basic training and all the experiences I had there. It made me long for active duty knowing I am confined to the Guard for six years.

Listening to the stories of the most recent deployments had the same affect on me. A large portion of the unit recently deployed to and returned from Kosovo. A few of the other NCOs deployed to some of the same places I have been and with some of the units I belonged to. There are optional deployments happening and knowing they are not an option for me was frustrating. There is a great reason for not being able to go, it is true, but that does not remove the desire to do so.

Maybe the desire to live a deployment again indicates there is something wrong with me.

Or maybe not.

The biggest struggle I have is being able to help Matt understand the way I feel. I may never know why I feel the way I do about the Army, being deployed, and serving my country, but I know the feelings are there. These desires are unusual to him because of his lack of experience with soldiers and his lack of immersion in a military lifestyle. With a child on the way, how could I possibly want to be deployed again? How could I want to go active duty and uproot every two years?

I do not know, but those desires are there.

Whatever I do, or whatever the Army will let me do, I am comfortable knowing he is there for me and will always support me.

What do we have to look forward to on the blog this year? I am hoping for a bit more freedom with my thoughts. Certain censoring will still exist, but I might dabble in topics that affect me, that make me angry, or that I feel should be different. Maybe.

I feel the need to say that anything posted here, unless proven otherwise, is my opinion alone and likely comes more from experience than any true research. Where possible, references will be posted or, if nothing else, videos and articles to be used as supplemental brain food. I welcome a lively discussion and opposing opinions, but hostility or cruelty will not be tolerated. I do not handle that kind of stuff very well anyway.

That will conclude the first blog of 2013. How many of you have written 2012 only to extend the bottom of the two making an impromptu three so far this year? I have not yet, but the year is still young.

Happy reading, ladies and gentlemen.

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