Seems it's time to come up for air. Still trying to get my proverbial feet under me it seems. And life keeps trucking along - by the time I think about sitting down to write out more than 140 characters for a Facebook status update, it's time for the next round of lessons, an extracurricular, dinner, or somesuch. I have several blog-worthy ideas floating around in my noggin but no time (nor inclination, really) to put them down on virtual paper.

And really, all of those are just excuses. The real truth of the matter is that I'm having a tough time giving a hoot about much of the day-to-day minutiae of life. Normally, stuff in the news or things going on around here would provide for hours of blog-worthy reading and writing and yet, these days, I just don't find any of it interesting. I'm sure it's part of the grief process. But most days I feel like I'm just simply observing most of the parts of life that I used to participate in (online, not in real life. Real life is the one thing that hasn't really changed and I am grateful for that). I read other people's gripes and dramas and, instead of chiming in, they make me MAD. It's all so much a waste of precious time, really. Worrying about who said what to whom and who did what to whom and so on and so on. People get so wrapped up in the mundane, piddly junk in life that they miss the important stuff and it just makes me want to SCREAM.

For instance, I used to be a part of an online board and a short while back, a few bad apples pretty much caused the whole thing to go south. A core group of people from that online board banded together to create a new board, minus the ridiculous drama and petty backstabbing BS that had originally caused trouble. And that's all well and good but the pettiness of ALL of it just makes me want to pull my hair out of my head. It's ridiculous. It's an online chat room, for goodness sake. Not real life. Not anything of true consequence. And yet, people get wrapped around the axle over who said what to whom, how it was said, what was intended, and so on.

And I get that my perspective is skewed by things that have happened recently in my life. But 'skewed' implies a temporary affliction. I don't think this is temporary. Between everything that took place with MacGyver and then the suddenness of Lex's death, my perspective is not what it used to be. Life is short - too damned short to get my panties in a wad over petty junk. And it takes a LOT of self-control (something I am not blessed to have much of) to not just go off on people. The rational part of my brain (small though it is) understands they don't deserve it. They've done nothing wrong - they just don't have my perspective.

I find myself typing responses and then deleting them before I post them - kind of like that angry letter you write to someone that you burn because just the act of WRITING it was enough - it's not necessary to send it. I find myself biting my tongue more often, measuring my response, responding instead of reacting. My friend Lex was a measured man. He rarely used exclamation points (something I tend to use in abundance!!!) and his responses - even to people who were showing their derrieres - were calm, cool, and collected. Which is pretty much how I envision him in the cockpit. And I am doing my best to be more like him. But it's exhausting. Taking the high road drains me on a daily basis. At first, I thought that I was simply out of practice for such a thing and that I would get better at it (and it wouldn't wipe me out each day) the more I worked at it. But that's not the case. Measuring my responses, taking the high road, biting my tongue when all I want to do is unleash a diatribe drains me almost as much as a full-time job. But I'm doing it.

I am hoping to come out of this fog at some point. This really isn't like me and I'm not sure I like where I am right now (on so many levels). When I was a teacher, I had two students diagnosed with Ewing's Sarcoma within months of one another. One was a sophomore girl, S, who had been in my classes and was on the cross-country ski team. Incredible girl - kind, sweet, pretty, strong, funny...all those things that 15 year old girls tend to be. The other was a boy, B, who had just graduated - one of my swimmers - swimming his first year in college. B was dead in a year. He fought to the end, even getting married in the midst of it all. His death shook me to the core. But we saw it coming, even though we didn't want to. The cancer was aggressive, the treatment options exhausted quickly. S fought long and hard. Remission, more cancer, remission, more cancer. She gave up an arm to the disease, got married as well (bald and beautiful in a white gown), and died fighting. And again, we saw it coming. It was tough to watch but the element of shock was muted. I think the shock ads another layer of fog that those left behind have to fight through. For some, the fog of shock wears off quickly and they move through the other stages of grief at a recognizable pace. But for some, that additional layer is exponential in terms of the timeframe it takes to work through things. The "if onlys", the "I wishes" just make things harder in some ways.

I wish I had had a chance to fly with Lex. I wish we had figured out how to make a dinner meet up work the last time we were down there. There aren't many things I regret in life. These sit toward the top of the list.

Hoping the fog lifts soon.


- hfs


Pogue said...

That's very much how it feels to come off of a deployment and go "back to work." You spend 6 months trying to figure out why people are getting so wrapped around the axle over trivia. And yes, sometimes you just want to smack them.

I understand, and you're not alone.

Homefront Six said...

Thanks :) I wish that I was able to attend MilBlog Conference this year - being around other people who 'get' it helps. Dinner at Carrie's was incredibly helpful.

Crista said...

I've been going through a lot of the same. Ignore the petty stuff...life is indeed too short. Be thoughtful and purposeful in word and deed. It takes serious darn effort but yet feels so worth it. It is a daily struggle but it also brings a bit of peace I didn't have before.

Been thinking of you a lot these days. I'll be heading your direction for the last time in another month or so.

Remember, one day at a time.

Homefront Six said...

Thanks, Crista. It is a daily struggle and I do find that it brings me a large measure of peace. But it's still exhausting to keep a large part of myself bottled up like that. Sometimes, I wonder if that's healthy. If I'm not designed to be calm, cool, and collected then should I be forcing my square peg into that round hole? I"m not sure.

If you decide to take a pit stop near by, let me know and we'll see about at least buying you a coke or something!

Val said...

I again wish we could go out for coffee and hash it all through. So much of this resonates for me too. Though... I still have a tendency to get wrapped around axles from time to time. ;) I hope the fog lifts soon, but I also hope you give yourself the time you need with it.


Homefront Six said...

Val ~ I wish we could too! I can't say I've been very good about making friends here - if anything, I am becoming more anti-social. Sad, really. It's not who I am.

Crista said...

We typically stop for gas/refreshments in Junction City. Some time between June 1st and 6th I'll be passing through. Leave Kansas behind forever on the 8th.

Marcus Erroneous said...

Welcome back! This is how you get there, one foot in front of the other. You're doing fine now, that's a good start.
I'm not like Lex either in that I just can't be as sharp yet in command as he when dealing with the perpetually aggrieved crowd or the chattering class. C'est la vie. I am who I am, I do what I can and let the others chime in with their bits and bytes in those areas where I cannot.
Perspective. Be glad you have it, feel bad for those that do not, try to set the example (as best you can) for them. After 9/11 I was one of the few people in my office who didn't feel the need to reorder my life. I already knew what was important after twenty years of deployments and coming back to my family. My God, my honor, my wife, my kids, my family, my country. Work ain't in there.
Anyway, glad to see you post again. :)



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