4.30.2012

Bearing one another's burdens - military style

My friend, Aadel, who posts over at These Temporary Tents, asked me if I'd like to contribute to a post she was writing on bearing one another's burdens. Given that I am now gaining some perspective on our family's recent troubles, I said sure. Head on over and have a read - Ministering to Military Spouses: Baring Ourselves.


"Three years ago, my family’s life was turned upside down. The details aren’t important. What IS important is how my military sisters (and brothers) buoyed us in what was probably one of the darkest times we’ve ever faced. "


Thanks, Aadel! Wonderful post.




Pau.




- hfs

4.27.2012

Money money money

Woah...Blogger has a new layout. My blog itself looks the same but the 'Dashboard' most definitely does not. So far, what I'm seeing isn't too bad - just different. Hopefully it's a little more user-friendly than the old format. I've been using Blogger since 2004 so I was used to it but I remember it taking a bit to learn all of the ins and outs back then. 



Then again, I was doing everything in html as opposed to the 'compose' option. I do things the hard way it seems. Who knew?


I have some relatively minor good news to share though! Nothing earth-shattering but it put a smile on my face today and I have YOU to thank! 







See?!? The part that says "$104.27"? That's a check that is headed MY WAY for THIS BLOG! How cool is THAT?!? I'm quite over-the-moon excited about it all! I have no idea what I will spend that $104.27 on (it will probably go right to the credit card balance) but it's the first time I've ever really been PAID for blogging. I've been blessed in other ways through my blogging - MilBlogging conferences (including some people's donations to help get me there on several occasions, for which I am eternally grateful...this means you J, among others), SpouseBuzz Live events, other goodies in the mail and online from wonderful people - but never a 'paycheck' as it were.


 And it's all because people who read this blog click the ads over there to the right or down below each post. It's nothing I've done (other than copy and paste the html to put them there). So THANK YOU!! Thank you so much for reading my poor, neglected little corner of the internetiverse. (yes, that's a new word. I coined it today. Mark your calendars.)


 For the record, I have a blog post in the making right now, one that is done (it's a cross post on a friend of mine's blog and I'm just waiting for her to post it so I can link to it), and one that is a-brewing in my mind. It seems the fog is starting to lift a bit - maybe the time outside in the garden is helping. I have dirt crusted under my fingernails and it's wonderful. The kids and I went on our first midwest 'hike' yesterday (do you call a walk with zero elevation gain a 'hike'? I don't. Not really.) and it was wonderful. And we are headed back to Hawaii for an extended visit here shortly. All of these things are helping to buoy my spirit.


 The promotion board is currently meeting and they hold MacGyver's fate (well, as it has to do with the Active Duty Army) in their hands. So any prayers, good thoughts, ritual sacrifices you care to throw in that direction would be appreciated. I could post about how torn I am over this whole thing as well. Hmm...I'll have to ponder that one here in a bit. Right now, the weather is getting kind of dicey so I'm going to make sure our emergency room is prepped and that my underwear are clean. Fun times!


 I'm getting a CHECK, people! A CHECK! For blogging! Thank you!




 Pau.


 - hfs

4.15.2012

Surfacing

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.




Pau.




- hfs