Sunday, April 29, 2012

My Husband Takes a Turn

Nick recently had some training that hit a little close to home for us. We talked a lot during those two days and tried to keep each other in a "now" state of mind. I asked him if he would be open to writing a blog post for you all, just about his training and how he felt. I think it might be interesting to hear from his point of view.  Below is his post, enjoy!

            The Army sucks at establishing priorities!  I am preparing to take command of a troop of soldiers and so the Army requires me to take a myriad of classes in preparation.  There are tidbits of great information, some good and a lot of repeated, convoluted and useless information.  This week I was sent to the casualty notification (CNO) and casualty assistance officer (CAO) course.  This is a two day course that covers, as the name implies, how to notify the families of casualties of the death of their loved one, and how to assist the family with all the important tasks in the months thereafter.  We were sent so that as commanders we would understand the process and also it is our unit’s turn for this very solemn duty.
            I was deployed with Stacey’s previous fiancé.  In fact, I served under Mike while he was an executive officer and acting commanding officer for about a month.  I knew Mike, but not well.  I wouldn’t even say I had the privilege of calling him a friend.  I remember the night that Mike was killed.  I was filling out a report on a computer in the troop command post.  The computer was in the same room where we monitored the radios.  All of a sudden someone called in a contact report (which means they had come under attack).  As the details unfolded we realized Mike had been very close to the explosion and was seriously injured.  I ran out to get the other three platoon leaders, the guys who could call Mike a friend, and told them that he had been hit.  I remember looking up at the stars that night and thinking of Mike’s fiancé and how this would change her life.  Mike was battling for his life at that moment, but I knew either way that across the world Stacey would either be receiving a call or a car would be pulling up to her door with the terrible news.  The next day a car pulled up to Stacey’s door.
            As I sat in class this past Wednesday it was very different than the other classes I have taken.  This one was personal, and it was difficult.  Everything we spoke about brought thoughts of this difficult time in my wife’s life.  Stacey and I texted back and forth during our breaks, as we often do, and she reminded me that she is happy now and everything is ok.  That helped.  During our texts I got the idea that maybe Stacey could come in and share her story, and from her experience what helped her and what the Army did that she did not like.  Like most things in the Army, training is very structured and usually with a lot of PowerPoint slides.  As I said at the beginning, we also go through a lot of classes.  So it is very easy for soldiers to just want to check the block on training and move on to the next item on their list.  This training was too important!  I remember a widow friend of Stacey’s who we got to spend some time with, Jayme.  Jayme had an awful experience with her CAO.  Her experience was so bad that she has done graduate work on how the Army trains our CNOs and CAOs.  I thought that this was an opportunity to show at least my class of twenty-five soldiers that these are real people and that if we have to perform this duty we are changing their lives forever.
            Stacey agreed and we scheduled a time for her to come in the next morning.  She did an awesome job!  I am so proud to have her as my wife.  I took away a great deal from this course.  I learned about the process and through reflection and conversation with Stacey I learned about the non-tangible aspects of the process, the emotions involved, what goes through the head of someone hearing the terrible news, the things that are difficult to put on a PowerPoint slide.  I believe that Stacey was able to pass some of that on to the other soldiers in my class and it is my hope that if they are called to do this duty they will be able to do it with the reverence and honor that is required.  Our unit’s roster has been turned in to do our duty.  I hope I don’t receive a call to do it, but if I do I will be ready.  

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Thankful Thursday- my first

It's week sixteen over on a blog I've recently become very fond of- Inspired RD.  (Take a min and stop by!) Today I am linking up to enjoy participating in Thankful Thursdays. One day out of the week to consciously recognize things in my everyday life that I am thankful for but often glaze over- sounds great!

After reading that, this beginning might not make sense, but bare with me.

Crappy days are no fun.

Sometimes, it's one thing after another. One small crappy thing happens and then down the hill you roll, right up until you get into bed and drift off to sleep.

Sometimes, like today, it's just a general blah feeling that lasts throughout the day, ebbing and flowing, and then when you're almost finished ---BAM right in the face. Crappy-ness.

On my drive home from work I reminded myself repeatedly that my current work can and should be left at work. I won't let it take any more of my time.  Deep breaths and happiness at being able to let go! So I reached for the iPhone and tried to find just the right song to take the crappy-ness away.  There we find what I'm thankful for this Thursday- great, fantastic, exactly-what-you-need music! Thank you, Music! This one worked for me tonight... enjoy!

Also, I'm always thankful for my amazing husband. On days like today, when we both ended the work day a little crappy, we give each other time to vent and we both, mostly, completely understand each other's gripe and end up still solidly on the same page. I love him!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Article on Anxiety

I found a great article on one of my breaks today- wanted to share.
"The best we can offer is to help people learn how to manage anxiety themselves, with medicine being one of many choices. The body is a complex evolutionary machine, and it has developed a number of ways to keep itself healthy without external aid. Why not tap into the potential for healing that the body already has?"

(note, I have no idea why it's under the subheading "the intelligent divorce" when it has nothing to do with divorce.)


Monday, April 2, 2012

Breathe. Let it go.

These last few weeks, they've been rough. I feel like I'm spewing out negative every where I turn. I'm focusing on it. I'm mashing it around and around in my brain. I'm becoming consumed by it. It is not fun. I don't like where we are right now and I don't think that's a secret. Our apartment is small, my job is not fun and it's a job I am working purely for some extra income. I do not feel invested in the job. I miss my friends and I don't have many out here. I'm feeling like my clothes don't fit, and while I don't entertain worries of becoming morbidly obese, it really sucks when you put on one pair of pants after another that do not fit. I'm trying to run again but its such a love hate relationship I very often do not enjoy it, I enjoy that it's done. All of these stupid, dumb, trivial things are keeping me mentally circling the drain.

So there it is- blahhhhhhhhhhhhs of negativity. And I'd like to be done now. DONE! I'm tired of drowning in it. I'm tired of pulling Nick into it. I'm sick of being lost in this muddy, dank, pond of crap. So I'm letting it go.

Nick and were talking about how to be happy in the now. I've been thinking about it a lot. Trying to let go. Stopping the negative thoughts that swirl through my brain and take so much energy because they just don't matter. They don't deserve the energy I give them. Who cares what people say unless its something I say or something Nick says? I know that I have heard these words before, but I am starting to comprehend and take them in and understand what it means to stop, and let go. This is what I'm working on.

This is how (I think) you get to live happy.