Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Before We Get Started...

There was a comment posted on the previous entry on this blog.  I received it right away, but have been unable to reply.  I just want to be sure everyone understands where I am regarding the military.

I have family in the military now.
I have family that has been in the military previously.
I have family that has been in the thick of it.
I seriously support our troops.
I agree 100% - anything regarding the military is important.

I hope you all took your homework assignment seriously.  I hope you carved out an hour to watch the video.  There is something in it for everyone, and the more you watch it, the more you will glean from it.  I know.  I have watched it over and over, and new things hit me each time.

Just a little back ground history on why I know about Keni Thomas...

The Man in Charge attended a conference several years back.  It was in Vegas, and the only things he came home talking about were Keni Thomas and the Hoover Dam.  He really hates traveling.  He also really hates traveling with a bunch of grown men who end up not acting like grown men before the trip is over.  The whole Vegas thing was just a cocktail for disaster for him.  The only thing that saved him...a road-trip to see the Hoover Dam and Keni Thomas.  Once he made it back home, he told us all about Keni's speech.  With the magic of the Internet, we were able to hear it for ourselves.  There are several different clips out their on the web.  You can look around more if you like, but I posted the best one that I found.

Like I said, this was years ago, but recently the Man in Charge was talking to a friend about Keni Thomas.  I hadn't thought about any of this for a while, but it just so happened that the very night he mentioned the guy, I was in serious need of some uplifting motivation.  I would even go so far as to say that I have needed some serious motivation for a while now.

The first time I watched these videos, I really listened to it from a military perspective.  I really listened to the details of what they were doing and how it happened.  There were things that I held on to.

"Fight as you train.  Train as you Fight."


"It is better to have and not need, then to need and not have."

I would say I really lived by the latter.  I have a motto when it comes to animal care:

"Better to plan for everything, then nothing will happen."

Possibly I hang tight to that motto because we had four horses at one time.  It didn't help that two of those horses were stallions, and the other two were mares, but that's just the way it went.


To say that I have been struggling lately would be an understatement.  I have not been happy.  I have not been productive.  I have not been doing the things that I enjoy doing.  Some of the things I enjoy doing, have stopped being enjoyable.  It has been frustrating.  I feel like I am on the verge of big changes, but I don't know what they are.  If you know me at all, you know that I like to have a plan.  I like to know which way things are going.  I don't like the feeling of not being in control, or at least having my hand on things in some way or another.  Basically I feel like things have been spiraling out of control and I am just pretending everything is okay.  I can't really talk about it because there is not one thing to pinpoint.  There is no explanation, just an undercurrent that is strongly trying to pull me under.  A lot of you have been reading this blog long enough to see the changes.  Go back in the archives to the beginning.  Things were fun.  Things were getting done.  Things were freaking hilarious.  Not so much now.  Not so much for a long time.

While I have been doing my best to deal with these feelings, it hasn't helped that fifty-two-million-other-things keep going wrong.  We have had a hell-of-a-couple of years around here.  If it hasn't been my horse, it has been my dog.  If it hasn't been my dog, it has been my chickens.  If it hasn't been my chickens, it has been my guineas.  The list just keeps going on and on.

Enter Keni Thomas.

Thursday before last (almost two weeks ago), when I posted the video, if you go back and check, you will notice that it was after 3:00 am.  Why would I be posting videos at 3:00 am?  Because my dog was having surgery on her other leg.  She had gone in at 9:00 pm, and I was still waiting to hear from my vet.  I was worried.  I was depressed.  I was overwhelmed at the thought of going through another year of rehabilitation with my dog.  I was also trying to grasp the realization of the amount of money I have spent on this dog.  This beautiful, sweet, loyal, stray dog.  On top of all the other aspects of my life, I was very near the edge.  Earlier that evening was when I overheard the Man in Charge mentioning Keni Thomas.  Sitting up alone, trying to stay awake, I started searching for the videos again.  Upon finding this one, I watched it about three times.  The difference?  This time I did not just listen to the military perspective of the story.  I listened to it from a personal perspective.

Have I been training as I fight?  No.  In my opinion, the rule book for my life is the Bible.  It has been a long time since I sat down and did any studies.

Am I looking at my life, and considering the people on my right and the people on my left?  No.  These people are my family and my friends.  I have not been thinking about the example that I set.  I have not been living like I am an important part of the puzzle.  Like what I do or don't do, can have an effect on the outcome of things around here.  I have not been putting importance on myself as an individual piece of the puzzle.

Have I become complacent?  Yes.  I have been taking my routine for granted.  I have become complacent in my daily activities.  I have become mediocre.  Ugh!  How awful is that?

Have I been doing what needs to be done, or have I been complaining about how unfair it is that I have to do it in the first place?  That would be a big Y-E-S!

Have I been preparing and planning in advance?  
Have I been practicing my planning?  
Have I been focused on self-improvement?  
Focused constantly?

The worst one of all...

Have I been chipping away at morale?  Have I been the under-lying grumbling that has such a negative impact on reaching any goals or objectives?  

The true test of a person is character.  True character is found when you are facing the worst situations.  This is one topic that really stumped me the most.  You see, I have faced many tough situations.  I have put my head down and plowed right through.  I have come out the other side of things that should not have been possible.  The difference?  These were real life threatening situations.  

Like...no money-no place to live-no food to eat-no car to drive.  

Your only option is to kick butt and get things done.  

You have to do what you have to do to survive.

I have lost my drive to survive.

This thought hit me in a couple of different ways.  

First, it made me realize that the Man in Charge has done his job really well.  He goes out in the world.  I have stayed home and done my best to be in charge of the kiddos.  

Second, it made me mad.  I mean, really?  He made me soft.  How dare he?  

I actually had my first anxiety attack the other day.  I don't do anxiety.  I don't know what to do with someone else having an anxiety attack, let alone having one myself.  I just kept apologizing for it because I knew it was ridiculous.

The moral of the story is...

This is so important because it answers some of the problems.  It doesn't fix any of my problems, but it explains my mistakes in dealing with them.  I don't get to choose the people I work with.  I don't get to decide when and where my goals are going to be met.  I don't get to do anything except plan and prepare.  Try to make myself better.  Try to do what's right.  Realize that there are people counting on me.  People on my left and people on my right.  In my world, in my battle, I am the most important part of the puzzle.  If I don't do my job right, then the mission will fail.  I will fail the people around me.

Has this information turned me into some sort of super human?  No.  I am still having my challenges, and things have also gotten worse over the last week, but I think I may be on the road to managing them better.  

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