You’ve smelled your soldier’s PT uniform so I’m not telling you anything when I say this life doesn’t always smell like roses. You’ve most likely endured a deployment – or three or four – and so you know that being together all the time is a civilian fairy tale. You’ve probably PCSd with a few months (or less) notice or had orders changed on you before so you know that change is the only thing that you can count on. I can almost bet that you and your family have probably been stationed somewhere that you really, in the pit of your belly, do not like one bit. I’m probably not telling you anything that will surprise you. You know that sometimes you just have to put your big girl panties on and “embrace the suck”.
Maybe you haven’t read our bios – if you have, great, but if you haven’t many don’t realize that we still live the military (Army) life. Our family is currently in “deployment mode”. Kevin’s been in Afghanistan for a few months now. We live in historical (aka “hysterical” because so many things go wrong) government housing and PVT Murphy visits quite often. We have the same crazy on-post neighbors. We deal with the same red-taped healthcare system. We shop at the same commissary and Exchange. We fight the same battles that you do.
So, I hope I’m in good company when I tell you that even an author of 1001 Things to Love about Military Life still has “I hate the Army” days.
I recently did a speaking event and one of the questions was of the nature of how we, as authors, could focus and remain so positive. I know there was much surprise when I replied much like what I said above. Truth be told, our book was my #961. The chance to leave a legacy. It’s what I hope that people think of when they think of “Tara Crooks”. It’s what I want to leave my family when I’m long gone.
But, it wasn’t – and it isn’t – ALWAYS that way. There are times when I want(ed) to scream at the top of my lungs, cry like a three year old throwing a tantrum, or have even felt like “I’m done”. That’s when our book, positivism, and those big girl panties I spoke of have come in handy.
It’s not to say that you can’t feel frustrated now and then or feel sometimes that this life isn’t granting you any favors. It’s about the choice that you make on a bigger level. It’s about being able to refocus your thoughts into something manageable. It’s about making a choice to find the good.
It’s what, I believe, our soldiers do every day. When faced with this challenging deployment and frustrations on the other end Kevin says “I just remember who and what I’m fighting for.” When our soldiers brave Basic Training and are up at the crack of dawn they know they are making a choice to #8. Develop a work ethic and discipline that sticks with you the rest of your life and because of that choice becoming something better, stronger.
They have a choice, and so do you. If today is one of those days, and believe me they will come, just grab a cup of coffee and curl right up with our book and trust me, you’ll find a way to soldier on.