Beyond The Pale

OEF XVIII Begin

One of my great goals during this deployment was to get back into the blogosphere. Nearly two months into the deployment, and not having yet written an entry, it’s time to get started if I want to make anything happen along those lines. For once, I have a couple of good reasons for not having started back up writing, such as lack of internet access and new emphasis on OPSEC along with some violations within the unit’s wife community that has caused enough backlash to make me want to steer clear of anything that could cause hiccups, at least until my promotion goes through two months ago. Yes, apparently we can time travel in the military, but I’ll discuss that in a later post once everything has been resolved.
Part of the issue is that I have been legitimately busy. Last year, anything that I didn’t do was the result of being lazy. This year, at least so far, because of where I’m currently located, I’m able to spend a lot of time setting up training and making contacts that will help me as the deployment continues, and I’ve been taking advantage of those opportunities because I don’t know when I’ll find myself sitting in a mud hut somewhere in the middle of a minefield with no hope of leaving there until October. Maurice Lednicky used to say, “The opportunity of a lifetime must be seized during the lifetime of the opportunity,” and while I didn’t agree with much that he said, it’s certainly true that the work that I can do now, if I don’t get it done within the next several weeks, will never happen at all.
So yeah, I’m busy. But everyone I know besides Aria is always busy. That’s part of the modern condition. Primitives had all the free time they wanted and no food; we have all the food we want and no time to enjoy it. But we always make time for the things that we find important. People who don’t have time for their family, but have time for a fantasy football league are probably saying more about their priorities than they are about their schedule. And I’m sure that Poor Scribbler, Linden Mueller, and All the Blessed Things all have just as hectic of lives as I do.
But what have I been prioritizing? Well, even though it hasn’t been making it into the ever so important blogosphere, I’ve been writing pretty much constantly. I’m on volume four of those big black journals that my meatspace friends see me carrying around all the time, and I’ve noticed a significant increase of production since about a month before Aria showed up, though that’s been tapering back just a little bit lately because I don’t like to write in that journal in the rain. I’m also learning to play the guitar. I didn’t think that would have much bearing on the amount of free time in my day because back when I used to play the piano as a kid, practicing for so much as thirty minutes was literally the LONGEST time in history. Agonizing pain in the brain resulted from a single scale. I figured that if I forced myself into fifteen minutes per day of guitar practice, I’d be doing better than I had any real reason to expect, and I’d still progress, however slowly. Instead it turns out that unless I have something going on that forces me to quit, if I pick up my guitar, I’m probably not going to put it down for forty-five minutes to an hour. Who’d have thought it?
Finally, I’ve been putting in a fair amount of time into two kinds of reading. First, I’ve been catching up on the novel reading that a year long attack of “need to game” caused me to miss. I’ve cut video games almost completely out of my life, but that space filled up immediately with everything from The Forever War, to Anne of Green Gables, to A Hero of our Time, all excellent books, by the way. The second kind of reading is Spanish. I’ve been working as hard as I can to get my Spanish back up to where it should be because I know that this Seventh Group, you-live-in-Afghanistan, thing is going to end eventually, and then I’ll still be expected to hold proficiency in my language. It turns out it’s a good thing I’ve been doing this, but I’ll have to explain why in my next post.
So this post isn’t really for readers. It’s for me. It’s my way of telling myself to get to work on the things that are being forgotten, and to keep at it on the things that I’ve been doing well on.

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February 28, 2012 Posted by | Army, Censorship, Uncategorized | | 4 Comments