Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The Christmas Check In

Well folks, Christmas is almost here, and I'm down to 28 days & counting before they ship my old ass out to BCT. Nervous? Yup, you bet your tush I am! I'll be fine, I'm sure, but any new endeavor brings with it the fear of the unknown. As I'm sure I've mentioned before, I just don't wanna be "That Guy" . . . the old man dragging everyone else down. I didn't have any problems in RSP but I'm betting that BCT is a good bit tougher, hence the nervousness. :-)

Things are good here, we're all squared away for Christmas and the New Year. The Wife, Boy, and myself all have the full week between off so we'll be chillin' at home, sleeping late and just enjoying the season. I'm glad The Wife was able to get the time off, I think we're both gonna need the time together to help carry us over while I'm gone. She's been awesome about the whole thing lately, she's really gotten behind it and has been wonderfully supportive. It may take her a while to adjust to change but when she does, she does it with a vengeance!

Had a good bit of the joy taken out of the holidays last night when I found out that my mother has lung cancer. It wasn't an unexpected diagnosis but it still sucks. She's tough, in good shape, and has a great attitude so hopefully it will all work out but I've mentioned before that I despise cancer with a burning hatred. I've dealt with it far too many times and it's an ugly, painful, disease to watch chew up people you love. Think a good thought for her if you would . . .

I've been wondering what to do about this blog while I'm gone. Do I shut it down or do I ask The Wife to post the occasional update from my letters and calls? I'll have no access to the Internet at all in BCT and I'm not sure how much access I'll have once I'm in AIT. That means I won't be updating at all between the end of January through at least mid-April. Well, let's face it, I don't update all that often anymore anyway - once a week at best, really. I don't think I have more than 3 or 4 folks who read here anymore anyway. Maybe I'll just let it go and see if I want to pick it up when I get back. What do y'all think?

Anyway, for all those reading: I hope you have a wonderful holiday and a fantastic New Year. May everyone you love be close by, happy, and healthy and may they stay that way through the entire year!


Wednesday, December 03, 2008

The "I" Post

Ok, let's take a quick detour into Jim's brain, shall we?

This may prove once and for all that I'm a complete nut job (big shock!) but I noticed a funny thing about myself a while back - right about the time I started pulling myself together and actively working on joining the Guard. It's going to sound very odd, and fairly pointless as well, but it was actually a huge part of how I managed to get my life under control. So, here's the crazy . . .

I never thought in the first person.

Oh, don't get me wrong, I never thought of myself in the third person (i.e. "That's what makes Plaxico Burress . . . Plaxico Burress!") I'm not quite THAT twisted, but inside my own head I always referred to myself in the second person. (i.e. "You need to lose weight . . . you aren't happy with what you're doing now . . .") That's how my brain always worked and I never once thought about it; it was just how I naturally thought. Everything that went through this oversized melon of mine was in the form of a conversation: Me, lecturing . . . ME!

I imagine a shrink would have a great time analyzing why this was (feel free to take a shot yourself in the comments!) but that's not really the point of this post. The thing that matters is that no amount of effort at changing my life ever took root while I thought that way. It wasn't until I started thinking in terms of "I" ("I need to exercise today . . . I need to avoid eating crap . . .") that anything worked. It took conscious effort at first. I had to focus on phrasing everything I wanted in the first person. Like I said, POV2 was my natural state of mind. I'd often find myself thinking things like: "You really need to call that guy about that thing, Jim," and having to stop and rephrase it to "I need to call that guy about that thing."

Stupid, right? Yea, but it made one HELL of a difference. The thing is that when I think POV1, I take personal responsibility for what I'm doing. Somehow, in my twisted brain, when I'm in POV2 it's as if someone else was in charge and I was only a spectator, sadly shaking his head inside my own mind. Whenever I say "I" must do something, I do it, almost immediately. Want an example?

I still slip sometimes and don't realize I'm running in POV2 mode. For weeks now I've been saying to myself: "You really should walk the dog at night after dinner. she needs it and it's some extra exercise for you." Have I been walking the dog? Nope, not once. Somehow something always managed to interfere . . . there was no immediacy to it, ya' know? So, night before last I caught myself thinking in POV2 and switched it to: "I have to walk the dog tonight." Boom. Just like that, and puppy's been out walking the last two nights, even though I had a Scout meeting and it was pretty dang cold hereabouts.

Why does point-of-view make such a difference? I have no friggin' idea. Seriously, I know how stupid this is . . . I mean, who the hell else on the planet talks TO themselves in their own brain all the time? Just little ol' me is all. So now, I try to always think in POV1 mode. It let's me feel that I am in control of my own life . . . and believe it or not, this is the first time EVER that i've had that feeling.

I kinda like it! :-)