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01 Aug

So the world hasn’t heard from me in a bit. And look at that, it’s kept right on spinning, so I guess it wasn’t a big deal.

And that’s part of the problem.

I was sitting around the other day (they sort of blend together) and realized I felt like I didn’t have much of an impact on the world around me anymore. Let’s face it; I’m not really making big decisions anymore, and if we are being honest, I didn’t really make too many big decisions when I was in the Navy (important note: the Navy can go MONTHS without making important decisions). At this point in my life I’ve realized with some regret that I’m not going to cure cancer, record a platinum album, make the Hall of Fame in any sport, or even make a dent in world hunger. So when I look at what the world tells me success is, I can get pretty depressed, because I haven’t done any of those things, and probably won’t (unless I get off my butt really soon).

The more I thought about it, the more it got to me. And I think that is the lesson. When I thought negatively, what I have NOT done or do NOT have, I put myself in a fairly negative mood. So, on a whim, I decided that I would write about some of the good things that HAVE done, or DO have, and see if that changed my thinking.

Here is what I came up with. First, I have a loving wife, and even though she made me move to this God-forsaken liberal paradise of fruits and nuts called California, she’s pretty great. Second, I have two great kids, and even a dog who isn’t so bad.

(Already, just two items in, I started to notice that when I start to think about things like that, the ball starts rolling in a good way; like forward, and not over the top of me).

I have a loving and supportive family who despite being almost but just not quite insane, have always been there for me, and always will, along with some very close friends that I refer to as family just because it’s easier. I battle depression and anxiety, and most days I win. I’m twenty-three years past a not-insignificant lightweight fight with cancer. I will never have too much money, but always enough. I published a book that most people think doesn’t suck. I am allowed to play drums in church, and “make a joyful noise unto the Lord.” And I have a job that allows me to work with some pretty great young people almost every day (albeit there are some turds mixed in with the great ones).

So when I put things in that vein, it sort of balanced out the fact that I haven’t won the lottery and I didn’t get my PhD at age 19. I’m me to me and my wife, and “Dad” to my kids, and “Sir” to my cadets with all the goods and bads that those things bring. I might as well choose to be ok with that, because the alternative is such a drag…

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