The Beav according to Beav

Still crazy after all these years.

Sunday, November 21, 2010


Earlier this week, I saw this posted:

"1. what other people think of me is none of my business 2. worry is misplaced imagination and 3. if you don't want to be happy, you'll find reasons not and the other way around."

I thought that they were all such perfect sentiments, I had to spread them around a bit. Number one is counterintuitive. "Of course it's my business," you think. "They're thinking about me." But really, it's not. You are who you are. People's thoughts about you will always be colored by their own experiences, biases, and beliefs. But what it really comes down to is be you. Do what you feel is right, not what you think will make others think well of you.

Number two is just remarkably phrased. One of those sentences I wish I could etch on my wife's brain.

Number three is a truism and a more general statement of the golden rule of military assignments: "Every assignment is what you make it." Everyone who's ever been in the military has heard this. Almost everyone in the military has said it. The general is something I grabbed and ran with when I found out that my follow-on for Korea was not Denver, but right back here at Langley. I decided it was either be miserable for a year, or be happy - assignment be damned. So, I was (and am) the guy who always has a smile on his lips; who answers the casual "how's it goin'?" with "it's a great day!" And it has made all the difference.

This week, I'm thankful for the food that keeps my family nourished. I am all too aware that there are lots of people all around the world who don't get enough to eat. I am grateful that when I'm forced to throw away some food that one of my sons has dropped on the floor or some such, that it's an annoyance, rather than a tragedy.

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Sunday, November 14, 2010

Yay Vets!

This was an interesting, short week. Thursday was Veteran's Day, so Ryan's school had a teacher day on Friday. I had to take a day of leave to stay home with him, so a 3-day work week and 4-day weekend. Not bad.

I was pleased to see on my social media lots of acknowledgment of why we were off on Thursday. I have avoided crowing about how much we owe to our veterans since I am one. I'm not really comfortable with the "Go me!" that would amount to, but there are a lot of things that we have that are attributable to the fact that many people have sworn to do whatever needs be done. I would like to thank all former, present, and future servicemembers - and their families for that sacrifice.

Somewhat related to that, my "what I'm thankful for" this week is my job. Though there are many things I don't like about it; though it often makes my life much harder than I'd prefer it to be; it is still mentally fulfilling. It is also one of the more secure jobs in the country right now. That is no small relief.


Friday, November 05, 2010

You Can Call it a Comeback

So many things have happened since last I posted.

I went to Georgia (and got to see some dear friends).
I went to Germany (and got to see almost none of it).
I broke my toe (the same one I broke last year).
I went trick-or-treating (with no parenthetical comment).

And that’s not really the half of it. I even neglected some things I e-mailed myself to blog about.

Waiting on the World to Change:

This song came out in August of 06. We were still at war (as we still are), and there was a lot of dissatisfaction about where the country was heading. Though it is a lovely song, it has always bothered (and somewhat irritated) me. The main theme is that the youth of today are unhappy, and feel they lack the power to effect the change they wish to see, so they will wait for the world to see things their way. I understand the feeling, honestly, but what kind of message is that? “This kinda sucks. Let’s just hang around; it’s bound to get better.” In the 1960s, blacks did not have the power to effect change. So, they did what they had to do to make things better. It hurt. It wasn’t pleasant. But it changed things – it made them better. No change has ever happened by itself. Nothing gets better without people standing up and making it better. If it sucks, fix it. It’s often not easy, and usually not fun; but if you really want change, you sacrifice for it.

This also touches a bit on something I’ve seen talked about in a few places. The proliferation of events to raise awareness for one thing or another. This isn’t a bad thing in and of itself. Sooner or later, though, I have to ask “doesn’t everyone already know?!” Raising money for research, or to combat a disease/situation seems like a much more reasonable course of action. Reminding me that breast cancer exists doesn’t help anyone with breast cancer. Letting me know that 1 in 110 kids are on the Autism scale doesn’t help figure out what causes it. Doctors and scientists help, when they have the resources to do so. If you want to call attention to a problem, do so in a way that makes a difference.

Finally, though it’s not Thanksgiving yet, I’ve been inspired by an Angel, who’s posting something she’s thankful for every single day this month. I’m not so prolific, so I will do so every week.

I am thankful for the love of my family: the family I was born into, the family that has come to me, and the family that has no legal or blood tie but is family nonetheless. It may be a cop-out, but it’s the honest truth. There are so many people that could have just shut the door, could have let the bond wither and die as years and miles come between us, but didn’t. It warms my soul that I can talk to people who’ve known me almost as long as I have – whom I’ve not seen in longer than my kids have been alive – and still they share my joy and my sorrow (and I theirs). It brings tears to my eyes when I think that my wife’s family, who could have turned their backs on us and decided that I was not who they thought she should be with, greeted me with open arms and made me welcome in their homes and family. It brightens my life every time I pick up my boys and they run to me saying “Daddy!” or I see my wife and she smiles and draws me in for a tender embrace. You are all reasons my life is so wonderful.

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