DISCLAIMER: I have new blog categories to help my readers determine what they want to read and what they’d like to skip. Here are the categories:

  • Entertaining, More or Less
  • Mostly Pictures
  • Encyclopedic, yet Mildly Entertaining
  • Super Serious

Today’s entry is in the last category and is pure introspection, so you may not want to read any further. There’s nothing in here about Afghanistan or my experiences over here

So here we go:

Today is a momentous day and I hope you will celebrate it with me.

I have had times in my life, and I know that I’m not alone here, when I’ve run into a brick wall. My life seemed to be going great, and while I may have been nursing some bad habits or being a little short-sighted, no one was getting hurt, so everything was good.

But then the moment came where something happened and the goodness of the world seemed to shatter like some imaginary world I’d built out of pretty-colored glass (not in a girly sort of way – there was camo glass in there as well.) What was the crisis? I don’t know, pick one. My job ended. A dirty secret I’d been keeping got out and destroyed my reputation. My job ended again. I was suddenly made aware of my extremely hurtful behavior toward others.

Whatever it was, that point in time suddenly became very real and very important.

What happens when you reach this point?

Well, relationships end – that’s a given. People get hurt and people get gone. When that happens, I’ve either worked as hard as possible to keep those people from going, or sent them off with a kick in the ass. And for a time, if I’m trying to keep someone in my life that is determined to leave, the motivation to change is wicked strong, isn’t it? But two weeks later, a month later, that impulse might not be as strong, and the leaving begins again.

What else happens? Decisions get real black or real white, and that’s not a racist commentary. Change or die. Turn around or live alone for the rest of your life. Make a change or resign yourself to working fast food – really nasty fast food.

These times of intense focus are exhausting. Things happen during these times that make me doubt my own worth to the world and to God. Like me, many have experienced the end of a marriage and the years of emotional and financial torture that follow. Friendships dissolve and evaporate like water poured out in the desert, or simply disappear without any metaphorical reference at all.


So happy Wednesday to everyone! Brought the sun right out, I’m sure. But here’s the kicker for me, the reason I’ve been thinking about this stuff today, and for me, it’s a message of hope.

Many things in life happen TO us. We don’t have control over the drunk driver, the crappy boss, the economy. The tough times of life come to visit without our invitation, and there’s no option to send them packing like some sort of Jehovah’s Witnesses of fortune. They push past us at the front door of our life and it’s a long painful process to get them out (hopefully by ultimately being thrown through that plate glass window in the den.)

But many other things in life happen BECAUSE of us. Poor decisions, bad habits, bad behaviors, and poor thinking patterns can only go one for so long before the other shoe drops and I have to make some tough but important changes. Good decisions about money, time, friendships and work are easy for some, but for me they’ve never been a cake walk, and sooner or later, some decision, some bad behavior, some ridiculous impulse followed is the last straw for the universe and misfortunes start to heap into my lap. It seems to sneak up on me every time, but after pitching over the edge, my friends will tell me they saw it coming – tried to warn me off – but none of it stuck.

So June 1, 2011. 6/1. It’s a day that I’ve felt more than ever the desire to do a reset, check my six as they say over here, and try to see the things that might be sneaking up on me before they happen – get off my emotional ass-can and do some work now that will help me evade the brick wall that could loom in the future.

The questions that have been going through my head that are driving me are:

  • Which of my relationships are suffering and what am I doing that is causing problems?
  • If I was completely in the wrong, and a loved one was going to leave if I couldn’t change, what would I be willing to do to keep them in my life? How can I work that desperate willingness into my daily life and capture that motivation? How can I make them feel, today, that I am 100% committed to them?


Nothing is going wrong and I’m not looking for trouble. This sort of introspection is a pin prick compared to the piercing emotional pain and exhaustion that comes when the crisis creeps out of the blind spot I refuse to peer into.

So it’s “check your six day” on 6/1/11.


P.S.: If you’ve read this and are convinced that I am the cause of your emotional or physical distress, let’s talk about it, but please don’t comment on this post – let’s talk in person.

P.S.S.: If you’re convinced that I’m the cause of your emotional or physical distress simply because you can’t stand the way that I write or express myself, you and I have something in common. Let’s be friends.

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