Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Waiting is the worst

AKA, waiting sucks.....

I am an Army National Guard Officer. In the past 2 years I have been appraised of 3 pending deployments. The first simply evaporated. The second, just this year, basically came down to a coin flip between me and another 1LT (who I consider a pretty good friend and have worked with for the past 3+ years). Ironically that buddy will probably be going to someplace safer and for less time than me. Now I sit back (and sleep somewhat fitfully), waiting with baited breath to hear if I have been selected (I am not volunteering but if I have to go? I go. I joined after 9/11, I knew the risks (hell, the near certainty) of being deployed while in the Guard) to head with to an for an unknown duration (less than a year, they haven't said otherwise) (can I be more vague?). The notification times seem to get shorter each time. The first one was more than a year, the next was almost 6 months... the latest clocks in at a little less than 60 days notice.

My mind whirls with contingency planning, devising how I am going to handle all the things I would need to do in that timeframe. No actions are taken until things are solidified but it can be daunting to think about. From the mundane (what about my stuff? my car? my good little buddy, Link? Can I get my eyes fixed in the time before I deploy? What impact is this going to have on my career?) to the deeply personal (obviously CG and I will be having a long conversation on what to do (and no H, I don't want to talk about it until/if it happens), the painful consideration of being away from my family so long (my brothers and their spouses/SO's, my parents, my nephew, and niece/nephew that is on the way)). Until the probability matrix collapses (sometime in the next couple of days)? I am going to my impression of an ostrich, ignore it until it becomes real.

I got on this potential deployment list because I have a good reputation. Because I have the combination of a deep understanding of the technology and the people that I have to work with. Ironically those that are less competent get a pass on this, while my hard work (and I feel that I can give my Country, my Soldiers, nothing less than my best. In my core I cannot imagine slacking when I have important jobs to do) has me in line for this dubious reward. The blessing below is one of my favorite (in particular in situations like this):

Lord grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
the courage to change the things I can,
and the wisdom to know the difference