Sunday, September 30, 2012

Let's Enjoy the Now

When I was in HS (I can hear my two girls giggling as I write that), the phrase "Carpe Diem" was something we'd chat about and write in our yearbooks and pretend like we really knew what we were talking about.

I'd love a ring like this.

Kids today have "YOLO," which I prefer to think means "You obviously lack originality" but apparently is supposed to be "You only live once" and to some is also a free ticket to acting like an idiot.

Neither of these are bad ideas, and neither are terribly original.  "Carpe Diem," after all, comes from Horace and is shortened from Carpe diem quam minimum credula postero.  The whole thing loosely translates to, "Seize the day, putting as little trust as possible in the future."

Today, some friends of mine on a Facebook page were discussing the possible drawdown in deployments.  Rumor has it that only 10% of troops would be deploying next year.  My knee-jerk, and slightly cynical/bitter thought was that it would probably be the 10% that has already deployed the most times, but the point was that this supremely high op-tempo that we've had for the last 11 years, might actually stop.  It might slow down.  Soldiers, Airmen, Marines and Sailors might actually come home without having the date of their next deployment in hand.   They might see more children born, they might be able to have family time again.

There are signs of this already, small faint rays of hope that are more easily seen by those of us who have lived this life for a long time.  "Payday activities" means we see Soldiers on post wearing dress uniforms for inspections.  Sergeants' time is happening again.  And the military is doing what it can to get rid of those service members who bring the whole rank and file down.  (The methods they are using to do that are worth their own blog post, but I'm going to try to stay on topic here.)

However, those of us who have been around for a while are a little suspicious.  We'll believe it when we see it.  We'll believe it when their heads are on their own pillows, next to ours.  We'll believe it when our kids get to see their dads.  We'll believe it when the POA expires and can sit in a dusty folder, unused.

In response to her husband's comment about the 10% deployment rate, she said "as much as I'd like to believe you're not going to deploy, I'm not going to get happy or excited.  I'm still going to plan in my head that you're leaving late next year.  I've learned never to get my hopes up with the Army."

His words to her, said while holding her tight, are where this blog actually begins:  "Let's enjoy the now."

For now, he's home. For now, his arms are around her and holding her close. For now, the bags are stored and the gear is away. For now, his head rests next to hers in the bed they share.  For now, he can hug the kids and he can discipline the kids. If she's lucky, for now he can pinch her rear and chase her around the living room, embarrassing the heck out of the kids. They can have dinner together, and watch movies together.  

Whatever may or may not happen in the future with our Soldiers, our Sailors, our Airmen and our Marines-- let's enjoy the now.   If it's that we see them on Skype, or we get a text from them while they're at school, or they're home from a weekend before they return to their duty station...  Whatever we have, let's count ourselves blessed.

Let's enjoy the now.

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