Drinking and Drawing

I’ve been drinking a lot more than I used to lately. I am not sure about the official scientific roll-up of all the effects of drinking, but I do know that it’s more calories than when I don’t consume alcohol and that my body feels weird the next day. I also know that while about two months ago, one beer was able to make me feel toasty, it now takes me way too much.

I would like to stop, but at the same time, I do enjoy the friendship that results from going out and sharing a drink. Of course, the obvious answer is that you don’t have to drink to have fun… but there is something about letting loose and just dancing for no reason on the streets.

I feel like quitting alcohol isn’t something that I want to do, but I do what to do it in moderation, and I want to figure out what precisely that means.

The good news though is that I received my Request for Orders (RFO) which for nonmilitary types, that is an order from the Army to give a warning to other people in the Army that I will be incoming personnel. So, it’s not genuinely official, but it’s the paper that allows the official paperwork to be written up and to alert my new unit that I am coming.

I got Fort Carson, Colorado! I won’t officially say I am there until I am physically in processing. There’re always these crazy stories that get told how so-and-so’s friend thought they were going somewhere and as they were driving across the expanse of Texas, they got a call that said orders changed, you’re going to Korea in two weeks.

If I had to bet poker chips on me going to Carson though, I would go all in. My husband is already there, and the Army does try their best with keeping military to military spouses together. My dwell time is still under a year as well. People with 55 months or higher of dwell time… it seems those people have less of a chance of getting precisely the post they want.

I’m still lifting and working out. I could always do better at that front. It’s hard not to get down on myself for not going every single day and running every day but at the same time, rest days are real. I remember when I did this team called Ranger Challenge at Fordham. We used to work out soooo hard that we started to get worse and worse at everything we did, much to the chagrin of the cadet in charge. Easter break then happened, and since I went to a Catholic School, we got a pretty long time off. I will never forget the feeling we got on the first workout back from break – I think we all shaved about 5 min off our run times for the lap we usually tried to complete around the Bronx. It was merely a testament to how vital recovery time is for the muscles. It seems I am saying that story as a crutch, which in some ways it might be, but I also know my body. I’d like to amp it up in a way that’s reasonable to keep me happy.

I am definitely seeing some results.

Remember, I first started lifting at 95 lbs as my one rep max. This last Friday I was able to do the prescribed weight (no scaling) for our group workout. It was 100 reps of 135 lbs straight bar lift split between four people. I was able to contribute 20 reps which, if you do the math, is a little short and I did have to break it up between the other exercises we had to complete, but I was happy I didn’t have to ask for a different weight bar and set up a smaller weight rack.

We got peer evals back, and we got to read what people thought were our strengths and weaknesses as well as being able to see how people ranked us numerically.

Only two people mentioned my physical strength as a weakness, which is nice as I know that it is, but if it weren’t a writable weakness for all 15 members of my small group, I’d constitute that as a win… It is something I’m aware of though.

The most common comments were related to my sensitivity. While a lot simply commented ‘too sensitive’ I did get some that said I ‘cared too much about CCC’ which made me laugh. I know that I take a lot of things to heart and then act out weirdly sometimes, and that is something I will forever have to work on and be aware of, but I don’t feel too bad for caring too much about my TRADOC. I do care a lot about everything, and I take pride in that. I just need to stay calm when things start ‘being wild.’

One person wrote that my weakness was simply, ‘light infantry’ and that made me laugh out loud but noted: when we learned about a breach being wide enough to get a tank battalion through, I did have to adjust my COA sketch because I was not ready to support that, among other mistakes I’ve made in class. This is my saga.

At the end of the day, I’m thankful for getting to befriend so many people. I’m also very excited to move out to be a captain in FORSCOM and to being in a unit again. Plus, living with my husband again will be a plus. I believe last month was the official mark for two years apart.

One Day I Will Get This Blogging Thing Right

Celebrating my birthday in Iraq

Celebrating my birthday in Iraq

Every time I start to get into blogging, it feels like it’s when I’m the most healthy mentally. This isn’t meant to imply that when I’m not blogging I’m losing my mind, but in actuality, it means I am very tired. For example, this recent hiatus I will chalk up to having bad WiFi overseas. After deployment, life hit me hard.

I’m a Battery Executive Officer (XO) now which means I am assistant to the boss. Not the main boss of course. It is a lower level than the Battalion Commander. His ‘assistant’ is a Major who is also an XO. I refer to him as ‘Big XO’ as so others don’t think I’m talking about myself in the third person. I focus on things like supply, ordering, and maintenance. While I work later then I want (1900 ish?) I would say that my command climate is very healthy. The Soldiers get to leave way before me so it’s administrative office work I’m finishing up. Of course, every day is an unexpected struggle/experience but that’s part of the Army.

Matt is already in Colorado after having graduated from Captain’s Career Course. His life is more desk work and while he likes that, it actually reminded me that I do not. I’m okay with having a hybrid job of desk life and motorpool life. While I hate sweating for no reason, I also hate my windowless office. At the end of the day, firing artillery is so badass that it makes up for the sweat.

Despite all the normal and healthy stress I have going on, I do want to keep blogging through it. It might be some experimenting to see what that looks like for me in reality. Recently, I downloaded a ‘brain app’ on my phone to study. It had basic math and reading skills all the way up to college level skills. I got to advanced reading, intermediate writing, and just barely cracked intermediate math before I deleted it. It was tedious and made me panic about taking the GRE one day. We all know that is going to be an ~*Emotional Event*~.

Oddly, this silly phone app made me realize that everything is a perishable skill. Because of this, I need to start actually doing intellectual things like writing - even if blogs aren’t the equivalent of reading War and Peace.

The key is just doing something...anything.

When I first started Active Duty, I thought a huge mistake I had made was that I would work and come home and do nothing (IE eat and watch TV). I got through every episode of Pretty Little Liars as a 2LT.

My hypothesis was I got so wound up because all my success and life revolved around my job. I couldn’t reflect on the week with any sense of pride. I couldn't say, "I completed this drawing or wrote this post", instead it was, "omg I haven’t completed anything at work or at life or at all! I’m dying!"

Since then, I’ve tried to do an ‘Anne Thing’ every night but I’ve been falling into the TV pattern again, but this time feels healthier.

My best friend Jackie is a connoisseur of television - she works for The Ellen Show and majored in Television at Fordham. She humors me when I text her about the political implications of Brooklyn Nine Nine (noice noice) and offers her thoughts on Todd Offerman when I live text her about the show Making It. Before, I was keeping to myself. It wasn’t watching TV that was so bad, it was just living quietly. Now that I’m reaching out about what I am doing, even if it’s just a text, it feels so much more refreshing.

You could even say that watching TV is essential to anyone striving to be a good writer. Most of the writing I know takes some semblance of mainstream media as a reference and a way to connect with the reader. The biggest thing about only watching TV after work is that it depends on what you do with it.

Crafting and blogging is a natural way to reach out. After you make something, you want to show it to the world because you’re so proud. Blogging is writing and leaving your journal in a public bathroom and letting people view it.

Hopefully, I have a Brooklyn Nine Nine themed blog post soon.