Because of an excess of spambot activity, I have blocked new registrations. I hate taking such drastic measures, but I don't have time to clean up all the false registrations that result from whatever attack list I landed on. I will likely revise this in the future once I've upgraded some of my code, but until then, please email me if you would like a user account. Most days, you'll get a login within a few daylight hours. Please let me know:
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The WatchCat spent a year in Russia and the Middle East in preparation for a government career. Unfortunately she got in a little too deep, and health problems sabotaged her career before it began. The future? Now there's an open question. She gets her paws in the action whenever possible, with or without a paycheck. WatchCat keeps busy supporting the troops, recruiting pararescue candidates, yelling at traitors and helping people navigate the grey areas on international everything.
A close family member is active duty US military, but due to OPSEC (and the general need for family peace), WatchCat is unable to write about that person's activities. She makes the most of the opportunities that God gives her, knowing that she should be dead by now.
And yes, she is married & is going to stay married. Smacks upside the head are delivered as needed to those who don't understand this.
Any Amazon.com shopping you do via these links will help keep WatchCat in cream & ammo:
I've had a lot of conversations about respect lately. I can't begin to cover them all, but I can still make a few comments here.
Someone shocked me yesterday by announcing they plan to retire from the military after they hit the 20 year mark. That's still a few years off, and I just didn't see that advance plan coming. I thought that if circumstances demanded at that time, they'd get out, but the way the promotions and top assignments were coming, I thought he'd end up a General. It's been almost 24 hrs and I'm still trying to catch my breath! In my mind, he's too good at what he does to retire. As I get over my growling, though, I'm realizing that I have huge respect for the decision he's making. He's putting his family's needs ahead of his own career, and I respect the hell out of him for it.
On the flip side, I'm working hard to learn how to communicate respect to the guys in my life, and it's not all smooth sailing. These last two years have taught me a lot of humility, but still my respect is not easily won. I'm intelligent, detail-oriented, and good at quite a few things. Thus I can be hard on anyone who struggles to keep up. I know that's not always fair; some of these people have tremendous talents in other areas. Right now I'm feeling terrible because I was a little too honest when answering one man's questions about another man's skills in a particular department. After the conversation I realized that I had probably communicated disrespect, which was an awful thing to do to the relationship of the two men involved. Because I spoke my mind, I don't know how to undo the damage I might have inflicted. Part of me hopes that the hearer just passes over it due to the common culture of disrespect in the world, but I doubt it. His respect has always been hard to win. I really screwed up here.
I'm trying to do better. I'm trying to communicate respect to those who deserve it, and to those around them. But for my male readers... Please understand that women who want to show respect to men are swimming against the tide. Our culture discourages it, and it can be hard to find examples of women who respect their men without being doormats. Most of us are scared to death of being doormats. Neither men nor women can win this battle alone. Please forgive us when we misspeak in front of other men; once we realize what has happened, your kindness and forgiveness will lift you even higher in our eyes.
In my earlier post I talked a bit about the importance of having a team when trying to meet challenges. I want to reiterate something: your teammates don't have to be perfect. (If they were they probably wouldn't want the rest of us.) They just need to have strength(s) that we lack, no matter what our baseline is. In this past week someone on my team rather botched an attempt to fix a situation I was in. That's okay, because he still made a difference, and because he didn't slink into a corner when it didn't work out precisely as planned. His integrity is intact and I am reassured that I can count on him when times are tough.
I saw the beauty of teams again today in the video of Britain's Got Talent's Charlotte and Jonathan. Charlotte has a very good voice but suffers in the comparison to Jonathan, but it's very clear that Jonathan wouldn't have gotten on that stage without her. You'll have to watch to see what happens in the judges' comments, but the bond between these two singers is beautiful to see!
Sometimes we just need for someone else to tell us that thing we already know.
I had a good talk with an older, wiser friend this weekend. I'm not a "spill my guts" kind of person, and even when invited to do so the overflow is quite regulated. Still, I said enough to give decent expression to some of the things that had gotten under my skin recently.
The response? To paraphrase, "if God puts a situation in your life, then you have the resources to deal with it. You are stronger than you know."
I know I'm strong. Yet sometimes it seems as though things pile on in a concerted effort to break me. I know of many people in far worse circumstances, but I also have a bunch of people who will say I'm the strongest person they know. And if that's the case, I start thinking we're all really in trouble. Apparently no one is "unbreakable" so it's easy to question the point of being strong.
As I fight through this question, I'm realizing that it's more about technique than strength. Yes, you need a certain strength to execute the technique, but technique will save you when strength begins to fail. You need to know how to lift the heavy loads without falling. Also, you need a team. It's no accident that most of the elite function in some kind of team. If you go solo you might not make it, but your team will always get your wounded body home.
Only you can decide who is on your team and what techniques you'll use. I can say from experience that if you leave God off the team, you'll likely run into trouble, but I know some of you will have to work that out for yourselves. Your teammates have to earn the right to be there, and that includes some general agreement on technique. Ego has to get out of the way; some people will need to step aside from certain "missions" for a variety of reasons. But one heart and one goal becomes one strength.
Just FYI, I'll be out of the country for the weekend and therefore pretty much incommunicado. If anything reaches me, it'll be email.
Hopefully I'll be bright-eyed and bushy-tailed when I reappear on Monday! ;)
Sometimes it's just really hard to find the right words.
The pressure cooker of my life is really heating up:
How fast can I start working when I move to New York?
And maybe we won't buy me the new(er) car after we sell my current one.
Don't forget to have a doctor lined up in advance...
Btw, we might need to have the house ready to sell in 4 months, including redoing the stairs, tiling two bathrooms, refinishing some cabinets, replacing some windows, and landscaping our disaster of a yard.
And how dare I stress about all this, or cry when the sacrifices hurt?
I know I'm blessed in so many ways. I'm making an effort to remember that, especially in light of the life-and-death struggles others are facing with more grace than I have. I know that others are making bigger sacrifices and I know that some of these wants are selfish. I'm just struggling to maintain the vision of what all of this is for, struggling to believe that this cycle of working for something and getting knocked down will not last forever.
Some of my struggle is perfectionism. I'm driven to do things right and while I try to keep that from aggravating other people, it seems that anything less of perfection always comes back to bite me. And I'm utterly frustrated because of the limitations of my current circumstances, especially when I want so much to meet new challenges with joy and optimism.
Okay...deep breath...thanks for listening to me rant!
"Even to the death fight for truth, and the Lord your God will battle for you." -Sirach 4:28
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Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, "Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?" And I said, "Here am I. Send me!" -Isaiah 6:8
As many of you are aware, the PJCountry blog disappeared in November 2008.
I'm doing my best to help the pararescue community by sharing PJ-related news and events on my blog. The following information may be helpful:
You will find answers to many questions at pararescue.com and specialtactics.com
If you're ready to become a PJ, you'll need to decide between Active Duty and Reserve. This will determine who will handle your official recruitment. Visit Contacts and POCs to find the appropriate person or email me.
304th Pararescue Team (Reserve) (Oregon)
If you're on the west coast near Oregon and are considering being a PJ/CRO on the Portland Pararescue Team (commitment of 4 years beyond training), contact TSgt Stanley Iakopo at stanley.iakopo AT us.af.mil or email me.
I have no official role with pararescue or other SpecOps but I know enough to get you connected to the right people. Email to CAT at THEWATCHCAT dot NET
Jubilate Agno, Fragment B
[For I will consider my Cat Jeoffry]
by Christopher Smart
For he is the servant of the Living God, duly and daily serving him.
For at the first glance of the glory of God in the East he worships in
For is this done by wreathing his body seven times round with elegant
For he keeps the Lord's watch in the night against the adversary.
For he is of the tribe of Tiger.
For he purrs in thankfulness when God tells him he's a good Cat.
For he is an instrument for the children to learn benevolence upon.
For every house is incomplete without him, and a blessing is lacking in
For he is the cleanest in the use of his forepaws of any quadruped.
For he is the quickest to his mark of any creature.
For there is nothing sweeter than his peace when at rest.
For there is nothing brisker than his life when in motion.
For by stroking of him I have found out electricity.