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Wednesday, December 12 2018 @ 12:03 pm PST

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General NewsI'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.
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General NewsIn 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!

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Stronger Than You Know

General NewsSometimes 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.
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General NewsJust 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! ;)
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Latest Marine Commercial

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Inspiration of the Day!

General NewsI'm going to remember this lady when I'm discouraged over current limitations:

Utah Woman, 101, Paraglides Into Record Books

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General NewsState Department to Announce New Search for Amelia Earhart's Plane in Pacific
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General NewsGreat post on dealing with fear from one of our local Orthodox writers:

My Dangerous Friend, Fear

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General NewsSometimes 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!
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General NewsBoyfriend of Missing Florida Police Cadet Arrested on Grand Larceny Charges

Disclaimer: I don't have inside knowledge of the case; I'm just going off gut instinct here.

I'm probably not alone in surmising how this played out. Ms. Rothwell probably knew or suspected what David Perry was doing, hence the planned break-up. Very possibly, she made the mistake of letting him know what she knew. Some might say that Kelly Rothwell was over-confident, and that she got into trouble because she thought she could handle Perry alone. It's certainly possible. But it's also possible that, given her status as a police cadet, she tried to handle him alone because she didn't want to appear weak to her colleagues. As a former public safety professional (EMT) I can easily see how the risks to her career might have seemed bigger than the risk from her boyfriend.

Problem is, this is the core scenario for too many domestic kidnappings and homicides. It's less common for a woman to be snatched off the street by a former partner, and far more likely that she'll disappear from home or some other private place because she just didn't recognize the risk. Too often, she doesn't want to appear as a hysterical female or a fool.

I hate to say it like this, because it's hard on a lot of decent guys, but if the break-up is anything short of cordial, it needs to be done in a public place. And then you shouldn't be alone together until the dust has been settled for a very long time. If you need to get your stuff out, take someone with you. Feeling like a fool is better than ending up dead.