Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Hectic or Peaceful?

Today someone asked me whether I preferred my life to be hectic or peaceful. To tell you the truth, I really hadn't realized that it was an option. I guess most people would probably say that they preferred a more tranquil life, but not me.

Time goes by faster when you are busy. When life goes from one event to the next, you don't have time to consider the days as the pass or how many of them have gone. When I sit down and think about it, it makes me sad. Yesterday was my birthday and yesterday, I sat down to think about all those days that have gone. 101 to be exact. 101 days since I last saw my husband. I guess to some that doesn't seem like so very long, but here, it is an eternity.

When I am caught up in the whirl of everyday life, I don't think about the time that has been lost. I guess that some people may even view it as wasted, but I don't. Every day life goes on. Some days are better than others, which in the light of events on the stock market yesterday is probably the understatement of the century. Still, we don't cease to live when bad things happen and so we must struggle forward.

I love it when I am so tired at the end of the day that all I have time to do is whisper a few words of gratitude to God before I fall into a deep and dreamless sleep. When I am busy, I don't have time to miss him. At least not as much as I do when I think about it. Who has time to dwell?

So I say to life - bring it on - the more the better! I want to live my life from one whirling activity to the next. Maybe when I feel whole again, I will slow it down and smell the roses. Until then.... I have about a million things to do!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Honoring the USS Nautilus

The year was 1957. The world watched in astonishment and horror as the Russians launched Sputnik 1 into space. The United States was scrambling - far behind Russias superior technological advantages in the space race at a dangerous time when the cold war was just heating up. As a country, we had lost faith in American Exceptionalism. Then, just a few short months later, something truly amazing changed all of that. You see, while the Russians looked off into the stars, we were busy finding new ways to explore our planet.

In the summer of 1958, we took the world by surprise when the worlds first ( and finest) nuclear submarine surfaced from under the ice pack at the North Pole. Commander Anderson announced to the world, " For our country and the United States Navy, this is Nautilus, 90 degrees north." This event helped restore our faith in ourselves, but what is most amazing about that event, wasn't the aftermath, but the feat itself.

It was dubbed, ironically, "Operation Sunshine". After two failed attempts at the Pole, one in which Nautilus lost one of her periscopes, the Nautilus finally succeeded. It was my honor and privilege to meet one of the wives of the brave Nautilus crew last night. He was the chief sonor technician on board the boat. It was his challenge, and that of his men, to monitor the depth of the ice flows that the Nautilus had to navigat.

It's almost impossible to imagine the bravery and curiosity of those men. They truly knew and understood what it meant to "boldly go where no man had gone before". Not only did they prove that a nuclear submarine could traverse the treacherous waters of the icy north, but they were knocking on the back door of the Soviet Union itself. After all, if Nautilus could surface at the Pole, couldn't she also potentially launch her missiles? It caused the russians enough concern that they rushed to produce their own nuclear boats, to the great detriment of many of their sailors. ( K-19 anyone?)

Because of those brave men, all of our sailors are safer. Their journey gave us improved technology and navigation systems. Their journey gave us invaluable information about ice flows in the Artic. Their journey reestablished the superiority of the US Navy. But most of all, t heir journey made reaffirmed the capabilities of humanity - both for good and for evil.

Today, I honor their achievement.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

It's that Pivotal Moment

First let me just say that I can't believe it has been this long since I have blogged. As a person who uses their writing to process.... going this long just seems wrong in some way. I have been swamped with work, and so tired at night that crawling into bed is about all I can do. Still, I realize that I need to make more time for myself and especially my writing, so here it goes...

I was thinking about pivotal moments the other day... you know, those moments where everything in your life changes. I have had a few in my life. I'm sure we all have.

I guess the first really major one that I remember was watching my kitten get abused. I know this will surprise the people who truly know me, but I was in an emotinoally and physically abusive relationship for five years. It didn't start out that way - it never does. I thought that I could change him. I believed that if I just showed him that love is constant that he would find the strength and the courage to change his life. I was so wrong. Things didn't get better for us - they just got worse. We met when I was 15 - young, niave and vulnerable. ( I wish that he could see the woman that I am today, the woman that I am in no small part because of what I suffered at his hands)
At any rate, I came home from work one day, and I found him and a friend abusing my kitten. My kittens name was Stripe and in a hopeless life, he was the one thing that gave me joy. As I watched the kitten get abused - I felt a well spring inside me - one that I didn't know existed. I immediately intervened and saved the kitten. For some reason, I knew that I had to save that small, helpless creature, but in reality, he saved me. For some reason, I could do for that kitten what I couldn't do for myself - WALK AWAY. I walked and though I looked back on occassion, the important thing is that I never turned around.

The pivotal moment of my life - the first time our eyes met across a crowded room. When my friend introduced me to him, I knew he would change my life forever, though I couldn't have at that moment, ever have imagined how. Three years later, I looked into those same brown eyes and promised to love him forever and I know that I will. No matter what happens, no matter what the future holds, this much I know is true.... my husband is the only man I have ever truly loved, and he is the only man I ever will truly love. That night that we meet- every second of my future balanced on that night, though I didn't know it then.

Since then I have watched him draw solar systems in the sand, seen him become a father, I have sent him off to war in places that I may never know.... We have grown up together and I hope to grow old together. But whatever the future holds for us, he is my soul mate - the only one I will ever have. Without that night all those years ago, I don't know where I would be today. Sad, lonely, unhappy all those things probably. Well, I guess it's just like the song says... "what's meant to be will always find a way" and I feel so blessed that it did.

There are so many days that each of us face that pivotal moment. Open up your heart and embrace them, because they truly do shape the future.