by Kimberly A. Cook (Twitter@ WarriorTales)
Of the many memories I carry from my time in the military, perhaps the uncomfortable ones are the biggest help to me now. Whenever I get grumpy in civilian life, I can always remember a worse time in the military and it cheers me up. Kind of a reverse psychology.
Long line at the DMV? At least I’m not getting shots in both arms at the end of it. Power goes out for a few hours at home? I’m not living without power for days on end, in a tent, in the pouring rain and have to fill the generator every few hours. Can’t find my favorite fresh apples at the grocery store? I don’t have to look at my MREs and really wish I hadn’t gotten beans. Again.
When we get upset at slow Internet speeds, traffic jams and political hijinks on the national scale, we need to step back and breathe. We need to remember we could be someplace else in a much worse situation. Many people in the world are, including right here in the USA.
This past weekend we had record-breaking fabulous spring weather here in the Pacific Northwest. Back East they are getting dumped on by a snow storm. Times like these I am thankful for my freedom, my country and the women and men who are serving in our military right now around the world.
When we look at the Seabees in the Navy photo above, heading into a dust storm in Afghanistan after work or think about The Old Guard who honor the Tomb of the Unknowns in the snow, sleet and wind 24 hours a day, the rest of us are in a pretty good place. Sometimes we just need to stop and be grateful for the way things are right now.
So the next time we are upset about what an agent says about our manuscript, we run out of ink in our printer without a backup cartridge, or the critique group doesn’t like our story; remember, we could be in a tent, in a snowstorm, with someone shooting at us. Checking perspective is a very good thing for writers.