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Bruce Springsteen as observer of life?

February 5, 2019

I enjoyed my military career…most of the time. Of late, I have some fear that I am in danger of becoming not just “that guy,” but even worse “that veteran.” You may have met him. You know, the one who is more than happy to regale you for hours with tales of his time in the Navy/Coast Guard/Marine Corps/Army/Air Force. The guy (or woman) who was, most likely, not quite as high speed and low drag as he or she remembers; not quite the “lean, mean, fightin’ machine” of legend.

That’s not who I want to be.

There’s so much more to be done. More to accomplish. The trick seems to be not allowing myself to focus on what was or to be daunted by the absolute truth that I have far less time ahead of me than I had way back when. I must focus on doing now, today, in this moment, what I can, knowing that the doing is in many ways its own reward, regardless of what it brings about in the long run.

Being active. Being involved with people and not allowing myself to retreat into that self-centered, reclusive and backward-looking existence that consists more of self-pity than anything else. Not all that easy for an introvert but absolutely essential.

*Sigh* Definitely a low energy day.

Intimations of mortality and all that.

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  1. The fear of being, “that old veteran” has always plagued me. That guy at the VFW setting at the same bar stool night after night reliving past glories. I don’t live in the past. I go into hiding during Veterans Day weekend. Not because I despise it, but rather because I prefer to not wonder if that “thank you for your service” is genuine. I served during the Vietnam years and I remember how I was treated. I find it easier to just hide for the weekend.

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