Monday, January 25, 2016
I went into "charitable work" knowing there would be times we wouldn't be able to help a soldier and that he/she would be unhappy about such. I understood that unhappiness would probably be shared loudly and with words that are not polite. Intellectually that's easy to fathom. Who likes hearing "No" when they've been standing in line hoping to receive something?
Intellectual is not the same as cold reality. It appears I need to grow a tougher hide.
Recently the Board went through our applications, resulting in quite a few "No" decisions. This isn't an easy process about facts on a page. I often remind the Board that the piece of paper they're considering is a PERSON...one usually injured protecting our country. Some had been on the waiting list for a long time. Cue reality rearing it's ugly head. Our "Flood of the Century" pretty much canceled our fundraiser in 2015. As much as my heart screams, "But I want to help them all!", I know we have to have the financial means to accomplish it.
Today I had to send the, "We appreciate your service, but we're unable to assist you" e-mail. Oh the explanation is longer and more politely worded. But most soldiers tend to just see, "No".
Today, I became acquainted with the ugly side of rejection. I've also discovered that Officers are not necessarily gentlemen. Hubby reminded me, as men are wont to do, that this was inevitable, I shouldn't take it personally and should let it roll off my back. After all, you can't change the opinion of someone angry. And I know he's right.
Now if I can just convince my deeply ingrained sense of fair play to let it go.
For the guys on the Board, it's a matter of logistics: X number of dollars means distributing Y number of bows. As the sole female, my heart gets in the way of math. I'm the one soldiers ask for an application. I accept the applications, I answer their questions and try to keep them positive without making false promises until the Board renders a decision. It's a juggling act where what I'm juggling is the truth, their feelings and my heart. It can be difficult to be a good cheerleader when one of the soldiers is throwing irate words back at you, like grenades.
Today's worst reply was like being "screamed" at on paper. Accusations which weren't based in truth coupled with the observation we'd made him wait 5 years to hear the word "No." Here's where my Sense of Fair Play looked over his application again, to make sure we hadn't missed something. It was clear his last statement flat wasn't true. This year marks our 4th year as a charity, so obviously he hadn't waited 5 years. The truth was, it was less than two years. Not that it mattered to him. Even though I knew he was lashing out in anger, insinuating we were awful and he'd go out and do better (more power to you fella, it's not easy!) my inner voice was screaming, "But that's not the truth!"
Sometimes you have to let anger, even wrongly placed blame, just fizzle out in silence. In this case Hubby was right: if I'd tried to explain, it would've only fanned the flames, not put them out. But how did I continue to check e-mail without a heavy heart and wincing?
Because one soldier reminded me why I do this.
"I completely understand and appreciate your consideration! I thank you for all you do with our team and appreciate you keeping faith with our wounded and injured brothers! Please know that we will share your message and the great deeds you do for our wounded and injured service members. Keep the Faith."
Keep the faith. My heart needed to hear that.
I can do that. And I have a stack of applications for soldiers we CAN help calling my name. Sorry name callers...you, I can't hear.
Thursday, January 21, 2016
Yep, that's just how it feels when you add all your stuff to a new computer.
I'm almost there....just not quite.
Hope to be up and running 100% by the weekend.
Well, if we don't count finishing year end inventory for Hubby's business,
a ton of paperwork for the charity and laundry. :)
Thursday, January 14, 2016
Friday, January 1, 2016
To be honest, I"m ready for a "Do Over". After three months of nursing the tendinitis in my left shoulder back to "normal" using my doctor approved method of ice, heat and Advil, less than a week before Christmas I aggravated the hell out of it.
I'm the first one to admit that I'm a MUCH better caretaker than patient. It's one of the "man" genes I have which overwhelms my X chromosomes. (Meaning I believe "sick" should be over in 48 hours. I also lack the girl gene for shopping, I hate it...especially for shoes).
This time I insulted that poor muscle so much, it left me grinding my teeth before doing the girly thing of simply bursting in tears. That was in the car, on Christmas Day, as we were headed into town for family stuff. I could barely tolerate moving and 25 miles in a car was torture. I didn't make it 3 miles before Hubby stopped the car and said, "What do you want to do?"
"Go home," came this meek little voice out of me as another round of that never ending, tooth ache of pain took a little stab at me as well. I married a good man. A man who let me cry while telling me it was okay, it wasn't my fault and that he'd simply go drop off gifts. That was the only time I said no. Just because I was in a crappy mood didn't mean it had to spoil his Christmas. When we got home and he dropped me off, I heard him say to the dog, "No, you get out and stay with her. She shouldn't be alone on Christmas."
Odd as it sounds, that might have been the nicest gift I received. I've never spent Christmas Day alone. I was hurting, feeling guilty, trying to get Hubby to promise me he wouldn't speed through the day. I must've looked pitiful...the dog, who believes riding in a car is only second to eating/sleeping, marched over to me and nudged me toward the door. Inside we went and although I spent the majority of my time with either an ice pack or heating pad while trying to think happy thoughts as I was glued to the recliner, the dog never left my side.
This wasn't exactly the vacation I envisioned back in November when I requested the week after Christmas off. Hubby even closed his Shop the same week so we could do whatever we wanted to do....and he could get in a little more deer hunting before the season ended. (Don't judge: we eat venison to the point beef tastes...odd). It has rained or been foggy the entire time. I don't remember what the sun and blue skies look like.
It seems that our choices became trying to watch several days worth of old movies and westerns to recuperate...as the weather was making his hip bother him. But as crappy as the weather seemed, we laughed. And laughter is the best medicine. (Although we both finally ended up with a prescription to aid the anti-inflammation process). We watched corny sci-fi from the 50s and began to say, "I'll bet Ray Harryhausen did the special effects!" (He did all that stop action stuff for years! Ever see the scene with Sinbad fighting a skeleton? Turns out that took 2 YEARS to film). We watched enough of his movies that I felt a little sad to discover he'd died two years ago...but at the age of 92!
Then there were the old westerns that made me feel like a kid again. The sound of spurs jangling against boots strolling down the boardwalk toward a saloon are a sound that just makes me smile. I think it harkens back to a simpler time when the good guy in the white hat won over evil. As a kid I thought Clint Walker was a handsome man...much more than Michael Landon's Little Joe. And that voice! Everyone looks big to me from down here at 5'1" but to find out he's 6'6" was a shock. Then again, that deep voice comes from the bottom of his boots. I was pleasantly surprised to discover he's 88 and still appears at Western fan conventions.
We watched a few "Twilight Zone" episodes, laughing at how many famous actors got their start...including Leonard Nimoy and Robert Redford. I even watched a couple of episodes of "Barney Miller", a police comedy (with a moral to at least one of the stories) that my Dad and I use to watch together. It's amazing what you can remember...character names popped into my head so fast it explains why there's no room for math left in my brain.
So while I try to be patient and wait for the medication we got yesterday to kick in, I'm working to remind myself that a new year offers new opportunities. As silly as it sounds, in those final 10 seconds of countdown toward the new year, I feel...hopeful. The little girl in me whispers that ANYTHING is possible. And I truly believe it is...at least for those 10 seconds.
The trick is to make those 10 seconds be the start of the next 365 days. I don't do Resolutions...I make To Do Lists that have a chance of being accomplished. I want just enough of a challenge to try harder without setting myself up to fail. The world is an odd place at times, but it keeps on turning. If the world marches on, so shall I. Someone noted today that it's a Leap Year...and there are so many possibilities we might leap toward.
And who knows, maybe I'll run into Clint Walker somewhere along the way.