Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Waiting, waiting

Waiting around is perhaps not my strong suit. (I think I've probably blogged about this before. A lot, actually.)

Maybe that's one reason I'm not particularly fond of the Advent Season (set to begin at the end of November, as it happens) -- in which it always seems just a bit odd to be waiting, again, for something that's already (and yet, not yet) happened....

Anyway, I'm doing a lot of waiting these days. The training here at Summer Camp - Über Alles hasn't yet ramped up into high gear, so that's a bit frustrating. Knowing that when it *does* finally get going, things will get even crazier than they are at the moment (pretty crazy, actually) doesn't help much.

All the more reason to be taking all this one day at a time, as my friends who go to a lot of AA and Al-Anon meetings have been trying to tell me for the past thirty years, I guess.

I'm supposed to have a computer dedicated to the work SPC C and I are doing, yet again we're having to share it with a number of other folks, who then get impatient when *they* have to wait to use "my" machine. Sigh. And when *they're* using it, for hours on end, I wind up waiting and feeling grumpy. Even more so than usual.

I know this comes as a shock to many.

But I'm sure you'll get through it. Somehow.

Waiting is about powerlessness, ultimately.

At least I know that there are people out there who seem to have a program that deals effectively with the consequences of powerlessness and its attendant unmanageability! My friends who go to all those meetings would undoubtedly point out to me that this waiting around is simply the "powerlessness du Jour" and I might as well surrender to it.

Seems like a plan.

But it's a lot more easily said than done, in my experience. (Perhaps that's why those friends of mine go to all those meetings, all the time?)

Right now, in addition to waiting on training, and for computer availability, and in lines at the chow hall and shower facility a block away in the rain, I'm waiting to find out whether I'll be allowed to attend the final two weeks of my Chaplain Captains Career Course, back where I went to Chaplain 'Basic Training'. I finished the first part, on-line, within a few weeks of completing Basic Training over two years ago now.

The course is starting in the very near future, but I don't yet have orders to go, despite having gotten one of the very few seats in the class. (Thanks Ms. Alexander!)

It seems that some nameless/faceless policy wonks in some military facility somewhere else in Europe are balking at my going off to this school, so that's holding things like orders up. Amazing that the Big Army was fine with me being deployed and deployable, right up to the time I set foot back in this country after my year in Iraq, nicht Wahr?

Then, magically and automatically, I became nondeployable-until-told-otherwise. I guess some office-dweller somewhere else in Europe (who probably does not have a combat patch on his/her right shoulder) is afraid that if I miss five days of the 3-week training here at Summer Camp - Über Alles (after the ten weeks of training we had in the States before coming here), I'll fail miserably on the mission to Kosovo.

Which is not even considered a combat deployment.

Like the one I just finished.


And to top it off, I just received a letter, being sent on my behalf to those nameless/faceless military policy wonks residing somewhere out there, which says that if allowed to attend school, I voluntarily forfeit whatever mid-tour leave might have been coming my way during my time 'down range'. (News to me!)


Well, considering that my State Guard has no money at all, and if they wouldn't pay for me to attend the MANDATORY five-day training that the other Unit Ministry Teams going on this deployment attended, they probably would balk at sending me to this two-week training which is a LOT more expensive, I guess I'll count myself blessed to attend now!

If I can even go.

(Maybe the budget crisis explains why I've received so few phone calls from State HQ: before deploying to Iraq, upon redeploying from Iraq, or before leaving for Europe on this deployment... But then, MSG McG and I weren't even notified by secure email that our State Adjutant General was coming to Iraq to visit a "real" Guard unit from our State, and would arrive and depart from the airport we could see from our base - so little or no contact from HQ is not a surprise.)

In any event, I'll just count myself blessed anyway, since it beats staying grumpy and resentful, that's for sure.

That's another thing I've learned from those friends of mine (like Elaine and Mary and Elizabeth and Edith and Brandi & Peter and Tom and Kevin and Cormac and Bert and Barry and Erik and ...) who go to so many of those meetings.


Blessings and peace to one and all,

Fr. Tim, SJ

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1 comment:

Unknown said...

Oh, you are on a roll!!!
Yes, for you, a male celebate, Advent would be just waiting for something that has already happened. For a homemaker, mother it began with the Reading on the First Sunday that begins with "Stir up......" and we would know it was time to stir up the fruit cakes, and bring out the decorations, etc. Busy, busy time of the year - Advent!

It's been pounded into my head by those friends of yours that when I'm restless, irritable and discontent, a marvelous treatment is to look around me and silently say, "Thank You, God, for the seemingly bad, and thank You, God, for the seemingly good. Thank you for (name something you eyes see) for several minutes for the common things in my environment. All gifts from my Loving Father/Mother God!! It works for me. That's all I can say. Blessings on your Wednesday and your Thursday, too!

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