Saturday, July 30, 2022

It Ain't Over Till It's Over¹

U.S. Navy Photo
So on this penultimate day of July, in the Year of Our Lord Two-Thousand and Twenty-Two, I am once again gob smacked by how quickly time flies.

How is it possible that a slow day at work seems to stretch forever, yet a slow day at home passes in the blink of an eye?

It seems like only yesterday that I walked down the pier in Sandy Eggo for probably the very last time, glancing back on the ship seen in the middle in the opening photo, wondering if I would ever walk her decks again.

I remember the day well, a gray ship set upon waters which in the sun appeared to be made of burnished steel, while in the distance the haze made everything take on a gray and white sheen. The sun burned down while to the east the sky was a pale blue set above the parched hills of southern California.

Little did I know that a fellow I used to work with, a person I considered a friend, was dying that very day. Taken before his time as they say.

Life is ephemeral, lasting no longer than the dew in the morning sun. Glistening, shining, then it's gone. Or so it seems as I age.

Not sure why the melancholy is on me today (Friday as I write, well, you know the rest) but it is.

My son and his tribe are visiting, he approaches 43, he works too much, he has too much stress laid upon him (so I think) but financially he is doing well. In my own chosen field of computers, he is what we call a super star. A Rachmaninoff of the computer keyboard, he has a brilliance which I could never attain.

I'm a grunt, I'm the fellow in the trenches, marching forward, day by day, with no thoughts of glory or great riches, just getting the job done as best as I know how.

I did well in my efforts aboard USS Michael Monsoor (DDG 1001), assisting in bringing a new capability to life. I was part of a brilliant team: active duty Navy, contractors from multiple companies, and even a few government employees who actually took their jobs very seriously. It was a team effort and I am proud to have been a part of it.

But all that is winding down. Truth be told I'm getting a little long in the tooth to be going up and down ladders, jumping over knee-knockers, and working a ten to twelve hour day while doing all that. Even if it is only a couple of weeks at a time.

But for a time I reveled in all that. I will miss it, just as I still miss the Air Force on some days. We move on until we can't move any more.

I can still move, but ah, the past, it is shiny in my memory, probably more so than the actual reality of the thing, but nevertheless something to hold on to in my twilight years.

For now the sun is still shining, it's not autumn yet, and to steal  a line from Robert Frost -

But I have promises to keep, And miles to go before I sleep, And miles to go before I sleep.

Guess we'll keep on trucking ...





¹ Thanks for that one, Yogi Berra.

30 comments:

  1. Yup, the wall is approaching. I thought I wanted to work forever until I hit the wall and my body said "nope." I stopped two years ago and as my uncle used to say "I don't know how I ever got anything done while I was working, it takes me all day to do anything now." All I can add is again "Yup".

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    1. There are reasons why I'd stay, but they are overwhelmed by the reasons I want to leave. Too much woke corporate BS these days.

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    2. OMG the bs, the bloody bs🤬
      Hogday .

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    3. Ah, you know of this as well. It's bloody everywhere, innit?

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  2. A little self-reflection does seem to happen as the decades roll by. But even when you retire you can still make the big bucks working from home according to Sarah............:)

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    1. I worked from home as an IT geek since the wwinsanity arrived. After 40 years in the industry I realized I couldn’t handle being with my wife after a same number of years with her bipolar diagnosis. The depression is a sad state to be in. Wouldn’t want to be her. But the recent bout of mania pushed me out of the house. That’s the badness c19 gave me. 65 years old and way late to the divorced party. 24/7 under the same roof two years there was no escape to work each day to be with normals. I do have 4 successful children and a large host of grandchildren who still hold me with high regard.

      “you can’t always have what you want”

      Apologies for a kind of dark comment. I’m still doing good being the best self I can be. :-)

      Franknbean

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    2. Nylon12 - Thos spam emails are starting to drive me nuts. I have to delete a bunch of them every damned day. Hey Sarah, if you're making so much damned money, why are you bothering the rest of us?

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    3. Franknbean - Sorry to hear that. Sounds like another good reason for hanging those who brought that upon us.

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  3. First time I've been here in a very long time Sarge. The place looks great!
    I'm feeling the years as well but it seems that having promises to keep and a long road ahead gives me enough traction to keep fending off the recliner. I have a couple of secret fears regarding this becoming elderly thing. One of them is the line from Glory Days, "I hope when I get old I don't sit around thinkin' about it, but I probably will." The other is that I'll get trapped in the glory days loop and end my time being one of those guys. The hack I've developed is playing hard with the little ones and their friends. It's always physically painful, but it's a way of making new glory days to keep me from spending too many hours in the time dumpster. It's also kinda fun to be the crazy old neighborhood guy who acts like a kid. Better than being the "get off my lawn" dude.
    Regarding the apparently mutability of the duration of elapsed time, I got a kick out of the six year old the other day when I helped him work out how long until his next birthday. When he came up with 364 days he was crushed. But only for about five seconds. He had stuff to do. Seems like there's a lesson in that. Keep on truckin' indeed.

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    1. Staying young at heart is a key factor, I think you've found that over the past couple of years.

      When I want to dive into a time dumpster, I read history, other people's, not my own. Going over my own past, I realized a long time ago that I wouldn't change a thing.

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  4. In my building many residents have signs by their doors (Bless this Home, Welcome, etc). By my door that I look at each time I lock or unlock is, "Don't count the days, make the days count". That seems to be what you do.

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  5. The older I get, the better it was. The better I was, too! Been spending a lot of time lately remembering old friends and co-workers. We pulled off some pretty spectacular stuff in the bad old days - or so it seems today! Sic transit gloria mundi!

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  6. I'm in several groups that "honor our elders". I tend to say "No, thank you. I'm an older, not an elder." We have elders who could be your grandchildren! "Good for you, and them." You could teach us so much! "Ask me to help." You do too much already! "That's how you become an older." Please give an elder blessing.

    "I'm older. I've left the tribe, gone away, had adventures, survived, and returned. I know things that do not work -- that I survived -- and can tell about them. Mostly,

    Yesterday is history; tomerrow's a mystery. Today is a gift, that's why we call it the Present.

    Be. Here. Now. (that's quoting Baba Ram Das)

    In today, we work on building our tomorrows. My blessing to each of you, and your works."

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    1. Good stuff, thoough I shy away from using the word "work." It's too much like, well, work.

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    2. I should change that to "In our today, we each build our tomorrow." Thank you. That particular group overuses 'work'.

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    3. Work is a four-letter word.

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  7. "Life is short, do it now" is not a bad idea......

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    1. Things you skip today you might never get another shot at.

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  8. Sarge, in my (relatively) new role of project management, time seems to slip away even more quickly because one is always dwelling in the future. In January we were talking about activities in July; now we are talking about activities at the end of the year. Living in the future like this, it is hard to concentrate on the present.

    "Things you skip today you might never get another shot at" - I have been trying to make it a habit to say "yes" to almost anything that looks like an activity (non-work related, of course), on the principle that I might never had the opportunity to do it again. I spend down my vacation to what I can roll, go places that it may be a bit of a struggle to go, and do things that 15 years ago I might not have done. On the whole, I find my life richer for the outcome - and surprisingly, still with food to eat and a roof over my head.

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  9. Hey Old AFSarge;

    Yeah Time marches on....and it is a matter of perspective...I keep thinking 30 years ago was the 1970's but that it was actually the 1990's...and to me the 1990's wasn't long ago..Funny that. And That is a really cool picture you posted with the gray canoe's that the Navy fancies.

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  10. It sounds like you are almost lamenting the fact that you can't work as hard as you once did, but also are concerned about your own son working too hard. There's a balance in there somewhere, which I'm sure you will both find. Yours will come soon enough balancing retirement against all that work you've done for oh so long. Alexander may find that he misses his children and is tired of the pressure. I realize I am squarely in the old guy category here in my mid 50s, as two retired captains in my office are younger than I am and I'm actually the second oldest in the office. But to be honest, I wouldn't mind trying to see how young I am by running through some knee knockers myself. Dang, almost a blog post there!

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    1. Oh, I do lament the fact that I can't work as hard as I used to, but my son is sometimes burning the candle at both ends, that concerns me.

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