WHEN THE DAYS BLUR TOGETHER

Not sure if it’s an age thing but lately it seems like my days are blurring together.  Maybe it’s a 40-something kind of bug…..Perhaps part of it is the volunteer overtime I’ve been completing or feeling a bit under the weather….but one day is merging into the next and either it’s workplace fatigue or in need of an extended vacation.

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Fatigue doesn’t usually come out of no-where. Lifestyle habits and underlying health issues usually are the culprit:

  • Medical causes – Can be an undiagnosed illness such as diabetes, fibromyalgia, arthritis, going through “the change”
  • Lifestyle- – Sleep deprivation, long work hours, partying too hard (as if!!!)
  • Emotional concerns and stress – Depression and grief are usually the culprit.  A stressful home life, family worries….

The solutions are simple (if you are willing to embrace change)

Eating a balanced diet, addressing any issues or concerns you have at work or at home is usually a good place to start.  Control your workload (if able)

It all begins with the first step ( sometimes the most challenging) and before you know it you’ll find yourself with more energy to enjoy the things you used to be able to do. Just remember to take time out for yourself. I should also practice what I preach.  Perhaps a nice vacation in the tropics, cool breezes, sandy beaches, and a glass of rum is the sure thing to turn my frown upside down.    😉

Things to do in St. Louis (and surrounding area)

Wherever you happen to plant your heart there’s always something fun or interesting to do.  If you find yourself bored….check the Internet or pick up the paper and see what are the new happenings around the area.

I love historic St. Charles and found the following event (not in the historic area but still nice place to visit) which luckily is going on today:

2015 Food Truck Events with Live music

Food Trucks Image April 21 2015

Mark your calendars for our popular Food Truck events! Enjoy live entertainment as you indulge in a variety of delicious food options that will be available by several different food truck vendors. Bring your family and friends out for a relaxing evening in the park!

(source)

 

There’s a little bit of something for everyone. Not much for crowds, but with all the overtime I’ve been doing lately it’s nice to have an “all Americana” outlet such as this to choose from and relax.

 

What it’s like being a federal employee

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A federal employee is an individual employed by the U.S. federal government. Employees receive positions and promotions based on “grades” that are obtained through work history, employment duration and other factors. Federal employees have the benefits of transferring to other federal positions when openings are available. (source)

Ever since I can remember I wanted to serve my country and I did both within the military and in the public sector.  Being the nerd that I sometimes can be….I knew the path I’d take would be a difficult one.  I had no connections, grew up in an obscure Mid-America little town, and came from a comfortable middle class life.

What made me succeed was perseverance and having a positive attitude, an inner fire that was also a fighter to go after the things I felt were important to me.  The military provided me a structured path, the discipline and fortitude to reach my goals.

College first then full-time employment.

It took a little while to get to where I am today, and I still see myself climbing the ladder of success one challenging rung at a time.

Naysayers think federal employees are lazy, not worth the pay all of us, including me, we dole out through taxes.

Trust me when I say the National Archives of Saint Louis is one agency where all employees, in some fashion or another, earn their pay.

Unless you are management, meetings are few and far between (excluding weekly team and core meetings)

  • Yes, things seem to run at a slower pace working for “The Man” perhaps it’s because we have to ensure all regulations and compliance are met.
  • It is like a private sector job, however unlike our counterpart, getting rid of a federal employee can be a monumental task (unless it be a moral transgression)
  • There are still high-schoolish cliquish behaviors. If you work for the feds (and even if you don’t) rise above that nonsense because gossip is childish and there’s simply no place for it within a professional work environment.
  • Despite some challenges, like in any workforce, the benefits are great and worth holding on to.

Anything and everything is possible as long as you believe it to be

I think there’s no higher calling in terms of a career than public service, which is a chance to make a difference in people’s lives and improve the world.

Jack Lew

I deserve more pay!

I cannot even begin to dissect as to how I feel when it comes to raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour.

Is a raise needed?

Sure…..

but at $15 an hour no.

There are people who work in the federal government who make less than $15.00 an hour and do far more complicated work. I made less than that while serving on active duty.

I made less than that when starting out at my current agency.

I won’t even get into the rest of today’s military and what they do for their pay. Sure, we all need a cost of living raise. Inflation is a b!tch.

How about re-evaluating WHY it takes more $$$$$$ to obtain basic necessities and fix THAT???????????

My rant for the day started after reading the following article by Matt Walsh and the push for a $15 minimum wage:

 

Dear fast food workers,

It’s come to my attention that many of you, supposedly in 230 cities across the country, are walking out of your jobs today and protesting for $15 an hour. You earnestly believe — indeed, you’ve been led to this conclusion by pandering politicians and liberal pundits who possess neither the slightest grasp of the basic rules of economics nor even the faintest hint of integrity — that your entry level gig pushing buttons on a cash register at Taco Bell ought to earn you double the current federal minimum wage.

I’m aware, of course, that not all of you feel this way. Many of you might consider your position as Whopper Assembler to be rather a temporary situation, not a career path, and you plan on moving on and up not by holding a poster board with “Give me more money!” scrawled across it, but by working hard and being reliable. To be clear, I am not addressing the folks in this latter camp. They are doing what needs to be done, and I respect that.

Instead, I want to talk to those of you who actually consider yourselves entitled to close to a $29 thousand a year full time salary for doing a job that requires no skill, no expertise, and no education; those who think a fry cook ought to earn an entry level income similar to a dental assistant; those who insist the guy putting the lettuce on my Big Mac ought to make more than the Emergency Medical Technician who saves lives for a living; those who believe you should automatically be able to “live comfortably,” as if “comfort” is a human right.

 

SOURCE (read more here)

 

You are not forgotten….

“Many veterans feel guilty because they lived while others died. Some feel ashamed because they didn’t bring all their men home and wonder what they could have done differently to save them. When they get home they wonder if there’s something wrong with them because they find war repugnant but also thrilling. They hate it and miss it.Many of their self-judgments go to extremes. A comrade died because he stepped on an improvised explosive device and his commander feels unrelenting guilt because he didn’t go down a different street. Insurgents used women and children as shields, and soldiers and Marines feel a totalistic black stain on themselves because of an innocent child’s face, killed in the firefight. The self-condemnation can be crippling.
The Moral Injury, New York Times. Feb 17, 2015”
― David Brooks

 

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Going home again….or not

“I have learned that if you must leave a place that you have lived in and loved and where all your yesteryears are buried deep, leave it any way except a slow way, leave it the fastest way you can. Never turn back and never believe that an hour you remember is a better hour because it is dead. Passed years seem safe ones, vanquished ones, while the future lives in a cloud, formidable from a distance.”
Beryl Markham, West with the Night

 

I’ve been invited by two old friends from my hometown for a visit this summer. And it’ll take a few more days than a simple overnighter.

Excited in some ways to touch base again….however I left Indiana for a reason and returning does not always bring back the most pleasant of memories.

However, with that being said, one should never allow themselves to become a victim of circumstance. Embrace the bad, learn, and move on.

That’s what I plan on doing…..

“We leave something of ourselves behind when we leave a place, we stay there, even though we go away. And there are things in us that we can find again only by going back there.”
Pascal Mercier, Night Train to Lisbon

 

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Service with Courage

Reminds me of soldiers and policemen.

Lives are placed on the line

With that being said, it takes a certain amount of fortitude and fearlessness to face the possible unknown.

Yes, people do choose to work in these professions; however, just because these individuals consciously choose to enter into such a vocation, this fact should never lessen the impact such professionals have done.  They’ve entrenched themselves into our societal collective.

The experiences which they go through, and sometimes the horrors that are seen, should garner appreciation and utmost respect for these individuals who do sacrifice so much in order that we can live in blessed freedom and stability

 

“Confidence… thrives on honesty, on honor, on the sacredness of obligations, on faithful protection and on unselfish performance. Without them it cannot live.”

― Franklin D. Roosevelt

Requesting military records

If you or a loved one served in the military or are in pursuit of your family tree or, are wishing to obtain information releasable under the Freedom of Information Act, feel free to write or fill out our online application, to the National Archives here in St. Louis. Our facility contains millions of records from all branches of service.

OMPF, Federal (non-archival) Holdings

Branch of Service Official Military Personnel Files, Non-Archival Holdings* Access –
for Veterans and Next-of-Kin
Access –
for General Public
Air Force Officers and Enlisted with discharge dates 1954 to September 30, 2004 Veterans and Next-of-Kin NOT the Veteran or Next-of-Kin?
Army Officers and Enlisted with discharge dates 1954 to September 30, 2002 Veterans and Next-of-Kin NOT the Veteran or Next-of-Kin?
Navy Officers and Enlisted with discharge dates 1954 to December 31, 1994 Veterans and Next-of-Kin NOT the Veteran or Next-of-Kin?
Marine Corps Officers and Enlisted with discharge dates 1954 to December 31, 1998 Veterans and Next-of-Kin NOT the Veteran or Next-of-Kin?
Coast Guard Officers and Enlisted with discharge dates 1954 to present Veterans and Next-of-Kin NOT the Veteran or Next-of-Kin?

 

Please click here to start your search

New Subscribers

I see that since I have extended my blog out to several servers am now receiving additional subscribers.

 

Thank you for adding me to your reading must have’s.  😉

 

In all seriousness, thank you and if there are any topics you’d like to see covered please feel free to leave a comment or PM me.

 

Happy reading.

 

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Veterans and Suicide

For some who’ve never served it may be difficult to understand the sorrow in a veteran’s heart.  Why those who decide to commit suicide end up going through with it.
It can be for many reasons, reasons we may never understand, however the pain is real. Very real.
It can be most difficult coping with horrific images seen overseas.  They may be too proud to tell anyone the struggles they endured.
Also, military life is simply different.  You are broken down in basic training only to quickly be built back up again to work as a team. You become a new person, someone who accepts orders, who punishes both mind and body to endure the worst of circumstances…..in order to prepare for an unseen battle.
Soldiers are placed in harms way, volunteering for some of the worst assignments imaginable.
People join the military for a variety of reasons. Some for college, others for money (though it isn’t a lot) and of course for love of God and country. Others join to escape financial hardship, maybe there’s simply no jobs available in their area.  Some escape abusive home environments, others want a better life for themselves, and their families.
And those of us lucky to make it through a tour or have completed our service, return once again to civilian life—–and trust me….it can be a hard fit.  Once before where our rank meant something, where shared hardships were common….we are expected to assimilate back into a life which perhaps for some of us, tried to escape from…..or we are no longer the person we once were.
We miss the companionship of other soldiers.  And when we do find someone who served, it’s like a bee to a flower.  We come together and share stories…laughing about some of those very hardships….reminiscing of times gone by.  There are many many reasons why veterans kill themselves.  And with such staggering numbers. With roughly 22 a day ending their lives.  A tragic statistic. (source)
Veterans belong to a unique fraternity of brother and sisterhood.  Something quite honorable to me.
Eulogy for a Veteran

Do not stand at my grave and weep.
I am not there, I do not sleep.

I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glints on snow.

I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
I am the Gentle autumn rain.

When you awaken in the mornings hush,
I am the swift uplifting rush
of quiet birds in circled flight,
I am the soft stars that shine at night.

Do not stand at my grave and cry,
I am not there, I did not die.

SOLDIER
By: Ed Coet, Major, USA-Retired