"292 days, 7,008 hours, 420,480 minutes, and 25,228,800 seconds...but hey, who's counting?"
How do you put a price on time? Can you? Everything is worth something, everything has value. You can put a price tag on most things, but you truly can't put a price on time. It's one of those things that once it's past, you can never get back.
The value of time comes into perspective when you're removed from your normal life and living a life of unpredictability and uncertainty. Life as a deployed active duty service member is just that, you walk away from everything you love and cherish and answer a calling that is bigger than yourself. It can be exciting yet unnerving all at the same time. There comes a moment while you're away that you think back on the days, hours, minutes, and even seconds that you missed from your "normal" life; holidays, birthdays, kid's chorus concerts at school, even walking the dogs.
As I write this, I have been away for 292 days, 7,008 hours, 420,480 minutes, and 25,228,800 seconds...but hey, who's counting? Numerous holidays, birthdays, bbqs, and retirements have come and gone. This is the life of a deployed service member. On paper it sounds insane, in reality both the deployed member and family know and accept the sacrifice because our country has asked us to do so.
|Photo Credit: Polish Pumper|
The infamous "light at the end of the tunnel" is a real thing! With every page-flip of the calendar, the light becomes a little brighter. You start to think about seeing your family again for the first time in ages, the first place you want to go to eat, the first beer you're going to drink, and for people like us...the first time your kayak glides through the water again.
It's like a little kid in October thinking about opening presents on Christmas morning. You would never imagine that a grown adult could get so excited for something like "the firsts" even though it's still so far away. That's the beauty of having loves and passions. It may be in the distant future, but it never leaves you...ever. Reading online articles from Kayak Angler Magazine and keeping up with killer blogs like Rob Choi's, Angling Addict, have kept the fire burning throughout the duration of the long hiatus.
One minute you're lacing up the boots, donning your body armor, loading your weapons, and the other minute you get lost in your mental wonderland watching the sunrise behind your topwater lure "walking the dog" in anticipation of a blowup from a hungry speckled trout .
|Photo Credit: Marty Mood|
One of the toughest parts of being deployed is staying focused on the task at hand while balancing out the mental field trips. Staying grounded in your beliefs and values is what provides the inner strength to cross the finish line while holding your head high. Meanwhile, I will continue to dream about the moment I get to hug and kiss my wife and daughter again, take the dogs for a walk, and slide my kayak into water as the sun peeks above the horizon. Until then...
~See ya on the Water!