Thinking of The Anniversary.
My life worked out exactly as I planned it, because I didn't plan anything.
October 4th marks the beginning of my military career. I enlisted for four years. When that term ended, I went home to southern West Virginia, bought a restaurant that I ran while I went to college. A year later, I sold the restaurant and returned to the military. I stayed in for sixteen more years, retiring November 1st, 1995. I usually tell people that I was in for twenty-one years because I joined in 1974 and retired in 1995 and it's easier than explaining that break in service. Actually, it's easy to explain but most people really don't want to know about it.
Joining the military was when I officially left home. I was a few months older than eighteen and I wanted to be an adult. I signed that contract in July, a few weeks after turning eighteen. I had not spoken with my father about it and he was disappointed. Sorry, Dad, but you didn't show much interest in my future before that, so I didn't think it concerned him. He apparently had plans for me but never conveyed them. My plans had folded under disillusionment. I just wanted to get on with my own existence.
Didn't tell my wife about it, either. A year younger than me, she was my girlfriend then, traveling around Europe with other American students her age and a nun who wore a red wig. My wife learned when she arrived home that I'd joined the military and I was leaving.
Yeah, pretty brutal of me, and pretty stupid, impulsive and short-sighted. But I saw the world, met people, learned a lot, and had fun.
I celebrate The Anniversary by thinking back on that last day which was a first day. It's sharp from beginning to end.
Back to work. I have a list of things I want done today. Looking forward to my walk this afternoon, and my writing time.
Causes Michael Seidel Supports
Kiva, Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, Propublica.org, Doctors Without Borders, GreaterGood.com