High Anxiety

Posted: July 27, 2014 in General
Tags: , , , , ,

Today I sit a mere 91 days from taking the big leap into retirement.  After almost 21 years I will hang up my stripes, join my family and close out the longest running chapter of my life.  75 days later I will be added to the retirement rolls for good having used up the remainder of my accumulated leave time.  Hopefully, prior to October 18th I will know what career I have to look forward to and continue to fund this extravagant lifestyle Uncle Sam, and your tax dollars, my family and I have grown accustom to.  In that I kid, many years we scraped by, some years we lived middle class normal from a financial perspective, but many of the costs during those more flush years have come at a price more burdensome than fiscal debt.

The last few weeks or so the anxiety has really started to creep in to my life with so much left to do in order to close out my career.  I have one house that I desperately need to finish fixing up so that I can get it on the market.  I need to complete my physical and medical records review so that I can waited with baited breath for the VA to figure out what I may collect in disability.  I need to finish out whatever meetings and briefing and schedule whatever needs to be scheduled so that I can leave this place when the day comes.  I need to continue to write and tweak resumes and really lay into finding a job that I can work from our new home.  Most of all I need to figure out how to let go.  This and more is just on the current career front.

On the family and personal side there are numerous thoughts, good and bad flashing through my overactive imagination on any given day at any given time.  I have been commuting as often as is practical to see my family for anywhere from a couple days to a week plus over the last two years as they settle in our retirement home.  How are they going to take having me as a permanent resident in their lives after more than a decade of flashing in and out for periods of time?  For that matter how am I going to take it?  That is just as big, if not a bigger change, for me than it is for them; chances are that the thrilling, exciting, potentially life ending reasons I was gone from their lives in the past will not be the case anymore.  That shit is a young man’s game and I am swiftly moving away from being a young man and I will need to seek new things to bring excitement to my life and hopefully a career that is lucrative enough to be able to do so while it keeps me as interested in coming to work each day as the Army has done for me for so long.

I will be moving into an environment that my impact has been made substantially from afar in.  My family has never, ever made me to feel anything but included, even when I was not there, but I must acknowledge that many, many times I simply was not there.  I have a beautiful wife who is finally engaged in a career that she was both educated for and wants to work in.  A teenage son who is close to leaving the nest, either under his own terms and conditions or at the end of a boot sometimes.  A young daughter to whom I am a hero, but has yet to have me home for more than one continuous year in her short life.  All of these wonderful people are currently living in a location I prodded and nudged them to and they embraced wholeheartedly once they got there.  A place I soon will call my home too.

Despite all this I am not afraid.  I will get a new job, there are a couple things that at this point look like they may pan out, even if they are not a next career, but a stepping stone.  We already have a house, the wife has a job, the kids are in school and one of them works.  Clearing the Army will be done in time and to be fair, they have done a very good job at providing resources and some mandatory training to help transition.  There truly is a lot out there if one is willing to put the work in to getting it done.

So why all the anxiety and worry?  Why the jacked up sleep cycle and periodic moments of “what the fuck is going on?”?  I think it is because I am getting ready to shed my skin and change my life for the first time in two decades.  I could probably pick up numerous jobs here locally if I was so inclined, I have a pretty unique and varied skill-set and I know there are quite a few things either already or coming available that I could grab on to.  The problem is I need to break away from it, at least for a little while.  I need some distance in order to be what some very deserving others need me to be.  I need to figure out all these skills and experiences that I have developed and had all these years can be best put to use.  I need to figure out what my real strengths are vice the tools I have gained.  Basically, I need to figure out how the current me becomes the old me and what the new me is going to be and how the best parts of the old me can fit into that without the worst parts coming in and making a complete trash job of it.

For many years now I have been what I consider to be the perpetual “number 2”.  I don’t like being the figurehead.  I like to be behind the scenes, moving the pieces around, getting things done.  I have on many occasions stepped into that number 1 position, but it is not my most comfortable place to be.  I am going to have to get used to taking charge of me in the very near future and making sure that the moves I make benefit me and my family, as well as whoever puts their trust in me as a potential employee.  It is this change that causes me my sleep issues and makes me break out in cold sweats from time to time.  All the rest is a somewhat structured form of chaos that has filled my life in one way or another for the last 20 years.  I will work through them, but as I get closer to making one final jump in my Airborne career I realize, that I am not familiar with the parachute and I do not know how hard the landing is going to be when I finally hit the ground.  Hopefully, after I catch my breath for a day to two I will be off and running to the next adventure.

More discussion on worry and anxiety as new ones creep up over the coming weeks.  I started this forum as a personal way to vent and clear the old brain pan out from time to time.  I think it would be for my betterment if I started using the resource I put in place for myself a little more as the day draws closer.

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