17 April 2006

Last minute items...AKA the checklist before the storm

So after a long, but fulfilling church weekend, I’m now scrambling to make sure I have everything and am prepared (or at least seemingly prepared) for my time in AK. All weekend I’ve been laundering, cleaning, rolling, packing, Ziploc-ing, and sorting to figure out just what I will need and what I won’t. It’s always a fear of going somewhere you’ve never been and packing what you normally need for three weeks. Three weeks! It’s more than a normal vacation, which is obvious since it’s not an actual vacation, so it’s packing not just clothes and necessities, but also supplies and uniforms and work gear.

It’s also getting everything in order at work. I have a unique job in that I can’t just up and go for a few weeks, let alone a day. I have to cover the shifts I’m missing, train people in on how to enter reservations (which isn’t always easy – both the training and the reservations) and make sure I have every last question answered to the best I can. I watched Confidence* this weekend and the character Jake was talking about how a good chess player sees ahead 20 moves, essentially can see the entire game and how it will play out. I have to do that here, too, anticipating problems that may occur, determine how I would solve it and either fix it so it won’t happen or write down a contingency plan for when it does. It’s a challenge in itself.

And on top of all this, I need to get my head in the game – the game of the military. This means moving out of the castle on the hill and moving into the trenches. Again, harder than it seems. These are different people – people who live in the ‘real’ world, shoveling people’s crap day after day. (And just to cover my own butt, I’m not saying seminary isn’t the real world, but it isn’t the same either – but that’s a blog for another day.) But these people are also phenomenal – they give their all for their country and generally work their butts off in the process. I’m really looking forward to it. If it's anything like the IMAX show I saw this weekend, I'm in for a wild ride.

So here I go. Heading off into the wild, blue yonder. I’m excited and scared sihtless all in the same moment. I’m stressed and relieved simultaneously. I’m happy and sad – and funny enough, this will continue the whole time I’m away.

*This is an AWESOME movie, by the way. Great grift.

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