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Thursday, July 14, 2011

I'm Bad at Returning Phone Calls

I really do believe that when someone doesn't return your call, they are not listening to your message and choosing not to pick up the phone.  They are not choosing not to call you back - they simply haven't received your message or had sufficient time to return the call.  I'm okay with that when it happens to me.  I don't mind leaving you a couple messages because I know how bad I am about messages.  But I do disappoint others.

Pitfall One:  No time to retrieve messages.  While I might see the small VM on my phone display, I do not have time to pick up the messages.  A few days could pass before I retrieve the messages (if I'm even in town!).  Then, I must have time to act on it.

Pitfall Two:  I have time to return the call - but it's too late at night or too early in the day.  The opposite can occur, too (time without real opportunity):  it will be the right time, but my schedule doesn't allow me to be on the phone.  Usually this is due to work issues, children's schedules/squabbles, etc.  I could call on my cell from the car - but that's not giving the caller the attention deserved (not to mention, unsafe).

And so, the caller waits.  Sometimes even calling again (and again - especially if I haven't picked up the messages).  While I have told friends and family that I'm really not ignoring them, I'm not sure they believe me.  I've said, "if I haven't returned your call, I haven't gotten your message."  Funny thing about all this, those that call my cell always get a hold of me - even if I couldn't take the call that moment.  

Seems odd?  Not really.  In a day where I can check email, FaceBook, and text message from my phone - that's the best way to reach me ... and consequently, for me to reach you.  I can send or receive a text any time and it's never intrusive.  Same with email, FaceBook posts, or FaceBook messages.

There are a few callers I have forwarded from my home to my cell so I don't miss their calls anymore, and listen to their messages (each one more pathetic than the last), when I can finally devote the time to it emptying my phone queue.

You might wonder how I could be so busy as to not pick up messages - well my time is not my own.  Shuttling kiddos to and fro, having their friends over, dentist appointments, random ear infections, feeding the masses, doing copious amounts of laundry, keeping a humbly clean home, etc., etc., etc..  It really does all add up, overlap, and make you want to relish the moments at home instead of tackling the "to do's."

I encourage you to give others the benefit of the doubt - extend grace ... you never know when you might need some in return.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

A Man in Uniform

Part One

The Colonel stopped at WalMart for milk on his way home from his night shift.  He was in uniform - his fatigues. He does not like to draw attention to himself and usually changes into his uniform once at his duty station.  He travels to and from in civilian clothes.  However, at 5:30 in the morning after a week of mids, he just wanted to run this quick errand and get home.  He stood in front of the bank of refrigerators looking for the 1% milk and felt someone staring at him.

"I just wanted to say thanks," the man at WalMart said.
The Colonel smiled at him, "Thank you."

It was the first thing he told me about that morning before climbing into bed. When you thank a soldier, it does matter.  They don't do it for appreciation, but your appreciation speaks to their commitment.

Part Two

He arrived home at 6:30 this morning, just in time to grab our middle son and run him out to the swim meet.  The Colonel finished his last night shift and was still in his fatigues.  He arrived at the pool just in time for warm-ups, intending to drop-off our son, come home to shower/change, and head back out.  The moment he stepped onto the pool deck, he could feel the spotlight on him.  When I showed up at the meet later on, everyone who'd seen him earlier said, "I saw your man in uniform this morning."  I smiled proudly.  

He looks so impressive in his uniform.  He has presence, authority - commanding respect and attention.  One of my friends said, "He looks three times bigger in his uniform - it's the hat, the boots ...." she went on.  I nodded.  He does.  He's amazingly large in stature when he's decked out in his battle dress.  I love a man in uniform ... actually, I love my man in uniform :)

I encourage you to thank a soldier this weekend as we celebrate our country!