In the Marines, there is a week or two before rifle quals (well, there were when I was active that is) where all you do it practice the positions, and get used to being uncomfortable. The last few months have been that for me in a way. I jumped back into school while trying to learn a new job and the results were less than spectacular. I did well in work, but in school... Well, I'm retaking Trig in the fall and we'll leave it at that.
Figuring out the work/life/school balance was an eye opener, and I can honestly say that I have no idea how my dad did that by itself. And somehow I want to keep the podcast and blog going even when all those things are interacting. I also want to start pushing those damned books sitting in the editing phase out, and dropping stls for people to buy. If I'm not buried in sixteen feet of stuff to do, I guess I'm not happy.
I've also had to be humbled and realize that I'm only human. I know- it shocked me too. And it's only made worse by the fact that I'm getting older every day. Not OLD yet, but on my way. And I have kids- with another on the way- and I want the best for them. and part of that humbling is that I haven't been doing enough to ensure that is the case. I've been lax, and fallen behind on my obligations as a citizen and a dad. And I've been giving a lot of mental time to that while driving to and from work, or when I'm lifting or walking on the treadmill.
And I am starting to realize that many of us are doing the same thing. We look out at the world, appalled by what we see, and then we go back to doing what we like to do as a means of escapism or just to live our lives happily. It's easy to get into this rut, especially when you have so much going on that you have to take care of like work, school, other obligations. This is part of what happened to me over the last few months (well, the last year in a lot of places- check out Phantom Fury Vets on Facebook- I'm still trying to figure out how to make that site a thing all by myself).
Needless to say, this thinking has brought me here- to this post at this time- to say I can't just sit back and wait for people to get things done. And that's not to say that there aren't people going out there every day to get things done. There are even politicians who are working hard to get things done. There are podcasters (Tim Poole, Matt Walsh, Steven Crowder, Etc.) who are dominating the space, hammering out their voices. But we need more. We have champions who are taking on the bigger adversaries, but we need to get involved ourselves.
I'm a working dad of five with a mortgage. What was once a thriving economy has flipped, and inflation's taking a heavier toll on the funds than it was. I'm in a better job, but getting there necessitated a slight pay cut overall when bennies are considered, and now inflation is taking a larger chunk still. This doesn't mean I'm out, or asking for a handout. On the contrary. It means I have to get to my roots, and embrace a piece of my shared history with the rest of the Marine Corps and do more with less.
So, the War Room- my dream of a studio/game room is shelved, replaced instead by either a chicken coop (again- which sucks because the building sucks for it) or a small shop to do basic repairs and work around here (and act as a de-facto studio). It's looking like the space will trend toward Shop, so in time I'll have a dedicated location to do recordings and videos. But not a penny can go into it. How it is, is how it is (with some minor work to bring it to a workable standard). No gaming space, no sound stage. Just tools for doing the work I need to do.
And as those tools regard the blog and podcast- what I have is what I have. I have a website. I have a forum. I have CAD software, microphones, a decent laptop, and the ability to set up shop anywhere. I'm in good shape. I got enough. It's time to do the work.
And I think this is where we all need to get to. Operate with less. Not so we can own nothing and be happy for it, but so we can get stuck in, make our voices heard, and take on this animal that is encroaching on our children's futures. Because as much as we'd like to say that we're making a difference, this fight for the sole of our nation is moving to a spot in time where our children will be neck deep in it with whatever we manage to leave them, and the forces that be want them to have as little as possible to hold the line. We must dig in our heels, lean into our Hoplons, and deny them as much as we possibly can.
We need to do so much, with so little, for so long that in time we can do anything with nothing. The Marine Corps way.
Until next time.
Semper Fi. E pluribus unum.
Battle Specter, out.