So as much as you try to tell yourself that you will remain mission-focused throughout the entire rotation, that you will concentrate on the job and the time will take care of itself. It’s an exercise in futility. Like an addict who needs the fix to keep going from one day to the next, you find yourself in the evening, marking off another day on the calendar and counting those remaining.
Hello, my name is Brian, and I have a counting problem. I know, I know, every one tells me that it only makes the time pass more slowly, but I can’t help myself. It started with a simple tear-off calendar and that was depressing because I could see the thick stack of the days remaining in the year as opposed to the paltry few sheets signifying those that had passed. One day though, I realized that the torn off stack was larger than the ones remaining on the calendar, and I started to feel the thrill of counting.
Then came the full size calendars with each “X”d out day adding depth to a strangely comforting geometric design. Of course, then the more I counted the more I wanted to count. I became insatiable, but time was only passing so quickly, so I found new ways to mark off the days. Counting in percentages of the total deployment became the Crack Cocaine of my new found addiction and counting down the days remaining is my Ecstasy, the new designer drug of the time killing habit and today, I found a new high from a number that is increasingly lower. We have cracked the century mark. There are less than 100 days remaining for us in this deployment. We are “Double Digit Midgets” and getting shorter every day.
So, tomorrow I’ll stop counting and get my mission focus back. I’ll find a 12 step program to get off the calendar “X”tacy, but today we’ll do the countdown limbo and see how low we can go. Tomorrow, I’ll put the tear-off calendar in a drawer and turn my attention back to the tasks at hand, but not today. Today we will show each other our calendars and in true vintage Steve Martin vernacular, proceed to “Get Really Small”