Recreating the Best Parts of the Marine Corps in My Current Life (#1)


So my spiritual advisor has now encouraged me to take the list of “Things I Miss About the Marine Corps” and find ways to create those (as best I can) in my current-day life. I’m to take the ideas one at a time, expound upon them and read them back to her. I did number one for today’s meeting. I thought I might as well share it with y’all. I have to get in bed because I’m getting up very early to go back to the hospital to be with Mother during her surgery.

1) It’s easy. It’s simple. Mostly in the Marine Corps, as long as you don’t overthink things, it’s all pretty simple. So I’ll just get my fingers moving because when I start to try to think about this, I feel a little like I’ve just gone over the first big hill on a rollercoaster. It’s clear here what mostly I’m seeking is simplicity. And if I’m seeking simplicity that much, it must be because my life now feels complicated. I would have thought that was more complex than what I’m now realizing but actually I think it’s as simple as knowing exactly what is expected of me and for the most part, having someone else do the planning. Interesting. As a artist, I am a business owner, and I could literally starve to death if I just sit and wait of someone to come and sell my art (in the hundred ways that manifests). I’m an actor, writer, veterans co-counselor, workshop leader, veterans’ advocate, activist, show creator, director, creative producer– and many other things. But I think I’m straying from the main idea here: The simplicity I’m missing and craving and therefore need to create is structure. Flawed as it may be, the Marine Corps definitely has structure. And I had one job with many tasks. And my command structure told me what was expected of me. Now to the “as long as you don’t overthink things” part. And therein lies the rub. As a Marine, I allowed myself to be a party to things that are morally repugnant to me. When I look at the morality of the way this country uses its military and what some of the results are, I don’t have to mediate on the subject long to find that killing innocent people and causing inordinate amounts of suffering and then attempting to justify it because (tisk, tisk) these things are just a sad side-effect to war– regurgitating some long-worn-out idiom, or pretending that because I think it’s all so sad makes it all okay– that’s just horseshit. If I did believe in a real “judgment day,” I’d figure I’d be– Oh shit, you know what? I’m making this more complicated than it is. OH MY GOD! Did you hear that? I’m the one making it complicated. How? By scattering my attention in a million directions. Trying to work on too many things at one time. In the Marine Corps, we had a Plan of the Day. And although “Semper Gumby” was invoked far more than we would have liked (especially at war), having a list of things that had to be done and a relative schedule on which those things were to get accomplished brought about a state of Zen that is missing from my life now! That’s what I need. I need a Plan of the Day.

See y’all tomorrow.

About this entry