Episode 47: New Adventure, New Opportunity–Taking Some Time, Preparing for and Getting Through the Holidays

December 27, 2020

Good Sunday afternoon VFOT friends and followers. Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and a Happy New Year! I wasn’t sure that I was going to get to writing this today…with my schedule adjusted for the Holidays and some family commitments today, I didn’t expect to get into my workspace. However, we got through early and I’m carving out some time.

I hope that you’ve been happy and healthy during this time of transition and renewal. I’ve managed to carve out time for exercise and self-care during my time off. Feeling pretty good as we go into these final few days of the year.


I finally completed Developing the Leader Within You (Maxwell, John, C. Developing the Leader Within You. 1993. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson). As I’ve said before, I should have read this one earlier. It’s a simple read, but it covers a lot of fundamental principles. Sorry that it took me so long to get here.  

I’m continuing to make my way through The Infinite Game by Simon Sinek (Sinek, Simon. The Infinite Game. 2019. Portfolio/Penguin: London.). I’m really enjoying this one. The concept of playing an Infinite Game is definitely intriguing. I’ll keep you posted.

The fact that I’m continuing to plug through my pro-reading while I’m on time off is something I’m proud of.

Other Reading

I’ve got another title in my rotation that was actually written by a local leader that I’ve done some work with. I’m not sure that I’m ready to share details on this one. I’ll let you know.

Other Learning Opportunities

We had our last Supervisory Roundtable meeting of the year. This series has been very useful, and we’ve got a pile of good takeaways as we move into the new year.

I took some time off from work so my other learning opportunities during the past couple of weeks came on the mats. I’m excited that I got some Jiu-jitsu in as we headed into the Holidays.

Some Stuff About Me

This is supposed to be a celebratory time of year, so I’m going to keep this short. I did have a telehealth appointment with my therapist this week. I felt like I needed to keep this one, because as I’ve said previously, the last several months have unearthed some disturbing memories from my pretty distant past. Some of this stuff I hadn’t thought about for years. It got to the point that I was recently in a local restaurant and the server was someone I’d known as a young adult. She referenced a story from our past and I had an instant flashback to a near tragic incident from when I was at the Boat School. I literally hadn’t thought about this episode in over 20 years. It was completely buried, but it came flooding back in an instant. I’m still working through some of these memories and I don’t feel prepared to do it without a guide. It’s going to be alright though. I’ll come to terms with them one at a time.

On a completely separate, lighter note, I’ve been trying to figure out a better way to deal with my nutrition needs in the morning. For quite some time I’ve fasted in the morning with only water, coffee, and a couple of teaspoons of MCT oil in the coffee. Lately, I’ve been struggling with just that. I was getting hungrier earlier in the day and eating badly to offset it. So, I decided to mix it up. For the past couple of weeks, what I’ve been doing is adding a ½ a scoop of Mölk protein powder and a ½ of teaspoon of honey to offset the protein with a few carbs. So far, this combination has been working very well. I’m pretty happy about it.


On Date Night the 1st week, I had a conflict. I was scheduled to participate in North Pole calling hours on behalf of the City’s Parks and Recreation program. Due to the virus, I had to do this from home. So, after the calls were done, date night was low key and at home. While I was making the calls, C took care of dinner by ordering curbside takeout from District. That was also Day 3 of our 12 Days of Holiday Cheer cocktail celebration.

That evening and into the next day we had the 1st major snowstorm of the season. It was a doozy. By the time I got the yard cleaned up, it was late in the day. After running some other errands, I headed to Jits. Unfortunately, no other students were there. After a quick chat, Professor C and I agreed we deserved a night off. So, I went home changed my clothes and started a fire in my SoloStove. Then I went out to enjoy a cocktail in the snow.

On Friday, I did my annual Holiday Shopping Shindig. This is my annual tradition where I take an afternoon and do all of my last-minute shopping while walking in our Downtown and visiting local small businesses. This was a good year. I got some great gifts, but I had some really great connections.

Each night last week, once our chores were done, we put Holiday movies on the television and just relaxed together.

On Monday, I participated in a photo shoot with a local photographer, who has become a friend of mine. She had seen a post of me in my blue Santa suit and wanted to shoot me in it…so, we met at a local park and she shot over 100 pics. This was a fun change of pace.

Christmas Eve and Christmas Day were lovely. We focused on one-another and stayed low-key. It was different, but it seemed appropriate for this year. We wrapped up the Christmas week today with a short, socially distanced visit from C’s brother and his girlfriend. We exchanged gifts, had a late lunch, and sent them back on their way. It was only a couple of hours, but it was a little taste of normalcy.

Well, that’s enough for now. Be well, be kind, and stay healthy! See you in a couple of weeks.

Be Safe, Keep the Faith, Do Good Work, 1*

Comments Off on Episode 47: New Adventure, New Opportunity–Taking Some Time, Preparing for and Getting Through the Holidays Posted in Development, Fun, Learning, Training

Episode 46: I change up my reading selections, slip off The Path, and put a stripe on my Purple Belt.

December 13, 2020

Good Sunday afternoon VFOT fans and followers…it is a pretty good Sunday afternoon here in the Berkshires of Western Mass. It was over 50 degrees here on December 13th and that is unheard of. It was a great day to get outside…and that was very good news for me, because this has been a rough couple of weeks. More on that later.  


I’m still making progress on Developing the Leader Within You (Maxwell, John, C. Developing the Leader Within You. 1993. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson). It’s a slow burn, but I put a couple of other titles into the rotation also, so I’ve pressed the brakes on this one.

To follow up on the last installment, I also picked up The Infinite Game by Simon Sinek (Sinek, Simon. The Infinite Game. 2019. Portfolio/Penguin: London.) Mr. Sinek was another speaker at the IACP Conference this year and delivered a Keynote on the topic of the Infinite Game. I downloaded that one onto my Kindle and it has been my go-to in between other activities and as I’m trying to fall asleep.

I’m staying up with my pro-reading and I’m ok with that.

Other Reading

While it is a little outside of my normal reading choices, this week I received my pre-ordered copy of Way of the Warrior Kid 4: Field Manual by Command Jocko Willink (Willink, Jocko. Way of the Warrior Kid 4: Field Manual. 2020. Jocko Publishing: Houston.) Jocko talked about this on an episode of the Jocko Podcast earlier this year. While it is his 5th children’s book, I’ve enjoyed all of the previous ones. I liked the first 3 Way of the Warrior Kids books and Mikey and the Dragons so much that I bought copies for all of our public-school libraries. This one replaced and derailed a lot of my other reading time during this week.

Other Learning Opportunities

On Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday of last week, I participated in the Daigle Law Group’s Annual Use of Force Summit. This was my 1st time participating in this amazing training. While I participated in the training from home, it was an awesome opportunity to learn. I attended a bunch of sessions over the 3 days and learned a lot. This was a great training.

Some Stuff About Me

I don’t want to spend too much time on this section today. I’m not in the best headspace to be overly introspective. Let’s just say that that past 2 weeks have been a little bit rough for a variety of reasons. There have been a lot of taskings and directions coming in from a bunch of different directions. As a result, I’ve neglected my self-care. I wasn’t focused on getting good sleep and rest, and I wasn’t keeping some unhealthy behaviors in check. Slip off The Path recognized. Negative movement halted. Heading back in the proper direction. Correction made.

That’s enough about that for today.


Before I get into the final FUN report I have to share a maybe not so fun update. The 1st part is just a reality check. Last week, we had to have our furnace and water heater replaced with new, energy efficient models. That part is no big deal. However, after the project was completed and our contractors where gone, I noticed that the floor in my home office/workout space was DESTROYED. I’ve talked about this space in prior installments. What I probably haven’t shared is that the utility room/laundry room is off of this space. My space is carpeted. I’ve worked out in this space for the duration of the pandemic without damaging the carpet. In a day and a half, the plumbing contractors stained the shit out of this carpet. Needless to say, I wasn’t happy. I am happy to say that I didn’t loose my temper and get angry about it. I just stopped at the hardware store on my way home from jiu-jitsu and spent some time yesterday and today cleaning the rug. Done. Moving on.

Our 1st Date Night of this reporting period was low-key and at home. We were still going through the initial portion of the 2nd restaurant re-opening plan and I had some late evening interviews scheduled.

I actually got a lot of jiu-jitsu in over the last couple of weeks. Last Saturday I was surprised by earning my 1st stripe on my purple belt. This one feels like a team accomplishment. Just getting to train at all with our COVID restrictions in place is an accomplishment. Managing to progress despite all of the obstacles this year has presented feels pretty good.

Following Jits on Saturday, I spent some time just resting. That night we had an impromptu Date Night and ordered in from District, then settled in to watch the 1st Christmas movies of the season. That was fun.

This week our Date Night was our final night at Flavour’s. Our friends have previously announced their closure before the end of the year due to a variety of factors. We had a gift card that I’d bought at the beginning of the pandemic and needed to use. As usual, we had a wonderful meal, but the experience was melancholy and bittersweet. I’m going to miss this place.

Yesterday was the annual Army-Navy Game. It did not go the way I’d hoped. However, it was cool to put on my Navy gear, order some food, settle in on the couch and keep up with some of my classmates via social media during the game. Go Navy! Beat Army! We’ll get you next year.

Before sitting down to write today, I got out for another amazing ruck. How can you not when its over 50 degrees in Mass. on December 13th?

Well, that’s probably enough for now. Time to get ready for a new week. Stay Healthy!

Be Safe, Keep the Faith, Do Good Work, 1*