February 21, 2021
Happy Sunday afternoon VFOT fans and followers. It is a bright and sunny Sunday afternoon in Western Mass. I’m having a little difficulty getting started today. It’s sunny but cold, and the weather has me thinking that I should be outside. On the other hand, I’ve got a lot of stuff going on and catching up to do, so I’ve been inside all day. Maybe I’ll get out later this afternoon.
This has been a rough couple of weeks. I’ll get into a little bit of the why later, but wow…this has been exhausting.
I finally finished It’s Our Ship: The No-Nonsense Guide to Leadership. (Abrashoff, D. Michael. It’s Our Ship: The No-Nonsense Guide to Leadership. 2008. New York: Hachette Book Group.) Like I said previously, I really enjoyed this one. I think the Captain has written 2 more books, and I’ll definitely be adding both of those to my reading list.
After finishing that one, I flipped the script and went completely old-school. While I did not have the opportunity to study with Professor James MacGregor Burns while I was at Williams, I have read a couple of his books during my leadership journey. A title that I had not read, but that has been on my bookshelf for awhile was Transforming Leadership (Burns, James MacGregor. Transforming Leadership-A New Pursuit of Happiness. 2003. New York: Atlantic Monthly Press.) I’m a fan of Professor Burns and I’m eager to get into this one. I’m just getting started and am only a handful of pages into it. I’ll let you know how it goes.
Due to some of the work and personal pressures that have occurred over the past couple of weeks, I needed something mindless to distract me. I’d already completed Pratchett’s Thud, so I went back to another of his old standbys. It had been a while since I read Guards! Guards! (Pratchett, Terry. Guards! Guards! 2009. London: HarperCollins.) This is one of the earliest books in the series, and I was prompted to revisit, because I happened to catch an episode of the BBC television show, The Watch. This show is loosely based on the Discworld series and the character of Commander Vimes. Pratchett is always a good distraction. I needed it.
Other Learning Opportunities
Over the past couple of weeks, I did have the opportunity to participate in several online training classes, including finishing up my current in-service rotation. On the other hand, the biggest learning opportunity was presented when I was asked to present a block of instruction to the local District Attorney’s Office on Hate and Bias Crimes. Preparing for that required me to go back and refamiliarize myself with my Academy curriculum and get up to speed on some recent developments. That was a worthwhile exercise, and I took a lot from it.
On a completely different note, I also decided that it was time to mix up my physical training a bit. I traded out one of my evening jiu-jitsu classes for a morning Muay Thai class. The first one kicked my ass. Wow. I thought I’d been working out. That one made me hurt for days.
Some Stuff About Me
Over the past couple of installments, I’ve shared some stuff about the steps that I’ve taken to normalize my work on mental health and resiliency. On the 1st Monday of this reporting period, I had a session with my therapist. As we were wrapping up, he commented that I’d never taken him up on his offer to text him between sessions if anything came up. I reminded him that I actually had, but only once. Early on in the 1st time that I chose to work with him, I did have to reach out. Of course, since we discussed it, the following night I nearly had to again. I’m not going to get into any details. Let’s just say that both my professional and personal lives threw some curve balls at me. It was a near thing, but I made it through without sending the text.
This week, Police1.com posted an article entitled, 19 Things Cops Wish They Knew Before They Joined Law Enforcement. That article prompted some flashbacks for me and let me to write a FB post about some memories. When we study memory recall, we’re always told that our sense of smell is one on the most powerful stimulus to recall a memory. Olfactory triggers can rip memories from the distant past. I never stopped to think about how many strange and unexpected scents I’ve been exposed to because I chose to work in law enforcement. Again, I’m not going to go into any detail. Suffice it to say, I’ve smelled some pretty unbelievable things in the past 26 years. Some of them will never go away.
I’ve already mentioned my slow return to Muay Thai, so I won’t say anymore about that here.
Last weekend was Valentine’s Day and the President’s Day holiday weekend. We had a fun exchange of gifts for V-Day and a lovely dinner on Saturday. On Monday, we got out for a beautiful show-shoe hike right in our own neighborhood. We happen to have a municipal Conservation Area right across the street and up the hill from our house. It’s very convenient.
This week, we had a great Date Night. Delivery dinner was from Smokey Diva’s Barbecue. We hadn’t eaten from there in a while. Their food is always delicious.
I’m continuing to make some additions and improvements to my home gym. I’ve invested in enough equipment now that C has even started grabbing some of the gear and incorporating it into her workouts. That was a wise decision early in the pandemic.
I finally decided to order my new Gi through the dojo. When Professor Mark emailed me to confirm that the order had been placed, he shared with me that he’d had a phone chat with the school’s account rep. Reading that e-mail, I realized that our account rep at Origin is a woman that I’d met while I was at Camp. I messaged her to confirm and sure enough, we’d met at Camp and become FB friends. What a small world. The Gi I wanted wasn’t in stock, so she’d agreed to have it custom made. A fortuitous turn of events. I didn’t even have to take advantage of the new Associate program. However, I did make a referral to a friend for some Hypnos…and I got to take advantage of my Coupon Code when I re-upped my supplements this week.
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Well, that’s enough for this week. See you soon. Until then…be well, stay healthy, and be kind to one another.
Be Safe, Keep the Faith, Do Good Work, 1*
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