Most of my adult life, both in and out of the Army, I dreaded Mondays. Whether you are a cubicle dweller or just released from a Friday final formation, that feeling of freedom on a Friday night is unmistakeable. By Sunday night after Games of Thrones, the creeping dread of Monday is coming full force. I found myself in a self-defeating circle a while back and found a way to sidestep this issue and embrace a new way of viewing Mondays: by making Monday your day to start out crushing your week.
As I sit here comfortably at my desk nursing a scotch in a plastic cup after my guard unit Christmas party, I can’t help but feel nostalgia for my time spent away from home. While I wouldn’t trade Christmas morning at home with my wife and daughter for anything, I will forever recall those Christmases spent overseas fondly. Surprisingly, the things I miss the most about Christmas in Afghanistan are the same things that I missed when I was stuck there among my fellow Army members.
Halloween is rapidly approaching. It used to be an extravaganza of creepy frivolity, unfortunately the bad guys of the world now require the hovering of helicopter parents checking for razors in their child’s candy — though as a kid, I was always sure this was just a means for parents to steal the best treats. Recently everything from moving trick-or-treating away from Halloween night to prevent hoodlums from wreaking havoc, to the dangers of invisible body suit costumes make parents and communities freak out.
Time served in the military teaches us many good habits worth emulating throughout the rest of our days. These serve in both in the civilian workforce and in our personal lives. When it comes time for you to transition out, consider taking these habits with you.
Transition doesn’t end when you get that DD-214 and report to your first job or school. Trust me, nothing is more depressing than leaving the top of your game in the military and shifting into the civilian world and not getting that same feeling of respect, responsibility, and accomplishment. But, there are incredible opportunities out there for veterans who are willing to take charge of their transition and work as hard as or harder than they did in the military. Here are several ways to kick ass when you transition to set yourself up for a successful post-military life.