2012 started off interesting. I was out of my first command, waiting for my second to start. I was working on my fiftieth draft of my 2nd book. My husband had just returned from Iraq and all but a handful of soldiers had left that war behind.
Both my mother in law and my father had open heart surgery. I’m thankful that as the year draws to a close, both are still with us.
The year saw new friendships formed and others ended. Some, I now know were not good relationships. Others, I will miss tremendously but that’s what life is, right? Enjoying the moments for what they are.
I made international news when I opened my mouth about birth control. I was accepted to teach at West Point and completed my grad school applications. As the year draws to a close, I find myself wondering what school I’ll attend next year. I’ve also considered the obligation I have to speak about issues and tried to weigh my words more carefully. I have not always succeeded and hey, my mouth has been getting me in trouble for a lot longer than I’ve been running a blog.
2012 was not without its challenges. I learned some tough lessons about the publishing world, lessons that have left their mark on me but hey, we never learn when things are all unicorn poop and rainbows, right? So I’ll chalk those experiences up to lessons well learned and move on. Or at least drink my way through therapy and try to not to repeat those mistakes again.
Command this time around was arguably more ethically challenging as I confronted the true scope of what my fellow army officers army wide could forgive. I confronted the fallacy of the “good soldier” head on and ran straight into that wall. A good soldier can be forgiven anything. I have not yet come to peace with that lesson. I may never do so. I’ve questioned things I never before questioned and the answers have left me uncomfortable.
Looking ahead, 2013 is going to be an interesting year. I’ll have to uproot my family for the first time ever, taking them with me to wherever I end up attending grad school. We’ve never moved as a family before. The last time my husband I PCSd together was 2002 and we had significantly fewer pets, kids and possessions. I’m sad to see leave our home, more sad than I thought I’d be but there it is.
I will also leave behind command for good in 2013. I may or may not get the chance to command a battalion so I will remember the fun I’ve had as first Viper 6 and then Hooligan 6. There is great power that comes with the guidon. Maybe I’ll write a book about how to better wield that power. All the books out there talk about how to lead tactically. Maybe I’ll write one about how to lead ethically. I didn’t always succeed at that but I did my best. Maybe that’s all we can do.
What do I hope for in 2013 as far as my publishing career goes? I plan on seeing Trent & Laura’s story published as well as Reza & Emily’s. Shane and Jen are getting at least one short story, maybe two. I’m going to grad school, though, at the end of the year, so I’m not sure what all I’ll be writing except for papers. Lots of papers. I know a certain editor who will probably be getting more work from me as the one thing I learned this year is the power a great editor has to make your work really sing.
2012 was a mixed year on all counts but there is one thing I am beyond thankful for. My husband came home from the war for good. His retirement paperwork has been approved. He will hang up his uniform and finally get to be a dad. When we were deployed together in 2009, I wrote a post about how I got my husband back. How we learned to be a couple again but I had to kiss him goodbye again and worry until the day he crossed that border into Kuwait. He’s finally home from the war, and for that, I count my blessings every single day.