A Very Random Post

A thought on Leadership –

I have had a lot of time recently to think on leadership and what it means to be a leader. I was joking with my brother in law the other day and I said some old war hat must have created the corporate system because the structure you find in the corporate world really mirrors the military. It is almost a caste system, and yes I realize how oppressive a caste system can be, but isn’t that what corporate America does when they don’t promote internal growth? I wonder why I am thinking about growth right now.

I don’t “follow” very easily. I take guidance well. I hate stupidity. I hate wasting my time. I love process improvement. I hate wasting my time.

These are some reasons I love leadership and the ability it gives you to really chart your own course. If I am going to fail in life let me fail because I fucked up. Not because Gary fucked up.

As I’ve risen in the ladder, actually I only went up one level so technically I’m not rising… I made a bump, I see what these people do daily. My place loves meetings. Weekly meetings, monthly meetings, meetings every third moon. It is awesome. How are you supposed to lead when you are in meetings all the time? How do you manage people when you are planning how to manage them instead… all the time? It is highly ineffective.

I wish I could find a leadership position where I wasn’t on the front line anymore. I’ve learned that the General shouldn’t run out in front of his army, charging and leading the way downhill because he’ll get shot first. And then they’ll promote some snappy green lieutenant to take his place charging down the hill. I know it may sound like I am rambling here. I am.

I’ve gotten to the point where I say “you’ve got to be fucking kidding me” a few times a day. I build that stress up and then carry it home from work. All I want is a scotch when I get home… I don’t care about food. All while I wait for a pigeon.

Sprinkler Blowing –

Apparently sprinkler blowing doubled in price around here. I don’t even really own a yard… it is more like a splotch in front of my house. I’d go out there and try to blow the pipes out myself… but I don’t have a tank and it is probably a bad idea to give me access to a large compression device. I’ve been known to do some stupid shit. I am pretty smart, but I can be really house dumb. It reminds me of the time, we had just moved into our first new home, and I decided to do some home improvements for my wife while she was at work. I learned that day that you can’t just drill a hole and place a normal door handle onto a sliding door and expect it to lock. It still slides…

I think I am going to go take a walk.

-OM

44.1

@smokendust

10/6/2017

Nine Years

This has to be shared. Beautiful thoughts, reflection, and honesty. Real blogging. -OM
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Father Says...

My older daughter emotionally posted Monday, “Lord, get me through Wednesday and I will be okay for another year.” My younger daughter responded, I’m with you sis ” My three boys are unusually quiet. I continue to cope.

Today — the Wednesday Dee referred to — is the ninth anniversary of the death of their Mom and my Wife. It was the day that changed our lives forever … or at least forever in earthly terms.

I’ve been through the details before. If you’re interested, just page back to this date over the past five years.  The details are the details. More important are the memories … and there many, well over 40 years worth. Karen touched her family in so many ways.

While I’ve navigated — and continue to navigate — through the stages of grief, I haven’t lost sight of the fact our future was cut short…

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Privilege

I never understood privilege till later in life, but I obviously understood the benefit from privilege because I lived it in many forms. It isn’t until you grow up in your head that you really grasp the fact that the things you take for granted aren’t normal everyday things for everyone in the world. I had many examples of this, but I never felt the examples how you’d feel them if you read the situations now. I just didn’t feel privileged at the time, but there are reasons for that as well.

I’ve recounted through numerous… numerous…’God tell him to stop writing adoption posts now,’ posts about my abandonment as a child and my adoption journey. I know you all love it.

Anyways, as an adult I sometimes joke I eat like an orphan because I was told that joke after seeing me eat as a child. The adult in me can laugh, but at the same time something in the back of my head hurts a little bit, or maybe it is my heart. I think there was a period of my life, maybe a half a year or more, that I knew hunger. I know this because I visited several orphanages in Korea in 2000 and even then these kids were eating “fluffy Korean rice” as a meal. It was heartbreaking. I hated being there.

I got adopted by the most wonderful humans in the world. My father is a priest and a doctor and is honestly someone I aspire to be in my next life… because I’ll never be the kind of man he is. But I am damn sure proud to call him my father. My mother is a kind, giving person who is a wonderful inspiration to me. She pushes me to want to find out a little bit more about myself each day.

I didn’t grow up with a silver spoon in my mouth, not in my mind. My father was a new doctor which means, and I understand this now as an adult, that he was paying medical bills while supporting a family with three children they had adopted. That’s no small feat and I grew up thinking getting a large French fry from McDonald’s was a special treat. As long as you gave your mom the bag fries right?

Eventually things got better and as I grew up on Stonewall street in Memphis, Tennessee we literally moved up in the street through life. Looking back down my memory lane in my mind I see the road I grew up with, roller bladed down, and fell off bikes on. But I also see the progression my parents worked hard to achieve for us to get to each stage. Things I now appreciate as a father with two daughters of my own, things a parent understands as they kiss their kids to bed and go downstairs to pay the bills.

But let’s get back to privilege and the day I realized it. Actually there were two days.

I loved Easter Sunday and I always knew that if we could afford to we would go out and get a new outfit for the biggest celebration in the Orthodox religion. I mean you have Christmas… but EASTER WOW! A lot had to do with the service in an Antiochian Orthodox culture. You got to stay up all night because the service started at like 10 pm! In kid time that was unimaginable because I had a standard bedtime as a child and this was well past it! Even better, there was a procession with candles in the middle of the night which was always fun because one of my friends would always do something stupid with their candle, and then there was a huge feast! After it we would go home and sleep in, only to come back the next day for a cook out around the church!

We were playing soccer after eating our burgers and one of the boys decided we should play soccer. I was wearing my new white shorts and polo shirt, but we didn’t care what clothes you wore back then. We just wanted to play.

The game was going and it got rough, as games always do with boys. One of the kids kept hacking at my leg until I pushed him and his brother immediately stepped up in his defense.

“Tell your brother to stop hacking at my leg,” I yelled, but more screamed because I was young and had a soprano voice still, ugh. It really makes it hard to be aggressive when you have a high pitched voice.

His brother sneers at me in the most evil sneer my memory can conjure. “No one gives a shit about you and your fancy clothes Jason. Go cry somewhere else.”

I was shell shocked and I remember walking off and being very confused. It suddenly occurred to me that I was wearing new clothes and they didn’t have any on because of circumstance. It didn’t occur to me that it was a privilege though because my parents worked hard for our money and I knew that.

As an adult I understand all of that and that is all that matters. But privilege is always a topic on my mind as an adult and I do feel something in my heart when I see someone with a sign by a street. I do often give what I can from my pocket and I try to remember that circumstance is what put me where I am. A small flip of the coin and I might be the one with a sign right now.

I can’t honestly overlook that.

Jason C. Cushman

-Opinionated Man

9/28/2017

@smokendust

44.1

Fog of War

One day it won’t feel like I walk through the fog of war… anymore.

I’ll stand beneath the sun and shine.

I hope for that day constantly. I struggle forward, let me put down my sword.

Maybe then I won’t see what is beneath me.

Crushed dreams, little pieces of me… it seems.

Parts of the war. I see pain, I know pain.

It makes me wonder if I could handle peace.

Truly seeing all of me.

What would happen if I could see.

The man I am meant to be.

-OM

44.1

@smokendust

Death Simultaneously 

I thought this was a nice, thought provoking post for the morning. -OM
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Death simultaneously is an emotion, an experience, and a thought process I’m too familiar with. Its the rapid change of a mental state from despair to delusional laughing, to crying yourself to sleep.

What is it about the death of another – that when you experience it, you start to relive every moment with that person while simultaneously imagining future moments they will be absent for?

Is it our brain sending a message to our heart in an attempt to avoid the denial phase of grief while simultaneously crushing it into a million pieces? You’ll miss some of the best days of my life.

What is it about the day before they die when you’re sitting at the end of the bed and waiting – You’re waiting, and silently hoping their pain ends soon while simultaneously trying to make the final moments together concrete in your memory.

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Is it because…

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Taking a Knee…

This seems to be THE hot topic right now. Thoughts on kneeling during the anthem? -OM
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Beyond the Moonlight

You know, this wasn’t my plan for my first real blog post here in the new home, but as I read through various sources, it’s time to give my feelings a voice. So here goes!

I grew up in a family where my great-grandfather served in the military, 2 of my grandfathers did as well, several cousins have (or currently do), and my brother just retired out of the service. In my life I’ve met various veterans and had to opportunity to speak with them. I understand the sacrifices that they made in various situations. They put their lives on the line for not just their families, but for all of the United States – stranger or not, born here or came here, no matter what race, creed, or religion. They spent nights and days for months and even years away from their family to keep us safe. They missed…

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