Happy 4th of July. This is one of my favorite holidays. I love to shoot
fireworks. My family made fun of me when I was young b/c I would get all those fireworks magazines in the mail and want to create a great show for everyone. All of the families on the Bowling Alley would get together and have a good time. It has gotten to be better as I have gotten older and I really enjoy taking my kids to the tents and spending time with this activity. I am hoping to get a permit from the city and shoot some off when I get home so if you look north of town around the 23-24 of this month that is me shooting off the fireworks. I am sorry if I disturb you but I can't give up 4th of July. Here on the base today it was quiet. The only way the
celebrate things around here is by putting up decorations in the dining hall
and making a big cake. I will tell you I had a piece and I don't know what
they did to it but it was the worst and weirdest tasting cake that I ever
had. Everybody that I ate with tonight agreed. It was like mushy or
something. It had about a millimeter of frosting on it. So I got pumpkin
pie instead. They always have that in the desert aisle. Don't know why. It
tasted good though.
Yesterday was interesting b/c we had another IED attack outside of the base
on a local Iraqi contractor. I can't tell if they are just really going
after them more or what. It is kind of interesting that they don't take
their own people into the town of Basrah when they get hurt. They bring
them here. They can do that b/c they have a sticker on their car that
allows them to get in but we are really not suppose to treat them unless
their injuries are life, limb, or eyesight. The injuries from these
explosions are so different then anything that I have ever seen. They are
destructive in hap hazard type of way. Motor vehicle accidents and falls
are pretty straight forward in how the physics of the accident makes the
bones break and other injuries. These IED things just throw things
everywhere and make things explode. The young man blew off the back of his
wrist on the left. Opened up his right forearm with shrapnel and had all
these holes in his leg. Pieces just fly everywhere and create these
injuries. To make a long story short we took him to the operating room and
i cleaned out all of the wounds and splinted them up b/c for one we have
nothing to fix him here with and two it is not our responsibility b/c his an
Iraqi citizen. We need to use our supplies on our guys. By doing this I
already used up all of our extremity drapes and irrigation material so you
can see that we necessarily don't stock a lot of stuff. Felt bad b/c he
told the interpreter that he wanted to stay there b/c he knows that when he
goes into Basrah that they will amputate his hand. If he was a soldier this
would not have to be the soldier's fate.
Now for the finally of this weeks discussion. Always do your best. Kind of
a profound and obvious statement don't you think. This is the agreement
that allows the other three to become deeply ingrained habits. Its the
action of the first three. We have talked about 110% and how we get there.
Always doing your best lets you get closer and closer to the magic goal of
100%. Perfect is what you strive for but don't let it consume you.
The first point is that doing your best will be hard to do. That it will
never be the same and change from one moment to the next. Your best will be
of high quality at sometimes and not so good at other times. It will be
better when your healthy and happy compared to if your sick and sad. So we
understand that then we can spread that theory out over time. What that
means is as you strive to do your best your habits will become better and
your execution of the first three agreements will be better. Simply said
that if you do your best then there is no way you can judge yourself. If
you don't judge yourself then there is no way you are going to suffer from
guilt, blame, and self-punishment. I think it is just common sense when you
put it all together.
His next point is doing your best will give your life intensity. This is an
awesome point. You do this and you will be productive, you will be good to
yourself. You will learn to give of yourself to your family, friends,
community, and everything. That is what I want. I love to make a
difference in other people's lives. When you take this agreement and make
it your own you will learn to take action. You take action b/c you love it
and not expecting anything in return. Rewards will come, but you are not
attached to the reward. He makes the point that you get more out of your
action then you ever expected. You will also have no regrets in your life
b/c you did your best. This agreement will set you free.
Let's talk about the action he is describing. Action is about living fully.
Inaction is the way we deny life. You express who you are by taking
action. Sitting in front of the TV and not interacting with your family
shows you are afraid to be alive. You can have a lot of ideas but they mean
nothing without action. Without the action there are no results and no
rewards. His example he uses is Forest Gump. One of my favorite movies. I
do a pretty good impression of him with my voice, if you ever want to here
it. I do a pretty good impression of him in my real life but that is a
matter of opinion. His point though is Forest didn't have great ideas, but
he took action. He was happy b/c he always did his best at whatever he did.
He was then richly rewarded without expecting any reward at all. So be
like Forest, please.
His next point is so important. He wants you to realize God is life. God is
life in action. The best way to say thank you to God is by doing your best.
The best way to start doing that is to let go of the past and live in the
present moment. When you surrender and let go of the past, you allow
yourself to be fully alive in the moment. If you live in a past dream you
don't enjoy what is happening right now b/c you will always wish it to be
different than it is. When you live in the past you are not enjoying right
now and therefore you are only half alive. This he points out leads to
self-pity, suffering, and tears. We are all born with the right to be
happy. We need to seize the day - Carpe Diem, I believe.
This trip hasn't been a lot of fun. How could it be, but I have made the
most out of it. I have a new great friend. I have a new appreciation of
where I came from and how lucky I was to grow up in Nebraska in the US. We
have so much more there then they have here. I have been lucky to have a
great family and friends. They have been with me the whole time. Michelle
has done an amazing job taking care of the kids and I hope and believe they
all have had a great summer. I thank her for that. I have been safe. I
have learned more things about being a better basketball coach. I have
learned things about orthopedic and general trauma then I didn't know before
I came. I have spent time reading and studying basic orthopaedic
principles. It hasn't been easy and as you can tell there have been some
down days. I do felt like I have given my best and I am ready to come home.
This book has been helpful b/c it takes complex feelings and situations and
really breaks it down into common sense activities and thoughts. Things
that you can apply to your everyday life. It isn't to out there or
philosophical. It can be applied to all kinds of situations.
The last point that he makes is this. We don't need to know or prove
anything. Say no when you want to say no, and yes when you want to say yes.
You can only be you when you do your best. When you don't do your best you
are denying yourself the right to be you. You don't need knowledge or great
philosophical concepts. You don't need the acceptance of others. Put all
first 3 agreements together and they will only work if you do your best.
Don't expect your word to be always impeccable or that you won't take
everything personal. Don't expect not to assume and gossip. But if we try
to do our best, the habits of misusing our word, taking things personally,
and making assumptions will become weaker and less frequent with time.
Don't judge yourself harshly if you fail at these agreements. That will
again lead to feeling guilty and punishing yourself. Pick yourself up and
think about doing your best. Do it for you, your kids, your relationships,
and your community.
This is it. It kind of is the culmination of what I have been trying to
focus on these three months. I hope it helps. It has helped me and like I
said we have made a crappy situation feel much better. It is almost over as
well as my blogs. Here is the schedule. I will take pictures of the clinic
this week. We will talk about how Dean I took drives almost every weekend.
We called it going to town. We will give one last update from the
radishes. Then I will talk about playing hard, smart and together and what
that means to me. I will probably sign off on the 14th from Camp Basrah and
maybe one time at Ft. Benning in Georgia to let everyone following know I
made it home.