And when I snap my fingers…

…you’ll remember none of this.

Except for two nagging problems: 1) I will remember, and 2) I can’t be hypnotized. (You have to believe that hypnotism works in order for it to work!)

After last night, when I opened the shutters ever so slightly to the pain I’ve been feeling, the only therapist I trust and believe in (that would be Andrea, who knows all too well that I don’t think therapy works…for me…kind of like hypnotism) helped me realize some of why I was hit so hard by the fire. And, despite less than four hours of sleep, I was past the crisis.

So…how can a guy go from doom and gloom to “I’m Okay, You’re Okay” – can’t resist the reference to the pop psychology pseudoscience from the 1970s – literally overnight? (Note the appropriate use of “literally”.) Well….I guess I needed to get the hurt out and I needed Andrea’s take on my position in all this.

Sidebar #1: To be a good Navy officer, one has to be able to make instant decisions based on the data available at the time. You may never be called on to make a life-or-death decision, but you must be able to. I’m not in that position now, but I often make very quick decisions on projects…because I can.

Me: Okay. I’ve got enough information. We’re {going this way.}

A poor confused someone at the table who is not used to working with me: But I haven’t finished explaining…

Me: …why we should do what I’ve decided to do?

And I resist dropping the  Captain Malcolm Reynolds’ line: “Why we still talking about this?”

Now, perhaps not obviously, I take the appropriate amount of time to consider really important decisions, but I have a pretty good sense of when to use my “close enough” analysis. In this case, things came together and a switch flipped, and it’s not the first time that’s happened.

Sidebar #2: Back in 1998, CDR Tom Bersson took over as Public Works Officer for Naval Air Weapons Station Point Mugu. The man had a style that I did not like. Fours weeks in to his tenure, I was right behind him leaving a staff meeting when he banged his knee on a chair outside the door. “LT Razinha, get rid of that chair.” “Yes, sir.” No brainer, right? Except…

He banged his knee on the same chair the next week.

So, the Assistant Public Works Officer called me in and hemmed and hawed before he finally told me to get my head out of my ass. Indignant me made an appointment to see CDR Bersson, explaining that in 14 years in the Navy, no one had ever told me to get my head out of my ass. He very calmly told me I shouldn’t think too much of the words used, but that he had “been here five weeks and you still haven’t gotten with the program.” I walked out and the switch flipped. I adopted a new mantra that I still keep and teach to my staff: Know your boss’s pet peeves and make them yours. Oh…and I patterned my Public Works Officer tour after Tom (I can call him that now that we’re both retired.)

This morning, the flipped switch corrected my outlook. I won’t diminish what I went through, and might still have to work through. Sure, I can’t forget, but I don’t have to think about it, right? But, I have enough information and I made a decision, and that decision was that I wouldn’t let the past month stand in the way of the positives.

And there are and will be positives.

Captain Maudlin logging off.


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