Saturday, June 29, 2013

Week 26 - Focus on Life - Halfway through the year and it's just the beginning!

I'm still here!  I've just started the most significant adventure of my whole life...I'm a squadron commander.  So, for capturing my Week 26 "Focus on Life" challenge, I have to share a picture that I didn't take, but can help me explain why my creative energy has been focused on something new and different...the 628th Force Support Squadron!  Sally says "it's your week...pick your prompt" so my theme this week is:  Service!
No, I didn't take this picture...the friendly folks at the Joint Base Charleston Public Affairs office did.  Oh, and my brother did me a favor and took some of the sweat off my lip in photo shop (which makes it not so official, so this is my unofficial, official photo.  The sweaty one is still posted up on the walls around my squadron.)

On 3 June I went through a Change of Command ceremony and took the guide-on (a flag that represents the unit) from my Group commander and officially assumed command of the 628th Force Support Squadron and Joint Base Charleston.  It's hard to describe exactly what that means, but basically my unit provides everything from child care to recreation to food to fitness to education to human resources to family programs to training to lodging and more.  All of it's done in the very public eye since we have activities all over the Air Base and the Weapons Station. It's actually kind of amazing and the team I have has stunned me with their capabilities every day over the last four weeks.  

We are on what's called a "joint base" which means they took a Navy installation down the road and combined it with an Air Force base to try to reduce overhead support costs.  I'm not necessarily convinced there has been much in the way of cost savings, but it sure has created an interesting environment of crossing two Service cultures and ways of doing business into one giant foundation of support for various types of customers.  

Added to that, part of our unit is actually a business entity.  It's hard to describe in civilian terms, but basically, we get part of our funding from "the government" (appropriated by Congress) and some of it we have to generate ourselves (non-appropriated).  So, we have what is basically a bunch of small businesses with all the marketing, accounting, managing, and planning that goes into creating successful ventures.  There are a ton of regulations and instructions that place some boundaries and limitations on what we can and can't do, so that's where my creative mind has been working a lot lately.  I'm learning where the boundaries are and then how to push them!  haaaaaaaaaaa  We have a fantastic website so you can get some idea of the span of activities:  Joint Base Charleston.
 
I've come home exhausted most evenings because I haven't had my brain this consistently engaged in a long time!  But, it's a great exhaustion because I feel exhilarated by my people and excited about learning how to deal with challenges I've never even imagined.  Some of those challenges seem absurd but some of them are cool...and all of them remind me that I am here to serve.  And that's a good thing.

So, I'll see if I can find that camera that's still buried under stuff that's not quite put away in my newly rented house and shoot something awesome for week 27.  :)

Thanks for sharing in my adventure!

Jen


Saturday, June 8, 2013

Focusing on life during a move...Weeks 20 - 22

It's Saturday and I'm sitting amidst boxes of my stuff and random piles of things to unpack after moving to Charleston.  It has been one of the craziest, most thrilling, most exhausting weeks of my whole life!  I had quite a few things go awry during this move, but everything's here safe and sound.  Except Brando, that is...my sweetie fat cat wasn't quite right last night, so was at the vet for a few nights.  He's doing better, and is here sitting next to me, but still has a fever and no appetite.  So, no more unpacking for now, it's time for computer stuff and kitty snuggling.

To focus on the positive, I've been taking pictures so I can share some from the last few weeks.  I figure it's okay to post late as long as I actually took the picture during that week...nothing like setting up your own rules!

Week 20 - Looking Up


During a busy week of packing, part of the game involved tossing out things I probably don't need any more.  I've been carrying this love swing around for years.  It has never come out of the box, but has made for some hilariously awkward situations since it ended up in the trunk of my car.  Imagine this scenario...I'm in Carmax buying a new car and there's my sales guy helping me unload the trunk of my old car so I can load it into the new one.  I'm surrounded by a bunch of detail guys who are wandering around with rags and window cleaner when suddenly I see the swing box and make eye contact with my salesman.  He's not sure quite what's up with it, but with a laugh he offers to put it up there in the service area.  I blush a bit (yes, I do get embarrassed) and ask him to just pack it back into the new car so I can continue to carry it around for no reason.  Stepping into a new command job, I figured it was time to give it up...hopefully some dumpster diver around Hampton, Virginia will have some fun with it.  I'm "looking up" to my new responsibilities...and not "looking up" at the ceiling.  haaaaaaaaaa


Week 21 - Reminisce


Yeah.  It's a bathroom floor.  I just loved the colors!  This shot is from a pitstop while out wandering with my Mom in Charleston.  We stopped at the College of Charleston art building to check out an exhibit as part of the Spoleto Festival.  I love being in a collegiate environment, even though it makes me feel old.  Immediately triggers tons of happy memories...and a few crazy ones.  Hence, I'm reminiscing in the bathroom at an art exhibit.

Week 22 - Foodie



It was the perfect week to have food as the topic...but I went direct to the foodie:  my ma!  We got to spend almost two weeks together having fun in Charleston and working my transition to the new house and the new job.  Her passion is food.  No joke.  Just about every conversation has some aspect of food involved and it's awesome.  It's her way of showing love and appreciating life.  I'm truly grateful she was here because my cupboards and freezer are stocked with delicious food!  Plus, I got to experience some amazing local fare as tourists.  Grits are a favorite!  This week's photo is a quick iPhone shot from our Sunday brunch at Magnolia's.  You can see how much she loved it.  :)  It was delightful from the mimosas through dessert.  

I'm giving myself another day for Typography...

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Charleston, SC, United States
I'm a retiree/artist/student who makes things. It's a nice kind of lifestyle!

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