Friday, January 24, 2014

Week 4/52 - More Than Just a Word

I am, apparently, a person of authority.
I have my own parking spot.
I sit at the head of the table sometimes.
People stand up when I walk in the room.
"Ma'am" doesn't make me feel old; it's just normal.
I get 200-300 new messages in my inbox everyday.
I send about 50 new messages everyday.
My battlerhythm of meetings and visits and paperwork is intense.
Combat boots are my daily shoe of choice (or, rather, policy) and they match my outfit.
I don't carry a gun or fly a plane.

I'm a person with responsibility for mission, people and resources.
Defining the mission is hard.
Living within limited resources is harder.
Ensuring the health, safety and satisfaction of the people in my unit is even harder.
Balancing all that with helping the people in my unit take care of the customers of my unit--i.e. the entire population of our joint base--is, well, kinda impossible.  
That's my job.  
I'm a commander.

Seeing a face light up when someone has solved her own problem brings me joy.
Finishing a meeting that met its objective and generated new ideas brings me greater joy.
Knowing I've positively influenced someone's view of the word is the best.
The parking spot is cool.
My office is a mess.
My teams are amazing--even when they're not.
Laughing at drama is my favorite response to stress.
Making other people own the drama and laugh is my other favorite response.

I know a lot about leadership.
The art of actually leading can only be understood with experience.
I'm an artist.
I own my mistakes, add new layers, and sometimes end up with a final product that is awesome and unexpected.
And then I go home and take a nap because I'm tired.

Fly, fight, win...and proudly support the force.  :)


  1. I've known many commanders over the years and what they are responsible for and what they can accomplish in a day is just mind boggling to me. This is a terrific post and I thank you for your service!

  2. That's a wonderful post and wonderful words. Thank you for sharing a little bit of yourself with us xxx

  3. What inspiring words! Thank you.

  4. Your post reminded me of that powerful quote from Invictus, 'I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul'...
    (even though I remembered it wrongly as 'I am the commander of my soul') *grin*

  5. Commander is such a powerful word and you wrote such powerful words. Thank you for your service.

  6. First I want to say thank you for your service to our country. Your post this week is very powerful. I am glad that you shared with us.

  7. A wonderful post and beautiful words. You are to be commended for all you do. Thanks for sharing!

  8. How wonderful that you can look at your responsibilities so clearly, and approach them so positively!

  9. What a fantastic post Jen, thank you.. the photo is awesome too.

  10. Jen, thank YOU for what you do. For without you and all the men & women that serve with you, we would not have the freedoms and liberties we have. You are a hero even without carrying a gun or flying a plane. We are grateful for YOU!


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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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