Thursday, October 8, 2009

In My Pockets

In civilian life I wear many different kinds of clothes with many different pockets--several in the same day. So I may wear shorts and a t-shirt for the walk and train ride to work, change to a suit, change to bike clothes for a late day ride in Philadelphia, then back to shorts and a t-shirt for the train home. I am often searching for keys, my wallet or something in my pocket because I don't have a specific pocket for specific items in civilian life.

That will change when I get back. I only have two outfits here--pt clothes and the uniform. But because I have to find things in a hurry, I have the stuff I carry in specific pockets all the time. I always know where things are or know something is missing in a second. Right now my keys are in my left front pants pocket, my ID is in my left cargo pocket in the middle of my thigh, my wallet is in my left shirt pocket and my glasses are on the right. In civilian life I won't have to carry the tourniquet in my right lower leg pants pocket or the reflective (PT) belt in the left. But I always know where they are.

If this deployment has made any mental change in me--besides a strong wish to go home--it is in seeing the value of keeping things organized. My priority before was always in getting the task in front of me done and cleaning up the mess later. But since I have to live in later, I am much more aware that it is worth slowing the work down to make sure that I stay organized. It may not seem like much, but it's a big change after almost 20,000 days of living happily with disorganization.