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Hi there,
2020 has been the year of transitions. 

We traded our independent bubbles of "normal" for socially distanced bubbles of survival. Our relationships, endurance, and sanity have been tested. We've dealt with lockdowns, a dismissal of warm hugs and handshakes, and a redefining of life as we know it.

And, it's not over.

For me, the transitions of 2020 have been extremely personal. Tiffany and I were married, despite a twice canceled wedding, and learning to do life together under the same roof. I said good-bye to my old house, but it also required giving up my four-legged companions. I expanded my tradecraft as a trainer as my work organization was abruptly ripped into the 21st century.

For a fleeting moment, as noted in my last newsletter, I thought I'd crested the mountain that is 2020. The next glance revealed another mountain towering above on the other side. 

The end of my year has always held a cloud of uncertainty. I expected to be recalled to active military duty, but I gravely underestimated the task ahead of me. I have the privilege of being a First Sergeant in the Army. It is the most demanding and rewarding position in the entire military. My role is predicated on enabling the success and positive welfare of my Soldiers. 

Even as a Reservist, that position permits no days off when Soldiers' lives and livelihoods are at stake. In an uncertain world, my challenge as a leader is to provide assurance to those in my charge while I lack certainty for what tomorrow may hold. 

Starting this week, I'm officially on 24/7/365 duty until our mission is complete. Unofficially, I've been doing that since early September alongside my nine-to-five.

I'm a believer in Essentialism if a poor practitioner. “Only once you give yourself permission to stop trying to do it all, to stop saying yes to everyone, can you make your highest contribution towards the things that really matter.”

In this season, my commitment to service requires a complete focus on family and my Soldiers. This newsletter will be on hiatus until our watch is done. I look forward to the hopefully not-so-distant future when I can share stories of my Soldiers' accomplishments and the lessons I've learned along the way.

If there's a takeaway from this year, it's to be grateful for the moments that we have. 2020 has provided plenty of opportunities to find the silver linings. I'm grateful:
  • my family has been blessed with good health.
  • for my amazing wife Tiffany and all those who have offered her support during this time.
  • for my parents, siblings, friends, co-workers, and anyone else I might be omitting. I've been like a ghost these last few months and have done a terrible job reaching out, but you've all embraced me before, during, and assuredly after this time.
  • the opportunity to always be learning.
  • the opportunity to serve others in such a critical time and place of need.
I don't know what type of ability I'll have to correspond over the next several months, but keep me posted on how you are all doing. I look forward to the transition re-uniting us all again.
30 Posts in 30 Days

The 30 days of writing are long over, but I did add two more essays before the world intervened bringing my total to 27 posts. 90% is an A. I'll take it.

These are the last two essays that were published. All articles are on and shared in this Twitter thread.
Quote of the Week

"The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.” 

- G.K. Chesterton
Until next time, stay safe, sane, and intentional.

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