I have to say, in the military, we certainly can’t complain about the number of vacation days we get (called ‘Leave’ in the forces). That being said, the time off is usually needed to wind down and recover from the daily work stress, much like any other job. I’ll be taking a full week and this weekend, I’ll be headed to south western British Columbia. I lived in Vancouver for three months during the Olympics, when I was on task there as part of the security force for the Winter Games. And what a fantastic experience that was (more on that in another post)! Having been an Ontarian my whole life, it was wonderful to see mountains, ocean and less humid weather (my main Southern Ontario gripe). There is something in the water there in Vancouver, that can’t quite be explained. Everyone has this laid back attitude that I can’t get enough of. Essentially, I think that it is the complete opposite to my life back home. Exactly what I want for vacation time. I quite literally cannot count the number of flights I’ve been on this year, including going back and forth to Vancouver several times last year for the Olympics, a trip to Jasper, a trip to Banff, a trip to Scotland and Ireland, a trip to Cuba (yes, I know it sounds like I’m whining…) and a work related visit to Winnipeg. So to be honest, I could do without seeing another plane for a while, especially since I think my current job will have me travelling quite a bit in the near future. But at the same time, the airport is starting to be a comforting place for me. I usually can read a book in a day, so nothing gives me greater pleasure than getting to the airport early, buying a highly overpriced beverage and sitting curled up on a chair as I get absorbed in a new world of literature. Oddly, I have this penchant for sappy Chick Lit when travelling but hey, I don’t deny myself these small pleasures. People often ask how I can have two such differing jobs/passions. My job in the military seems a far cry from the literary life I like to surround myself in when I get home. But at the end of the day, what people easily forget, is that soldiers are their own separate people. We, like everyone else, have different hopes and wants and desires outside of the military. But to be honest, my passion for reading and writing outside of the forces is what keeps my Logistics job continually fresh and exciting. My creative mind helps me to think of different ways to solve problems at work. And when all else fails, at the very least, I learn something new from every book I read and every sentence I write. That being said, it is certainly easy to forget that I am something other than a soldier. While sitting and having my hair done yesterday, my hairdresser said to another client, “This is Kelly. She’s a writer.” I’ve been in the military since I was 18 and have known myself as nothing else except a member of the forces. I was thrilled to hear myself described with this new term! Am I also a writer? Yes, this blog confirms it. It is real. I am not just a soldier. I am a writer too. And so this weekend, a new world awaits. I’ll have to dust off my civilian clothing from the closet (since I wear my uniform all week and then stretchy pants every evening!) and remind myself that I am both Military Logistics Officer and Writer. And there is quite possibly nothing better than having a job that lets you be both.
FILED UNDER: under-fire