I got up, splashed water on my face. Did a restless lap around the house. Then I grumped back to the bed, and flopped down, dissatisfied. "This sucks." I told myself. Too hot, too uncomfortable, too restless. Crappy start to a week.
But then some smarter, wiser, more Jedi part of my brain kicked in, and reminded me of what "suck" is really like.
I'll pick Ft. Pickett, though Knox, Indiantown Gap, Stewart, Panama - any of them would do. Steaming hot, 100% humidity. Three days of constant operations, and I'm utterly exhausted. We finally get four hours of down time to sleep. It's raining a steady, drenching downpour. Everything I own is wet, except one or two precious pairs of socks, tucked away in a ziplock bag at the bottom of my ruck. I've got this little net hammock, made out of 440 cord that fits in a tiny ball into a pocket in my pack. Later I find out that they were discontinued because people tended to roll over and strangle themselves in a tangle - but in recon, anything that gets you up off the ground that'll fit in a pocket is brilliant. It's not comfortable, mind you - it's just not mud, bugs and rain puddles. On this night, it's so stinking hot it's unbearable to have a stitch of clothing on, but the air is so thick with mosquitos covering up is a necessity. And then it's raining, so I have to throw my poncho over my head to keep the rain off. So the heat from body is radiating into this impermeable barrier, I'm sweating balls, and mosquitos still sneak under my cover and buzz around my ears and face.
Even though I'm exhausted from 72 hours straight without sleep and constant physical exertion - I can not sleep. I lay for four hours, sweating and miserable and regretting my decision to join the Army and mad at myself for not getting better grades so I could have gotten a scholarship and paid for college and my parents for leaving me and my great-grandparents for losing the family fortune in the 20's and ... that, my friends, is the suck.
A little too hot in a beach-side bungalow in Venice Beach, with a cat that likes to cuddle a little too close is not the suck. A cushy job with a company in trouble is not the suck - a six year hitch in recon is. A girlfriend who gets up early is not the suck - a job that keeps you up for three days is. The greatest dog in the world is not the suck - mosquitos the size of dogs are. That sucks.
I went from grumpy, miserable and exhausted to satisfied, philosophical...and exhausted. But what a difference a little perspective makes.