Counting Your Blessings: The Best Damned Job In The World

I have no idea what's gotten into me. For the longest time I blogged on here like other folks change their socks (one would hope that would mean on a daily basis, but I take nothing for granted). Then I was sucked into a vortex of road trips for work, which coincided with a serious family issue. But lately, and fairly suddenly, I can't seem to contain my thoughts....even in blog format, particularly in blog format. Out of nowhere...I'm a Blogging Tour de Force...If rap were my milieu....I'd be Grand Master Blog and the Furious Five.

To say that I was preoccupied might well be the understatement of MY year. One can juggle only so many responsibilities in the air before something starts to slide. How do you select your main priority when EVERYTHING is a priority? I had my "Gotta do TODAY" lists, I had my "Urgent, but Not Fatal" lists, and my "Get In Line" lists....(and I'll shamefacedly admit that I also had my "You've got to be kidding me.....How about Never? Is Never Good for You?" list) .Inevitably I'd opt for something off my "Must Be Done Today or Die in the Effort" list.

Lately I 've felt like a petrel riding just above the waves of a storm-tossed sea. I wasn't going under, but I wasn't making much headway in any aspect of my life either. I stopped sleeping, and justified that by saying "It's temporary" ....but when you start obsessively checking your work email on your lone day off.....and then start replying to yourself? It's time for downtime.

I get some downtime starting on Tuesday next week. My game plan is to sleep until I wake....Wake unti I feel the need to sleep, eat festively (but not TOO festively....I just got my figure back from the most recent bout of being on the gym and crap food), spend some much-needed time with my family and friends....and the wee hours....sneak back onto this site so that I don't miss anything. Ditto for Facebook. It's not just a social site, it's an addiciton.

So.....Counting your blessings.....

I've been trying to stay caught up on the various discussions and blog posts on here. I've commented, albeit briefly, on a few of them.

Something that has been bothering me to no end has been the posted discussions about the negative aspects of the fire service( and their number is Legion). I don't know if the Nation-wide pessimism in terms of our leadership and economy is to blame.....but there seem to a higher than proportionate number of malcontents voicing their opinion.
In response I'll say this.....

Firefighting is the best damned job in the world. Most times it's thankless. Sometimes it's dirty, exhauting and dangerous.

Yeah and????

Isn't this what we signed up for? Fret about officers fighting for leadership roles, about questionable photos on your site, about truckie vs. engine guys...about paid vs. vollie, and the benefits of using smooth bore hose.....
All valid arguments if it's something that is eating at you.

Fair enough.
But I'd also like to take you to your own personal Happy Gilmore does the Fire Service plane.

take a moment to rewind the reel. When all others with any semblance of sanity are running out of a burning building, why in heaven's name are you running in? Think about what made you join in the first place.

Got that? Good.

Then think about that one call that made a difference. It made a difference by putting you outside your comfort zone, and allowing your training to rise to the surface and having it all happen in textbook format. Or not.
Textbook is for the classroom....and there's no such thing as a typical fire.

Firefighting ins't for the faint of heart. We joined this realm because we wanted to give something of ourselves back to our respective communities, but we also joined becaused we wanted to fight the beast. We wanted to be the few, the crazy, the dedicated ; the ones riding on a piece of fire apparatus....thinking forward to the situation...
Are we gonna make a grab today? Do I really know what I'm doing? Lives hang in the balance.....Do I have what it takes?
Be the everyday hero.
Put aside the petty political arguments, put aside the rivalry, put aside the minor annoyances....
Embrace the brotherhood. Live the Dream. Be the best firefighter you can be.

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Comment by Engineco913 on December 21, 2008 at 10:24pm
Tiger, I will have to talk to your church and have them offer a free meal gift card for one of the lucky contributors to the collection plate. Whats that, you want to know where your billfold is? :)
Comment by Firegal77 on December 21, 2008 at 9:23pm
OK OK OK....I spent entirely too long trying to leave a comment in vain...until I discovered that i was not signed in.....grrrrrrrrr Anyhow, thank you for your post..I too have slipped off the chat Been a busy year... Give yourself the luxury of enjoying a bit of time for yourself too..We all love your posts, but one can survive(all be it bleak) without your commentaries for a while! lol That being said..I am glad to see u back in the swing!
Comment by Mary Ellen Shea on December 21, 2008 at 2:18am
Tempting....but no.

See, there's this whole bigamy issue....I'm reasonably certain that's only legal in your mind.

Can I rent a husband? I have some light repairs that need to be done around the house.
Comment by PA Firefighter on December 20, 2008 at 11:46pm
great post. It's always refreshing to read your posts. They're always right on.
Comment by Joe Stoltz on December 20, 2008 at 8:47pm
Comment by Joe Stoltz on December 20, 2008 at 7:16pm
"My game plan is to sleep until I wake....Wake unti I feel the need to sleep, eat festively..."

I might have added "...or BEEBEEBEEBEEBEEBEEP blows the covers off."

Another great blog! Keep them coming! (There is a proposer out there, somewhere...)
Comment by Mary Ellen Shea on December 20, 2008 at 6:16pm
thanks to all for the commentary, feedback and compliments---more to come....I've got another rant percolating even now.

I can't believe I didn't get another marriage proposal out of this one. Sheesh.
Comment by Bob Allard on December 20, 2008 at 12:53pm
You have done another great story, keep them coming, and like the rest posted here nice job, this is the best job, and most rewarding also, to see the smile on their faces when things go great is enought to keep you going cause you know that all that training has just help someone.

I just get writing about nothing, way to go.
Comment by Kimberly A Bownas on December 20, 2008 at 8:44am
You did it again, great post. This is the best est job in the world to me anyway. I never joined for the pat on the back. I joined to help the people in my community. The feeling I get at the end of a call is a good one because I was there to help. Nice job again Mel. Stay Safe....
Comment by Art "ChiefReason" Goodrich on December 20, 2008 at 8:25am
I believe that you have captured the essence.
You have challenged many here and they will accept the challenge.
That they are reading your thoughts is testament that they are at least engaged.
What I have seen with the "tenor" of some of the discussions is the maturity of those with questions.
We have to give them time to mature.
In the meantime, I guess we have to put up with their "terrible twos" and guide them as we would our own children.
Because of your youth, you can treat them like a sibling.
Regardless, we want them to experience what we do and we can't do that if we are telling them to GTFO.
You have a little guy in your head, too?

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