Military, Parent, Entrepreneur. . . Embrace the Suck
No one joins the military, decides to have a child, or starts a business with the mindset that they are going to LOVE how horrible this is going to be AKA “Embrace the Suck”. This is something that is learned through the experience of sacrificing while believing in the end result. Many of you may not know this phrase. It was something I was taught very early in my military career.
Want the whole story of how I got here? It's at the end of this post. But let's fast forward to my military career...
I was a young and ambitious private, set out to change the world. I was selected to go to a retention and attrition management course after only being in the military for a couple of years. As a Private First Class, I walked my overconfident and very enthusiastic butt into a classroom full of senior NCOs and Officers (mid level and senior mangers for you civilians who have never watched a military show). I was a mere worker bee and many were confused by my presence, yet there I sat with my lack of experience both in life and in the military.
I quickly befriended a Sergeant First Class by the name Ted Spatol. His hand clap, snap, and thumbs up combination with his smile was a trademark of his personality. He always brought a level of energy to the room that was undeniable. This man had been serving in the military since he did three tours in Vietnam. This was now 2003. How could someone be so positive after so many years of sacrifice? This was what I needed to know and he held the answers to motivating myself and others. After a very long day he explained to me that you must “love the way it sucks”. I didn’t understand at first but after some more explanation I started to get it. SFC Spatol helped me to see that it was the moments of despair, the moments when you don’t think you can go on, the moments of absolute misery, are the moments that greatness is made. You embrace that moment, you love the way it sucks, you smile because you know you are becoming something better than you were just moments before.
This applies to being a service-member, a parent, a business owner or really any aspect of life. Anytime you are hitting that absolute worst point, you can choose to be overcome by it or love the way it sucks. Late nights, long days, thinking that the miserable moment will never end? Love it, love every excruciating moment of it. Spread your arms wide and scream, I LOVE THE WAY THIS SUCKS. Why? Because when you accept that greatness comes from these moments you will love those moments more. You know that sacrifice is going to produce benefits for you in the future, whether it is a successful mission, an awesome kid, or a thriving business. These things only come from weathering the storm, riding through those moments that you never thought you could make it through and embracing the suck.
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If it's TMI, feel free to skip it.
I am a 36 year old wife to an amazing and supportive husband (and his cooking skills are that of a gourmet chef), a mother of a six year-old daughter who is super intelligent and expert in negotiation. I am a bonus mom to four awesome children who live out of state and range in age from 14-26, I have three grandchildren and two more on the way. I also have a 7 ½ year old Siberian Husky who is as loving as she is stubborn. I enlisted in the Wyoming Army National Guard in 2001 two weeks to the day before September 11th. I was getting ready to attend my third semester at Western Wyoming Community College when I decided that I needed more adventure in my life. I took the next semester off to attend basic training.
Through the years I have had many ups and many downs. After receiving a medical discharge in 2014 while raising my daughter who was born prematurely, I knew that I had to push forward to meet some personal goals. Through countless hours of personal development, finally completing my Bachelor’s degree in 2016 and getting my daughter to school age, I knew I was ready to start my next chapter. Due to injuries I received on a military deployment it is difficult for me to work in a traditional work environment and this resulted in me being on Social Security Disability.
This happened three years ago and my 2018 Resolution was to get off of SSDI and begin a new chapter. It started with me going back to work full time and being reminded of my potential. I explained to my boss that I needed to take this time and live my dreams of starting a business. I already had one in mind because it was a space I wanted while I was raising my little one and going to school on line and working on my personal development.
This led me to start Codobe, a family friendly coworking and collaboration space. A place where people could gather as a community to work together to achieve thier dreams. CODOBE is a place where as a COmunnity we can DO more and BE inspired.
Dedication: This Blog is dedicated to SFC Ted Spatol who died of an illness after being sent home from our deployment in Iraq in 2006. Ted, you are not forgotten and your memory lives on in me and each person who I help to embrace the suck. Thank you for your years of service and sacrifice to our great nation.