Most mornings I wake and begin the all-too-consistent routine. I wake to the sound of the alarm. I rise and begin checking app after app while listening to the morning news. I snooze alarm after alarm until there is no more to snooze. I rise, allow the sun to fill the room, let the furry companions into the morning air, and prepare for the sanctuary that is the gym. The furry companions eat as I commute to the sanctuary. I lift and process the world. I let my brain ponder the meanings of life.
I return home and it begins. The knowledge that what is necessary is over. What is left is nothing but time and unfulfilled intentions. What is left is the book on the nightstand, untouched for days, and the ever-growing stack of “to reads” on the bookshelf. What is left are the projects intended to complete or start. What is left are the dryfires never completed. What is left are all my good intention left unfulfilled.
What is left is a man without a purpose. A man who for years has waited–a man who has waited to return to the world he so desperately loves. What is left is a man who wishes only to be free from the injustice of the vindictive. While the end appears to be quickly approaching, what is left are the remnants of those years and the routine of unfilled intentions. What is left are the temptations of instant gratification and mindless consumption. Today so easily drifts away without a thought, a thought that might remind me of the injustice of the vindictive.
It is easy to leave the intentions unfulfilled because there is always tomorrow. Yet another empty day with nothing necessary. Tomorrow is always there, beckoning me to fulfill my greatest intentions, and yet always there to remind me today is not necessary. What tomorrow brings is a purpose. If I fulfill my intentions today, then what shall I do tomorrow? What purpose is an empty tomorrow? An empty today can be forgotten. It quickly drifts into yesterday, a past one cannot change. Tomorrow is the promise of a better today, but only if there are intentions needing to be fulfilled.
Jake Smith is a law enforcement officer and former Army Ranger with four deployments to Afghanistan.
As the Voice of the Veteran Community, The Havok Journal seeks to publish a variety of perspectives on a number of sensitive subjects. Unless specifically noted otherwise, nothing we publish is an official point of view of The Havok Journal or any part of the U.S. government.