As I write this and stare out into the grey, cold, rainy and at times SNOWY day here in Colorado, it’s hard to imagine it’s late May. Memorial Day signifies the beginning of summer, white pants, hot dogs and hamburgers on the grill, and swimming pools…right? I checked the weather app on my phone and saw that in two short days, the sun will come out, temps will rise, and all will be well in the world again.
I’m spoiled. Really, I am. If the weather is all I have to grumble and complain about today, then I’m ridiculously lucky. The soldiers who serve, sacrifice, and fight for our freedom every single day might have a slightly different (or wildly different) perspective. Forget about the extreme weather conditions they might be enduring; they are away from family and away from home. They are eating meals that aren’t home cooked, they are sleeping in beds that aren’t their own. Some are living in tents with no heat, taking showers with a hose that spits out freezing cold water, washing clothes in buckets if they’re lucky. These men and women give up so much to ensure we are safe, and here I am complaining about the weather.
The expectations most of us have for this world and things we take for granted don’t end there. The sun will rise. The sun will set. Flowers will begin to bloom in spring. I’ll have hot water this morning. My lights will turn on in my house. I’ll have A/C in the summer. The train will arrive at the station on time. My car will start. I’ll be safe today.
All these things become routine and almost habitual. We flip the light switch in our bathroom in the morning without ever considering that it might not work. You ride a bike without looking at the pedals. You type while looking at the computer screen not thinking about where your fingers are on the keyboard. It’s muscle memory and this is a good thing, a blessing. But as it moves through our daily life, it could become complacency.
About 4 years ago, my family and I decided to pick up and move across the country for a change, a new adventure. And truly one of the reasons we did this was to jolt us out of complacency – to ensure that we didn’t take moments of our lives for granted, that we didn’t let life just pass us by as we stood there in a daze.
The service men and women protecting us are performing their duties without thinking twice. Are they complacent? No, they are brave and courageous, and it could possibly be the opposite of complacency. They have made the conscious decision to live a life of honor, to protect and serve the country they love.
My grumbling and sour attitude about the weather is completely warranted because let’s be honest it should NOT be snowing in May! However, I realize I am incredibly lucky, blessed, and fortunate, and that it could always be worse. Instead of complaining, let me find the beauty in the snow today (and hope it’s gone by tomorrow).
As we mark the beginning of the summer season, let’s not take Memorial Day for granted, let’s not be complacent. Instead let us honor those who have served and are still serving, and particularly those men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military.
Thank you to our own TTEC military team members and military spouses. We are honored to know you and to work side-by-side with you!
Amber's a veteran who served in the army for about 10 years; her husband still serves and is currently deployed. Amber is so thankful for what serving in the military taught her and the transferable skills she uses to this day – serving in the military served her perfectly for her role here at TTEC. “As a military spouse, TTEC has been awesome!”