Updates

Time has been very full these last six to eight weeks or so. I realize I haven't written much about what I have been about, largely because I've been so much about that I just haven't had time. It is a rare day that I have a day off and a rare day off that I don't have to do something that day. I haven't done much writing of late. Not here and not on my book I am working on either. Nor have I invested a great deal of time into my photography hobby. I've shot some film, digital that is, but haven't worked many shots. But I did work these up.

The first are shots from the retreat center from last week's trip to Seoul for our "Super Retreat" where we offered seminars on pre-marriage dating relationships, divorce recovery, and spirituality for men. My divorce recover group continues to meet each night on Tuesday evenings and is proving to be great ministry.

The retreat was a welcome break from Osan but was back to a steady trot by Sunday afternoon having to make sure I got all the folks back home and then cleaning up and putting away all the stuff we took to make things happen. I shared some Tennessee chili with them Friday night for dinner and some corn bread, though I must admit it the bread didn't turn out good as it normally does. I think it suffered from my trying to do too many things at once mode.

It was very cold up there, but there was still a bit of fall color. Saturday night I traveled with the boss up to Nam Sang mountain where we took a tram up to the tower in the picture to look out over the city. It was blistering cold and I was thankful for the wool hat I borrowed from my boss.

I've also included a picture of our Pearl S. Buck angel tree. This is a big program where we bring a big bunch of Amerasian orphans to the base for a big Christmas party. I'm organizing the program portion, basically the entertainment. I've talked our Red Cross rep into being Santa. Figured it would fit him since he wears red most of the time anyway.

Finally, there is a picture here, now that the event is over, of Air Force One come to Osan. The President held a local photo shoot meet and greet here but I didn't even try to go. I was off the base getting an MRI. That proved quite the non-adventure in fact. My technician could speak English and we had a shuttle driver that took us to the hospital, walked us in, and then walked us back out. You might call it MRI for dummies. I had to rest a bit after the test with all the junk they fill you up with. But I did make it to our Speghetti dinner the chapel sponsors last night.

Look to be full up right through the Thanksgiving holiday. I have an orphanage trip tomorrow, Sunday I have services and our youth ministry. Monday I have regular office hours and some counseling appointments. Tuesday I have PT at O'dark thirty and full office hours with some more counseling appointments until my divorce care group that evening. Wednesday is normally my "CTO"but we are decorating the chapel so I'll be there. Thursday our staffing is putting on a Turkey Fry (literally - one of the chaplains brought a Turkey fryer) but I"ve been asked to be involved in a major Thanksgiving Celebration the Operations Group is doing so I'll likely wind up over there. Friday I've got an invite to another Squadron event. I'm hoping next Saturday all I'll have to do is my sermon prep for Sunday...and my laundry...and my grocery shopping...etc. Need to get that done some time too.

Osan is a steady marathon - in some ways it is like a race that just never ends. There is always another corner to turn. Time management becomes crucial here, not just to get tasks done, because there is always more to do than you can always do... but you also have to manage time to get personal things done, such as laundry and groceries, but also get enough rest to stay productive. But it can be a challenge and there are days where rest becomes the thing that has to be put aside, at least for that day. Osan is great training ground. You learn for the sake of productivity and survival to make the best use of your time and task management skills. I wish I had more time to be out just visiting and network with my airmen, but even here I find that you have to make sure you can hit alot of bang for the buck (or hour in this case). There are a number of things I really want to do and probably should be done, that I just can't because there isn't enough days in the week. Already my typical week looks like this:

Sunday 0730-1700
Church Services (Liturgical & Traditional)
Youth Group
Monday 0730-1630 it is not uncommon to find the chaplains working late at the chapel. I usually PT after work for a hour or so.
Tuesday 0630-2030
PT
Divorce Care
Private Counseling Appointments
Wednesday (possible day off - depends on chapel and unit requirements)I usually PT at least for a hour or so.
Wednesday nights I do have AWANA to attend

Thursday 0630-1630 (except couple times a month when there are even chapel events - then usually out to about 8 to 8:30pm
PT
Staff Meetings
Speghetti dinner (once per month)
other events (like monthly birthday meal, squadron get togethers etc...)

Friday 0730-1630
PT for an hour after work

Saturday - sermon preparation and once per month Orphanage Trip

Sunday - go around again.

I also make sure I PT on M, W, F, Saturday and often on Sunday for at least an hour to stay in shape.

Mondays and Tuesdays I am usually doing a combination of things during office hours. Working on accomplishing short term tasks or tasks associated with major projects or program areas I am responsible for. Also I do many of my counseling appointments on these days. We also tend to have a number of walk-ins on Mondays and Tuesdays for some reason. Tuesday nights I have my divorce group and usually wind up doing a bit of follow up after the session. Wednesday I try to take off as much as possible, as that is my day off, but we often have chapel events that require all hands on on Wednesdays and I find that often I have squadron events I need to be present for or that there are loose ends that need tied up. For example, this week I had to finalize and drop off a conscientious objector's interview package. I often try to do my laundry and grocery shopping on Wednesday as well as hit the weights a bit harder that day. Wednesday nights I pop over to check on the AWANA program and say hi to the kids and the adults. Thursday after early PT is staff meeting day. Lots of meetings. We do a short chapel stand up then the Protestant chaplains meet in the morning, all the chaplains meet for lunch, then the entire staff meets for the afternoon staff meeting followed by chapel training. Hard to get much accomplished on Thursdays.
Friday is another day I try to work projects and front load my networking for the stuff that is coming the next week. I also try to get out to visit as much as possible on Friday.
Saturday I usually spend the morning working my sermon, a portion of the afternoon at the gym, and then relax the rest of the afternoon and evening because I know that Sunday starts another full week. But sometimes, at least once, sometimes twice, a month I have chapel events on Saturday and so wind up busy during the day and doing my sermon prep that night. Those make for long weeks.

The upshot is this -- time management - both of one's tasks, one's network, one's own rest and spiritual life is essential here. Without it, one could easily burn out here. But it is manageable with the right mindset. I just tell myself to remember the many chances to make a difference in someone's life and when I find myself blessed with some unexpected time to myself I relish it and recharge and then push forward.