Green GrassThis post has been rattling around in my brain for a few months. Each November, two days arrive that make me reflect on my military service – the Marine Corps Birthday on November 10th and Veteran’s Day on November 12. Even though that period of my life was very challenging, it was also extremely rewarding and I miss it deeply during that time of year.

Marines PT (physical training) a lot. Being fit and fierce is a minimum qualification and working out daily is part of the job. Often, we’d run for miles in formation, chanting cadences to keep us in step, breathing efficiently to help with endurance, and – perhaps most importantly – to motivate us and keep us connected to each other and our warrior spirit.

Ah, the good ole’ days.

One of my favorite cadences started with “don’t let the green grass fool ya.

Why a fave you ask? Military service is hard and this little diddy helped remind me that no matter how tough it was, I still had it pretty good. The “green grass” – other things, different paths, civilian life, our own room instead of a squad bay, better chow instead of SOS (sh*t on a shingle, which is gravy on a hashbrown), comfy shoes instead of combat boots – can fool us into thinking those are better situations or circumstances than our own.

Intiution might have us believe the grass is greener. But reality has taught me that most of the time, it just isn’t. Different? Yes. But better? Meh.

Old problems are replaced quickly with new problems. That “green grass” suddenly needs more care and attention than we imagined and we realize where we were before wasn’t so bad after all. During particularly challenging times, even the most weed-infested lawns can look like greener grass. We can’t see the good in our own situations and end up changing something only to find ourselves knee deep in green weeds and a yard full of puppies that looked so cute from a distance.

And we all know what puppies do outside in the yard.

Change is inevitable and to grow, we may need to make big, bold moves. We just need to be careful and look closely before doing so. Sometimes focusing on the good we have and applying a little care and feeding where we are can make ours the greenest grass on the block. A little pain and adversity shouldn’t force a quick or irrational decision. And assuming all our problems go away by changing our latitude and longitude can lead to disappointment and a deep longing for what was.

Regret is a stubborn bastard. Don’t let the green grass fool ya.

Has the green grass ever fooled you?

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