Keeping perspective

PETERSON AFB, Colo. -- Welcome to the holiday season. We made it through the busiest shopping weekend of the year and I just heard on the radio that Nov. 27, the Monday after Thanksgiving weekend, was dubbed Cyber Monday.

It's the first Monday back from the Thanksgiving break where many who have access to a high-speed Internet connection can catch the last minute cyber-sales before they end. Many vendors had plenty of e-mails in my personal account boasting tantalizing savings.
How does all of this fit into the big picture? Let's quickly reflect on the past year.

About 40 civil engineers and many others from the 21st Space Wing deployed in January supporting operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom. Fiscal constraints tightened our belts another notch. Wing prepares for Air Force Space Command inspector general.

Fast-forward to this past summer; change of command season was in full effect. Combined with several retirements, we gained and lost a lot of knowledge this summer, while pressing ahead with impending inspections.

August and September saw Guardian Challenge, a Peterson first, and emerged victorious while putting on a first class event. End of year closeout was a blur, with less money than in the past.

A tighter budget for fiscal year 2007 takes our belt up another notch, and the cupboards are starting to look like Old Mother Hubbard's, and the Wing still earns an excellent in IG inspection.

What a whirlwind year. My point in this reflection is, what is your perspective? We are in the holiday season; we have made it through one heck of a year and have done great. Take some time over the next month, while you are spending time with your family, volunteering time for the community or your busy social calendar, to reflect on the big picture.

What are your priorities? How do you balance your work, your family, your health, and your spiritual needs? The Air Force needs motivated, highly educated go-getters like you to ensure our nation's place as the foremost air and space power in the world.

But you can't meet your needs without balance. You strive every day at the office to be your best and do your part to meet the mission. You spend time at the fitness center or during unit physical training to make sure your body is fit to fight and ready for the everyday battles and future deployments. These are the easy pillars to spend time on.

Finding quality time for family and spiritual needs is often difficult. Usually these are the easiest to reschedule or skip. Yet these pillars are ones that support you during and throughout your career and will continue to support you long after your time in the Air Force has passed. Put these pillars of your life into perspective with work, it's very easy for all of us to get caught up in the day to day grind of cranking out suspenses and meeting our supervisor's deadlines so they can meet their supervisor's deadlines.

Spend some time for yourself this holiday season, search for the balance in your life and how you can keep the pillars in your life in check. The machine will continue to chug along, but with your balance, the machine will gain efficiency and be more effective in its quest to "save the nation."