July 8, 2017

Learning to FIDO

In the thirteen years I've been with my now-husband, I have received an education about all sorts of military-related things.

When we first started dating, my well-meaning mom bought him a pair of boxer shorts patterned like the American flag. You've probably seen some variation of this...one side is blue with stars and the other side red and white stripes. When she presented the shorts to him, he politely thanked her but later told me he wouldn't be wearing them.

"How come?" I asked.

"I'm not putting the American flag on my ass," he replied, as if this were something I should have known.

Not having much previous experience with anything military-related, this and so many other things were totally new to me.

Like how there's a big difference between people who are tough (they don't talk about it or feel the need to display it) and people who are fake tough (they wear it like a banner for all to see). Or the fact that you don't 'shoot' guns, you 'fire' them. Or how most military movies get so much so wrong.

Something else I've learned a little bit about is some of the different sayings and phrases commonly used by members of the military. Early on, my husband taught me the phrase "Smooth is fast." It means that when you get in a hurry, you can get flustered and make mistakes that you probably wouldn't make if you took your time. My husband said this to me for years and then, while watching the film Shooter, we heard Mark Wahlberg say it, with the addition of the phrase "Slow is smooth. Smooth is fast." 

It's funny because my great-grandmother actually had a very similar phrase she liked to repeat, which is "the best way to go fast is to go slow." For a long time I had no idea what that meant, but coupled with the smooth is fast saying, it makes more sense.

Something else my husband has taught me is FIDO. In military slang, it's an acronym for the phrase "F#@k it, drive on."

When I asked him what might be some scenarios in which FIDO is an appropriate response, he said maybe if lost your weapon or your pack, or your ride broke down or any other number of things. There's no time to stop and worry about it because there's too much at stake. Drive on.

It sounds so simple, but it's actually quite hard for some of us. So many times in life, I have an inclination to stop moving forward and ruminate on the situation at hand.

Sort of like how my beloved Aunt Bo doesn't chew her gum, she just "wallers (wallows) it around in her mouth," I am wont to waller in so many situations. To roll around and settle in, exploring every inch of every possible morsel that might apply to me.

And this isn't always a bad thing. Sometimes a healthy amount of self-reflection can be good. It can help us see things more clearly. It can help us learn about ourselves and others. It can help us avoid certain situations or keep unhealthy patterns from repeating.

But there are other times in life when it just doesn't serve us to stop and waller. When we're actually better off to FIDO.

I'm learning this.

Some situations are just baffling. Sometimes the behavior of others, while completely out of our control, affects us in colossal ways. No matter how much we explore every inch of this junk, it might never make sense. It probably doesn't make sense to the others involved either, if that makes you feel any better.

I'm definitely not advocating any sort of approach that involves ignoring your feelings or pretending like things don't affect you. This doesn't seem healthy to me. But I am saying that in certain instances, it may just be better to FIDO.

I'm reading this book called You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life and it says that much of our reality is created by the crap we have believed in life. Because of all the messages our subconscious has taken in without our even realizing it.

That we aren't good enough. That we don't deserve good things. That we deserve the judgement and criticism of others. That we should hold ourselves to an unattainable standard of perfection.

This is where FIDO could really help. When we find ourselves accepting a truth that we didn't intend to believe in the first place. I do it all the time. Behave a certain way because of some wacky belief that I didn't realize I had.

And instead of stopping to ponder it or waller it around to see it from all sides, maybe I should just keep in mind that I have bigger, more important things to do in this world and I should just FIDO.