Sunday, July 6, 2008

I've Got How Long?!

An interesting post over at Lex's place this morning reminded me of a revelation that came a little over a month ago as I sat in the Transition Assistance Program at my base, trying, for real this time, to wrap my mind around my impending departure from military service. It went like this:

The counselor for our Survivor Benefit Program had the stage. SBP is a program whereby you give up a set percentage of your retirement $ now in order to guarantee that your spouse will continue to receive a significant percentage of that retirement, even after your death, should he/she outlive you. On the screen was a chart showing the statistical chances that said event would occur. Average lifespan of the American male, average lifespan of the American female, etc.

Initially, I looked at that chart and thought, okay, so I've got x number of years left. Plenty of time. Then I did some mental calculations and realized that x equaled the number of years of my military career to that point. Considering that it seems like I just put the uniform on for the first time yesterday, last week at most, I realized that meant I'd be gone well before the end of the month, relatively speaking. And considering how much life continues to speed up with each passing day, I figure I'll be done more like next week.

I'd better get busy, and now. I'm not sure I've slept well since.