But then there are days like today where I'm reminded that there is no reason for me to be thinking that way. A couple of weeks ago, the Navy Chief select list for this year came out, and one of my sailors from my second ship was on that list. I was super stoked, because she had always been a hot runner. She got to the ship in 2005 as an E-3, quickly made E-4, and made E-5 soon after - each on the first try. So the fact that 7 years after I left the ship she's making E-7? Not so shocking.
It took a couple of tries, but I eventually tracked down a good email address for her and was able to congratulate her. I got a really sweet reply from her today, including the following:
Ma'am! It is wonderful to hear from you and to know that you haven't forgotten me. I think about you quite often and remember how strong you are and how patient and kind you were to me early in my career. Are you still in? I hope so, you were a great role model.That really made my day. I'm not sure I've ever heard words like that from someone who worked directly for me before. And even this many years later, it was enough to make me feel MUCH better on the crappy Monday I was having. And it was a much-needed reminder that no matter how hard I may be on myself, nobody else is being that hard on me, and I really should lighten up.