It’s a weird Tuesday. Yesterday was a holiday so my husband had the day off, and we got some things done around the house. We finally cleared out and organized the spare bedroom (which we have been calling ‘The Room of Requirement,’ as everything we didn’t want to deal with since the move had been haphazardly piled on top of the bed), because my mother-in-law is arriving tomorrow night (joy). My husband moved more crap from the garage to the handy dandy attic we didn’t know we had when we bought the place, so we are a little bit closer to parking both cars in the garage. We bought a couple potted plants to decorate the back porch with, and Sean has started getting the hot tub in working condition so we might be able to enjoy it in the coming weeks. Progress.
All these little things add up to helping us feel just a bit more settled. Emphasis on just a bit. Despite my insistence on being miserable still, I have had some chances to be social, including today when I met some other moms at the park. Everyone seemed perfectly nice, but I haven’t met anyone here that I just connect with. My friend Amber back in Washington was my best pal from the day we met at a work barbecue, and though she lives in Japan now and I live in the South, we message each other back and forth almost every day. Friends like her are special and don’t come around super often, but I still hope to make one or two girlfriends I can just be regular old me around, without having to try too hard.
I posted this chain post on Facebook yesterday when I came across it on my Newsfeed, and I thought I’d post it here too, because it really hit home for me right now. Though I am blessed that my husband won’t be going anywhere while we live here, we did just come from what is considered “arduous sea duty,” meaning he was gone all. the. time. So many of the other statements ring true: we sold the couch we had since we were first married because there was no place for it in this new house, I haven’t hung a lot of curtains because they just don’t “go” where they went in our old house, I have purchased a home, sold a car, fixed a toilet, and mowed the lawn while having an infant; I left so many good friends and a stable social life, and I basically did not want to move here, but I bucked myself up somehow and followed my husband because I love him and it was the right thing for our family. And so here we are. So many military wives have it so much harder than I do, and I have the utmost respect for them. But I have to recognize that my situation is hard too, and though we are blessed with enough money and creature comforts, it’s so hard to move every three years and constantly reinvent yourself. This move has been the hardest yet, I think because we have a baby now and I really feel the desire to be settled and to establish a real life, and also because I am 31 and no longer feel like moving all the freakin’ time is some “great big adventure” like they tell you it is. I said in an older post that I am very aware that this move coincides with a new chapter of my life, and part of that means I am starting to really understand what I want in my life, what makes me happy, and what I truly need in order to have that happiness. And while I continue to try and adapt to my new surroundings, I’m trying to justify with my inner self where my family needs to go from here. Deep thoughts, I tell ya.
But without further ado, here is the sentiment that hits close to home right now.
“Lots of moving. Moving…moving…moving…far from home. Moving a car, a baby and a dog. Moving sofas to basements because they won’t go in THIS house. Moving curtains that won’t fit. Moving jobs and certifications and professional development hours. Moving away from friends. Moving towards new friends. Moving her most important luggage: her trunk full of memories.
Often waiting. Waiting…waiting…waiting for housing. Waiting for orders. Waiting for deployments. Waiting for phone calls. Waiting for reunions. Waiting for the new curtains to arrive. Waiting for him to come home, for dinner…AGAIN!
They call her ‘Military Dependent’, but she knows better. She is fiercely in-dependent. She can balance a check book, handle the yard work, fix a noisy toilet, bury the family pet. She is intimately familiar with drywall anchors and toggle bolts. She can file the taxes, sell a house, buy a car, or set up a move. All with ONE Power of Attorney.
She welcomes neighbors that don’t welcome her. She reinvents her career with every PCS; locates a house in the desert, the Arctic, or the deep south. She learns to call them all ‘home’. She MAKES them all home.
Military wives are somewhat hasty. They leap into: decorating, leadership, volunteering, career alternatives, churches, and friendships. They don’t have 15 years to get to know people. Their roots are short but flexible. They plant annuals for themselves and perennials for those who come after them.
Military wives quickly learn to value each other. They connect over coffee, rely on the spouse network, accept offers of friendship and favors, and record addresses in pencil.
Military wives have a common bond: she has a husband unlike other husbands; his commitment is unique. He doesn’t have a ‘JOB’ he has a ‘MISSION’ that he can’t just decide to quit. He’s on-call for his country 24/7. But for her, he’s the most unreliable guy in town! His language is foreign: TDY PCS OPR SOS ACC BDU ACU BAR CIB TAD EPR. And so, a military wife is a translator for her family and his. She is the long-distance link to keep them informed; the glue that holds them together.
A military wife has her moments. She wants to wring his neck and refuse to move to Japan, but she pulls herself together. Give her a few days, a travel brochure, a long hot bath, a pledge to the flag, a wedding picture, and she goes. She packs. She moves. She follows.
Why? What for? How come? You may think it is because she has lost her mind. But actually it is because she has lost her heart. It was stolen from her by a man who puts duty first, who longs to deploy, who salutes the flag, and whose boots in the doorway remind her that as long as he is her military husband, she will remain his military wife. And would have it no other way.”