First of all, let me start by saying that I suck at keeping my blog up to date…if you search through my posts, my last one was probably a year and a half ago. With that said, I’ve decided to grace your newsfeed with a brand new post dedicated to Military Appreciation Month… There are a BILLION posts out there about lessons being a military spouse has taught someone…I can relate to most of them. Being a military spouse HAS taught me how to fit my furniture in any type of layout; being a military spouse HAS taught me the ranking system and what each insignia on a service member’s lapel means; being a military spouse HAS taught me that whatever can break WILL break while your husband is deployed. But let’s talk life lessons. Lessons that being a military spouse has taught me about LIFE. Actually, let’s talk about 5 of them right now. 🙂
- Anywhere can be home. I was VERY attached to my hometown. I couldn’t imagine living anywhere else. I lived there for 21 years before my husband got stationed out of state in 2007. It has now been 8 years since I’ve lived in my hometown & while we miss our family, we have made 3 other cities “home.” This is cliche, but “home” is NOT a place, a city, or a structure. “Home” is the people you live with, the people you meet, and the memories you make. Home is definitely where your heart is.
- Be friends with everyone. Growing up in one place, you have a set group of friends and there isn’t much “need” to make new ones. When I moved away for the first time, I had to make friends, and every time we move, I have to start over again. Growing up, my friendships looked the same; my friends were like me, or we ran in the same circles, or we worked together, or we grew up together. Now, I’ve learned that making friends with people who are different from you, who are older or younger than you, who speak a different language from you, who are locals to your current city, is how you grow…its how you see the world. Leave your comfort zone once in awhile…because great things, and great friendships don’t always come from there.
- Attitude is everything. When I was a teacher, many eons ago, I had a student who was an EXTREME behavior problem in my class. When I sat down with his mother for a conference, her excuse for his behavior was that his dad was in the military and gone a lot. At the time, I was married, but had no children, so I nodded with sympathy & said I understood. Now that I have children, who’s father is gone quite often, and who are NOT behavior problems in school, but thrive in spite of the fact that Dad is gone a lot, I totally think that’s a bullshit excuse. If you’re going to boohoo every time Husband leaves, the kids are going to boohoo too. If you’re going to show how much it sucks when Dad is gone, then its going to suck the entire time he’s gone. I’ve learned to put my big girl panties on & show my kids that life goes on even when Daddy’s not home. Its OK to be sad, but being sad isn’t going to make him come home any sooner, and we’ve got shit to do, even when he’s gone.
- Support your spouse. Sounds old school, but I’ve learned that what I do at home, with the kids and with the house while Husband is away helps this operation run more smoothly. He’s told me many times that he’s grateful that he doesn’t have to worry too much about the home front when he’s away. While I take care of what’s here, he can take care of what’s there. Bottom line: team work, baby! In all areas of your marriage.
- Be flexible. I definitely like things to be done a certain way, and by a certain time, but I’ve learned not to get too hung up on little things as a military spouse. When my husband TELLS me we MIGHT move somewhere, I don’t go into planning mode until I see written orders, and even then, I tread lightly because anything can change at any time. I know that a certain house in a certain place might not be ideal, but we can make anything work for 3 years. I’ve learned to just roll with the punches, and everything will work itself out.
And there you have it…5 life lessons being married to the military has taught me. I still need to learn how to change a tire and fix a leaky faucet though.