It wasn’t exactly pretty, but we did it. We made it through the first two weeks of training. Only 29ish more weeks to go…
I’ve had that saying “the days are long, but the years are short” on replay in my mind… just as a little reminder and encouragement to myself with my hubby away at training, my strong willed child hitting that “special” toddler age, myself holding down the home front, and keeping up with my own job, that though some days seem incredibly long or difficult its only a page in the book.
It’s funny, I’ve done the solo thing before, while he traveled or worked crazy hours as he used to as an officer, but for whatever reason, this is an entirely different monster. ((I have so much respect and empathy for military families!)) Maybe it’s the “hugeness” (for lack of better words) of what we are embarking on that makes everything a little more nuts, but it’s given me an endless opportunity for growth as an individual.
We both said yes to this adventure, fully knowing it was not going to be easy, especially at first, but that the reward was an adventure of a lifetime. We make a good team, encouraging and appreciating each other in the roles we play, recognizing that one couldn’t happen without the other. We can lift each other up when the one feels weak or lean on one another for comfort and security when we feel fearful.
In his absence, I have learned a new appreciation for everything my hubby takes care of, especially around the house. With my work schedule and staying home with our daughter, the normal day to day chores like the yard, trash, dishes, laundry, errands, two large dogs, etc. build up quickly, not to mention prepping the house and purging our stuff in preparation to move. Ugh, I miss him!!
One of the biggest blessings in this journey so far, has been to see how each of us has grown as individuals and though we are miles apart, how we also have grown closer together. I’ll admit, some days it’s not easy to see the positive impact, but when we are open to it, those little glimpses give us the strength to keep moving forward. We both have had to rise to the occasion and fulfill roles that are bigger than we imagined. God has led us here, and it’s by His grace that we will make it through!
Through my own personal discovery and great conversations with my support system, I’ve found a few things that help keep things going in the right direction:
Saying yes to help – “What do you mean I’m not superwoman??” It seems I have a mental roadblock about asking for help. It doesn’t occur to me that help would actually HELP, that I DON’T in fact have to do everything and that people are more than willing to lend a hand.
Taking care of MYSELF – Pamper. Cut myself slack. Do what I love. My to-do list never goes away… in fact, its like roll-over cell phone minutes (are those even a thing anymore?!). The list just gets longer, and longer. So taking time to myself is normally a huge no-no in my mind because I know what that does to “my list”. BUT not taking the time to relax or do something for myself means that I end up a frazzled mess with little direction or motivation. It’s not realistic or possible for me to get out of the house alone very often – so even just diffusing some Essential Oils and listening to Michael Buble and good ole Frank Sinatra gives me that little sense of self.
Spending time with God – He loves me. My family and I have been through a lot these past couple of months… so I’m not going to lie, I have had my frustrations, my doubts, my not-so pretty moments. I’m human, and I know in my heart that THAT is normal. There is a lot that I don’t understand, but these past few weeks have given me this renewed hunger for God, and a greater sense of hope and faith. Spending time with God gives me peace, strength, and the confidence that He loves me, a lot.
Focusing on the positive – Because focusing on the negative would do no good. Really though, I try to be a positive person, I like seeing the “silver lining” in everything because it is happy and encouraging to me. His first training center is near the beach, so weekend visits mean family beach time 🙂 When things flat out suck, sometimes it’s hard to see the good, but when I dwell on the hard, bad, or negative, nothing productive comes of my day. I end up feeling sorry for myself or my situation and totally miss all of the hidden gems or learning experiences in my life.
Love letters – Another thing I have learned is the power of words. I simple “I love you”, “I am so proud of you” can make huge ripples in some ones heart and completely change the course of their day. Fortunately, I love writing, so writing letters to my significant other is enjoyable to me. Though, I have to remember that I don’t need to write out a 4 page essay every time, but that a simple note, or text message gets the point across. It helps keeps us on the same page and feeling connected though we are so far apart.
Have you and your significant other been apart for long periods of time? I’d love to hear how you made it work.
xo – J