Getting used to a deployment can be pretty difficult and let’s face it, do you ever really get used to a deployment? Nah, not really, but something happens a few weeks or even months in. You get to a place where the deployment doesn’t feel as gut-wrenching. You might even feel that you have a handle on things.
You have a routine now. Wake up, make breakfast, get the kids to school, head to work, come home, make dinner, etc. You are now used to not having that extra person around the house. Sure, you still have bad deployment days, days when you are so sad and just want to cry into your pillow. But at the same time, you feel a bit stronger than you did when they first left. A little less heartbroken.
But then you hit a point, middle deployment. The time when they have been away for a while but you still have a ways to go. The time when you look at all you have gone through but still know you have such a long road until homecoming. You want to be stronger, you want to keep going but knowing you are not at the finish line can be hard to take.
What should you do? How can you keep going? How can you turn things around and get through the rest of the deployment?
Here are some ideas!
Work on a goal list
If you haven’t already started a deployment goal list, now is the time. What do you want to get done before the deployment is over? What projects do you think you can tackle over the next few months? What have you always wanted to do in life but never felt like there was time to do? A deployment goal list will allow you to focus, and get working on your goals, even those that will take longer than a deployment to complete.
Write more love letters
If you haven’t already, start writing your spouse love letters. Write more love letters than you used to. Pour out your heart to the man or woman you love. Buy new stationery, add fun stickers, look for silly or sexy rated cards.
There are quite a few fun ones out there. Make a plan to write once a week. Take photos to share. Send more care packages.
Throw a party
Throw a halfway party with some of the other spouses. Sometimes the FRG likes to do a 50 day or 100-day party. If not, throw one yourself.
Don’t like to cook? Make it a pot-luck. Is the weather nice? Have a picnic party. Do something to celebrate the time you have already gone through in this deployment.
During COVID, you could throw your party virtually! Plan a date for everyone to get on Zoom to celebrate. Get a drink and party in your PJs from your own home. And that might not be a bad idea for after COVID too.
Start a long book series
Being lost in a book is a great idea. Start a long book series and get to reading. This would be a great time to start Harry Potter if you haven’t yet or go ahead and read the books a second time. Some other ideas are The Southern Vampire Mysteries, the series True Blood was based on, or the Outlander series, my favorite.
Sign up for a new volunteer position
A lot of groups on posts are always looking for volunteers. You could also work in your child’s school, coach a sports team or look for places in your community that need a little help. If you have a lot of free time, pour yourself into something new. Doing so will make the days go by faster, helping others will be good for your soul and you might even make some new friends because of it.
Take a trip
If you can, go on a trip. That is one of the best ways to make it through that middle deployment period. If you don’t have kids, or even if you do, see if a friend wants to go with you. During our 2nd deployment, my friend and I planned a trip to Garmisch during the middle of the deployment. It was a lot of fun and we were able to get out and explore a bit even though our husbands were gone.
No matter how long your deployment is, you will probably hit this middle point and will feel like the deployment will last forever. Don’t worry, it won’t. You will get through these months and eventually you will be on your way to go pick up your spouse, with tears in your eyes and a smile on your face.