The Military Spouse Superpower You Can’t Live Without
My husband was going to be home in June. He had left the August before. It was April, and the weather in Germany was slowly warming up. If you have ever been through a longer deployment, you know how important the change of seasons can be. My husband left the end of summer which quickly turned to fall and then winter. Now that the weather was warming up, the deployment was coming to an end. Two months to go.
So, what does a military spouse do with just TWO months left of deployment? She looks for a cute homecoming outfit. Since he would be coming home in June, I wanted to get a summer dress. I wanted something fun and comfortable. I went online and finally found my dress. I didn’t hit order. I am not sure why. I just didn’t. I wanted to sleep on the decision or wait a few days to make sure I wanted that dress.
The next day, everything changed. They were no longer coming home in June. They told us October with whispers of that really meaning November. I was heartbroken. I was thankful I didn’t order that dress. The dress would have just been a reminder of what had happened. My husband’s deployment was extended. He ended up coming home the day before Thanksgiving. That was not summer. That was not the day in June we thought he would be home.
At the time, I was crushed. If this happened today, I would still be crushed. Nothing can prepare you for something like that.
But as the years have gone on, I have figured out more and more that flexibility is a must as a military spouse. Flexibility needs to become your superpower. It needs to be something you take with you through each deployment, each duty station and each step of military life.
Things will never go the way you think they should go. They won’t even go the way they say they are supposed to at first. You will be told one thing, plan for that and then something else will happen.
Military life is having a plan. Then a new plan. Then another plan. Then the first plan. Then a brand new plan only to go back to the 2nd plan.
When plans change as they do in military life, you have to be flexible. You have to be able to shake things off and roll with what is going on. This does not mean you have to be happy all the time or look forward to all the changes, it just means you have to come up with a way to be flexible and a way to deal with all the changes that will come.
Here are some ideas:
Talk Things Out
Find a good friend you can talk to about what you are dealing with. Whether you are waiting on orders for a PCS or waiting to hear when your spouse is actually going to deploy, talking things out with a good friend is the best thing to do. Most likely they have been there or will be there someday too so they can relate to your struggles. Be a good friend and allow your people to talk to you about what they are going through. Find friends who won’t just tell you to deal but who can help you become more flexible.
Write In Your Journal
A journal or diary is such a great idea. I have been keeping one since I was in high school. Whenever you are frustrated or upset about a change, write in your journal. Get your feelings all out there. Trust me, that will help. You can also go back through old entries to remind yourself how things worked out in the past. This can help you in the future.
Expect That Things Might Change
If you expect that there could be changes, you will be able to handle them a little easier. You will know not to put all your eggs in one basket. The problem I have is that I am a planner and I want everything done as soon as possible. If you told me we are going to PCS somewhere, I wanted to go online right away and research everything. Even if we didn’t have orders in hand. Taking a step back and waiting until things are for sure is difficult.
Your Military Spouse Superpower
I think as a military spouse you must have superpowers. Traits that will get you through anything. You might not be born with these superpowers; you might need to develop them over time. Flexibility is one of these and without it, your military spouse journey is going to be a lot more difficult. If flexibility doesn’t come naturally to you, work on that. Understand you will need to know how to be flexible during your life as a military spouse and even after. Learning this skill will help you for the rest of your life.
Do you struggle with flexibility? What has helped you along the way?