I have read one too many posts lately stating that this lifestyle isn't what they expected. Or in other words "FML." This lifestyle is not something you can predict. The difference is whether you make the best of it or do the opposite and hate every day that you are living it. I choose to make the best of it. I hardly ever talk about the negative aspects of having a husband in the military. I still don't want to do that here. I will share some experiences that made me a stronger spouse, mother and friend to those around me.
When Chris and I met, he had already been in the military for five years. Within a year we were married and we received orders to live overseas. We had a newborn son and we moved across the ocean to Belgium. Before I met Chris I felt like my life was already established. I had my own place, a full time job and just finished graduating from college. No worries in the world, then I unexpectedly fell in love. It happens!!!
Chris is a Military Police Officer, dedicated to his job in the Army. He enjoys his job and most of the time he works holidays and odd shifts. Most people think he works the typical 6am-5pm shift, M-F. Not him, he works holidays, Saturdays, Sundays, 24 hour shifts, and overall random hours. I AM NOT COMPLAINING. I am blessed that he is working and can provide for all of us. He doesn't ask for much...ever! The thing is, I should be complaining, but early on I learned to appreciate the time we have together. The reason why I am writing this post is because I am concerned when I read: "Oh great another day, I hate my life!" It isn't coming from me, it is coming from other women who I share something in common with, the military lifestyle. I get it, we are not always going to be happy whether we are in this or not. I wake up some days wanting to crawl back into my blankets. I also wake up most of the time to a window that appears fogged over because it has either rained or is gloomy again. It is Washington.
When we received orders to Washington, I was beyond happy. I was happy that after three long years, we
were finally moving back to the U.S. Living overseas taught me so much. "Be happy with what you are given and what is easily accessible!" When we were in Belgium, we drove 40 min to the commissary. If we had forgotten something...oh well...maybe next time. There were stores we could shop at off post but it just wasn't the same. I tried to learn French. That failed and it became frustrating because most often we were expected to rely on French and not English. Brussels was different, we could speak Spanish there and get around! My point is, it was difficult when we lived overseas and I learned a lot of what I took for granted.
Chris deployed last year and although his company returned earlier than expected, it was scary. For the first time in our marriage, I was scared shit-less. I had no idea if I would see him again or how the boys were going to react. I thanked God everyday that I was able to speak to him and know he was okay. It was tough for all of us. The strength that I gained through that experience has benefited me in so many ways. My attitude alone has changed.
I am writing this blog to let you know that you are not alone. We all have bad days but be happy that you are breathing and alive. There are women out there who have lost more than you and I will ever lose in our lives, their husbands. Take advantage of every day that you are given to make the most of your day, spend time with your loved ones. We have it good. It may not be the best lifestyle as things change all the time, but take that as a challenge for yourself. Tell yourself that you can do it. Reach out to others who are struggling or having a worse time.
The thing that has helped me the most is to surround myself with others who share the same views. Unfortunately, if you hang out with those who are always negative, your attitude will start being the same. Surround yourself with others that shine a light on your ideas and thoughts. Those that bring you up and are there when you need them. I am glad to have a great circle of friends, here online and now where we are stationed. It is OKAY to un-friend those on your buddy list too. You know the ones that are there that have zero contact with you. Most of the time when you un-friend them, they don't or haven't noticed it, meaning you weren't on their important list anyway. Sounds bad huh? It is true. Try it.
This year is a time for change as corny or cliche as that sounds, I want to make a difference. I choose to surround myself with positive thinkers, people who laugh, people who share common interests as me, people who care for others and people who strive for better. I have to meet all those requirements too, I have to be accountable for all of it.
I started my blog andYoutube Channel when we lived overseas to help others. I started it to record our experiences while in the military and to offer insight. I stopped making videos about the military lifestyle but hope to return to those soon as there is a whole lot more to discuss. I want to start writing more because I feel like I was given a fresh start. I have met such amazing people through social media and I am so grateful. I love helping others.
I don't want to put a lot of blame on those wives who feel like their lives are not what they expected. It may not ever be how you want it to be or what you pictured it to be, but that is what makes it so unique from anything else. I just want them to realize that they can change their lives if they want to, not for anyone else, but for themselves. Stay positive and stay strong!
Every day I wake up saying "Thank you for another day because I can _____________!"