I am currently planning to move across the country during my husband’s pre-deployment leave. Doesn’t sound that crazy except…we don’t have orders yet. Yup, I’m planning ahead. (I know all you fellow mil-spouses are laughing.) There is a chance, a small chance but still a chance, that we will find out in a few months that we are getting orders back to Florida. If we are headed back, I’d prefer go before this deployment and have family around rather than wait until he gets back, move in the middle of school year, and have no family support for the 7+ months he’s away. I should add, if the orders say Florida, we will have about 3 weeks to completely plan the move before it’s time to go.
I feel like a crazy person. I’m currently filling out school applications. I talked to my old boss and have a job lined up. (A GREAT job, at that, which I now really want! Haha!) I contacted our realtor and have been looking at homes online. I’m getting moving quotes. I’m researching PODS and SmartBoxes and 1-800-PACK-RAT and every other movable storage unit. I’m checking out stops along the drive. I’m in full planning mode, just as I’d be if we were actually moving. But we are probably not. (Crazy person!)
I think this is the life of so many military families though. If we don’t plan for the possibility, we are behind the curve. There is a common saying in this life, “Hurry up and wait.” You have to get a million things done as fast as you can, get everything turned in, be ready for anything. Then you wait to find out what’s actually happening. The waiting is the hardest part. Now that I’m getting prepared for this only slightly possible move, I’m playing the waiting game. It will likely be 3 months before we hear and 3.5 months before we *possibly* move to Florida.
In between all the planning and quotes and research and applications, I’m also trying to enjoy our time where we are. It’s beautiful in southern California right now and we are living it up! Let’s be real, those Florida summers are nothing like they are here and I’m soaking up every last bit of this Cali sunshine (even if that last bit is for 3 more years). 😀
Being a military spouse has its ups and downs. I am more frequently asked about the harder or more frustrating parts of our lifestyle. But I prefer to talk about the aspects I love…
- Wine: I can go into the Exchange and buy ten bottles of wine and no one will bat an eye. I get more of a knowing glance than anything else. One day I even had a woman say, “Oh, your husband’s deployed? You many need more than that!” Even when he’s home, this lifestyle can ware on my nerves and a nice glass of rosé is all I need to unwind after the boys are asleep.
- Friends: I think this is one of the best things about being a military spouse. The friendships which form are stronger than any other. No one knows what this life is truly like more than those living through it with you. I’ve been fortunate to have a great group of women surround me with each new squadron and command my husband has joined. Also, I live in a big military town. Everywhere I go I meet other spouses and have formed some strong bonds with them as well. We need one another. And, friends always bring wine over. (Never leave your house wine-less. You never know when someone will need a bottle!)
- Traveling: I love to travel and, since we meet lots of people doing this life, we know people all over the world! There is always someone who is willing to open their home or share their knowledge about a place we are headed. Also, since we move every few years, we are forced to travel. I’ve driven across the country 4 times and been up and down both coasts. With bases all across the country there are frequently places to stay for a reasonable price. And, Space A flights, while unreliable, are a cheap way to fly if you have the time. I’m 37 states in, just 13 more to go. We are hoping for an overseas tour soon so we can explore a new continent!
- Moving: This is one of those things that many people despise but I love. I get an itch every few years to be somewhere new. Searching for a new house. Looking at fun things to do with the kids around town. Finding new restaurants. New friends. There are so many things to love about moving! I get so excited to find and explore a new place that I get to call home. With every move, we try to put a new destination at the top of our wish list.
- Homecoming: Deployments sucks. Homecoming doesn’t make up for your spouse being gone 6-15 months but it is so nice. And fun. It is such a happy moment getting to so see your spouse after so many months. The joy is overwhelming. It’s also a relief. Those months are stressful. It can feel like a burden lifted off your shoulders just from the stress relief of seeing your spouses face and feeling their embrace. Homecomings…
Don’t get me wrong, there are many other parts of this life I love, these are just a sampling. I’m sure I’ll get around to posting about other favorites soon.