We’re officially over the halfway point of this deployment, and I’ve found myself thinking more and more about just how much this deployment has taught me about myself, about our marriage and about just how capable we are. As any MilSpo can attest, Army life (and military life) is hard. It means separation, limited contact and sacrifice. However, it can also mean strength, resilience and independence. Right now, I’m choosing to focus on the latter.
Just a few things I’ve discovered from this deployment thus far…
// Busy is better…especially on weekends. If my boys and I are cooped up doing nothing, the weekends are hard on all of us. We get on each other’s nerves, and we find ourselves getting more irritable. This is the time to do things, be silly and have fun.
// I am fully capable of managing a full-time job, marathon training, raising two little boys, paying bills, caring for three animals and focusing on my health and wellness journey.
// I officially know how to use a weed wacker. Related: my arms are so sore from learning to do so.
// I now know how to fix a hot water pipe, shop vac my basement, replace potlights in our ceiling, make and hang curtains and care for fresh landscaping on my own.
// We can road-trip solo for up to 13 hours (maybe longer, but we’re not going to test that). We’re learning to be patient with each other, take our time and enjoy the journey so that we can fully enjoy the destination, as well.
// Summer deployments are so much easier than the winter. During the winter, the daylight is gone too early, the nights are cooped up inside and cold, and the boys don’t have the freedom that they want – especially being so young. Summers are spent outside with fireflies, bugs, water tables and so much more.
// Setting landmarks and events makes the deployment go by faster. For me, a lot of those little markers are races like the trip to South Carolina, or the Lake Placid half, or the upcoming Chicago marathon.
Deployment is hard. I’m not going to lie. However, we’re learning – and I’m learning – that I’m stronger and tougher than this deployment is. I miss Ryan so, so much, but I know now that I’m capable of running this home without him, and there’s a sense of comfort in that. It’s not that I really want to…it’s just knowing that I can that makes all the difference.