Happy Friday, friends! Is it just me, or does time feel like it’s flying by? Perhaps it’s the fact that Ryan’s gone and we’re counting the days to his return, or maybe it’s the fact that it finally feels a little bit like summer out here in Washington, but the days keep ticking by and I, for one, am here for it. We’re about two weeks into this current TDY, and the kids and I have stayed busy. Between two diverse freelance jobs I’m working on, the kids having preschool again, sunny days, and active weekends, we’re doing as much as possible to enjoy all we can of the PNW since this is (most likely) our last summer here. But I’ll admit….things are different. I never thought we’d be where we are and seeing what life looks like now.
I know we’re not the only ones in this boat. I’ve become acquainted with an awesome group of fellow military spouses through social media, and we were having an open chat about what things are like in our branches, at our duty stations, etc., and one of the girls said something that stuck with me. She said, “honestly, I’m just tired,” and I think that a lot of people around the world really empathize with this statement at a soul level. Does anyone else feel like they’re constantly on edge, trying so hard to do, say, feel, and act the right way in everything? With the virus surging again in different areas of the country and the world, all we can do is focus on the here and now, paying attention to what life looks like now, and enjoying everything we possibly can. So, without further ado, here are this week’s Friday five.
1 // Exploring as Much as Possible
The military has cracked down on travel distances and permissive leave in a lot of areas, so many of our fun travel plans this summer had to be scrapped. When Ryan returns from his TDY, he’ll be on a strict 14-day quarantine, and while he’ll be able to take leave, he’ll be limited by where he can go, which means we’re also affected by proxy. We’ve been doing our best to get out and explore as much as possible locally, which has eased the sting of that blow, and we’re looking into some options for some safe, fun, family travel this summer that will be approved for leave, and the thought of a vacation – even a different one – sounds so good to me.
2 // Five Teeth for Mieke
I posted in my instagram stories about a month and a half ago that Mieke’s doctor had begun to voice potential concerns about delayed tooth growth because she literally had zero teeth and none in sight at 14 months old. She’s now 15.5 months, and I’m happy to report she has five teeth with a sixth one on the way! I’ve always believed my babies do their own things in their own time, but hearing chatter from every direction can be disconcerting and hard.
3 // Learning Patience
One of the biggest things I struggle with in this lifestyle (and especially as a solo parent) is patience. I’ve always been an “anywhere but here” kind of girl, so I don’t do well when I feel stuck or trapped. I’m always looking for the next big thing. I’ve there’s one good thing about COVID, as a whole, it’s that it’s forced me to slow down and focus on the here and now. But let me be clear – I’m a work in progress, and I’m still impatiently waiting to be patient!
4 // School Dilemmas
Spencer is supposed to start Kindergarten in the fall, and I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t have a touch of anxiety over what life looks like now in terms of schools reopening. From what we’ve heard right now, we’ll be entering into a hybrid model of learning, which means Spencer would go to Kindergarten two days a week and have virtual learning the other three. Now, I get that Kindergarten is mostly a social learning environment, but for dual-working households, this isn’t an easy dilemma. We’re looking into the possibility of him still attending school-age learning/care at his current preschool during those virtual days so that A) I can work and B) he gets that dynamic that our social butterfly craves.
5 // Tackling the Little (and Big) Things
In between local adventures and enjoying the different faces of summer Washington likes to throw our way, I’ve been really working to de-clutter our lives, both literally and figuratively. I’ve been getting rid of a lot of excess stuff we’ve accumulated during our last six(plus) years of marriage, and I’ve been working on minimizing the excess so we can PCS next year with a lot less hassle. Personally, I’ve been focusing a lot more on my health. I’m a stress-eater by nature, and it shows. Between a baby, Lyme Disease, a deployment, and multiple TDYs, I gained a lot of weight over the last two years, and I’m focusing on better habits, which has led to a lot better mental and physical health. I’m excited to see what’s to come across the board.
Life is strange this summer. Summer is strange. 2020 is strange. Honestly, I feel like we’re in an alternate reality a lot of the time, but I also know that there is so much good nestled somewhere in all this crazy, and we’re doing our best to consciously seek out that good and hold onto it. Eventually, things will have to turn a corner. Life will have to change. I don’t know what normal is going to look like, but there will be a light at the end of this never-ending tunnel someday. Mark my words.
Tell me – what does life look like now for you guys in your neck of the world?