One goal I will not be crossing off my list this year as accomplished is blogging every week. Oh well- such is life! I can’t believe summer is almost half over already. We’ve been trying not to melt in the Florida heat, but enjoying the beaches and paddleboarding and motorcycle rides. Yes, D bought a motorcycle. I think we both picture this:
Even though we look more like this:
D is still in the first phase of primary, he’s done lots of simulator flights and about 5 actual flights in the T-6B. The crazy summer thunderstorms make it tough for him to consistently fly but the simulator is always ready! His training wing had a spouse orientation the other week and I got to do a short flight in the simulator, it was pretty fun but I think the Navy should keep me out of their aircraft unless someone else can land it. Here I am flying over Pensacola. In a skirt. Which made it impossible to eject before my crash landing on the runway.
I can’t believe it’s been almost a year since D commissioned as an officer. I was reminiscing the other day and thought of just a few things I’ve learned in my first year of being a Navy wife I would want other new spouses to know.
1. It’s hard being away from D, but I don’t have to be miserable. Yes, it sucked being thousands of miles away from my husband when he was at OCS and not being able to talk to him. Yes I hated that the only thing I had to snuggle at night was a pillow with a sweatshirt on it. Yes I spent a few nights sitting at the bottom of my shower crying because I missed a phone call and no way to call D back. But most of the time I had a great time doing lots of fun things – learning to run, yoga classes, girl time, sunbathing poolside, eating breakfasts for dinner – a lot of things that D doesn’t really like. Being apart is a reality in the military, so if you don’t want to hate it, make a plan not to.
2. Work is important to me, at least for now. I’ll admit, I was sad to leave my practice in Oregon, but pretty excited about having some time off of work during the process of moving. I didn’t realize until after I started working again, however, how difficult it would be for me to not have the confidence I get from working and how strange it would be to go from being financially self-reliant to completely reliant on D. And I think I was a little bit more of an emotional mess than I wanted to be not working. The reality of being a military spouse is that your career becomes secondary to your spouse (unless you don’t mind choosing not to live together) – this is harder for some than others, but figure out how you feel about it and do what you can to make the best of it when you can’t have what you want.
3. Military life is constant change and unpredictability. Not only do we have no clue where we’ll be living in the next few years, D has no idea what his schedule is in the next few days. I can rarely predict when D will be home or not since he can’t either. And there is a constant change in how busy he is. He will be gone or studying for 12 hrs straight for a few weeks, and then may have a week or months of pretty much nothing. That constant change in his schedule and productivity can be pretty difficult to adjust to for both of us. It requires a plan A, B, C and learning to be okay if none of those plans work out. It also means giving a lot of “I don’t knows” to family and friends who ask questions. Note: Some family and friends are more willing to accept this answer than others.
4. Military wives are awesome. I absolutely love having ladies who are going through the same things as me. I love meeting new people and building new friendships and having a built in support group. And thankfully with technology, these friendships don’t have to end with a new duty station. (And I imagine it’s hard being a military husband, but I bet they’re just as awesome.)
5. Ask for a military discount. I still forget this everywhere I go.
When I asked D what he’s learned, all he said “Hurry up and wait” (*see number 3). That’s the Navy for you.
It’s definitely been a wild ride our first year in the military, I’m sure there are many more adventures ahead of us!