This will be my first post addressing the hardest topic for me to talk about right now. My husband is leaving in a matter of weeks to be gone for a year serving our country. Often times, the people closest to us forget that we both serve. I may not be on the front lines, but instead I will be keeping the house together, providing support to my husband even though I am heartbroken myself, and making sure he has everything he needs while gone and before he leaves. Having been through this experience once before, a few things are different this time around.
1. The anticipation
This time I know what is going to happen. I know what it feels like to be lonely for a year. I know what it feels like to wait patiently. I know how most people try to relate, but they don’t understand. Three years ago when he left I had definitely not anticipated it being as hard as it was.
2. My schedule
The last deployment I was busy with a full time job, full time graduate school, and planning a wedding. This time, just a full time job. My priorities similar, but my time is spent differently. Fast forward 3 years later and for some reason this time I don’t think I can do it. I’m pretty sure I went through the different stages people talk about… denial, acceptance, etc.
3. Family network
This time around, my family network is not as readily available. Although we are just a few hours drive away, it is not as easy to get in the car and go. I am lucky and grateful to extended family such as people that haven’t met me at Dan’s job and others who have stepped up to help me.
4. Our family
Since our marriage in 2012, Dan and I want to build a family. This deployment will put that on hold. Some people may be okay going through it alone, but this is something that is important to both of us. What’s one more year right?
My Bucket List
After reading multiple posts and words of advice from military families, I decided it would be most helpful to create a bucket list of goals and activities I want to accomplish over this year. So here goes:
We live close to Veteran’s Park with beautiful hiking trails. Plus, Central Kentucky is filled with other glorious adventures just miles away! Our Bluetick will also enjoy all the physical activity. Here he is, ready to go!
2. Work out consistently
This goal should be on everyone’s list regardless of deployment. I fell a little off the workout wagon, so hoping to make this more of a daily routine. The trick is to find what you enjoy and working out won’t seem too bad. For me it’s mainly yoga and running.
3. Doggie time
Yep, that’s right! Blue and Kim time. Hanging out with my dog will provide companionship and add responsibility to my daily routine, so I have no option to lay in bed sad.
There are so many great sites in driving distance. Plus, I can explore some flea markets to dig for hidden treasures. And visit places like Nashville where close friends live. And of course, travel to Cincinnati to see our families. Here are two of our silly nieces last year and a picture of beautiful Kentucky near Keeneland.
5. Painting and crafts!
I absolutely love art or anything creative and this is the perfect opportunity to spend my extra time. Not only is art therapeutic, but creates decoration for the house too.
6. Starting my furniture business
I really can’t wait to get this up and running. Who knew that transforming an old piece of furniture could bring so much joy. There are people in need of unique, vintage, affordable furniture and I hope to deliver!
7. Decorating our new house/DIY
One project at a time. First accomplished project was painting our brass doorknobs bronze. Stay tuned for a post on how easy this is!
8. Making Christmas gifts
I always enjoy receiving handmade gifts. This is a way to add more thought into a gift as well. It will keep me busy during the toughest season to be alone 😦 Here is a silly gift I made last year. It’s an Altoid’s tin that was filled with cutout puppies and cats flying on rainbows for my niece!
9. Send care packages
Although Dan will be in the states, he is still away from home. I get homesick just from being gone during one weekend. Hopefully I can send a little piece of home with each package.
10. Connect with other military spouses
Military spouses understand things about deployment and military that others can’t. Other friends and family couldn’t be kinder, but there is just something about support from someone who has walked in your shoes that cannot be replaced.
11. BLOG ABOUT IT ALL!!
The reason I am blogging is to help others and let them know they are not alone. This is a true group effort! Blogging will also help me channel my thoughts.
Hey, maybe I will get to run at the National Mall again.
I want to mention there are so many great resources available for those facing deployment. Not only blogs, but websites with more information than you can possibly sift through. Here are a couple of my favorite blogs:
Singing through the Rain
Jo My Gosh
So there you have it! This a just a start to my next year, which I will soon be facing when Dan leaves after Thanksgiving. I couldn’t be more proud of my husband and how this is just another example of his hard work and dedication to our family. I am happy and proud to serve alongside him. Not that it is easy by any means, but when you don’t have a choice you just pick up and keep going.
I hope this post is helpful to others facing deployment. You are not alone.
Thanks for reading!