"Worrying does not empty tomorrow of its troubles. It empties today of its strength."
I'm a worrier. A BIG worrier--about everything...and I do mean everything. Life in the Marine Corps is a big source of my worrying. It's HIS job, but it's also MY life. I complain. I feel like I have done way more than my fair share of complaining and whining about hardships and obstacles brought on by his career. I feel bad for that, but I think sometimes we just have to let it all out.
I also have a bad habit of ALWAYS thinking the "next step" in any tough situation is going to be easier than the present. I guess it's a coping mechanism to get me through whatever stuff I am going through in the moment. I think that next semester will be better in school; next week I won't have so much to do; next summer vacation I WILL read those novels. And one of the biggest thinking faux-pas has to do with Marine wife life. If I can just get through this separation/once we get to the next duty station/once he's promoted... The list goes on. Specifically, through our last duty station of 2 deployments in about 2 years, I kept thinking "if I can just get through this deployment things will be better" and "once we are out of this unit things will be fine...afterall, he won't 'deploy' there."
What I failed to recognize was how much we had changed during those two years. I also forgot to think about the fact that just because he doesn't "deploy" doesn't mean his job is any less demanding--it doesn't mean he won't still be gone a lot of the time. Sure, his longest trip in one shot is about 6 weeks here--but add that up a few times, plus a week or ten days here and there, a month every summer and the long weekends all the time and he's STILL gone months out of the year. This is not "normal" in any sense of the word.
But who am I comparing myself to? Civilians? Students? I have no idea. And it doesn't matter--it's just part of that purposeless thinking and worry I impose on myself. Now I am kicking myself for diving into a PhD program during this in-between-deployments-time. But, I know I wouldn't have been happy if I didn't and would have just complained that the Marine Corps was putting up another barrier to my success. And that would have been all in my mind, too.
EVERYONE has their struggles and hardships--not just military families. Sure, ours are different, but it's time that I stop thinking that somehow I have it too hard. I have an amazing family. Sure, we have our problems and my marriage is far from a perfect story book, but aren't most people's? It works for us. Plus, I have an amazing opportunity to further my education and I wouldn't be able to do that WITHOUT my husband's career, that provides for us without necessitating that I make a certain amount of income myself. We get to travel and meet amazing people all over the place. I have it great...I am so lucky!
What I struggle with is the mindset of always waiting for the rug to be pulled out from underneath me. When is all of this greatness going to come crashing down? Right now, one of those issues is always feeling like my life is structured around deployments. Now, I'm in-between deployments, yet somehow those deployments are still my reference frame and are still dictating thoughts, plans, and fears. I have to get beyond that. I don't know how, I just do. So here's for trying to live for the moment, despite the fact I know the dirty reality of deployments will cast its dark shadow on us again...sooner than I wish. But here's to trying to enjoy the present and finding strength in every day in-between. When the time comes that deployment is upon us again, I work on finding that strength in THAT moment. But for now, I'm just going to work on being thankful!