Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Tips to "Dance in the Rain"!

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As we travel through our military years, life always brings foggy moments.  By that I mean, times when you just don't know which way to turn or what to do next.  Because our lives are forever changing in the military, sometimes we are just too close to the fog to see through it.  Or sometimes there isn't any seeing through it until the fog lifts.  Patience is something that I struggle with on a daily basis.  One reason is I am a planner.  And although military life can be very structured, it has a LOT of foggy moments.

My drive to school on 30 Jan 2013!

For example, we all know that certain things in the military are inevitable, like PCS moves, deployments, and one day a retirement.  BUT we can't always predict when, where or even for how long, so the fog settles in.  Many times I find myself feeling that fog and frustration, because I just want to know what comes next.

Today my fog comes from the fact that we might have to retire in a year, and then again we might not. We won't know until sometime around mid-August and there is nothing we can do to find out sooner or to change the outcome now.  It is just a sit and wait game.  I find that very frustrating.

So what to do in these moments.  What has always helped me, is to be as proactive as possible.  To look at both sides of the coin and research as much as possible.  We like to call that getting our ducks in a row.  And although you can't plan for every situation, it is comforting to know that you did your best to prepare.  I also truly believe that God knows what is best for my family and the he plays a huge role in knowing what we need to be doing and where we are heading.  So on days I feel the most frustrated, I go to God and pray.  I don't pray for the wisdom to know what is coming, I usually just pray for the peace to live in the moment and that God will keep us moving on the correct path to achieve our goals in the coming future.  In the meantime, I try my hardest to LOVE the ride!!! (so to speak!)

Wave


Another example for you: In 2011 my husband was deployed to Afghanistan for the third time with the 101st Division, 159th CAB.  We had been at Fort Campbell for almost 8 years and both knew that upon return from that deployment we would be moving.  Well we embraced the fact that a move was coming and although we didn't know to where we began preparing our kids and getting them excited for what comes next.  About 6 months into the year long deployment HR began talking to my husband about his possibilities.  There weren't too many options, but ones we could definitely live with.  The first was a move to Sweden.  Wow, you can only imagine my overwhelming feelings with that one, as I knew my 18 year old daughter (at the time) would definitely not be going with us, due to college in FL. And my 23 year old disabled son, said immediately he didn't want to go and asked if he could stay with Grandma.  Well that would mean two years with our 11 year old as an only child.  We embraced it, began researching what it would be like and then boom.  We get the word, that the option has been taken off the table, because of the timing of the deployments return and the need to have someone in Sweden earlier than we could make it.  So what was next.  Well we found out a few weeks later that CCAD in Texas would be our next and probably only option.  Again we embraced it, and drove forth with the preparing and planning.  Then about one month prior to the deployment ending, my husband gets an email from HR offering him a totally different job.  If he was interested in this one it would have to meet GEN approval and he would need to be nominated for it, but HR didn't think that would be a problem.  The location was one that we knew our youngest would be thrilled over.  It was in New England and since my 11 year old is one of the biggest New England Patriots fans on this earth, we knew he would be head over hills for it.  So with all the changing we waited....we didn't want to get hopes up and plan again for something that might change.  So again we sat in a fog.  This time the fog lasted for about 2 weeks.  (Yes you can imagine how hard it is to wait!)  Then it became official.  As that fog lifted and we knew for certain (we hoped) where we would be moving to this time, we began making as many plans as possible.  Fortunately this one held true and we moved to Seymour, CT in August of 2012!

I have found life to be very similar to the weather.  There are bright sunny days, there are stormy days, there are foggy days, and sometimes we all need a snow day to slow down and relax.  Embrace the day your in.  Do what you can, but most importantly remember that sometimes we as humans can only do so much to affect the weather.  I have a close friend and mentor (we called her Aunt Vicki) that passed away 2 almost 3 years ago from cancer who used to love the saying....

dancing in the rain


She so inspired me to live in the moment and enjoy where you are, no matter what the challenges are you face.

So the next time you are feeling the fog, and are frustrated about something you can't change or affect, just remember to "Enjoy the Ride" and "Dance in the Rain"!!!

Enjoy!


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