Oh the joys of a Military move! I sketch to relieve some stress so these sketches have been falling onto the pages of my sketchbook for weeks now. For all my friends that are Military families, you will probably embrace these and find some truth to my cartoons. For all my friends that are not military, I hope this will give you a small insight into what a military family goes through with each move.
Just like with the stages of grief, a PCS (permanent change of station = military move) has many stages for a military family. These five sketches will probably only touch on the many stages you could think of as you go through a move. But this is a start. And just like with the stages of grief, I have found myself going through these stages more than once with every move. During the times of a move, I have even found myself going through all five in one day.
The first stage I always start with is denial. Any military family waiting on orders from HR will tell you that until you know something in concrete, it's better to deny the move than to get too worked up over it. For us, we have known for over a year that this year we would be up for a move, but not until a few weeks ago did we know where, when or anything really. So living in denial is a great way we have found to go on with the day to day life. I must admit I am a planner and I love to plan, but sometimes it's so hard to plan on wishful thinking, or maybes, or possibilities. So denial is a great place to be!
The next stage may come right away for some, but it might not. Anger may be over your "where" (like in the above cartoon) or your "when" or even later in the move over details you just can't make better or plan for. But somewhere within a military move, I am guessing you will find a little bit of this stage. Hopefully you channel that anger for the good, and don't dwell on it. As I always tell my kids, it's OK to be angry, but it's what you do with that anger that matters!
The next stage we always find ourselves going through no matter when you do, is the Acceptance stage. Where you invest in your new location and begin to learn all about it. Whether that is in house hunting, school shopping, or just finding out more about the new location, there is a ton to find out about and plan for. For me, this stage will usually directly move me right into the next stage.
I must admit, I find myself in this stage over and over again throughout a move. Overwhelmed with the details of planning the actual move. Overwhelmed in getting the kids all connected into school, medical, extra-activities, and even the simple things like finding new hair dressers, dog groomers, and etc. Sometimes I even get overwhelmed just thinking about all the scaling down of household items before the movers come. If you are like me, we are always right at the edge of our weight for movers, so we never want to move things that we really don't need. And depending on how long we have been at the current location, will depend on how much scaling down is needed. And like I said earlier this is definitely a stage you might find yourself in more than once. It's OK, just slow down and take things one step at a time!
Eventually, whether you are ready or not, it happens! The move comes and you will do it. You will embrace it and most will survive it. There are so many details of a move, that there is few things better within a move for me than when we get to the point of the moving truck pulling away. You know at that point, there is not much else you can do and your things are moving on to your new location. If you are like me, you stop for a moment and say a little prayer that everything makes it there in one piece. (And when it doesn't, that will move you right back to the anger and overwhelmed stages on the other end of that move!) See these stages can be seen quite a few times throughout a move. Some things will go so smoothly and other things will have one hiccup after another. Just take a deep breathe and find a positive way to survive it.
My hope for all my readers, is that you embrace each and every move. Make the most of where you are and live life to the fullest. We don't always get to move to where we would like to, but every location you are in is where God wants you. Learn to embrace where you are and make memories.
So do you have a stage you go through during a PCS? One not listed here? Be sure to share with me, and give me more to sketch!
I hope you have enjoyed my sketches from my sketchbook today. This group of sketches have taken me a few days to pull together. But I definitely wanted to share them together. If you love them, be sure to share on your social media too. For quick sharing, find me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and more.
Have a PCS move coming or just went through one? Want to remember the never to forget move? Nomades Collections has this adorable "Here We Go Again" charm in their Life Moments Collection. Be sure to check it out.