Monday, April 15, 2013

“And one by one the nights between our separated cities are joined to the night that unites us.” - Pablo Neruda

My husband PCSed last week.  It's our first separation since before we were married, so nearly three years, and I thought I knew what it was going to be like.  I was so wrong. 
In the months since we decided that I would follow him two months after he PCSed, I was very cavalier about the separation.  I remember thinking and saying, "what's two months, we've been apart longer," and "we'll have Skype so it's not like we won't see each other."  Well I was wrong.  Not about those statements, but about the idea that because we've been through times where I only got 3 emails from him a week, or that in one year we were separated for nearly ten months.  I was wrong when I thought this would somehow be easier on us because this wasn't as bad as other times.
Ben has been on shore duty for three years now.  We're out of practice at this!  The last time he deployed, we were engaged, not married, we didn't have a dog, we didn't have a house, most of our friends were single, and I had a job.  Things are different now.  We've evolved into this solid unit and I don't know how to change again.
It's not that I'm not independent, in fact I love doing things on my own.  Taking myself out on a "date" once a month is something I look forward to.  Ben goes out with his friends weekly, they go to the bars, they go to the cigar shop (literally for hours), and I'm perfectly content to spend the evening or day by myself, knitting.  It doesn't bother me to be on my own.  What I was completely unprepared for was the emptiness of this house.  I just forgot.  Because when he's near the house is full of some undefinable energy that makes life...possible. 
I've become this person who loves to get things done.  I actually enjoy keeping the house clean, doing laundry, and all the little things that go into maintaining a home.  This was my first weekend alone, and yesterday I spent the day watching TV.  I can't remember the last time I did that, even when Ben would beg me to sit down and take a break.  I don't like breaks, I like being busy.  So.  What I've decided is that I need some goals to accomplish while we're separated.  Not because I have nothing to do and not because I "don't know what to do with myself", but because without my best friend here, I feel adrift. 

  • Goal 1- Lose another 10 pounds.  I've lost about 35 so far, and I have another 40 to go.  My issues with weight loss is an entirely different post.
  • Goal 2-  Learn how to make a food that intimidated me before.  I seriously can't cook rice, even in a rice cooker.
  • Goal 3- Take Buddy on at least one walk a day.
  • Goal 4- Finish at least two knitting or crocheting projects.

I think that's a healthy start.  These are things I really should have been working on before, but I think actually writing out goals helps keep things in front of you.  It can be so easy to say, why do I need to make the bed today, no one's going to see it, or I finally have complete control over the TV, lets watch that Teen Mom marathon!  There is nothing wrong with allowing  yourself a break, as long as the "break" doesn't become your life while he's gone. 

Military word for the day: PCS
What it means                 : Permanent Change of Station
Where it comes from      : It's an initialism, which is a type of acronym.  These are really common throughout the military, if you haven't already noticed.  There are a ton of things to do when you're getting ready to PCS, as soon as your spouse gets those orders, make sure you contact either the Family Readiness Group (FRG - see?  I told you!), or the Ombudsman to find out what you have to do, because believe it or not, there is a ton of stuff you can help with that will make the process easier.              

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