I saw this phrase on a decorative sign. It was supposed to be cute, but all I could think was, "No." Love him like we're both stressed out? Love him like I'm tired because no body in this house is sleeping well? Love him like I tear up every time some one prays for him? Love him like I'm freaking out that we can't communicate over simple things and how in the world are we going to communicate with oceans between us and a 10 hour time difference?! No. I want to love him like he just came home. Like we've counted down the minutes to being together. I want to love him with that overwhelming feeling you get when you finally get to hold each other after months apart.
People keep asking me how I'm doing and all I can say is "I don't know". I really don't know. My brain is saying, "No, no. We just did this. And then we moved across the country. Settling into life in the dessert and planning a new school year is what we're doing, not deployment." SO, that means that the processing of deployment won't happen until Ben is actually gone. I'm not sure that's healthy, but it's where I am.
I'm trying to keep perspective. I'm choosing to write it out so when the really stinky days come, I can look back and remind myself of the good.
We have to keep an eternal perspective or we will crumble. If our perspective is Ben is working for the government and they are sending him away, then it's devastating, especially if you think of it long term..."what if he doesn't promote and his career is over and all of this is for nothing?". But if we keep in the forefront of our brains that Ben is a missionary, going to spread God's word to the nations, then it's worth it. For our kids, Daddy isn't just gone for work, Daddy is spreading Jesus' love and serving His people.
I also have to remind myself that just because Ben is home, doesn't make life perfect. Deployment will pass, he will come home and there will still be some thing uncomfortable that will happen. Some times this thought makes me fear the future, but then it reminds me to just take life a day at a time and be thankful for what I can.
A friend once said, "Life is like a constant flow of transitions". She's not even a military wife, yet feels that in her own "ordinary" life. Some times I envy my friends with "ordinary" lives, but this was a great reminder to me. I feel like we've had way too many transitions in our life, but everyone's life is full of transitions and even when this transition is done, there will be another one. I need to embrace today for what it is and accept that something is changing with every day in life.
One change I welcome this deployment is that my kids are a little older and able to help a little more around the house. The last few weeks, every time I get out our steam cleaner, the kids have asked to take turns using it. Um, YES! It may not be as uniform as I like, but it gets the puppy paw prints off the floor, which is a big win in my books.
Also reminding myself this go around to take care of myself better. Anyone reading this can remind me of this at any time. You may have to make me. Just this morning I was telling Ben that I need to get a haircut in the next few days before he leaves and he said, "No. This time you are going to hire a babysitter and are taking an afternoon for yourself to go to the salon. It doesn't matter how much it costs, you have to take time for yourself." I need people to tell me these things. I will use paper plates and order pizza and hire babysitters and go for runs and find things I enjoy doing and do them!
This week, Eli and I worked on a puzzle. We both really enjoy puzzles and I found it really soothing. I feel weird even admitting that, but it's true. So, for the next 7 months, a puzzle will probably be on our dining room table, because it makes me happy and I'll sit and sip some tea and get absorbed in it for a little bit and ignore the kids for just long enough that they know life is not all about them :)
The chaplain in Ben says it's good to have goals for deployment. He has 4! I have zero. His goals are to save money, run some races on base, memorize scripture and eat a gyros. My list is blank and I'm okay with that. I'm okay with zero expectations on myself. If nothing happens and the kids and I just hang out at home eating pizza, that's great. I feel like last time I had lots of plans and when I wasn't able to keep any plans or meet any goals, I felt like a failure. Really, it wasn't a failure, I just had unrealistic expectations. So this time, I'll rock deployment, because if I do nothing, I win.
That was a really random post, but I think that's how my brain is going to be for awhile.