I like the metaphor that deployment is like running a marathon. There are so many similarities and in a way, it helps me normalize the emotions that are running through our family. Ironically, we have about 26 weeks of deployment, probably a little more, but it works for the analogy.
There are nerves before a big race and doubts if you can actually complete it. Just like before a deployment.
The race begins and you take off. You think, "I've got this!". Sure, you glance down a few times at your watch to check your speed, but your enjoying the feeling of all the nerves finally settling down. The race you've been training for is finally here and now you can just enjoy each mile.
Just like the first few weeks of deployment. You take over the bed and watch a few movies you've been dying to see and enjoy a few simple meals.
But then mile 6 hits. Your legs are starting to feel the run. You're starting to get thirsty but have another few miles until a water station. You start to panic that you still have 20 more miles to go and wonder how you will endure the rest of the race.
This is where we are in deployment. Mile 6. We are starting to feel the burn. We miss Ben, Ben misses us and we're all a little down. And we have 20 more to go.
In a race, you have to settle into that discomfort. You have to become comfortable with the uncomfortable. You take a gu and let your mind go somewhere else.
I told the kids this analogy today and told them that we just need to find our gu and our distraction.
Be warned if you think this is a great idea. A 9, 6 and 4 year old do not get analogies and real life metaphors. They were like, "Okay, let's go get some gu!" We walked to the park and Eli asked if he could run ahead and asked for his gu. He literally took me literally. Face palm.
Seriously though, I've been thinking today about what our gu and mental distraction can be. How can we become comfortable with the uncomfortable?