January 11, 2013

You Are Not an Octopus

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In the vast ocean of blogs out there, it's hard to make a lasting impression. 
Kate from Lima Oscar Victor Echo has managed to do that for me. 
Her posts are always memorable because they are so honest, and heartfelt, 
which can be difficult to find in blogland. She's definitely a lady I would love to meet someday- 
her quiet strength and determination make me admire her very much, including as she handles her husband's current deployment. I'm thrilled she's here to share with you today.

I'm a goal setter, a list maker, an "if I don't have a purpose I'll just start drooling", so when my husband came home with definite start dates for this deployment, I immediately starting throwing things in the "deployment goals" file. Things like lose 30 pounds and learn French, finally finish the 3 year old's baby book and maybe you know, decorate the entire house. 3 days into the deployment I caught a horrible stomach bug that lost me 4 pounds in 12 hours, and my very high energy daughter still needed a mommy. I broke. How was I supposed to do this? Alone? I realized two very practical things that day: I need a battle buddy, and I need to be realistic.

Most of my friends live in my computer and the rest of them have been left at past duty stations or moved on to others. Their encouragement is invaluable and knowing that they are all a call or tweet away is amazing, but having a literal extra set of hands when you need it is crucial. I know that in sweet Erika's case, an extra set of hands that actually understands what you are going through, or is going through it as well is near impossible to find, but find someone. The stomach bug, the first real grocery trip in 3 weeks, the hair cut, the walk around barnes and noble to remind yourself that you are more than a mom and a wife with a deployed husband - they are inevitable. You are not an octopus. Don't be afraid to say you need help. It isn't a sign of weakness, it's a sign of maturity.

This isn't our first deployment, so when I realized my goals were slightly out of reach, I felt like a failure. I've done this before so why can't I do all the things? My mantra was "thrive, not survive", but after a month of absolutely insane behavior on my daughter's part (I call it the "my daddy just left and I hate the whole world and will destroy all happiness" phase), even just surviving seemed unattainable. This is when the word REALISTIC became my best friend. When your spouse is home, do you have days where you can barely make it to lunch before eying the wine? Do you have moments where you say forget it, I'm running away to Spain? Do you ever feel completely overwhelmed with your other half right next to you? Do you (preaching to myself here) really think that those moments, those days, those failures are just going to go away when your sweetheart (and let's be honest, his extra set of hands) is thousands of miles away? Unreachable for days? Disconnected from your world? Show yourself some grace. Keep the goals, by all means, strive for better, stay busy, but don't think surviving and rolling in garbage are synonymous. Sing it at the top of your lungs like the happy exclamation that it is: I will survive! Call the good days thriving and the bad days surviving. Either way, you are amazing.

3 kind comments from you:

Jenn said...

Love this post! You speak the truth, lady!

Lindsay k said...

Great post. Off to check out your blog now!

Kathryn B said...

Great post!!!!

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