Self-Imposed Family Separation – Geo-Bachelor by Choice

I just can’t do another move right now.  The thought of going through another move, so soon after moving to Paradise, moves me either to tears or flashes of anger.

I am getting burned out with being Mrs. Air Force always on the Move, always the Perpetual Newcomer.

This will be move #7 in 9 years and the constant move cycle with kids is not so much a fun adventure to me any more.

Add the fumbling of orders, the unexpectedness, the logistics, the decisions, the financial implications, the waiting, the unknown, the research.  All of that together stresses me out.  Does it and has it always worked out?  Yes, of course.  Have I always made the best of the situation and jumped right in to craft a life I love or at least can tolerate for the short amount of time we are there? Yes.  But the stress of moving on repeat, despite the resources available and the camaraderie of military families, has taken its toll on me.

After Hubby and I settled into the idea of looming change, we took serious consideration of our next step.  We usually embrace “Family first, no matter what.”  We have never really given much thought to a self-imposed separation.  Yet here we are, in a different stage of life, thinking about it.  I told Hubby through clenched teeth that we had to at least see if temporary separation could be a real possibility; otherwise, I feared my resentment of another move would consume me.  Sometimes, when it feels like 1 step forward and 2 steps back, it is hard to stay positive.  After spinning my wheels here in Hawaii thinking about forward motion towards education & career goals as we fast approach retirement, I found it crushing to give it all up for the time being to start focusing on the logistics of a move with kids, a dog, and too much stuff.

What about online school? What about this? What about that?  There are always options, but my point is that this requires a momentum shift and a lot more spinning of wheels to research different options.  And let’s be real – I have limited energy as it is and it’s hard for me to find balance, much less scraping my original plans and start researching online opportunities while overseas.

Hubby and I asked questions.  We crunched the numbers.  We made a short-term plan for the upcoming school year. We applied for a waiver to stay in Hawaii.

With gratitude, I gladly report that our waiver has been approved!

HUGE sigh of relief.

I feel grounded now through the swirl and whirlwind of this move for my husband.  It’s GO time in less than 4 weeks.  He’s TDY, of course.  He doesn’t have orders yet, of course.  It’s our normal operating procedure, but this time I’m standing clear, supporting from the sidelines, and not in the middle of the crazy.  I feel calm.  For now.

Things change.  All the time.  Control what you can.  Adjust your attitude to what you can’t.  And when possible, put your foot down and say “Enough! I need a break from this.”

We will reevaluate our options next spring. In the meantime, our hospitality hotel in Hawaii reopens in July.  Come visit!

Valerie

p.s. I came across this quote today:

“To live is the rarest thing in the world.  Most people just exist, that is all.” –Oscar Wilde

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Detaching from Montgomery – The Next Move is Approaching

We rolled into 2016, a new year of possibilities. It’s usually a time to jumpstart the routine, try new things, set some goals & resolutions.

Yet for me, it’s a time to fight the detachment from Montgomery. We rolled into a new year and I’m trying hard to stay in the present moment. I’m starting to shut down, closing myself off from here, detaching. I don’t need to accept any new invitations, or make new acquaintances, nor try too hard.

We know we will be moving in June (unless the Invisible Hand of Assignments surprises us.). We are waiting for assignment notification. Once we receive the notification (most likely in March), my head is in the new place. I will be researching the new location, searching online, visiting the area to find a place to live and to recreate our lives once again. I already have one foot out the door.

When I first arrive to a new place, I am open to Possibility. I am receptive. I invite. I look for openings for connection. I randomly drive around “exploring” to learn my way around.

This is exactly what I did upon arrival here to Montgomery – I started exploring, unpacked (mostly), found my way around, tried new things, met people, and started making my community. With seven months down, I have now met all who I am going to meet on this tour, which by the way has been plenty of very awesome people! The last five months in Montgomery are about maintaining what I have established. It’s about being present for my kids, their school events, finishing up my re-certification for massage therapy, fitness, an extended TDY, an upcoming graduation, and moving preparation. Oh, we might also squeeze in a few must-see sites and, in my dream world, another trip to the beach that actually involves lounging in the sand & surf.

Meanwhile, I am trying to make meaningful connection/time with the people I have met, although we all know, we are all just passing through. These are situational friendships. It doesn’t make the friendships less than. It is what it is. Thankfully with Facebook, there is a much better opportunity to stay loosely connected. (Aside: My friend Caputa from my South Dakota days, 15 years ago, just reconnected with me today on Facebook, after we had gone our separate ways many moons ago and had lost touch. Not intentional but just the way it is. I’m looking forward to his update! This brings a smile to my face to think about that time in our lives and now to learn about his current life.)

I don’t have much more time or energy to expend on the new anymore. I am in maintaining mode.

When do you start detaching? Or do you stay connected to the very end?

Valerie

A Year of Fun & Fitness in Montgomery, Alabama

Hello Nametag
I have recently relocated to Montgomery, Alabama (Maxwell AFB).

One question looming, as I unpack the house, navigate through a new city, get my family settled, is how much do I invest of myself in this community?

Our time here is short.  As I write, we are 3-months down of an 11-month stay.  Already the powers that be in Military Assignments are working on our next assignment.  I liken it to “Assignment Roulette,” as we truly have no control where the next assignment will be (although I’m hoping, not so secretly, that it’s DC!).

I think the holding pattern of thinking “I’m only here for 10 months – why bother?” is prevalent among the milspouse community here because of the nature and timing of the military school environment.  The local community, while welcoming, also knows it’s a revolving door of military families.

I can’t think about the next move yet, when I have a life right here and now to live presently and fully.   I do not want to be in a holding pattern.  Instead, I am using this time to pursue my self interests.   For the record, I considered working but my resume/track record/present career goals need a major overhaul before this is a viable option, but one that needs to be addressed before the next move.  (I will be exploring this topic at length this year because military spouse employment opportunities and challenges are a real issue for our community.)

I have decided that this is my year of writing and working out, aka fun & fitness.  These are things that I always want to do, but I frequently pushed them off my to do list at our last duty location in Texas.  I am writing and working out, no excuses.  I am making connections, making new friends and acquaintances.  I am volunteering.

I will leave Montgomery a better person, or at the very least, more fit.

How are you using your time and talents in your new location?

Valerie