Surviving Deployment

survivingdeplo“At first I was afraid, I was petrified
Kept thinkin’ I could never live without you by my side”

Let’s face it, it doesn’t matter if you’re a wife/husband or just dating-deployments suck! Okay, seriously- they aren’t THAT bad, just really annoying. You know, cause everyone likes to be known as the third wheel, hairy gorilla, sexually deprived person who sits in front of the TV with a pint of Ben and Jerry’s crying over Army Wives. Nah, we don’t really do that or at least admit that we do.

While these are situations you can’t control during a deployment, there are ways to make light of the situation during those 7-8 months (or longer). Believe it or not, positive things can come out of the distance and lack of communication, especially if you keep yourself busy. If you ask anyone who’s been through a deployment, they’ll tell you that. But what does keeping busy mean? Well, here are some things I’ve come up with on how to keep busy:

  • Set goals: Write down a list of things you want to accomplish by the end of the deployment. Make realistic goals; goals that are measurable and can be achieved by a specific time. For example: “I want to lose 15 lbs in 3 months” or “I want to travel to at least 2 new places by (insert date).” It’s really important that you don’t lose sight of what your goals are, so keep the list where you can see it on a daily basis.IMG_3307
  • Focus on improving yourself for you, for example:
    • Health- now’s a great time to get into a workout routine/healthy eating pattern if you haven’t already. Attend those doctor appointments you may have been avoiding (ex. dentist, primary physician).
    • Managing money- maybe you’re slacking in the credit card department and you need to get out of debt. Take a money management class or meet with a financial adviser. Sit down and write out where your money goes for an entire month and figure out where you can eliminate unnecessary spending.
  • Show your partner you care: It’s important that you make time to make your partner feel special (and they should do the same), especially since mostly likely they aren’t happy with where they are. Some ways you can do that:
      • Care packages- Care packages can be really fun to make, especially if they have a specific them (ex. birthday, holiday).
      • Letters: These are super old school, but you will definitely cherish these forever!

     

  • Plan a post-deployment vacation: When my husband was away, we planned a trip to Disney World. Not only was it fun to plan out a trip, but it also gave us something to look forward to for when he returned.

aj-garcia-225308.jpg

  • Spend more time with family and friends: Catch up with those you may have lost contact with.
  • Try new things: Step out of your comfort zone and try something new! For myself, it was running my first 5K.
  • Do things your partner hates doing: Remember that time you wanted to go to the boy band concert and your partner wasn’t down to go (or maybe that’s just my situation)? Or want to eat at that sushi restaurant but they don’t like sushi? Well now’s the perfect time to go without them!

Have some tips of your own? Please feel free to include them in the comments.

Angelica Lee (4)

Advertisements

5 tips on how to make a long distance relationship work

longdistancerelationshipA long distance relationship (otherwise known as LDR) isn’t for everyone and it really takes work from both parties. When I look back on my 2 ½ year long distance relationship there were some things that played a vital role in keeping the relationship healthy and exciting. So I’ve decided to create a list of my LDR tips.

1. COMMUNICATE- The most important part of any relationship is communication but with an LDR it takes a lot more work and is more meaningful. Why? Well it’s really easy to go a day or two without speaking to someone when you are able to see them on a regular basis. Communication should occur as often as possible even if it’s via text. When my husband and I first started talking we spoke every second of the day and would even lose sleep just to talk to each other. Okay.. Maybe we were a bit extreme and we’ve toned down since but what’s important is you make time to talk. None of this-“I’m gonna wait until he texts me” or “I’m too busy to contact her today” excuses. The reason communication is especially important for an LDR is because you cannot provide your partner with the same type of attention you would if you were physically there. All you have is communication, really.

2- MAKE PLANS- What are you going to do the next time you see each other? After all, time is a valuable thing to waste. Making plans can really help keep the relationship exciting because it gives you and your partner something more to look forward to. You also don’t get the opportunity to experience doing things together on a regular basis and it’s important you make this time to do those things when you see each other. Plans could be going to the movies, museum, dinner dates, zoo, ice skating, etc. My husband and I made a bucket list together and actually accomplished most of what was on the list.

3- SET GOALS- Where do you see this relationship going in a couple of months? Years? If you’ve just started dating you probably don’t have long term relationship goals because you are just getting to know each other. Once you’ve established a serious relationship it’s important to figure out where it is headed and when the distance will come to an end. If you need to finish school before then or have to move, you’ve got to start preparing for that.

4- GET SUPPORT- If you don’t have a friend or family member to support your LDR it’s important to find someone who does. There are plenty of support blogs & groups, especially for military relationships on social media sites including tumblr, wordpress, and Facebook. Even though I had many people who supported our relationship I found useful information from these Facebook groups. I had no idea what to expect dating someone in the military and had a lot of questions that no one I knew could answer.

5- BE INDEPENDENT- Just because you are in an LDR doesn’t mean you have to sit by your phone and wait for them to call you. One of the best ways to handle distance is to keep yourself busy and have a life of your own. This may mean going out with your friends, working, or going to school to better your career.

 

Feel free to share your tips in the comments!

Angelica Lee (4)