“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.
- 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.
- 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.