Archives for the month of: January, 2012

So I thought that I would do a weekly post of a fun/cute/inspiring photo I found through the week. I had this inspiration this week when I found the following photo on Pinterest, pinned it to my ‘happy snap’ folder and then realised that that folder is FULL of awesome pics I would love to share with the world. So that’s what I’m going to do, share them with the world (well with you, my readers, which probably isn’t more than like my mum and g’ma, but that’s ok, they need happy snaps too. hehe).

Oh, and p.s. if you don’t have Pinterest you need it…now.

Anyway…so here it is…the first sunday snap…

I know it's not an Aussie soldier, but it's so cute! it made me smile.

Hello All,

Something from my favorite blog, To Love a Soldier today. When I first took refuge in Megan’s blog, this ‘poem’ made me cry (at work, on a night shift where I was reading it). It is so beautiful, and I know that Megan poured her heart into it. So once again, thank you Megan for your inspiring and uplifting words…

A Soldier’s Promise …

I cannot promise you every night of my life. I cannot promise to be beside you for every difficult moment, every trial, every hardship. In truth, I can promise you that I will not be with you for most. I will leave you at inconvenient times. I may miss the births of our children. Any special date to us may be tainted with the anniversary of the death of one of my friends. I will ask you to take over whatever life we have built together for months and years at a time. And will then crash back into that life that you have used your sweat and your tears and your heartache to keep together and try to take it back as I knew it before. I will shut you out at times because it will be the best way for me to hold it together at that moment. I will lie to you. I will tell you I don’t know things when I do. I will not always tell you where I am going, when I will be back, or who I am with. I may not call you for weeks and months and you will not be able to call me. You will ask questions that I won’t answer. You will know answers to questions that you will hope you never need. I will share things with my brothers that you will never understand. They will know things about me that you never will. They will be a support to me in some things that you cannot be. I will miss birthdays. I will miss anniversaries. I will have to get to know our children over and over again. I may need time to process things that seem natural to everyone else. It will seem that someone – or something – will always take precedence over you. You may lose me long before you ever thought possible. I will uproot you and ask you to re-establish our family anywhere in the world, in any season, at any time – over and over again. Sand and mud will be tracked through your halls from the boots I am too tired to take off. I will leave you when you beg me not to. I will stand at attention while you cry beside me. I will not turn my head and I will walk away. I will knowingly break your heart. And I will do it again – and again.

I cannot promise you all of me. I cannot promise that to our children. I cannot promise you much of anything.

But if you will have me, I can promise that as I march away from you it is not without sharing your heartache. I promise you that every time I break your heart I will be breaking mine. Every time that I cannot answer you I will be protecting you. Whenever you want to call and you have no number to dial I will be wanting to do the same. I will protect everything that we have created together with every fiber of my being while you do the same back at home. I will honor you in everything – every moment that we are apart and every moment that I am with you. I will fight harder and push further knowing that I do so for you. I will see the faces of our children in every life that I protect. And I will carry you with me in everything until my sandy boots once again sit just inside our door. 

An Army Wife’s promise …

I cannot promise that I will not become frustrated when you leave me and the world seems to fall apart around me. I cannot promise that I will not curse those who sent you when the dryer breaks, and the transmission needs to be replaced, and the dog eats the couch all in the same week – most likely the week after you deploy. I cannot promise that the sand and mud that cakes my floor will not cause me to give you harsh looks and rude thoughts. I cannot promise that my heart will not be torn in twelve different ways when you march away from me. I cannot promise that I will not let my anger show when you refuse to answer questions. I cannot promise to understand why you share things with your comrades that you will not share with me. I cannot promise that there won’t be times when my heartache makes its presence known before my pride can mask it. I cannot promise that I will not show my worry and my concern when it is best for you not to see it. I cannot promise to understand why you do so many of the things you do.

But I can promise that for as many tears of sadness and frustration and anger that are shed there will be double that of tears of pride. I can promise you that for every time you are away from me, I will learn to cherish the times that you are with me. In everything I will honor you and honor your sacrifice. I can promise to teach our children to do the same. I will use every moment that you are not with them to showthem the amazing man that you are through my actions and my pride. I can promise that there will never be a night where you are not the subject of my final prayer and the keeper of my dreams. I promise to try to be understanding that there are many things I will never understand. I promise to keep you with me in everything and to do my best to keep grace in this life. I will be strong for you as you are strong for me and I will carry you with me in every moment until your sandy boots again sit just inside our door.

Copied (with thanks) from To Love a Soldier

I am a terrible blogger. I’m sorry I go so long between posts. I don’t have any excuses; but I do have explanations hehe. The puppy of course is just all consuming, but I love him (and I definitely think that Army Wife Lesson #16.5 should be ‘get a dog’!); I’ve also been working heaps. Mostly though, I haven’t really had much to say, nothing has really been happening in my life, and I don’t want to write just because it’s time, because then I write stupid, boring things.

Right now it’s all about the countdown (actually, maybe we will talk about this in greater detail in the next post…see I just came up with a topic! yay!)…wasting time until March Out! But that isn’t what this post is about…this post is about friendship.

I have a very hard time making friends. I had a friendship (more like sisterhood), end very badly when I was 16, and since then I have had a really hard time letting anyone in. I have friends, and I love them, but it takes a loooong time to feel totally comfortable with them, and even then, there are times when I feel very awkward, like I don’t know what to say, or how to act. Anyway…(gee I ramble!) that is why this sudden friendship is such a surprise to me!

I told you all how SB & I went to Sydney over Christmas, and how we met up with his ‘best kapooka buddy’ & his partner. Well…I was sooooo nervous about meeting them, her mostly, because I know I’m really bad at first impressions. But it was amazing, I immediately felt at ease with her, and we spent the whole night talking and I didn’t feel awkward once. Now, of course, I can only speak for myself, she may think I am super annoying and a total psycho (which I probably am, hehe). But for my part, I can say that I have never hit it off with someone so fast! Since leaving Sydney, we have exchanged numbers, and we text each other almost daily.

Now ladies (this mostly applies to any future Army Wives who may read this at the start of their own journey, because you more seasoned wives, no doubt, have already learnt this), there are days where I honestly do not think I could stay positive, or keep it together if it wasn’t for her support and encouragement. There is something about the uniqueness of this life that allows for an instant bond. In that moment in Sydney, after weeks of feeling so alone and confused and exhausted by the roller coaster of emotions I had experienced, I needed someone who was at exactly the same place as me, and J was that, and is that. We support each other, and celebrate together. We fantasise about our futures and share our fears. She is at exactly the same place in this whole process as I am, and it is so nice to have someone to turn to that truly does know just what I’m going through. I’m so grateful to have met her, and I can’t wait to celebrate our guys March Out in 1 month!

Now obviously I have already encountered some fellow WAGS who were less than supportive, but there will always be mean people in the bunch. But you can’t let that stop you from trying to meet people, because you will miss out on the person that holds your hand through all the bad, and who cheers with you through all the good! So Lesson #17 is to make friends with other WAGS because they really are a lifesaver!

Oh and J, I hope this doesn’t make you think I am a psycho (even more than you already do, hehe).

Axxxx

As an Army Wife, I live in constant wait of my phone. It never leaves my side; in fact, I keep saying that I need some sort of holster (I’m thinking something like the gun holsters cowboys wear on their legs in old westerns) for my phone.

Having said this, what happens when the phone finally does ring is less…intense. It always starts the same;
“how are you?”
“good, how are you?”
“good. Whatcha been up to?”
“(a quick synopsis of what he’s been learning). What about you?”
“nothing really, just work and taking care of Lando. ( a quick update on Lando’s development and training follows). Soooo….what’s the plan for this week?”
“(blah blah, this and that). You?”
“more of the same”

All of this takes all of 2 minutes and then suddenly we come to silence, and “sooooo”‘s. The fact is, there is not enough time to get into anything deeper than this, to setup a funny anecdote of something that has happened, or to truly discuss something. So instead we keep it light. But what is there really to say at the end of the day? Each day is really exactly the same as the next, and like I said, anything worth mentioning either takes too long or isn’t appropriate for over the phone. Because don’t forget, there are certain things that are best kept to ourselves. SB doesn’t need to know about anything that will stress him out and that he can’t do anything about anyway; that’s part of our job; to handle these things while they are gone.

On the other hand, you never know when your next call will be, so like so many other things in this life, there is great pressure to make the minutes count. I feel like every minute we spend silent is a waste, but for the life of me I cannot think of anything to say. My life is honestly just a repetitive, boring cycle. But I love talking to him, hearing his voice, it’s just frustrating when there is nothing to say. But, of course, I would rather sit on the phone, silently, listening to him breathe than not hear from him at all.

So in between what you don’t have time to say, and what you don’t have to say at all, what do you talk about when you get phone time? As always, I love to hear your feedback!

Axxxx

I was driving to the coast with my mum and sister yesterday, and of course the Army came up. I began to think of those movies where the wife complains because her husband works long hours and doesn’t come home until, say like 2200. I started to complain to mum & V about these women and ‘how dare they complain when, at least their husband comes home at night eventually’; and then my sister stopped me and together they made a point that I think is a useful lesson.

Life is not a competition of misery. What we deal with is hard, but that doesn’t mean that the woman who waits up at night for her husband to come home from work, or the woman who has a sick child, or anyone else with problems are any less “worthy” of complaining. Comparing our difficulties to others is a dangerous path to go down. By feeling that our own sufferings are the only ‘just’ ones, we segregate ourselves, as individuals and as the collective ‘army wives’, and alienate others.

Our civi friends and family may not always fully understand, but if we continually feel that their problems are less important, we will burn bridges and become arrogant. We should be building each other up, sharing our struggles, and supporting and encouraging one another; not tearing each other down by petty ‘pissing contests’. (why do we want to be the one to ‘suffer most’ anyway – that’s just weird! hehe)

I struggle with this one, because all I want to do when someone complains about (lets keep using the example) their partner being late for dinner is scream “well at least he comes home eventually!”. But I can’t do this. I suppose the point which I have so poorly tried to illustrate is that you have to appreciate the difficulties that other people go through, without comparing them to your own, or else, when you really need someone to support you through your struggles, you won’t have anyone left.

Sorry I’ve been so absent lately…this whole puppy business is WAY more demanding than I expected (hence why I’m writing this at 5:30 am…puppy’s up!). Since my last post I’ve basically just been cleaning up puppy accidents and going to sleep at 2000; but I did try something interesting yesterday that I thought I would share…

This time around, SB leaving has upset me more, maybe it’s the puppy, or the realisation that our entire lives are going to involve saying hello and goodbye all the time…but anyways, I’m feeling rather stressed; so I suggested to my bestie that we try yoga. Not just any yoga either…Bikram Yoga. For anyone that doesn’t know, Bikram Yoga is yoga done in a hot room, we’re talking like 40 degrees (celsius, for my farenheit people that’s around like 110ish) (I actually don’t know the exact temp, but it certainly feels that hot, it was hotter than outside, and outside it was 36).

Anyways…so in my head I’m picturing something like the few yoga classes I took in the states (5ish years ago); relaxing, comforting, simple, just done in a hot-ish room. I pictured this…

What I thought it would be like

We start the workout and suddenly I realise that this is not relaxing, calm yoga; this is extreme, kill-me-now-please yoga! Suddenly we’re being asked to do things like this…

you want me to do what?

There is added pressure because there is a woman in her 60’s, who never takes a break – and it was only here second class!!! I on the other hand spent a fair amount of the class sitting on my mat, trying not to vomit/faint, and mentally apologising to my friend for putting her through this torture (too bad we aren’t telepathic!).

I wanted to show you a picture of what we actually looked like, but 1. we didn’t take one yesterday, 2. every picture of sweating, post workout people I could find on Google images (where I got all the photos, by the way), are actually models. So use your imagination to turn this WAY too attractive picture of a sweating model into a picture of what we looked like post-Bikram…

picture this, but with hair sticking up in every direction, a much redder face (we're talking tomatoes here people) and a look of exhaustion and shock (i.e. nix the smile - we were not smiling)

Bikram was terrifying, exhausting, sweaty, and just plain hard, but after the ‘woah-that-is-not-what-I-thought-yoga-was-like’ feeling wore off, I felt great! Besides granny who had crazy stamina, there really was no pressure to do everything or to, for instance, get your leg over your head on the first day. It made my body feel great and all that sweat makes for happy skin, and working that hard, while not relaxing, did de-stress me! So we (well I, I don’t know about my friend hehe) will be going back…bring it on Bikram!

What are some ways you all de-stress?

A****

Hello All! I’ve missed you. hehe I’m excited to get back to blogging.

I had a great time with SB the last 3 weeks, and saying goodbye to him this morning was really hard, as was the readjustment…which is lesson 15!

Gee, well (of course) I had read something about how readjusting when your soldier comes home is hard, that’s to be expected I guess, but I really had no idea the extent and form in which the difficulties would arise. I guess maybe, probably I underestimated how much I’ve changed in the month he was gone. I became so much more dependent, and I’ve learnt to enjoy the solitude. Of course I miss him, and I hope no one gets the wrong idea with this post, of course I would rather have him home, but I said I was going to be honest with this blog, and the honest truth is that there were some times when he was here where I wanted him to get out of my space and go back to Kapooka.

I began to miss only having to entertain myself, and only having myself to answer to. When he’s gone I can watch what I want, eat what I want, be as lazy as I want, go to sleep when I want, and just generally be selfish (hehe); but while he was here I felt like I needed to entertain him, and I felt like my ‘authority’ and toes were being stepped on occasionally.

Because the time is so short, and it’s been a while since we’ve seen each other, there is also so much pressure! There is pressure to repair any cracks that may have appeared while you were apart, theres pressure to seem nothing but overjoyed at all times, and most of all there is the pressure to make it ‘magical’. We had this issue on our honeymoon as well (granted we only got 2 nights at the Mariott at the Gold Coast because I had to start uni on the tuesday, and they treated us like crap); when time is limited or it’s an ‘event’ that feels like it should warrant fireworks and a parade, there is this pressure to live up to. But it can’t. In the end it was just 3 weeks that included errands that needed to be done, and money that needed to be spent, and people that needed to be seen. It just became life…but that brings me to my next point…

I think that this time (and I don’t know for sure, but you might be able to tell me) was harder than usual. I know that there are no kids involved, and he wasn’t gone that long and that those things will bring their own difficulties…but I found that because the time together was so short we couldn’t fully relax into being together (does that make sense?). We both knew it was going to come to an end soon and so we didn’t want to fall out of our routines and solitary mindsets completely because then we would have to rebuild them. I hope that once we are posted, and have more experience with this Army life, we can learn to go from ‘single’ to couple with more ease.

My final point (for now, sorry this post is so long!) is the difficulty brought forth by his own attitude. I know I’m not alone in this because we met SB’s “best Kappooka buddy” and his partner in Sydney, and he was exactly the same, hehe. My husband LOVES the Army. This makes me sooooooooo happy, it really does, it gives me strength to know that he is so happy, that’s all I ever want for him. but SB had a very hard time being home. He has embraced Army life to such an extent that being with “civi’s” annoyed him and he told me almost daily how desperate he was to go back, and how miserable he was being home. When you first hear this after spending weeks fantasising about your reunion, it hurts, I’m not going to lie. But for any of you who has heard that, or future people who will hear that from your soldier, you just have to take a minute, take a deep breath and not take it personally. I know that my husband loved seeing me, so I had to just recognise that his misery was due to his love for the Army, not his lack of  love for me. By the end he had settled into it a little bit more and I know that he will learn to incorporate his soldier life and home life.

I think this brings me to the end of a very long post. As always, I LOVE to hear your thoughts and experiences, so comment away!

A****