Silencing the Clock

Monday, Monday! Its the dawn of another day which in turn is the start of another week. I'm very excited. Why? Only because one of my favorite people ever is our guest poster today! She is G.I. Joe's Wife and adorable. Her middle name is also my first name. Yeah, we are meant to be. Be sure to check her gorgeous self out and share the blog love!

"It’s every Milie’s worst enemy: the deployment clock. Your hubby gets news that he’s leaving and almost in that instant, the countdown begins, right? You start thinking things like, “We’ve got X number of days left,” or “only a week left,” or “how can I fit all this into a few days?”

Then, D-Day rolls around and the countdown to his return begins. Those first few days, you can almost hear the clock screaming at you. Or, I can at least. Telling me that he’s only been gone for a day, a week, a month and I still have a long way to go. Even my Donut of Misery tells me this! It’s cruel, really.

So, the question is: How do we make it stop?! How do we make that clock (or calendar) stop screaming at us?

I think that everyone is different, but one thing that seems to be suggested by everyone is to “stay busy.” My thoughts when I read or hear someone say this is, “Well, that’s helpful.” Stay busy. That’s kind of a broad statement, don’t you think?

My advice would be to do something that you love doing. Or even several things. For example, if you’re interested in sewing, go by a cheap sewing machine! Take classes, find patterns and things online and teach yourself. If you’re interested in photography, you can most definitely take classes. Or you can just get out there and take pictures of everything you love, and then come home and edit them on your computer.

For me, it’s been most important to get out of the house. I don’t have a job, we have no kids and our dog isn’t on the island yet. I’ve only met a few people here, so my contacts are limited. Luckily, I’ve been able to meet two great ladies through blog-land. Oh, I don’t know what I’d do without my BB’s!! I also started volunteering. It took me about a month after Joe left to feel like doing anything, but I finally pushed myself and got to work. I’m volunteering at the on-post museum. I have a history degree, and I’m so excited to finally be using it! Even if I’m not getting paid, at least I’m doing something.

I’m also getting out and meeting new people. This is a scary one for me. I’m a pretty introverted person, which is why I had to push myself to start volunteering. I’m totally fine staying in the house all day, and seeing very few people. But, with my husband gone... I start to go crazy after a couple days. Meeting new people is key. This week, I’m going to my first FRG potluck/meeting. I’m kind of nervous about it, but I’m also excited. I don’t know very many of the wives in Joe’s unit, and I desperately need to feel a connection with this post.

Finding a good church has also been an issue with me. We’d only been on the island for two months when Joe deployed, and one month of that was spend without a car or house. We spent the second month visiting churches, but nothing fit. Two weeks after he’d been gone, I found the church. I felt at home instantly. The message was exactly what I needed to hear and the worship was just phenomenal. I was home. I still need to get connected in church by joining a small group, but that will come soon. It’s only been a little over a month.

I silence that deployment clock by tricking it. =) I find things to pass the time, even when I’m at home all day. I’ve got hobbies: scrapbooking, wreath-making and I’m about to take up sewing. I want a good camera, but I’ve decided to wait a little while on that. I’ve got good friends that I can have fun with and go to church with. I’m volunteering - using my degree and meeting new people in the process. There are still hard days. Days when I long to see his face, feel his touch, hear his voice, see him walk in the door. But, I think I can say that I’m doing what I can to kick this deployment’s butt! =)

So, how do you silence that nagging deployment clock?"


It's Something Beautiful said...

My Marine has yet to go to Afghanistan, but we have been through three deployments: one to Thailand and two to some place in Japan. I have pretty much had a countdown clock our whole relationship though. We've been together almost a year now and only two weeks of that year has been actually with each other. To pass time: I stay focused on school, spend time with friends, take up new hobbies, create a goal list (and actually complete them!), read, and try to pick up as many hours as possible.

The days that are the worse are the ones where you see countdown (that tells you how many days you have until your back into each others arms) and it seems like it should be a much smaller number. The best ones though, are the days where you look at it and ask yourself where the time has gone :)


Mrs P said...

Great tips! The clock doesn't stop ticking after they're gone either, it's deafening (5 MONTHS... now what?!) but you learn to live with it I guess, just as you do with the deployment clock. Much love to you both!

Goodnight moon said...

Great post! I agree...stay busy. The thing that I did to stay busy was to plan at least 1 thing a month. Something that I would do to use my time and plan for it. It would give me something to look forward to each month, and once that event was done, then I was looking forward to the next months event. It could be just as simple as having someone over for lunch/dinner.

Carmen said...

Great tips! When Mr. M was gone, I was a full time student and had tons of friends to keep me busy. I also had a lot of extra curricular activities to keep me busy. I know that "stay busy" is really broad but I guess just do what suits you best! =)

Reina said...

Hey love, left a little love on my blog for you ;)

Mr. Superman & Mrs. S. said...

Its hard. Especially when you look at the DAYS he's gone. I think we decided we are going to count paychecks :) A little more feasible.

Team Mama said...

Such good advice! And where you'll be back in Arizona, go to the temple a lot, look at craft classes offered by JoAnn's (since you are so crafty anyway!) sign up for that CNA class, work on things that interest you and make you a better person! Come visit us...as often as you can because we LOVE to see you! So good that you have blog friends who have 'been there, done that" to help you get through! <3 <3 <3

Erin said...

I love this post! It was like I was reading about my own deployment!

I hated when people told me to stay busy because it didn't help me actually stay busy. But I did manage it. I took up new hobbies, some I liked, some I didn't. I read as many of the books I always said I was going to read as possible. I played with my dog and I visited friends... We had just moved to a new area and I didn't know anyone, so visiting took up a bunch of my time because I lived at least an hour away from everyone.

Ultimately time passed, but what was really hard was when we hit the half way point of the deployment. My mind set switched from, "he just left," to, "he is almost home." That made time pass very slowly.

Stick with what works, try new things and get out there and meet people. It really works.

Maranda said...

Great tips! I do things like that too. I try to find something to occupy all of my time. Last year when The Hubble was gone I decided to do the 50 books in a year challenge. I also took cake decorating classes. Exercise became an integral part of my year because you used up a couple hours right there! Easy peasy! Goals, challenges and hobbies are great!

Wonderful post! Thanks for sharing!