Pre-Deployment Brain

Gah! I am so freaking excited! Why? Oh only because I have one of my very favorite people posting today. Ashleigh from A Deployment Diary {In Hawaii!!}. Even though her and her gorgeous little family are in the middle of transitioning to semi-normalcy (read: temporarily not Army), she said she'd do a post on this subject anyways. Me and her are a lot alike and I wish I "knew" her because that'd mean I lived in Hawaii had another incredible real life bloggy friend. Be sure to go check her lovely self out.
"Pre-Deployment Brain. What is one supposed to do when deployment approaches and all you can think about is the stupid deployment?!
When my husband found out he was going to deploy, I was a few months pregnant, due to give birth to our first child three months after he had to leave. He received orders to deploy at the beginning of January, and was scheduled to leave in March. What the heck, dude. That gave us approximately eight weeks to squeeze in all the memories we could, as well as take care of any and all necessary paperwork, decide whether I was going to stay in school or fly home to New Zealand and all the other blah blah blah that comes with an earthshaking life event like deployment.
My life became a countdown. A countdown was measured by milk expiration dates.No joke. I would look at the milk in my fridge and think, that expiry date is pretty close to his departure date. When I was in the grocery store and saw milk that would expire the day my husband was leaving me for a year, I about had a meltdown right there in the store. I had only the shelf life of a gallon of milk left with my husband.
I know. I was a crazy lady.
I wanted everything to be perfect. If we were driving, and not talking, I felt like we were wasting precious togetherness time. If we didn't go on a date pretty much every night, I felt like we were wasting our precious time.
Yet, looking back I wish that I'd let us have those quiet moments of simplicity, because when he was gone, that was what I missed the most.
Most of all, I wish that I hadn't let the sadness of his approaching departure taint what really was our precious time together.
The last night he was here, we drove forty-five minutes to a neon bowling alley only to find that there was an hour and a half wait. Then we went out to eat a pretty mediocre dinner and came home. I wish we'd spent the evening doing the simple things at home that make life so great. I wish we'd taken in the sweet simplicity of being together, knowing how much we love each other, without saying a word.
Anyways, the point is, when a deployment is approaching, don't let it pressure you to make everything perfect. Enjoy the simplicity of an evening in. Enjoy the simple not-alone-ness that there is in sitting on the couch reading a book while he packs his gear. Enjoy it all. Enjoy every little imperfect moment.
And then when he's gone, rejoice in the fact that every time your milk expires, you are one gallon of milk's shelf life closer to his return. Happily, the time that's flying by now, bringing you closer to a deployment, will continue to fly by after he leaves bringing you closer to his return every day."


Anonymous said...

My countdown during deployment was how many times I had to take out the trash until he got home. I hate(d) taking out the trash, so I was really counting down how many times I had to take it out before he came home and took it back over. LOL!

Thank god he wasn't delayed in getting home!

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

I totally felt this way when my husband was leaving except I didn't have much time to countdown to! This is a great post, thanks for sharing! =)

Michelle said...

I love your analogy to the milk expiring. I was doing the same thing with eggs.

Jamie said...

Wonderful post- I especially love the milk reference. I always notice the dates too!

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Ashleigh said...

I heart you, friend and wish you lived here too! It'd be so fun! Thanks for letting me sidebust on your blog for the day! Xoxo

Kimberly said...

I have so much respect for Military families and spouses have to be so tough! Hang in there Military wives! And many blessings to your families!!! ~Kimberly


Line said...

Awww, so beautifully written Ash. :)

Lina said...

Love your blog Ash!