I have been going to Fort Hood Open Circle meetings lately. Decided to get out and do some of this meeting people thing … I chose the coven (yes – it’s a coven but an open one – one that welcomes all faiths, even Christian) because they were likely to be the people with whom I could most identify with … at least I think so. All of us quirky and not afraid to BE our quirky selves.
Well … I am a little afraid to be my quirky self, but I am learning that quirky is sometimes good – even if it gets you unwanted attention; which I loathe, by the way – the LAST thing this Leo likes is the spotlight – can’t get much more quirky than that!
So anyway, I have been going to meetings and starting yesterday, we are going to be examining ourselves with the help of a poem our Leader found call “The Invitation“. To recreate the poem here would be pointless… I shall just leave a link to the original I found online as is and refer to each stanza as we go through them (assuming I’ll have something to write about each week – and assuming I am around long enough to see the whole exercise through).
This week, we talked about the first lines of the poem:
“It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living
I want to know what you ache for
and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart’s longing.”
Michele (our leader) asked us to go around the room saying what we wanted – what we ached for, what we ached hungered for - from off the top of our heads.
It’s a lively, jovial group … and we got things ranging from:
- I want to be the mother and let someone else be the maid
- Cold beer and pizza
Like I said – a jovial group.
At first, all I could come up with is “family” because of all the things I WANT right now, it is that. I’d like to get my family started. I really would – and it hasn’t happened for us yet. It was the first thing off the top of my mind … because I thought about it and I realized that I really “hunger” for nothing. I have just about all I need – either right here, right now … or on the way.
With that thought, I floated through the discussion and onto the conclusion that for myself I would like family … yes. But first, I’d like to share the light in my life with other people – the light that has shown me that I CAN be content – despite the everyday stresses and the waiting for the husband to be by my side again safe and sound … despite all the problems, the issues, the drama, the illnesses, the trials and tribulations … I AM CONTENT!
Then this morning, I found this link from a twitter friend. It’s an article from the NY Times which debates the pluses gained by allowing constant communication between solider and spouse during a deployment to a war zone.
It made me think some more on that light I talked about … a light that made this deployment so much easier for both myself and hubby … easier than I am seeing other people have it.
The article talked about how communication can make it difficult for soldiers to focus on their mission due to the availability of the facilities. It also touched on the anxiety that can be caused because of spouses settling into a routine of communication with their soldiers that inevitably gets interrupted for one reason or another … the panic and worry that can set in and how that can snowball into more distractions for the soldiers in the form of arguments,etc.
I have neglected to say it because I know some people don’t speak to their husbands as often as I do – but I pretty much talk to him daily. He keeps saying he should stop because he doesn’t want me to get used to it so much so that when it doesn’t happen I panic or get mad. But … it has happened before. A day or more will pass and I realize I haven’t spoken to him. I say realize because really and truly, I’ve made a HUGE effort to occupy myself as MUCH as possible this year.
Even on my worst days, there is something to keep my occupied – if even just brainless TV shows on Hulu+.
On the good days, I write, I take photos, I work like a fiend, I sleep, I do crosswords and read … and these last couple of weeks, I’ve secured and installed a server class machine here at home with the help and enthusiasm of a friend (DJ) back in Jamaica.
The key, though, is that I have made the effort to occupy myself. So when I miss a call or an IM or a text message or whatever, it’s way past the hours within which I would have been notified if something had happened to him.
“It’s been 24 hours … if something had happened, I would already know. Ok – patience, breathe, relax … he’s fine. He’ll get to you as soon as he can.”
The article goes on to talk about how the constant communication mediums leave relationships wide open to disagreement and discord and how couples inevitably find it difficult to put relationship issues on hold so that the soldiers can focus on their mission, get it done and get home. How spouses end up sharing their at-home problems with the soldier and how they can find themselves carrying the burden of war zone stresses as well as at-home-and-i-am-not-there stresses.
I realized that any problems I have that I can’t solve, have no solution in the works or feel impotent to try to solve, I don’t need to mention to him at all. I feel it doesn’t do either of us any good to have him shouldering his stresses as well as mine.
So I am sick, and he feels like he should be here to take care of me and I stress to him that he needs to focus on coming home to me so he can. That I am fine, that I am taking care of myself as best as I can and when I can’t I reach out and ask for help. That while I miss his ministrations, I am compelled to manage until he gets back. (e.g. It wasn’t until I had been to the doctor and gotten my second dose of antibiotics for the strep I couldn’t get rid of that I told him how sick I was.)
It’s important to me that he has little or nothing to think about except what he’s doing over there. It’s important to me that he be able to focus. Having lived with him for almost 2 years also taught me what it is he needs in order to get in the zone where he goes to focus and stay there comfortably. And I do as much as I can from this distance to recreate that condition for him.
All I care about is that he come home safe and sound. Nothing else matters right now. Everything that needs fixing and needs his input can wait until he IS home safe and sound. I will get by until then … and then is the only goal that matters.
I was talking about quirky earlier in the post … I am beginning to realize just how quirky I am. My quirky (and his) has helped us survive this deployment and maybe even come out of it better off than we were before he left.
The only problem I have now … is how to get back out of independent mode once he gets home. And that’s no big deal really … since he lends himself so easily to being surrendered to.
I have to say … I am blessed.
I must have a guardian angel that loves me unconditionally – because no matter what I throw in her way, she always finds a way to show me the light once again.
I’d like to share the secret of that light … with all of you… I also know you all have to be ready and open to see it … otherwise, any effort I make will be pointless. Until then, I do what I can to talk about me and hope that some of my light spills out and over onto you. If you do catch some of it, I am happy … if you want to catch more of it, let me know … we’ll see how we can work up some light of your own for you.
And even if it’s only just one of “you” who gain … then it’s all been worthwhile.