Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Top 10 Lessons Learned

Today's Blog Post is not mine. It was well written by a friend and Army Wife. My friend Lauren has experienced the ups and downs of life with an active duty spouse and reserve spouse, and dealing with our arch nemesis, the Deployment.
This post is dedicated to all of us family members who have to joy of staying home and watching everything fall to shit.

Thanks for the post Lauren!

Since the deployment is officially over I decided to share the top 10 lessons I learned over the last year. Most were expensive and frustrating at the time but are now amusing to look back on and know even though I had plenty of "Army Wife Fail" moments I got through it and came out much stronger on the other end.

1. Your husband typically mows the grass once a week, not once a month. If you wait
 a month and run over a pole because you didn’t see it through the jungle of grass, you WILL break your lawn mower.

2. When you break the lawn mower, you ignore the shed in the backyard. Ignoring the shed in the backyard will result in rat infestations that will ruin the shed. Rats are pretty nasty.

3. When your husband tells you to change the air filter in the HVAC unit every 3 months you should ignore him and read the package. Or, you can pay an emergency repair man to tell you you’re supposed to change it once a month when the motor goes out in the middle of the night when it's 100 degrees outside.

4. The Police don’t care if you just talked to your husband that you haven’t talked to in FOREVER and are so excited that you completely forget to watch your speed. Speeding will result in a ticket. VA takes speeding very seriously. Don’t speed in VA.

5. When the Army says your husband will be home for R&R on March 10th you should use the following equation to determine when he will really be home: Date the Army said + 2x + #the Army is full of crap= nobody knows when the hell he will actually be home. Keep calm and drink some rum.

6. It does not matter when your husband leaves or how long he is gone for. As soon as he leaves something major will go wrong. For example, there is a hurricane that you are completely unprepared for on the day he boards a plane for Afghanistan. This means taking down the 10 foot canopy, disassembling the swing, emptying the water barrels, evacuating yourself and the animals and then coming home to throw out all the food in 2 refrigerators and a freezer, and finding someone to repair the fence and water barrels by yourself. By the way, if you choose the cheapest repair guy your fence will end up totally jacked up.

7. It is frowned upon by the DMV to let the registration on your vehicle expire because you totally forgot you had to take care of your husband’s vehicle.

8. Speaking of forgetting your husband's car, if you forget to start said car the battery will die. You will realize the battery is dead on a rainy Saturday when you need that car and will need to jump the car in the rain after googling "will you get shocked if you jump a car in the rain?"

9. A year spent dreaming about the "perfect" reunion where your husband (in uniform) scoops you up, spins you around and kisses you for the first time in months while the photographer captures the perfect photo is laughable. LAUGHABLE! Driving 10 hours (unexpectedly with about 1 hour notice) round-trip to see him for less than 24 hours and pulling in to a dark parking lot in the rain is more like it.

10. Good friends and amazingly supportive family will get you through it all….the days you literally ache from the pain of missing him, when you hate him for leaving you, during the emotional meltdowns, in the moments of anticipation, excitement and frustration waiting for him to return and all the insane times in between. Thank you to all the wonderful people that have been there for me during the last year. You're the only reason I made it through this and stayed semi-sane.