Thursday, September 26, 2013

Oh, This Navy Life.

It seems like a girl cannot turn around without seeing another Navy wife blog entry. They're often wonderful - I have such love for my ladies in the "trenches" - and so many of them are well-written, poignant, hilarious, and, often times, way too accurate. They're encouraging, relatable, and written by people I know and love, even if I've never actually met them.

Some of them are just funny: can I whip up a meal for 15 hungry single sailors with 12 minutes notice? Uh, no, but I can find a take-out menu with lightening speed. Do I know the correct order of my husbands medals/ribbons? Uh, no - I can't even iron his uniforms without marring them with the dreaded "railroad tracks." Can I name every admiral in the history of the Silent Service? Not so much. I can never decide if they're meant to be tongue in cheek, or if I am woefully inadequate compared to the (hopefully mythical) Navy Superwives.

Oh, geez....

Sometimes, though, they're just whiney. Maybe I'm getting all "salty" after a whole 6 1/2 years of Navy life. Maybe it's the job that the husband currently has. Maybe I'm cold, jaded, and heartless. But, nevertheless, I get tired of the entries that scream "woe is me." It's a hard life, sure, with sacrifices that stretch your marriage, your resolve, your independence, your faith in yourself/humanity. But, you know what? It's a good life.

I could make a huge list of things that I love about my/our life in the Navy - job security, health benefits, camaraderie, spouse support groups, etc., etc., etc. - but it's so much bigger than the little things.

The other day, we went to a presentation by a group of detailers [Navy-speak for the people who tell us where we're going next]. There was some good information - some of it I already knew, but it was a mixed crowd rank-wise, and it's always good to think back on the chaos that we've gone through so far and gloat encourage some of the junior families. My favorite part, though, is coming home, opening my calendar, flipping past our "Prospective Rotation Date," and looking at all the blank days. I don't know where we'll be living next summer. I have no clue who we'll celebrate the Fourth of July with - or if we even know those people now. I don't know what our house will look like, who our neighbors will be, if we'll have a dog, or which coast (or even continent) we'll be on. I don't know if our stuff will fit, or if the husband will have to disassemble our box spring to get it up the stairs and into the master bedroom... again (true story).

These are things I love. I love the thrill, the unknown, the adventure, the chaos, "The Itch," the picking-up-and-packing-out. It's a crazy life, and it's shaped so much of who I am and how our marriage is, that I get a little panicky whenever I think about "getting out." It's hard - there are days I struggle with longing after a life that seems simpler from the outside - but we've made each new house a home, met people that we love, found the grocery stores, and figured out how to thrive. The sacrifices seem rather inconsequential at the end of the day, in the face of the love, new beginnings, laughter, and each little triumph... and aren't those things the important things? the things we should be focusing on?


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