Military spouses are forced to stop doing a lot of things. Between moving frequently and the unpredictability of military life, they sometimes have to stop everything from living near their family to pursuing their career goals, even if it’s just temporary. Heck, we’re even forced to stop sleeping next to our spouses at least occasionally! But I believe so strongly that there are some things military spouses should never stop doing!
Military spouses should never stop…
The military takes you a lot of strange and random places, sometimes for years or just for a day. Military spouses should explore them all, everything from the tourist traps to the local restaurants. Take drives to the lake, plan day trips for long weekends, visit museums and eat all the local food you can get your hands on. You may only be somewhere for a limited amount of time and it may not be your absolute favorite, but keep looking for the best parts.
So much of a military spouse’s attention is focused on the person’s career, which makes sense. No one calls my husband a “communications spouse”; being a military spouse defines our lives in ways other career choices don’t. But that doesn’t mean that we should stop pushing to have our own identity separate from our husband or wife’s career. Military spouses should never stop pushing towards their own career, education or life goals. Sometimes we’ll have to work a bit harder than our civilian counterparts or tackle the goal a different way, but we can still make them happen.
Being a military spouse requires a whole lot of love; we have to love from thousands of miles away and sometimes enough for two people! And while we should never stop loving our spouse, this one is aimed at all those other people who come in and out of your life. Even though we say a lot of hard goodbyes or “see you laters”, we can’t build walls or close our heart to loving other people. So keep loving your friend even though she’s leaving soon and it would be easier to find a new friend. Keep loving your current neighbor even though you’ll kind of be happy when they PCS and stop leaving their stuff all over your driveway. Keep loving the people in your life!
I would apply this one to everyone, military or civilians, because there is so much to learn in the world. But for military spouses, we are often given the opportunity to learn from and about so many different people, places and cultures that it’s imperative we never stop learning.
You’ve likely seen the bumper sticker that says “live like he deploys tomorrow” and while I’m not sure I agree with the drama that implies, I do like the message behind it. Perhaps no one is more painfully aware of just how short life can be than military spouses. So I encourage you to stop waiting to do or experience things. Don’t put something off until the next deployment is over. Don’t wait to say “I love you” until the next phone call. And don’t let your life come to a screeching halt because your spouse is gone.
What would you add to my list of things military spouses should never stop doing?