My Mind is like a NASCAR Race

Weird title. True title. It feels like my mind has been racing like the boys at Bristol. One thought during the straight away, the curve brings another thought into my head and around and around it goes. It's been so full of stuff that even my blessed sleeping pills can't always quiet it. So now, I sit, bordering insomniac again and I thought, "Well, that's what my blog is for." So, a journey into the frazzled mind of a rookie running his first race! Oh, and you know you've lived in the south too long when you start using NASCAR metaphors!

What to do with myself? When I retired I said I wasn't going to work again. I think we all knew that really wasn't going to be the case - but you know, you have to dream! But I never wanted another career. I always said I was going to waitress at Denny's. LOL Can you imagine me - listening to people complain about their food and not being rude? Anyway, there are jobs you know you shouldn't attempt!

So, with Erik inching ever closer to retirement it was time for me to decide. Zach loves being in school - so our homeschooling days are over. I've always wanted to be a teacher, so it's back to school I go. This always brings questions - what if we have to move again before my degree is complete? What if I can't find a job once I finish? What if I spend all this time getting a degree and I hate it? What if I end up being a terrible teacher? But, I'm going to go for it anyway. The application sits on the table, and I've been investigating how to get transcripts from the plethora of schools I attended while in the Air Force. I figure I have about three years of school ahead of me. I hope to have all my transcripts in and start in January.

Deployments are next in my thoughts. Not because Erik is leaving again, well not that we've heard yet, but we all know things change about every hour in the military! No, deployments have been on my mind because I have a lot of friends who husbands are coming home soon and some that are leaving soon. It always makes me think of all the deployments we've endured in this household. A lot more than some, not as much as others, but enough that a lot of your memories are tied to this deployment or that deployment. Sometimes the lessons learned during deployments are blurred together and I can no longer distinguish which one I learned when!

Right now my biggest thoughts about deployment are centered on Shannon and Jay. He is leaving for the first time in a long time. In a way we are lucky that Erik has deployed so much. It's a given that he will leave eventually and Zach and I have become very good at dealing. They've been lucky enough to have Jay home for quite an extended time so I know it's going to be much more difficult for all of them. I also know they are a strong family and will take the bumps, call them learning experiences, and grow. I wish we lived in Louisiana because I know how hard it is to be six months into a new assignment and have your husband leave. You're afraid to ask for help because you don't want to appear weak. Or have yourself pegged as the wife who couldn't handle anything and having a negative impact on your husband's career. The fine lines we walk as military spouses are sometimes barely there. Sometimes they only exist in our minds. But they always feel real.

So for you Shannon here are some things I've learned. Take what you can use and throw the rest away. Don't watch the news! This includes reading the news online. After one deployment where I became obsessed because Erik couldn't call me I learned this. It sounds mean but if the Shirt, Commander, and Chaplin aren't standing on your doorstep your husband is FINE! Do keep doing your family stuff. You can always do it again when Jay gets home and then the kids get to show him all they stuff they learned the first time! Do take pictures of every day stuff. That's what Jay will miss the most. Do take time to cry and feel sorry for yourself. I never do that in front of Zach - but it helps keep you sane enough to handle the next day! Do make sure you have that one friend you can call anytime, even at 2 in the morning. You know who that is, the one that will listen, not judge, and not even give you advice if all you want to do is vent. Hopefully she's the one that will make you smile too!

Jay - a couple things that we at home don't want to know about while you're gone - mortar attacks or attacks of any kind. Seriously, keep those to yourself! We've survived convoy duty, the first push into Iraq, and a plethora of other less than awesome war time scenarios because Erik doesn't tell me. Sometimes ignorance really is bliss! It also makes it easier the next time you go if we think you're safely ensconced in some vehicle maintenance compound whether that's true or not.

By the way - that will probably the only time you hear me say I wish we lived in Louisiana!

The race is over - hopefully sleep will no longer elude me!

Until next time ~


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