It's officially official, my husband will be retiring.
This completely scares the crap out of me for several reasons.
1. Paycheck (I'm not going to lie - we have bills!)
2. Medical (I know we'll still have tricare - but it's different when you retire)
3. I've always been a military something - daughter, wife, active duty - and honestly, NOT being a military something is going to be a completely new way of life for me. After almost 45 years, yes that freaks me out.
We sat down and figured out a timeline (which I will keep quiet about for now because if you say it somehow the military will find a way to change it!) and a monetary plan to keep us afloat "just in case". On a side note here - people, don't wait for this! Even if it's $10 a month put something aside. All the financial guru's say this but I never listened. Here I am, a real person, saying do it!
So we have the when. Now for the where. We are still in negotiations about that. I know it sounds like I hate this place, and sometimes I really do - but in August we will have been living in this house, in this town for 6 years. A lifetime for a military family, and it's become home. I think Zach and I have that feeling more than Erik though. For the last four years we've been out of the military loop. Civilian doctors, civilian friends, getting a feel for this place - and Erik's been deployed, working twelves, having inspections and exercises so it's just not the same for him.
Even though I always said I wanted to move closer to my father, I don't think I do. I love him, and I feel bad that he's up in Michigan pretty much by himself, but the reality is even he says "don't move here - there's nothing". And he pretty much would know. My heart is torn about this because I need to be there for my dad, but we also have to think about our family too. If I could get that stubborn man to move down here....
I even know there are states that have better school systems (or even cities in this state) but Zach excels when he stays focused. And doesn't hate his teachers (yes, I remember hating my 4th grade teacher; it was one of my dark school years!). Besides if it wasn't for this school system I wouldn't have starting pursuing my lifelong dream of becoming a teacher. It would have stayed a dream that I never reached for. I got off my lazy retired butt to get my degree to teach in this district, where I can make difference. Help make it better.
For anyone who's always taken their child to the same doctor year after year, be grateful. This is something most military families don't get to do and the last four years have been wonderful in this regard. The fact that Zach's doctor knew him so well was incredibly important and helpful last October. Zach loves his doctor and has calmed down a lot regarding shots, getting blood drawn, just about everything because he knows the doctor and nurses, and more important - they know him. That would be something hard to find again if we left here. This includes the dentist who believe me, can't believe it's the same child in her chair!
Another good thing about staying here is we know what it costs! We know what our insurance is, how much we have to chunk out every year to register the vehicles, the electric bill, and on and on. If we move somewhere else these things could cost more (or less) but you don't know. After all this time I'm pretty much right on in estimating groceries, gas, and everything else. I can't imagine trying to have to figure that out again. We all know I'm not strong in math! =)
Boy Scouts! Erik has worked toward becoming Scoutmaster of the troop. He put in time while Zach was still a Cub Scout helping to make an awesome troop. Not only for Zach but for all the boys in the pack that we've grown to love over the years. Finding an awesome new troop might be easy - but I'm thinking it's harder than it looks. I have a dear friend who can attest to that!
There are downsides to staying here. We don't live anywhere near family (MI, Utah, and Arizona for my family - Ohio for his). I've missed nephews, nieces, and grands growing up. But see, I always see being away from family as a double edged sword. In some ways it's bad, but in some ways it's good. If you aren't near the drama, you can't get sucked into the drama. It's much easier to stay neutral when you live on the other side of the country! I know this seems odd to a lot of people but I didn't grow up around grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins so to me - it doesn't seem that strange.
In the end we could plan to stay here or move someplace else, but it wouldn't matter. The truth is we will go where there's work for Erik. If that's here, awesome but if it's someplace else that's ok too.
I think for me, knowing when has taken a lot of stress off me. I rather hated being in limbo not knowing for sure which way everything was going to go.
A new adventure awaits us!
Until next time ~ Kris