Tuesday, December 14, 2010

On Schedules and "Real" Life

Life seems to be rolling into a rhythm these days. Jason is finally on a normal schedule for the first time since we were in Florida; the schedule itself isn't great but it's predictable and dependable. For a family that hasn't had a regular schedule of any kind for over seven years that is pretty darn awesome. To put this into perspective for those of you who don't know, the last time that we knew what hours Jason would be working from one day to the next Sam (almost 14) was six years old and Jake (now 9) was two. They don't even remember it. (Zander and Izzy have never experienced it at all!)

I forgot what it was like, guys. Seriously. I can make plans--and follow through! I don't feel guilty putting the kids to bed on time because I know pretty much exactly how much time he's going to get with them every day. I don't have to drive out to his place of work every day and sit waiting for an hour so that the kids can see their dad for 15 minutes. We have a regular (ish) dinner time. The boys have a regular nighttime routine. (Okay, they have two nighttime routines right now, but we know in advance which night calls for which routine so it's all good!)

The new schedule allows for Jason and I to make breakfast together every morning. It's almost surreal to work over the stove with him while the two little ones scamper underfoot. We fry up turkey bacon, scramble eggs, and dish out yogurt and cereal for the boys. Jason gets to watch the boys' favorite morning cartoons with them and hear all the ridiculously adorable things that they say. Some mornings I find myself feeling like we are a normal family, as though we aren't living with our "real" life on pause while we do this whole Air Force thing.

Am I the only one that feels like that? I don't feel that way all the time, but these last few years have done a real number on me. I am so aware that every year we spend living where the Air Force sends us is one less root that the kids will have to wherever we end up. Every friend I make and have to leave is another piece of my heart that will forever live somewhere else. Every rent payment is money going toward someone else's financial stability instead of our own. Every minute that we spend apart--whether due to wonky work schedules or TDYs or deployments--is a minute that we don't get back. Sometimes I wonder if it's worth it. I want to get on with "normal" life already. I'm getting tired of living the life of a nomad.

Oy vey! This post just took a maudlin turn. Sorry!

All these things going on now are wonderful and we are so thankful to be in this space but it's almost too good. I'm starting to have these moments where I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop. The last time that things were going this well for our family, 9/11 happened. Things have never been the same since. I can't help but try to see from which direction the bad things are coming. Will it be a deployment? That is a near-certainty in the next 12-18 months. Will it be a remote? We will be shocked if he goes more than 24 months without getting an assignment notification. I really hope that this is just an adjustment phase for me. I want to just enjoy this time for what it is without worrying about what is to come.

Do you find yourself waiting for that other shoe to drop in the good times? What do you do to help keep yourself anchored in the now so that you don't worry about what's heading your way?


  1. At least you know where you'll be for the next four years, though. The downside to this place is that we're only "guaranteed" another nine months here. Then we're at the mercy of the Air Force.

  2. It is terrible--for us. It frustrates me that I so rarely can enjoy the really good things. Not fully, anyway. I want to; it's like I'm missing some relax gene or something.

    But yay for you! I have no problem being happy for other people and I'll have all my fingers and toes crossed that everything works out for OccDoc to come home at the 6 month mark. :)

  3. Thanks! I'm trying. :)



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