Tuesday, June 22, 2010


Husband gone = I am protector of the household. When the alarm goes off in the middle of the night, I have to handle it. You always have this plan in your mind for what to do if certain emergencies happen - fire, a break-in, etc. So I reacted according to plan initially, but found that in my planning fantasies, I was much braver than I actually am. Let's reenact.. I'm sleeping soundly with Julie & Julia still playing quietly on the TV and my bedroom door closed and locked as usual. Alarm sounds for about 15 seconds and then says "garage door entry." I sit up straight in bed and have my 9MM (which resides on my nightstand locked and loaded every night) in my hands before I even process what's going on. The alarm stops, and I listen for any sounds of someone in the house. If the alarm goes off, ADT calls immediately. I received no call for the first minute. Weird. I have a million scenarios running through my head - someone knew our code, broke in and turned the alarm off and are waiting outside my door, stuff like that - At this point I realize I'm going to have to leave my room to find out what's going on. But I'm literally frozen with my heart jumping out of my chest. I call our good friend Jared, who lives just a few minutes away. He talks to me while I muster up the confidence to open my door and peek down the hall. Sure enough, the door from the laundry room to the garage is open. Now I'm thinking someone tried to come in, or is in the house somewhere. I close my door and lock it again. Then I remember that I have a gun in my hand. I am protector of the house. Still on the phone with Jared, I walk through the house checking each room. I still haven't heard from the alarm company and can't figure out why. I hang up with Jared, and notice some headlights coming down the road. I had never been so excited to see a cop car in my life. I half ran out the front door to meet the police officer - gun still in hand. She explained that the alarm company still had my old cell number on file, and then obviously they couldn't reach B's line since he's deployed. So they sent the police. The officer came in and cleared the house, garage and backyard, and stayed for a few minutes talking to me. She was super nice. A neighbor stopped by to make sure everything was ok. Talk about a lot of commotion for an average Monday night. We decided it could have been either the AC unit kicking on extra hard and pushing the door open, or the wind coming through the garage at just the right angle. The external garage door was closed the whole time, so I don't think anyone tried to break in. But this has never happened before, so you can imagine the scare I had! Boy do I wish hubby were here tonight. Don't plan on getting much sleep tonight.
I love my gun.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Pros and Cons

I had a discussion with our squadron commander's wife today that got me thinking. I am so incredibly thankful for friends and the support of our military family. When I first met my husband - 5 years ago - I was very skeptical about joining this military lifestyle. I didn't know exactly what I was getting into and didn't know if I would like it. I have to say, the deployments are the only part of this life that I am not particularly fond of. I love everything else - the amenities of the base, a strong bond with military friends who share in the same situation, constant opportunities for things to do, medical coverage, benefits and military discounts, the list goes on..

If it's one thing I've learned so far, in order to get what you want and need out of an experience, you have to make the efforts to seek it out, not wait for it to come to you. If you want to make friends, put yourself out there. Be bold. Take action. If you want to enjoy the support of a group, volunteer to help and make it better. Get involved and take advantage of opportunities and amenities. If you're bored, call a friend. Don't expect that people will know how you're feeling and reach out to you. You should reach out to others, letting them know what's going on with you and how you can better connect with them. These are steps to an empowering confidence in a quest for all that an experience can offer.

So, even though I sit on my couch on Wednesday evening missing my hubby like crazy, I am so thankful for the many upsides to this military adventure and hope to continue discovering more as time goes on.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

A Breakthrough

This past week was a struggle, but I've broken through the clouds, and am seeing clearly once again. Lessons learned: 1. Be honest with how I'm feeling rather than try to hide it from myself and others. 2. Don't resist emotion. Embrace it, deal with it, and get through it.

I'm reading an awesome book by Henri J.M. Nouwen for one of my classes right now. I read a section on loneliness today that was especially enlightening to me and pertinent to my current situation. Nouwen talked about how our culture is obsessed with seeking remedies for a nagging sense of loneliness through distractions such as a busy schedule, love, friendships, etc. What we don't realize is that none of these things will take the loneliness away, but rather, using them to avoid loneliness will hinder our relationships and personal well-being. We will subconsciously use people for the fulfillment of our own needs, if we are consumed by our need to escape feeling lonely. We can so easily become overly concerned with the activities of others and whether we're being left out, or missing out on opportunities. Nouwen believes we need to work toward transforming our loneliness into fruitful solitude. This is an inner strength and peace that brings contentment and an appreciation for privacy and alone time - physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Our culture revolves around making connections, being in the know, staying busy, competition, knowing what everyone is doing and letting them know what we're doing - facebook, twitter, etc. In a desperate attempt to fill our lives with as many friends and opportunities as we can, could we be caught in a cycle seeking a fulfillment that we will never find through such means? If our intent is ultimately, and probably subconsciously, to avoid loneliness, are we going to accomplish this by continuing in this restless rat race, or embracing a restful mentality?

Nouwen says that solitude deepens our affections for others. He says, "when we live with a solitude of heart, we can listen with attention to the words and the worlds of others, but when we are driven by loneliness, we tend to select just those remarks and events that bring immediate satisfaction to our own craving needs."

This past week, I was really wallowing in my "loneliness" with B being gone. After my breakthrough the other day, and after reading Nouwen's book for my class, I came to some motivating conclusions. Why do I feel lonely when he's away? I am clinging to my need for him to make me feel not alone. But why am I running from this feeling? I am not embracing solitude, I am afraid of loneliness. This can be applied to other aspects of my life besides deployments - as discussed above, in filling my schedule with things to do to distract myself, in feeling a need to be in the know about what everyone is doing, and feeling down if I'm home facebook stalking when everyone else seems to be out having fun! While I don't believe staying busy and social are bad things at all, I just want to make sure I'm motivated to do so for the right reasons - seeking fellowship and involvement to build relationships, not using them to avoid an awareness of loneliness. And when I am physically alone, I want to view that time as peaceful and an opportunity to cultivate inner strength and contentment. In developing this adherence to solitude, I want to transform my heart and mentality to a confidence in my own inner peace, that will foster a restful spirit, joyful attitude, and deeper affection for others.

Even in accomplishing such a transformation, difficult times will come and go, and I still believe it is very important to be honest with ourselves and our emotions, allowing ourselves to feel what we feel so that we can deal! But I feel very inspired by this new way of thinking and approaching everyday life. I plan to work toward embracing solitude in all aspects of my life. What a liberating and promising pursuit this will be!