At the time that I write this, my husband is away training for deployment to Kuwait. He will be away from me for a total of seven months for this deployment: one month in training, and six months in Kuwait. How am I coping? I miss him terribly and he has only been gone for one week. But, I plan to live life to the fullest while he is away and use this time to develop things in my personal life that will benefit both of us upon his return. We certainly miss our soldiers when they have to leave us for the call of duty, but we cannot stop living. How would you spend time away from your spouse during a deployment?
This is not my first deployment. The year before my husband and I were married, he deployed to Afghanistan for one year. We got engaged right before he left and I had plenty to do while he was away. After all, I had a wedding to plan! This time, however, I’ve got a lot more time on my hands and since we don’t yet have any children I will have to find other ways to use my time productively. But, I recommend, even if you have children, finding some activities that you can enjoy without the children, such as joining a cooking group, establishing a fitness routine, or pursuing a hobby.
The following are some things that I am committed to doing over the next six months that I will spend alone:
1. Attend Spanish language conversation groups.
My husband is originally from Puerto Rico. His first language is Spanish and his family speaks Spanish almost exclusively. I barely knew a lick of Spanish when I met him. I have come a long way since then, but have much further to go. As I have promised his mom that I would call frequently while he is away, I have a lot of incentive to make rapid improvement in the Spanish department.
I have several different reasons for pursuing this one. First, I enjoy writing immensely. I love putting my thoughts and feelings into writings. I am also rather unsatisfied with my career and would like to turn writing and blogging into a profit-making venture, if possible, to reduce dependence on my current livelihood. Besides, my husband and I will have a military lifestyle and will be moving around on average, every two to three years. I’d prefer a flexible schedule to being tethered to an office at particular times during the day. I can take writing with me anywhere in the world. So, I plan to work on developing this website over the next six months.
3. Put our house on the market as a rental property.
My husband and I would like to keep our investment in the house we have lived in for the past two years and turn it into a rental property. This would provide another stream of income and would preserve our investment for a more ideal time in the real estate market to sell. But, there is a lot that I must learn as I go through the steps of refinancing and listing our property for rent. I also have to educate myself regarding hiring a management company and complying with the local tenancy regulations.
As you can see, I will be busy for the next six months. I plan to use this as a time for development and enrichment. I plan to do a lot of living even as I am dreaming about the day when my soldier returns.
What are you doing while your spouse is deployed? I’d love to hear from you.