I'm so thankful it's December. It signifies the close of one of the hardest years of my life.
Nothing extraordinary happened. Not in the way of birth, death, disease, or ultimate catastrophe... and yet, EVERYTHING seemed to change.
I knew it was going to be difficult to transition from military to civilian life. We prepared for it. SAVED for it (and thank god we did). Tried to tie up the loose ends so that when it happened, things would continue on as easily as it possibly could. In the end the transition was as difficult as expected, and yet, somehow more so.
Nothing was a surprise. I know myself, so I knew where I'd have hangups. I thrive on security. Need it like I need air. Predictability, structure, and balance are my friends. I like that everything has a place and a purpose.
When your family is jobless (there was the retirement, but let's be real, I like to afford more than healthcare and food), living in a space that is not theirs (as in not MY furniture, and not MY things), it takes a toll. And while those things came back to me, it was never fast enough to make me feel comfortable. The unease lasted most of the year. It was a constant mantra in my head of, "It's going to be okay. We're fine. We have a roof, food, and electricity. What more do we need?"
Things have evened out to the point where I feel like I'm stable again.
Everything is a learning experience. I want to look back to make sure I learned whatever lesson it was I had to learn, so that I'm prepared to do it better next time, if there is a next time.
Did I personally change? I don't know. I feel like the same person I was before. I hope that I've grown, though. And I'm even more thankful that my relationship with my husband is extremely easy. We communicate well and don't fight. I adore that man to the moon and back.
Because if I had that to deal with relationship issues on top of all the other crap, I don't know how I would have survived that.
There was a point last month where I looked at my husband and said, "Do you realize we've spent every day of this last year together? A whole three hundred and sixty-five consecutive days." That had never happened our entire marriage.
Realistically, it probably won't again because I'm all for girls/guys trips, or visiting parents with the kids if he has to work. But those will be OUR choices, not someone else's.
It's an empowering thought.
That is the crux, I think, of the changes I see in my husband. Because while I don't think I've changed at all, he's changed in unfathomable ways.
At first, it was the typical military-to-civilian things like growing a homeless man beard.
After a time, I think it began to sink in that he could make his own choices about everything. While he doesn't actually make life-altering decisions alone (we are a partnership, after all), I've seen him become protective of others making choices that affect our family. He's a lot more ready to push back against those entreaties (work, family) rather than giving into them to keep the peace.
Which I think is brilliant. ;)
He has literally said, "I don't have to say 'yes' anymore," several times in the last year. Followed then by a huge smile.
I love that.
Perhaps this is my apology (if I need one, I haven't decided) and an explantation of where I've been. You see, I'm honest here. This, these words on the screen, they're the real me. I consciously stopped posting this year without warning. It was a decision. It wasn't that one day I stopped coming back and well... oops! Months have passed.
No. I decided I wasn't in a good place to put myself out there, so I didn't. I felt too exposed. It felt like too many eyes were seeing everything inside my head, while I didn't have a solid ground to stand on. That felt like it was too much at the time.
I'm good now. I'm not sure what I want this space to be. How I want to use it. Or even how often I'll write here. But I do know I'd like to post again. It's been too long.