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Lessons From a Lightly Salted Spouse

Kristine Bedwell
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tagged: military life
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You’ve heard the stories.  You know, the stories from all of the military spouses that came before you?  I’ve heard them from all the ‘older’ ladies too.  However, I’ve been gently reminded (on more than one occasion) that they prefer to be called ‘seasoned’ spouses, and I would agree that they are, in fact, seasoned with many military experiences.  They are the ones that can recount every aspect of military life, and make you feel like you have been through it with them, making you cry and laugh at the same time.  Their advice has been invaluable to me. Even though I do not have as many years of experience, I like to consider myself ‘lightly salted’ because I too have had my share of military moments that have turned from tears to bursts of giggles.  I don’t claim to have all the answers, or to have figured everything out yet, but perhaps my experiences can now start to help other spouses who still don’t have very much seasoning at all.

I feel incredibly lucky to have a beautiful home, a beautiful family, and what I consider to be a beautiful life.  (Hey, I get to make delicious food, hang out with good company, and go to all the free Zumba classes I want!)  There is no shortage of appreciation for what my husband, his friends, and the rest of the armed forces do for my family and this country. 

Many have pegged my generation as “entitled”, and while that very well may be true, I look at it a bit differently.  I believe that my generation has incredible expectations.  For everything.  We expect the most out of our careers, our schooling, our relationships, our communities, our government, and the world we live in.  We were some how forged to believe that there was a level set for everything and that we, and all we believe, must exceed those expectations.  These expectations are typically idealistic, and that is where we get the label “entitled”.  We feel that if we pour the work into school, receive good grades, and graduate with a degree that a job in our field should be readily available and offer a competitive salary.  While many of us know that this is not the reality, we still think that it may be different for us… just this once.

That’s the important part to understand.  We (at least a good portion of us) understand that our expectations aren’t necessarily realistic.  I hope as this generation grows, that all of our wishful thinking will enable us to improve the world.  It’s easy to look back and see the benefits of the seeds the Greatest Generation planted because they have had time to grow.  In time, the benefits of the other generations will also bloom.  We will see that while the baby boomers may have been rebellious and experimental, those traits were inherently important for the time.  The same goes for this generation.   This may be my idealistic nature speaking… but I have a feeling that this generation is exactly what it is supposed to be.

We’re not perfect as a group.  We’re not even anywhere close to being perfect as individuals.  But it is my belief that everyone is exactly where you are supposed to be at every moment in your life. 

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