Disclaimer: If you can’t identify with me, maybe you will next year, or the year after that. Approximately one-third of you should always understand.

 

“All of my friends are leaving!” I whine to my husband. He calmly explains that no, they aren’t all leaving, and this is the way of the Army. “I know, but it feels like everyone is getting orders and moving!”

In the military life, we say “see you later” to friends all the time. Mine are slowly but surely all getting orders. Some are moving within the month, some next summer, but they’re all moving. And I’m not. I’m happy with our current house, duty station, and life– but I’m jealous.

Why? You may ask?

Because I like moving. Yes, I know it’s weird and when I’m actually moving it’s not always enjoyable, but I like the process. I like researching a new place, finding the best schools, looking for the perfect-for-now house and making lists of plans. Even when we don’t have orders yet, when my husband gets a few options or ideas, I make lists. I love lists! I love to plan out different scenarios. And then I can plan a road trip, or a vacation to see family on our way. Then I can get started on our plans for when we move there. Will I work? Where can I volunteer? And where can we go visit!?

But since we’re staying, I can finally tackle the local places I wanted to visit. Consider new job opportunities or new places to volunteer. While I’m not looking at new schools for my kids, I will have two kids in school and that is something new and different. And while I’m not looking for new work, I can now volunteer during the day without worrying about childcare.

Because I want to explore new places. I’ve already been stationed at Fort Huachuca before. While I have no idea what is next for us, I want to go somewhere new. To make new memories and take new adventures. And each time we move, I take the first six months getting used to a new place and the last six months planning a move. The middle is full of living! But every once in a while the thoughts of the next step sneak in.

But since we’re staying, I have more time to live! I have more time with my friends and in this house. I have more time to make memories and take adventures with my kiddos. I don’t have to spend six months adjusting to a new place. My kids are settled, we have our routine and life is good!

Because I’m tired of answering the questions, “How long have you guys been here? Oh, did you get orders yet?” I know they mean well, and I know it’s one of those first questions when we meet a new person or see someone after a break. But when you’re not moving, it’s hard to hear! Especially when I say I’ve been here 2 ½ years and that we’ll be here another two years, at least. Then I get more questions! Why? Are you OK with that? Well, you’re happy here, right?

But since we’re staying, I really am happy! And I can use the time I’ve spent here in a positive way. I can volunteer more, I can help new spouses find their way around. I can get off post and explore the community more. For the first time in a long time, we are developing relationships with in the community, stepping out of the military comfort zone and enjoying it. I like the little town next to base and discovering the hidden treasures available.

Because time is flying and I want to make the most out of it! It seems just last week we were exploring Germany with two babies. Maryland seems like a blur it was so quick. With a minimum of eight years left in the Army, I feel like the time to travel the world is slipping away. Two more years here gives us maybe two more moves. That hardly seems like enough! Why should we spend five years in one place when there are hundreds of other cool places to see?

But since we’re staying, I get to settle. I get to bring stability to our life. My kids are in their third house in their short lives. At five and seven, they’ve been on more airplanes than most people and have said good-bye to friends and family multiple times. But now they get to keep things the same. They know their way around the installation. They know their address, they know where things are in the commissary, and they like it. They’re comfortable in the community and they are at ease.

Home is where the Army sends us, and while I’d love to call Europe home again, I’m glad the Army has decided that this will be our home for a little while longer.

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