21 June, 2010

Deployment and Such

It's getting closer every day... And every day I have a breakdown. Ok, maybe not every day but for the last several days in a row. I'm really trying not to, but it seems like I just can't avoid it no matter how hard I try. It's right there in front of me, taunting, teasing me. The more I think about it, the more I think things like "it's not fair," "why me? why now?" "how can they take him and we've only been here for 2 months?" But, those thoughts aren't productive and they certainly do not help my state of mind.

So, in an attempt to think productively, I'm blogging. =) And I have some questions for you more seasoned military wives. As I'm sure most of you have noticed {if you're not new}, I'm a deployment virgin. This is all new territory for me, as are most things military.

First, I know that I need goals. I'm going to try to do weekly goals. Kind of a start small thing. Week #1's goal is to unpack our spare bedroom. So, there's that. Week #2 is the week my bestie will be here, so the goal that week is to have fun. =) I think I can handle that! Especially with her around! That's pretty much all I've come up with so far. I do need to find a church...and that one is still proving to be difficult. We visited another one this past Sunday and I kind of liked it, but it wasn't *the one*. Ya know? They're also waiting on their new pastor to arrive and take things over, so I may go back when he gets here. Anyway.

I'm planning on volunteering a lot of time at ACS. I finished the paperwork and now I just need to turn it in. I'm really excited about having something to do! Yeah, I won't be getting paid, but that's not the important thing. Plus, I have a feeling I'm about to learn a whole lot about military life. And that is definitely a good thing. Not to mention, I'll actually feel like I fit in somewhere on this island. This place has been culture shock central for me. Not always in a bad way, but I prefer to stick to doing things on post a lot of the time. So, there's volunteering.

Honestly, I don't know what to expect from deployment. I've learned so far to expect very little so that my poor little hopes don't get crushed. I've heard that things are going to be changing "over there" so that doesn't help me know what to expect. Some of Joe's buddies that are there now are on facebook all the time and I don't know if I should expect the same or if I should expect very little contact. Any advice for the newbie? =)

So, here's my big question for the moment: cooking, yes or no? While Joe was in BCT, I pretty much lived off of Lean Cuisine. No lie. I only cooked for myself twice while he was gone. The rest of the time it was sandwiches, Lean Cuisine, Chick Fil A, Taco Bell, my microwave version of a cheese quesadilla, and several dinners from Chili's [because I worked there so why not?]. So, do you cook while your hubby is deployed? If so, I'm gonna need some recipes for me!  I don't think I'm gonna be able to handle a whole year of frozen dinners...

Right now, I can only think about two things. 1) how much I'm gonna miss my hubby when he leaves... Coming home to a completely empty house is going to suck so bad! 2) how much I miss my Jasper. Things were so much more bearable when I had my puppy to come home to...

Any more suggestions/advice you have I will be glad to hear...er, see. =) And I'm sure I'll have more questions later.

Deployment sucks. The End.


Karen said...

I'm newish to reading your blog, but I LOVE it. And my man is going away for 8 weeks this summer and it's the first time we'll be separated like that - so I know it's not a year (like you) but I feel your pain about the cooking. I hate cooking for just me. But I can send you some great casserole recipes that are SUPER easy!

Have a great night!

Mr. Superman & Mrs. S. said...

Man girl whatever you get for advice, save it up so you can share it with me. I LOVE YOU!!!

Jennifer @ Sergeant Major Mom said...

Deployments do suck, plain and simple. My best advice is to keep busy!!! The more free time you have to sit and dwell on the fact that you're alone, the worse it will be. Find a new hobby, volunteer, get a part-time job, take some classes, do touristy stuff and see the area, etc.

Keep blogging - it's a nice venue for letting your emotions out when you have no one to talk to.

I have 5 kids, so I was super busy during my husband's deployment last year - busier than I would have liked. :) It made the days go by quickly though.

I don't know about what changes they will be making, but I was pleasantly surprised with how often I was able to chat with Andy last year on the computer. I hope that you are able to do the same!

You'll get through it!!

Jennifer @ Sergeant Major Mom said...

Oh, and I have to mention that I went into a very modified cooking mode too. I have 5 little mouths to feed, so I still had to make dinner,but we didn't go "all out" will full meals like we normally do. Cereal is a meal, right?? :)

When my husband got home, the kids were begging for him to cook them steak and shrimp, because I had deprived them for so long. (My husband cooks a lot more than I do!)

annoyed army wife said...

I've keeping a close eye on this post. I'm a deployment virgin, too. OccDoc is leaving in a fewish weeks, so I'm soaking up my time with him while trying to find new hobbies (and friends).

Sara said...

I'm only 97 days into our first deployment. But I have learned a few things I want to share.

The looming doom, for me, was MUCH worse than the actual deployment, at least so far. The two weeks leading up to D-day were the worst two weeks of my life. And the day he left, well, we dont talk about that day. But even a week into the deployment was better than the w.a.i.t.i.n.g.

As for cooking, Joe, my Joe, and I have completely different tastes. So I took this opportunity to make everything I wasnt able to make while he was here. It sounds mean. But I needed to find a perk in this deployment, just for my sanity. And after a bit of time, I have found more. Less laundry, FAR less laundry. No PT alarm at 0500. Smaller electric bill. No need to worry about dinner getting cold waiting for him. The cons outweigh the pros SO MUCH, but I needed to find some.

Dont expect anything, good or bad. I was waiting for the world to end when Joe left. Anticipating the worst. And I have to say, it's not been as bad as everyone told me it would be. You get used to an empty house pretty fast. You get used to not expecting him to walk though that door. It sucks. But our minds and hearts have a way of coping just to get by. We moved here 2 months before Joe left. And I think it's actually helped. I dont have memories of Joe around every corner. I dont have things popping up reminding me of his absence constantly. I have *my* life in Colorado, not ours. And it's sometimes lonely, but it's not the end of the world. It's just a year. AND you have all of us crazy ladies on Twitter to keep you entertained!!

One more thing. Hug him. A lot.

ACU's and ABC's said...

Hi :) I'm halfway through my first deployment, and like you before it started I was feeling the exact same way. I agree with the others who said the anticipation of it is worse than the actual deployment. As soon as he left, I could begin counting down. And I did too...I have a countdown on my google page and it was a little depressing in the beginning, but I had mini milestones like when I reached 300 days left, 200 days left, etc. The BEST advice I can give is the same thing you have been hearing...stay busy. I'm a teacher so I had a full time job during the week, but on weekends if I wasn't busy, I would sit at my computer waiting for him to email or get on skype. I tried to make sure I had something going on every weekend, not only to keep myself busy but to give me things to look forward to. I had three big goals for deployment too...1 was to volunteer, 1 was to learn French, and 1 was to learn to cook. So I actually am cooking more now than when my hubby was here. I can talk to my husband every day and that has helped tremendously. Soak up the last few days you have together...I think back on ours often!

Anonymous said...

I really haven't cooked at all during C's deployment. One really is the loneliest number when it comes to being in the kitchen. But, I don't think there's anything wrong with not cooking while they're away...why do something that's not fun?!

Lindsey said...

Hi there,

OK, so I do not consider myself a seasoned milspouse. Yes, we are on our 3rd deployment, but the first two were YEARS ago, right after 9/11, so we had a nice little break while he did the reserve thing. This deployment was sprung on us when we were least expecting it.

In a way, I feel like this is a "new" kind of deployment for us. Things are so much different; older kids, non-military town, I'm in school, etc. So, i'm learning day by day.

I suppose that is my advice for you. Go with the flow. You are going to have those days that you kinda just need to relax and let your mind unwind. Keeping busy is important, but try not to stay so busy that you get stressed.

For us, communication has been great! Better than our other deployments, so I am very grateful. Hopefully, you will have the same.

I love your idea about setting a weekly goal. In fact, I may steal that idea, we are only 10% in so I have a long way to go.

Anyway, keep your head up, and as one of the other posters said, I agree that the days leading up to departure are much harder than the first couple weeks.

JG said...

I have no experience so I have no advice...but I'm sending you great big hugs through the ethernet!!

Chantal said...

I definitely cook when he's not home! I actually use the time he's gone to experiment with new recipes. That way, when he gets back, I have a whole new menu for him to try. I just make things in smaller quantities and eat leftovers for lunch.

JessRaquel said...

Even though my guy is only gone for 2 months compared to a year.. i feel you on this suckfest. I cried myself to sleep last night since it was the first day he has been gone, no joke. When can you get your puppy? I don't know what I would do without my pets during this time.. They help me feel less lonely. Also I would totally cook if I was you! That way when he gets home, you will become this pro chef that will totally surprise him! I'm going to try and master a little cooking myself. I'm also going to start scrapbooking so he has a surprise to come home too.. Plus I'm going to look for a part-time job to help make the time go by.

Let me know if you need anything! I'm no Military Wife but I hate being alone so I'm more then happy to rant about it with you ;p

Krista said...

youre in hawaii. you should learn how to surf! that would be awesome! id do it!
the cooking thing? i cook sometimes but i usually will make a huge pot of sauce and freeze it so i have sauce for meals... or ill make a ton of chicken cutlets and freeze those so i have meals too... im not a fan of lean cuisine. also sometimes me and my girlfriends cook for eachother...
as for contact, dont have any expectations that way youll avoid disapointment and its really hard at first because communication is erratic..
and the best advice i got? dont go into deployment with the "this sucks, fuck this" attitude because if you do then your time will be miserable. yeah it sucks sometimes but it is what you make it. with volunteering and stuff you could have a pretty good time! and yeah this year ive missed my husband, but ive also had a lot of fun with my girlfriends and will miss the "dorm" feeling we have once all the husbands come back. plus youll be in HI and its hard to be miserable in the tropics!
oh and always leave a light on in your house in case you end up being out later than you intended. i cant tell you how many times ive freaked myself out coming home to a dark house. the worst. oh and dont fall asleep to tv stations with religion stuff in the morning or youll wake up to people shouting about jesus and stuff and its scary when you are not quite awake.

Amber said...

This is probably a completely stupid question - but can you get a puppy or another pet on the island? I know that you want Jasper and hopefully he will make it to you soon - but is there anyway that you can get a pet from the island to keep you company?

Also, I'm not a military spouse - but I have experience with your husband being gone a lot. Steven used to travel 3 out of 4 weeks every single month. At first I just ate microwave dinners and take out. But I realized that only makes the absenece of your husband that much more real. Because it's like you aren't living your life fully. So I started to cook meals - good meals for myself. I would always have left overs of course, but I don't mind eating left overs. It made things seem more "normal". So I would suggest that you cook for yourself at least twice a week. Enjoy the left overs and treat yourself to a dinner out a night a week and and a microwave meal just to keep things easy!

Anonymous said...

I am by no means a seasoned military wife but I have been "dating" the military for 4 years now so hopefully my advice will help!

Deployments suck. That's how it is. Unfortunately, it's the time leading up to the deployment that is the worst. Once he has left, it will get easier because then you can start the countdown. It's good that you are volunteering for ACS since that will occupy you for a while. The key is to stay busy and not expect anything miraculous. Although some of his friends are on facebook all the time, don't expect him to do the same. If it happens to be that way great, but if not, then you won't be utterly disappointed. When Mr. M was gone I heard from him about 3-4 times a week through phone calls and almost daily through email.

However, sometimes that wasn't the case. At the beginning of the deployment, I didn't hear from him for almost two months since it took him forever to get situated. I also sent him care packages which took up some of my time and was fun to make for him so maybe you can make one that is themed? (like for holidays and such) since I sent him one for Halloween and Christmas.

As for the cooking, unfortunately, i can't help you there since I'm not married yet. However, I would totally try experimenting with new recipes so that when he comes home you can impress him with all your new cooking skills. Hope this helps!!

Mel said...

I have a few small suggestions - I'm not married but we are going through our first deployment currently.

Keep blogging. Along those same lines, do other things that make you happy. Volunteering is great. Taking a class to learn something new or even picking up a new hobby you can do with other people.

The cooking situation I don't think matters. I think what does is that you stay healthy. Eat well, sleep enough and exercise.

Finally, don't expect anything. Be happy and cherish the contact you get, but know that things can change in a moment so don't get used to or comfortable with anything. We have to adapt to them, it's our job! :)

Hope this helps!

The Sawyer Bunch said...

I have no advice, as I have never been through a deployment. The only thing I can say is to stay busy..stay busy and stay blogging! But maybe you could write him letters every day as well. If you can't send them, save them. I think it would help a lot. Sorry I'm not much help, but ((hugs)).

P.S. I left you something on my blog :)

Brigette said...

I wish I some advice to give you but my husband hasn't deployed yet. But just know you are a strong woman and as long as you keep yourself busy I think the time will go by faster then you think. :)
I hope Jasper gets to come home to you soon.

Lisa said...

I'm not a seasoned spouse, or even a spouse, but I just got through P's first deployment.

Let's see... cooking? I did it, sometimes. Not much, as I was living on my own. I don't like to cook just for me, so I did eat a lot of mac n cheese and some simple meals. But I found when I took the time to cook myself a real dinner, I really enjoyed it. So find a reason to cook- bring a friend over and have some wine while you do it!

I guess it depends on where Joe is going. P was in Iraq, and he was in a very safe place, so he had internet. I did hear from him mostly regularly, but be aware that even when they are safe, the internet isn't reliable, and often you won't hear from him. Don't worry too much. Get used to sleeping with the laptop open right next to the bed and your phone within arm's reach. I even changed my cell phone plan to be able to use instant messenger and email on it. That way, if he got online he could message me.

You will get through this, and you will both come out stronger for it. Please email if you have more questions, and keep posting! The blogging community was a great help to me!!