Monday, September 28, 2009

Because I might've been a bit harsh ...

I've written a post before about what you should and should never say to a military spouse or family member. One that bothers me to no end is when someone asks how long Adam is going to be gone, and their response is "Oh, that's not bad."

I decided to take matters into my own hands when someone says this to me, if only to educate them so they don't say it the absolute wrong person next time. Well, I got to use it last week.

I was showing a dad at football practice my Kindle, kindly explaining what it was and how much I loved it, yada yada yada. He's the dad of one of Addison's friends, so I was being nice. My friends always ask how Adam's doing, and he did too, and then said THOSE words, "How long is he gone for?"

I gave him a general timeframe (OPSEC, yo, I'm down with it) and he said the words...and I let loose. I wasn't rude, but here's a rundown of how it went (and this was after I restrained myself from launching myself at him, because I really wanted to wrap my hands around his neck and shake him like I was a British nanny):

Him: "Oh, that's not bad."
Me: "It is to me." At this point, he looked like the words "oh shit" shot through his brain.
Me: "He works all the time over there. His unit is rarely idle in that time period. They are constantly busy, always putting their lives on the line. He's not sitting over there counting bullets."

He smartly shut his mouth after that.

Here's what bothers me the most, though. No one would have the balls to say this to a child going through the same thing. If an adult ever said that to Addison, I would have no problem kicking their ass. Addison is a smart kid, but he doesn't understand why his father has to miss all his football games, school stuff, holidays, etc.

So why do people deem it okay to say to a wife, husband, brother, mother, etc?

I don't regret making him feel uncomfortable. Maybe he didn't deserve it, maybe he is now better educated because of my little verbal diarrhea tirade.

Here's a suggestion to anyone who may speak to anyone dealing with deployment - ask them how they are doing. Tell them you will keep their loved one in your thoughts and prayers (if you're a praying sort). Wish them a safe return for their loved one.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Because it's just a number, yo...

I turned 35 years old in May. I'm still trying to grasp that I'm 35 years old. I'm really not sure how a 35-year-old is supposed to act, or look like, etc.

Some people identify with their age. I've never done that - I still feel like a 17-year-old, though with a husband and 10-year-old son, a house, dog, bills, and more. I guess you'd say "responsibility" but I see it as life.

So what's a mom in her mid-30's supposed to look like? I don't know. Am I supposed to be buying mom jeans from Kmart and rocking an ass in the front and the back? (You know what I mean...when someone's gut is so big it looks like their ass goes all the way around.) I loathe exercise, but I realize the older I get, the more my former fantabulous metabolism is slowing down. Good thing I'm a comfort drinker, not eater.

What kind of music is a mom supposed to listen to? Barry Manilow? Neil Diamond? I'm a Linkin Park kind of girl. I love JT, Rihanna, Disturbed, Jimmy Buffett, and many more. My musical interests are diverse, without a doubt. It usually depends on what sort of mood I'm in. These days I'm loving Adele. It's mellow, but her voice is beautiful. That just sounded so mom.

I go through a lot of identity crises. Some days it's "what's a girl supposed to act like" and others it's "what's a Yankee living in the South supposed to act like." Right now I'm trying to figure out how to act my age. And you know what? There's no rule saying I have to wear mom jeans, or make Addison eat organic food. I'll continue to be me, good and bad, and keep being the Erin that is comfortable in her own skin. The one thing I've learned as I have accumulated the years is that I don't care what people think about me.

That's the most comfort I've felt about myself in years.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Because I'm reviewing ...

I'm reviewing the last few weeks of my life, those weeks since Adam's left. All I can say is, wow.

I've changed, and changed immensely. I feel a sudden onset of maturity. I'm not saying I'm not any fun anymore, and that I won't moon the nearest person at the first chance (After drinking, of course. Okay, maybe not).

What I mean is that for the first time in my life, I feel capable. That if I can do this, I can do anything. This is my seventh time going through a deployment, and I finally feel like it's going to be okay. I've never been a nervous-wreck sort of person throughout any of them. I take that back - the first one was a nightmare. Not knowing where in the world your husband is, having no communication with him and not knowing when he was coming back sucked. At least I know where he is, although not being able to promise Addison he will come home bothers me. We don't broach that subject though, we focus on the positive.

Yes, there is a positive. The positive is the intense pride we have at being a military family. It's like having the National Anthem playing in a loop, constantly in your head and in your heart. Sounds corny, but it's true!

So yes, I'll make it through this one too. And more in the next six years before Adam retires (who knows, he might even stay in longer after 20 years). He absolutely loves his job. I love that he has a job and love that he loves it. It's a big ol' lovefest in the Nash family!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Because I'm in a rut...

So I've hit a major rut in my life. I know it's depression, and loneliness since Adam's been gone over 5 weeks. This is my first deployment when I didn't work. I can tell a tremendous difference - I was actually busy and it made time go by faster. These have been the longest weeks of my life.

I've been so focused as our Family Readiness Group leader on everyone else that I've forgotten to take care of me. I just don't seem to have the energy or wont to take care of myself or the house. The rest of my energy is taking care of Addison. I would never be a parent who lets their child run wild or not feed them. He's my number one priority in life, always.

I'm missing the old Erin, the one who was fun. The one who would go anywhere, anytime, even though I'm a homebody. I'm a total hermit now. Between the depression and the feeling I need to be here, I don't leave the house that often. Sure, I go grocery shopping and to Wal-Mart and such, but there's no joy in shopping right now for me. I had planned on getting a good jump on Christmas shopping because I really enjoy getting it all done early, but I've lost the joy in most everything.

I'm not one for medication. I've done and tried a lot of medications, and now I just feel that this is something I can control on my own. I suppose admitting it here, on the blog, is my first step in taking control of it and getting on with life and finding the enjoyment in it.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Because I'm so stubborn...

If you've ever had government-run healthcare, you can feel my pain. It sucks. Especially military healthcare. It's so bad that I only go if I absolutely have to (yearly girl stuff, and refills for my inhaler). Other than that, I usually just suffer or self-treat. I know, stupid, but unless you are in the same boat, you have no idea!

Last week my ear got really itchy inside. The next day it felt kind of full, and I could feel that it was swollen inside. I figured it would go away on it's own. I figured wrong.

Because, of course, I had to try to self-treat. I thought it may be some sort of sinus/throat infection. Then I figured it might be a big ol' zit, a cyst or something. Now I just have no clue, except it's putting a lot of pressure on everything around it, and it's uncomfortable. It's not painful, but of course I've been poking around in there, because I'd be soooo embarrassed if I go to be seen and have a big zit in there. For cripes sake, I'm 35 years old. I guess ears have no age though.

So now I'm going to stop being so stubborn. I'm going to wait until after duty hours (so I don't have to call my clinic, which will invariably steer me towards the ER, which I will NOT go to) and go to the walk-in medical clinic. Civilians rock. I'm so afraid they're going to be able to tell I've been sticking all kinds of Q-tips in there, poking around, probably touching my brain. Oh well, I'll bite the bullet.

I can't wait to tell Addison we'll be spending Friday night at Urgent One. What a glamorous life I lead!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Because I'll never be THAT wife...

There's been so much going on the last five days it's been crazy. I am not going to go into right now, but needless to say, I've learned a lot about myself.

First and foremost, I've learned I am a strong person. People have told me that through the years of being a military wife, but I always figured if I didn't love Adam, I wouldn't do it. It's a tough life, no doubt, but there's plenty more pros then cons, and I wouldn't trade it for the world.

I've learned I might not be quite the follower I always thought I was. I'm not a born leader, but have been inspired by Adam and others I admire in that regard.

A few months ago, because of the rank Adam had achieved, I was put in the position of being a leader. I was not too sure of myself as a leader, but I felt that since I was in that position to help others, there was no reason I shouldn't.

I could tell at our first meeting the other wives were hesitant of me. They had to feel me out, see what sort of person I was. Here's the thing...I'm me, swearing, blunt, say-what-I-think Erin. Sometimes I come off as rough and gruff. I'm fine with people not liking me also, because I certainly don't like everyone I meet.

Because of Adam's job title, I get a title. But I don't want that title. I don't want to be (insert rank here)'s wife. I'm Erin. Not to take away anything from Adam and how proud I am of him and how great he is at what he does, but because there shouldn't be rank when it's a wives meeting. I respect all of the men's ranks, but believe when it's a room full of women, there's no rank, unless, of course, they are in the military.

I've met plenty of wives throughout the years who would refer to themselves as "the colonel's wife" and stuff like that. What, you don't have your own identity?

I could go on and on about this, but I won't. Like I said, there's been a lot going on. I'm fine, Adam's fine, Addison's need to worry.