Thursday, January 30, 2014

Much Ado About Nothing

I am a dreamer. I always have been. I even minored in philosophy in school, so I am actually a well-studied thinker. (Or something like that. Who knows what people with philosophy degrees actually do.) I make really big aspirations and resolutions for myself. I develop lofty expectations of what I think things should look like at their completion. And I have a very definite vision of how I think things ought to be.

But you know what dreaming big looks like? A person sitting there doing nothing.

When we moved into our fixer upper in October, I would walk around the various rooms and just stare at them intently while reorganizing materials, color palettes, and furniture vignettes in my mind. My husband would walk in the room and ask me, "What's wrong?"
"Nothing," I'd answer. "This is just my thoughtful face."
I have probably spent hours staring into space and mentally renovating and redecorating those rooms. Hours. Literally doing nothing. Just standing there looking at the walls.
Guess who did the actual work on those rooms? I'll give you a wasn't the girl with the thoughtful face.

The problem with being a dreamer is that the dreamland usually looks so good when it's finished, you feel overwhelmed when it's time to start getting yourself there for real. Work?! Blah. I don't do work in the dream. I just reap the benefits of my hard work.
Or here's a real kicker---finally starting the work, and realizing the hard work you are beginning is not leading you to the picture perfect vision you had focused your thoughtful face on for so long.

What should you do then? Do you keep on going even after you discover you are not taking the exact route you wanted? Or do you stop where you're at and envision a newer, better plan?

...Sorry. I had to think about that for a minute.

Remember 2013? That year I was supposed to blog once a week for a year? That year that should show a number 52 next to it in my blog list, but instead shows an abysmal 20?
It's over now. What's done is done. And what isn't done is probably due in large part to my dreaming and scheming.

I made no promises to myself this year. For the first time since I can remember, I had a resolution-less new year. Obviously, my resolution lists were getting me nowhere in the past. And I had real things to do---like tell my husband how to renovate a house. But while I "researched" Pinterest to find some inspiration for the bathrooms, I found a quote that said:
Resolution = a firm decision to do something; Goal = giving your resolution a plan of action and time constraint

I stopped. I reread. I put on my thoughtful face and I pondered the implication of what I was about to do next.

I want to be more than a dreamer. I want to be an achiever. Regardless of whether it takes me to my dreamland or not, I want to get off of my philosophical butt and do things. I want to stare at a finished project instead of void spaces, even if the projects are not as pretty as the ones in my imaginings.

So I thought about a resolution I had: Blog more. What problems did I have doing this in the past? Committing a time to blog and running out of ideas for writing. Was there something I could DO to help me achieve this?

So I dedicated a time to blog. Thursday is the day. And, I made a journal jar.
I would post a picture of it, but my image reader isn't working and I'm a little scared that if I don't complete this post right now in the time I allotted myself to blog, then it will be 2015 before you read this. I also would post a picture of the journal jar that inspired me (and which my own jar looks nothing like,) but apparently you have to own images to post them to your blog or something. Darn copyrights.

So here is my less than ideal blog about getting stuff done. It's not what I envisioned I would write when I began. But it's better than nothing.

I think...

Here's to a year of accomplishing goals...or at least starting them!

Monday, January 6, 2014

I am THAT Wife

It's nearly 11pm--or 2300 according to his watch--and I can't calm my brain.

He's not home. He's in California...again.
Training to leave us...again.

I am no stranger to this feeling. No, I'm not talking about the feeling of loneliness. (Though that is a feeling I am also quite familiar with.) I am talking about the feeling you get that's part chaos and part calm. Part helplessness and part superhero. Part duty and part begrudgery. (If that isn't a word, I just made it one now.) Part pride and part "why oh why, dear Lord, did I marry a military man?!"

For any woman who has ever looked on as her husband walked away holding a rifle and a ruck sack...with her head held high and a smile on her face, all the while secretly envisioning herself weeping helplessly and holding onto his legs like a small child...this one's for you.

I remember getting ready for my husband's first deployment and knowing absolutely nothing. I picked every brain that I could hoping to discover how the whole ordeal would go down. I talked to my husband. I went to the family readiness group meetings. I eavesdropped on the gabby ladies at my daughter's dance classes. I read books. I read blogs. I looked up inspirational posters on the Internet. You name it. But no matter where I looked, I always found these horror stories.
Not ones about war, but about THAT wife. We've all heard about her: The one who chased after the bus. The one that called the office five times a day. The one that sat in the office each and every day. The one that called the news crew because her husband was training in the snow. The one that screamed "don't leave me!" as he walked away and made all of the children standing within earshot suddenly burst into tears.
And after every horror story, you always get the resounding advice: Don't be THAT wife.

Well, after some reflection, I have to say I am THAT wife.

I didn't physically chase after the bus, but I certainly did follow the contrail in the sky for like an hour afterwards. And it could be considered disturbing how quickly I was able locate my husband's face out of the hundreds that are captured coming in and out of Maine.

While I have yet to call my husband's boss to see when he'll be released for dinner, I have most definitely called my husband five times in a day regarding the matter. And I also give the stink eye to every single car that pulls into their driveway before my husband makes it back home for the night.

I don't sit in the office. That's how they rope you into volunteering. (I tease, I tease!)

I didn't complain to a news crew about my husband being out in the snow, but I have complained to my husband and most of my friends and family about the time the kids and I were stuck in the snow while he got to train on the beach next to dolphins. (Still harboring some jealous feelings there. In fact, someone find me a news crew...)

While my mouth may not scream out "don't leave me," my heart sure does every time. And it takes everything in my power to smile at him each time he leaves instead of curl up and cry like I often feel like doing.

I am most certainly THAT wife. I think we all are. It's part of what makes us one big crazy family. The sisterhood of travelling camo pants...

So let your "freak flag fly," so to speak. I won't judge you. I will just choose to let my "hooah" show in more subtle ways, like my 'proud Army wife' bumper sticker and t-shirt.