Monday, February 21, 2011

Chopping Wood and Carrying Water

Today is Soldier's Army Birthday. He has been in the Army for 7 years now.  7 years.  It's amazing to look back now at how much the military has shaped where we are today. I didn't notice those changes as they were happening, it's in reflecting on those years that I realize how marrying a man in the military changed me.


I remember hearing once about a journalist who asked Gandhi about his life before and after his enlightenment and he responded by saying, "Before enlightenment I chopped wood and carried water. After enlightenment I chopped wood and carried water." I didn't understand what he meant by that when I first heard it growing up, so I'm surprised it stuck with me, but I now know it's all about frame of mind. And that's what I feel the trick to surviving military  life is as a spouse.  


We choose our spouse, not their job, and as in my case Soldier was already a soldier when we met. Although I'm not impacted by military life like an active duty family is, the army is always in the back of my mind. I could be resentful or upset by the restrictions the military places on us and the long separations but I try always to embrace the possibilities those separations bring us.  A drill weekend means I have either a weekend full of the girls, a lazy weekend, or a chance to finally finish those projects around the house. A month of training means I can finish that quilt I started last year but never finished, or I can finish watching all 4 seasons of that TV show Soldier's not interested in. A deployment is a chance for me the renew my appreciation of our relationship and to remember why I should never take anything for granted.


I wouldn't consider myself "enlightened" or a model army wife because there are certainly times that I have thought this sucks and had a big ol pity party. But then I remember why I'm supporting my soldier and continue  'chopping wood and carrying water'.

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