Military spouses know that the military takes a huge precedent in our marriage with our spouse. It’s been said before that if the military wanted our service members to have a spouse, DOD would have issued one to them. It wouldn’t be a joke if there isn’t some truth behind it.
Their duty sometimes outweighs the things that we might have wanted them to do like attend a friend’s wedding, be there for a birthday or travel with during the holidays. Those are a couple of circumstances that my husband had to miss.
Instead of focusing on all the ways the military is holding you back, start grabbing life by the horns and make the most of this military lifestyle!
Grab a pen and paper and personalize these 10 things every military spouse needs to start doing right now.
1. Start accepting military life. It’s one of the first things newbie military spouses are encouraged to do, but oftentimes is difficult to actually fulfill. The military can do things that holds us back like deployment or TDY. Despite the negatives, it IS the life we chose and our relationship with our spouses makes every hardship worth it.
2. Start living for yourself. The military will give you lots of opportunities to be alone. Take advantage of this alone time by reading a book at a local coffee shop, binge-watching your favorites on Netflix or finishing that online college degree you’ve had your eye on.
3. Start realizing your full potential. You can do it. Seriously, it’s mind over matter. I believe military spouses are capable of anything we set our minds to, so whatever is on your dream list, remember it is possible.
4. Start saying “no.” This is something that I have trouble with doing because I always say “yes.” Even if you can actually do it all, you might be overworking yourself and it could result in unhappiness. Think about what it is that really makes you happy and then know it’s OK to say no to those things that aren’t making you happy.
5. Start getting involved in our community. Spending time giving back to the community gives me a sense of fulfillment. Check out your local MWR or ACS office to see if you can volunteer a hour or two, if it works in your schedule.
6. Start doing something new. A new activity is a great way to keep our minds sharp and gives us something fun to do. I began scrapbooking as a way to chronicle our time at our duty stations and it’s awesome to see all the different things we’ve managed to do in just a year and a half.
7. Start meeting new people. A scary thing at first, but putting yourself out there to meet new people can actually help you with achieving your goals. Keep an open dialogue with everyone that comes your way because you never know who can scratch your back, while you scratch theirs.
8. Start your duty station bucket list. If you haven’t done a duty station bucket list, do it! It’s a great way to make sure you get to do everything your location offers.
9. Start your marriage bucket list. This can be broad from vacations you want to take or activities you and your husband enjoy. For example, make sure you have a dedicated date night or cook dinner together. It’s the little things that add up.
10. Start truly being yourself! Stop worrying what people have to say about you, especially your decision to marry someone in the military. Be yourself and only yourself and it really make you happy.
All the things above will help you engage and embrace military life because it focuses on YOU, the military spouse!