by RH Ramsey, Guest Contributor
Balance–one of life’s biggest mysteries. One minute, it seems that time, love, friendships, work and dreams make perfect sense.
The next minute, things are hectic or falling apart. Achieving and attaining harmony in life is essential and the military lifestyle, albeit a beautiful journey, leaves little room for making this a priority. With marriage, work, school, family life and keeping a healthy connection with our own needs, the military spouse is no stranger to the struggles of balance.
As children are uprooted, friendships become strained and many of our goals become secondary to our lifestyle, where does this leave “self?”
I believe each military spouse must remain aware of the little voice inside, which urges one to find something–at least one thing– that makes him/her happy. Once we cease to nurture our own passion and goals, investing this energy only in the goals of others, we risk becoming lost. No matter the passion, (within reason) we must not lose ourselves in the frenzy of the military lifestyle.
Yes, one of our first priorities, is to care for our spouse and children. But once this becomes the entire focus, with no room to recharge, free of placing unnecessary guilt upon ourselves, we are creating a turbulent environment either within or around us. No matter how insignificant your passion, hobby or interests may seem, they make the difference between wellness and spiritual decrepitude. From volunteering, church, school, writing, art and daily walks, finding time to nurture and validate your own needs must find its place in your routine.
As a child, I always knew that I had a passion for storytelling. I carried this passion into my teenage years, jotting down ideas, with no intent to share them. Toward the end of 2004, one year after becoming a military spouse, I had begun to adjust to a new city: Abilene, Texas. I had my daughter at the end of 2005. I knew instantly, that I would be a stay-at-home mother and I dedicated my life to my family. And although seeing every first step, hearing every first word, has been a blessing which I am forever grateful, I realized that I was missing something– I had forgotten about taking the time to daydream.
One afternoon, I sat down at our computer, turned on some music and I completed my first novel. After writing my first novel, I realized that that for me, writing and storytelling are the essence of me. Despite my aversion to sharing what I had written to anyone outside of my immediate family, I knew deep down, that I was cultivating a piece of me, that deserved to be fostered.
Eight years and 2 children later, I have learned, that taking the time to do something that I enjoy, the sense of completion, writing something that could potentially touch someone’s life, became my driving force. I am learning to balance the military lifestyle, marriage, the demands of parenthood, my insecurities, writing, keeping up with my websites and school.
Although things can get hectic, in my opinion, we should take care not to forget about what brings us peace. Balance brings peace. Peace brings unconditional happiness–something we all deserve.
With time, introspect and a deeper yearning for wholeness, I hope that we all discover our passion and remain connected with what brings balance.