Military life has its ups and downs.
It’s a common comparison that military life resembles a roller coaster. Not to mention that roller coasters give you all kinds of different emotions while waiting for and throughout the ride.
There is all this anticipation and build up for a couple minutes of madness. I’m a sucker for roller coasters because I enjoy the thrill, but still get nervous every once in awhile, even if I’ve already been on the ride before.
I think that can be said about military life too. No matter how many times you experience a PCS or a deployment, it doesn’t mean it gets any easier.
With that said, military life can be scary AND exciting at the same time. Don’t you agree?
There are some thrill rides that go from zero to 60 mph in seconds, which can equate to short orders. Then, there are the ones that start slow and clicks upward for the steep drop. I like to think the ticking upward is time spent waiting for orders and after you reach the peak…whoosh…it’s time to PCS!
Can’t we all relate with that?
Similarly to riding roller coasters, there are certain tips that frequent riders practice to help ease the experience. Military spouses should be ready for the military life roller coaster! I was lucky because I had a military spouse mom that was able to give me a little insight to the ride. Now with personal experience, I’m able to add some valuable insight of my own to the list.
How I Ride The Roller Coaster Of Military Life
Buckle Up And Expect The Unexpected
As an avid roller coaster rider, I like to spend some time watching a roller coaster go through a few times to gauge the experience. For example, I see 2 drops, 3 inverted twists and the speed don’t seem to go that fast…well, it’s different to actually sit in the seat and go through the motions yourself. You really have no idea how your body is going to handle a ride once you ride it.
That’s why you go into a ride to expect the unexpected. It’s typically one of the first advice given to newbie military spouses too.
How many times have things changed last minute? I’ve run out of fingers and toes to count.
I don’t know about you, but I feel like things go smoothly when I’m comfortable. When you go to a theme park to enjoy the day, you don’t wear your heels and a tight dress (at least I don’t).
Your comfort level is definitely determined by your situation. So, gear up and get ready for the challenge ahead in your best productive outfit and mindset.
Getting comfortable doesn’t only mean clothing. Once you get your comfy on, settle into the seats of the roller coaster, just like you would settle into military life. You might as well be as comfortable as you can be when you’re being tossed around!
Brace For Twists And Turns
Roller coasters typically have special hand rails or grips for riders to use. In addition, the staff reminds you to keep all hands and feet in the train car. Do the same with military life. Listen to experts around you and be sure you keep any extremities (i.e. belongings, children, sanity, etc.) in check while the ride is in motion.
Staying safe and smart is very important with military life – and all life, really. You have a wealth of resources and a knowledgeable community filled with experts, so don’t be afraid to ask questions too.
Go All In
Do it all. At least, do as much as you can and/or comfortable in doing. I like to think that I’ll try and get involved in anyway possible. It’s easy to get overwhelmed, so confide to your spouse, friends and family. They can offer some third-party insight.
It’s OK to be scared. Don’t let that limit yourself in your journey (easier said than done!). The sooner you embrace the situation the easier things do get.
Don’t Forget To Have Fun
I scream my head off on roller coasters. It’s not because I’m terrified. I do so to take in the experience. If I’m going to be strapped down and inverted at 60 mph, I’m entitled to get crazy!
The lifestyle is nuts when you really think about it. Moving around every 2 to 3 years, frequent separations, 24-hour duty situations…the list goes on and on.
Even with all the nuttiness going on, military life can be fun and don’t forget that. I love that I’m able to meet so many amazing people everywhere. You get to see a world from a different and humbling perspective.