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.
Military life isn’t hard. There is a huge stereotype that most military marriages end in divorce. This was the case in my situation, my ex husband decided to cheat on me while he was stationed in Japan. I was left stateside with my kids. I also ask myself what if, but I stand behind my decision on staying back for a reason. He was mentally abusive and there were red flags before the marriage that I failed to see. I hate that I was a statistic but if he wouldn’t have cheated and then lied about it, I wouldn’t have mustered up the courage to leave the marriage. If you marriage is on the rocks, it isn’t a good idea to stay for the kids. Military life is tough but with all things possible, military marriages do work and not all men cheat. Thank you for sharing Rhonda.
It sounds like the decision you made is the best decision. I’m so sorry – so, so sorry — to hear that, though. But I’m so glad to know you left, and it yes, it is true, that things can and do get better when they’ve gone so terribly wrong. You are so right about the reasons to stay/go … and no, they are not all bad. It’s a blessing that you are able to move forward.
You’re welcome and thank you so much.
You have great advice for any wife and mother not just military families.
Thank you so much for saying that. I appreciate that.
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You are right on point about finding balance and doing something Just4U. I love that you have found the prefect way to express the essence of yourself! Great post!
It takes a while, doesn’t it? To sort of realize, just because you love and want the best for those around you, doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice your passion. Thanks, Sherry.
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