If given the choice between going through my husband being deployed or not deployed, I would hands down choose that he wouldn’t get deployed. I’ve been through my fair share of deployments though, and there are silver linings to my husband being gone that I found myself looking forward to as the deployment day drew closer.
1. The time alone
I used to HATE being alone! Now I look forward to the personal progress that I can make from spending time alone getting to know myself. With no one else to care for (before I had kids), I was able to really focus on me and reevaluate the person that I want to be, and the goals that I wanted to accomplish. I learned how to be courageous as well. I no longer need to have a “buddy” for the movies or restaurants. If there’s a movie that I want to see, or a new restaurant that I’d like to try, then I can now take myself out on a date to those places without feeling weird.
2. Distance Makes the Heart Grow Fonder
I’m not the biggest fan of the saying “Distance makes the heart grow fonder” because distance is painful. My heart ached every time my husband was away, but having him gone really put things in perspective. I was no longer focusing on his negative aspects, such as leaving his socks on the floor and never turning lights off as he left the room. No one is perfect and I learned that having his socks on the floor would be worth it to have him home. The first time I saw his socks on the floor after he came back from a deployment I smiled… because it meant he was home. Only having him gone could have put the small things like that in perspective for me.
3. The letters
This one kind of goes in line with number 2. The longer my husband was gone the sweeter he would be. We were able to effectively communicate about things that we normally would have fought over because now we missed each other. Instead of waking up to him rushing to get out the door to work, I would wake up to emails full of “I love you” and “Good morning beautiful” phrases. I’ve printed off the emails that we’ve sent to each other over the years and they are my most loved possessions.
4. The Creativity
There’s something about being alone for months that makes me creative. I learned how to create board games and put together 2000+ piece puzzles. I learned the difference between polyurethane and polycrylic. As I checked off each project goal I was able to learn and grow in ways that I wouldn’t have if I had someone helping me.
5. No need for Compromise
We no longer have a TV, and soon you’ll be able to read a post on it here, but when we did we constantly fought over what we should watch. When my husband was deployed I could watch what I wanted, for however long I wanted. I didn’t have to portion out dinner either. I just ate the amount that I wanted and saved the rest for later. I always made sure to make the food that I love, but my husband isn’t a fan of, when he was gone.
6. The care packages
Let’s face it, care packages are FUN to make! The different color scheme and themes had me searching Pinterest for hours. It not only gave me something to do as I scoured the commissary for anything and everything blue for an “I’m blue without you” package, but it brought both my husband and I immense joy every time he received a package.
You’ll be back in your spouse’s arms before you know it, but for now take the time to enjoy the growth that you can achieve while they are away.
What are some of the things that you look forward to after your significant other leaves for deployment?