The other day, I was having a conversation with someone that I didn’t know very well. I mentioned that we were moving, she looked at me and said, “I’m so sorry.”
I looked at her, puzzled, and asked, “Sorry for what?”
“Your poor children have to move again, that must be so hard for them.”
It took me a second to regain my composure, but I answered her the nicest way that I could.
“My children look at moving as an adventure and love it. If they didn’t, we would probably figure something else out, but for now, this is what works for our family. We think that moving is an opportunity.”
She didn’t really understand where I was coming from. This time, she looked at me with a puzzled expression. She has lived in the same house for 20 years. Her relatives all live 10 minutes from her house. Her kids have never switched schools. She loves her life, just as much as I love mine.
When I married my husband almost 11 years ago, I knew that I wasn’t just marrying him. I was also making a commitment to the United States Coast Guard. I knew that I was marrying a search and rescue pilot and that our lives probably wouldn’t look like a lot of other families.
I knew that there would be time apart. Lots. Moving every couple of years. Transitions. Duty nights. Not living near family. Rental homes. I knew that there would be sacrifices.
But what I didn’t know was how rich our lives would be because of it. We have lived and seen a lot of our country and some others. We have friends literally all over the world. We get to experience living some place for a short amount of time and absolutely embrace it. We get to be tourists in our own town. We have friends that are honestly family. Our family of 5 is extremely tight. We get to make our own traditions. We get to reinvent ourselves every few years.
My husband has a million dollar education. He lived out his childhood dream of becoming a pilot. He saves people’s lives. And gets paid for it.
I was, and still am, 100% happy with that decision.
Life is about choice.
Every time it comes time to rotate, we sit down and have a conversation about what is the best thing for our family. What are our options? What will our life be like there? What are the schools like? Where will we live? We never have the answers. But we choose to go. We move forward and if we don’t like the options, we keep an open mind and know that it will all work out the way that it is supposed to in the end.
After all of these years, I have realized one thing. Where we live is simply geography.
We will never be homeless. We will always have what we need. The kids will go to a good school. And as long as we have each other, everything will be just fine.
I have come to terms with the fact that I sometimes move to a new place and not know a soul. I know that I will never live down the street from my sister and that airplanes are almost always going to be involved when I want to see my family. I know that my career will take a back seat as long as we are in. I know that my kids will switch schools and use which house we were living in to reference time.
One of the things that I hear over and over from military wife friends is that they have no control over their lives. There is some truth to this, but what you do have control over is your attitude. Having an open mind, positive outlook, and just a little sense of adventure go a long way.
And not even just for you, but for your children. How you react and treat moving will be picked up on by your kids. Even if I am not thrilled about the place where we are going, we talk up the new friends we are going to make, the things that we are going to see, the new things to do and how fun life is going to be. It is not fair to tarnish their experience with your fear.
Having fear is completely normal and expected. But what if you changed your mindset from what you are leaving behind to the new experiences you are going to have?
I think that I have been blessed to not be a worrier. I don’t get very fussed over moving. I love it. I don’t always love the actual move, but I do love the promise that a move holds. It’s like Christmas times a thousand every couple of years. I love change. I crave change.
We are one month out from our 6th move in less than 11 years. I am excited about where the next few years will take us.
How does the idea of moving make you feel?