This week I was inspired while running to go live on our Yooper Fit Team page about a realization that I had regarding my attitude and current life circumstances.
During my workouts, especially running, I have the most creative ideas, raw thoughts, and life-changing ah-ha moments. It is during this time that my mind is the clearest, and I can solve most of life's problems 😉. Well during my Thursday morning run I was wondering why I was not struggling as much as I thought I should be for all that is going on with the "Stay Home, Stay Safe" order.
At that moment it dawned on me...I have been down this road before.
You may be thinking, "What? She is crazy. She has not been through anything like this before." Yes, I agree, but hear me out.
As many of you know, Josh retired from the U.S. Marine Corps in 2018. I married Josh in 2002 and, at most, every 3 years we were packing up and moving someplace new.
Sometimes we knew the move was coming and other times we did not.
One time, we had just bought a house because we believed we would be where we were stationed for at least 5 years (that is an eternity for a military family). We were settled into our community, church, kids activities and life was great.
It was the beginning of December and we had just bought our Christmas tree and decorated our house. I was so happy that year, because we had a vaulted ceiling and Josh allowed me to get the biggest possible tree to fit in the house.
Then it happened, the phone call from Josh. We have new orders to Quantico, Virginia.
How can this be?!?!
Can we fight it?!?!?! (LOL never really an option, but the thought crossed my mind 🤦♀️)
While none of those words came out of my mouth, those were my thoughts for approximately 30 seconds, and then like any other supportive military spouse my response was, "Well I am not taking down our Christmas tree to stage our house to sell!"
That was it. We had approximately 8 weeks to celebrate Christmas, list our home, travel to Quantico to try and find a home 😱, say all of our good-byes and move.
That's the military life.
Now I will be honest with you, this was the most difficult move and transition of my life (I will spare you the details), but it was during this time I learned something very valuable.
When we think of grieving we generally think of grieving the loss of a loved one, but let me tell you - there are a lot more things in life to grieve.
It was not until this relocation that I struggled. You see, I could generally do a move, unpack a house, and have us all set up with activities, schools, making friends - in a month flat. I loved it. I researched, I made a plan and we started living life fast because guess what, we only had a couple of years to make this place home and we were going to live it up. It was amazing!
But not this time. This time I struggled, life was not moving forward as I believed it should. It was then, that I had to give myself permission to grieve. I had to grieve the loss of my morning workout buddy (who soon had orders to Okinawa, Japan), I had to grieve the loss of our church (we all loved our church family so very much), I had to grieve the loss of our library and storytime, I had to grieve the loss of our backyard and my kids being able to ride their bikes around our neighborhood, I had to grieve the loss of trees (yes, we were surrounded by buildings), I had to grieve the loss of peace and silence, etc.
Team, I could go on and on, but I do believe you get what I am saying.
Once I accepted this, things did not magically get better, but I was much more patient with myself. I was open with my friends and family when my days were not going well. I shared that I was not okay.
My encouragement to you is that beauty did come from this - I now had a new appreciation of things I had once taken for granted.
As much as I was ready for our next orders, let me tell you our time in Virginia was blessed. It looked different than any other duty station we had had, and it touched our hearts in ways that no other duty station had. There were some absolutely amazing things that came from our time at Quantico, and yes when we left - I grieved.
During this time of "Stay Home, Stay Safe" you may need to recognize the grieving process for yourself. You may have lost a lot. You may feel great one moment and then so lost and defeated the next.
It is okay.
Take time to process and read about the grieving process. It is different for everyone and it is important you can see how it may be playing out within your family, especially your children.
I do want to leave you with some action steps.
Write down what you are grieving. Recognize what it is about that "thing" you are grieving.
What will that "thing" look like in the future? Will you regain it or will it be different?
What do you not miss at all?
Does that "thing" have to come back into your life? Are you able to change that? Can you change your outlook on this?
What are you doing now that you were not able to do before?
How will you keep those things going when life resumes?
Team this season of life will look like no other season you will go through, but I do believe there is beauty in it as long as we give ourselves permission to grieve.
Disclaimer: I am simply speaking from my experience, and sharing my story. You may need more help in dealing with the situation at hand and I encourage you to reach out to those that are trained to support you such as your pastor or medical doctor.