About Me

Fort Bragg, NC, United States
I'm a stay at home dad raising four beautiful children. I am the proud spouse of an Army Lieutenant Colonel. I do my best to keep up with the kids and all of their activities. I enjoy playing the bass and the occasional bass guitar building project. You can follow me on twitter if you so desire...@ArmySpouse007.

Monday, November 22, 2010

It's all in the perspective

As I was driving in town yesterday, I was reminded of the approaching holidays by all of the wreaths and Christmas things that are out. I felt an excitement build inside of me for the coming holidays. As I drove on, I remembered these same days from last year, and how DIFFERENT they were. I remember dreading both Thanksgiving and Christmas, knowing that we'd be celebrating them without my wife who was deployed at that time. As I've written in past blogs, Christmas last year was quite dark for me. I remember faking smiling and laughing for the kids as they opened their presents, then sinking into a deeper whole as the day went on, culminating in getting completely hammered later that afternoon and evening (something I'm not proud of, btw...). All I wanted was for that singular day to simply end. I don't think I've ever been so happy to see December 26th in my life!

So... here I am, a year later. Not only do I have a different outlook this year for the coming holidays than I did last year, but I also believe that I am looking forward to the holidays more this year than in any years in the past since childhood. You see, looking back on the past couple of decades I realize that the holidays weren't much of a big deal to me. I guess I was basically indifferent about them. Sure, it was fun to watch the kids open presents, but after that it really didn't mean that much any more. Yes, I understand the meaning of Christmas as a Christian. I know we're celebrating the birth of Christ. But a part of me really just looked at it as any other day. Sometimes, it was even more trouble than fun (ever been up all night on Christmas Eve putting something together???). This year, though, I have a completely different perspective. Having gone through last year's darkness has brought about a very deep appreciation for the coming holidays. I'm completely stoked about decorating the house and playing Christmas music every day. I can't wait to hang the stockings, tell the Christmas story, and leave Santa some milk and cookies. What was torture last year and just a hassle in years past is instead something I can't wait for this year.

This picture really shows what I've come to understand about living this military life. Deployments are like raging storms. They are full of uncertainty and bring out that primordial fear in all of us (remember being scared of the lightning and thunder when you were a kid?). When we are in a deployment we can't see the clear skies on either side of it. It seems impossible to remember what life was like before hand, and the day when our spouses finally come home always seems so distant. And yet, the storms pass. And, I think, the really bad storms help us to truly appreciate the peaceful and clear weather that all of us take for granted from time to time. Silly things that we used to get upset about (seriously, who cares which end of the toothpaste tube you squeeze!) now seem quite trivial when we realize that we'd give anything for that person who did those things to come back home. And when they are home, we begin to realize that we've been taking so much for granted. Christmas this year, for me, will be one of the best ever. And it will simply be because I'm on the other side of the storm and my perspective has changed. What's more, I'm thankful for that storm. Because without it, everything would seem the same as it always had been.

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You can follow me on Twitter if you so choose... @Armyspouse007

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