The Captain headed out on Saturday morning for a two-week exercise in France, so I spent my Valentine's Day playing Monopoly with Firstborn and his favourite stuffed animal, and generally feeling sorry for myself. Incidentally, the stuffed animal beat the pants off of me.
And then that blue feeling kind of spilled over to Sunday. I lamented being stuck out here in the middle of nowhere, my lack of a social life (I've recently lost two babysitters, both of whom have moved onto other things, so my rare night out is now no night out at all until I find another one) and the ongoing cold weather, which always makes it worse. In short, I was content this weekend to wallow in my own misery.
Then Monday came, and the sun was out and the fog on my brain started to lift. Yesterday, I dropped the kids off at the casual daycare on base and met my friend, the Lawyer, for lunch.
I know how that sounds. Right now you're probably picturing two Sex and the City types in spike heels sipping sangria at a trendy downtown restaurant while comparing designer handbags and discussing our impending time-share vacations in Puerto Vallarta.
The Lawyer is actually in the last semester of her final year of law school, so she's a broke student. She's married to the military, just like me, and is currently in town to spend a little married time with her husband during her spring break. We met up at the best restaurant on base, which is to say, the only place with food that's fit for human consumption. They serve the usual burgers and appetizers, salads and pasta. And they have free pop refills, which is great for us because all that talking really works up a thirst.
And we talked about what military wives always talk about. The military. How it affects us, our kids, our pets and our morale. And guess what? It turns out I'm not the only one complaining about all that stuff I was moaning about this weekend.
We're both sick of the constant, ongoing separation. We long for a normal life with a normal husband who does a normal 9 to 5 day and then comes home and complains about our meatloaf. We are scared silly about the dangers of his job and what on earth we're going to do if, god forbid, something happens to him over there. We worry about the affect of this instability on our kids (or, in the Lawyer's case, future kids), and most of all we worry that we don't have all the answers to all these worries.
But, oddly, after an hour of hashing all this stuff out (for the umpteenth time, I might add), I did not walk out of that restaurant feeling downtrodden. I picked up the kids and drove home feeling like a weight had been lifted off of me. Suddenly, I was back to being happy with my life, and where I live and what I'm doing with my time. All that self-pity had vanished.
Then, this morning I went to the post office. Because I live in the middle of nowhere, mail does not get delivered here and garbage doesn't get picked-up. We have to take care of that stuff ourselves. And so, sometimes those things get thrown by the wayside, especially in winter when it just isn't any fun to go outside for any reason. So, my mail had been piling up for about a week. But what was waiting for me? A package from Janine!!
I cannot tell you how exciting it is to receive something unexpected in the mail that doesn't turn out to be a phone bill!! Janine, for no other reason than good old-fashioned kindness and friendship, had sent me a package of what I like to call "stuff". Stickers and papers for cardmaking and a beautiful handmade card! What could be more exciting than that?!
So, I've hit mid-week with a renewed sense that life is fantastic. The snow may not melt for another two months, I will be living far away from civilization for at least another two years, and I will be married to the most anti-social man in the Western Hemisphere forever (I hope!), but regardless of where I live or what the military throws at me, I am thankful for the friendships that continue to form and grow throughout all this craziness.
Without our girlfriends, we are just frazzled balls of stress waiting to explode!