Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Organized Flexibility: A Military Spouses' Mantra

Thankfully this is not the amount of stuff we are moving!  But the idea is the same!

There is just no other way to describe how I am approaching this move back to the Gulf Coast.  Truly, there is no other way to describe what every military spouse must do when approaching their moves--whether it is an official PCS (if you're not military, this means "Permanent Change of Station") or more of an elective move, such as ours. 

I am fully aware we created the bit of chaos we're in right now.  As I write, I'm in a hotel and will be in one for several days, as we travel, search for a new home, and get settled.  I have high hopes the process will not take long, but one can never tell.

Back to flexibility.  In September of '11 I made plans for a video shoot in TX for a youth gathering.  I knew the best dates to shoot were not my best dates, but it had to happen.  As we approached the end of our time in FL, my husband's leave date kept changing--sometimes by weeks, sometimes by days.  No big deal, really.  Meanwhile, the video shoot, while it went well, didn't go as smoothly as I planned.  The talent were great, but we had some things pop up that I wish I could have had the experience to side-step.  Live and learn.  But I realized then, that at least a plan helped us be flexible in the end.  We had to be flexible in order to make it all happen.  The same holds true for our move and any military move.

There are little things about PCSing that civilians realize.  For example, we could get orders in January to move in June, begin to prep for the move and then the orders could be cancelled or changed in May.  It's just reality.  While the orders may remain with the same location, the dates may change--by weeks or days.  Other times we may get orders and have just a couple of months to prep and move.  And then there is my personal favorite, the person in the military may have to go ahead for training, leaving the majority of the move to the spouse--this seems to happen frequently.

For these reasons, and many others, the spouses I have come to know and respect, are incredible organizers, but also incredibly flexible.  They make it happen because they have to, and very rarely do they complain.  It becomes the next "war" story at the next social and everyone joins in and laughs about what they just survived and made happen.

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