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Planning Not to Plan

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By nature I am a planner.

I like to make lists and have dates for events on my calendar months in advance. In reality I am a control freak. I like to be in control of what I am doing, where I am going and when I will be going.

The Navy and a control freak are like oil and water, they just don’t mix. The Navy no longer let’s you be in control of some very life changing decisions.  I don’t necessarily get to decide where we move to, when we move there, much less when the Navy will tell us the when and the where.

At the beginning of the year my husband and I were discussing possible orders he might receive. We made our list of possible places we’d like to go and ranked them. I thought this was the end of the discussion. Yet night after night as we gathered at the dinner table my husband wanted to talk duty stations.  I eventually grew annoyed after endless nights of the same conversation. I finally blurted out to him something along the lines of “look, I don’t want to talk about it anymore until we know what our real options are.”

He was dumbfounded.

He told me he thought I was excited to move and start a new adventure.  He said I should know what PCS’ing is like because I did it a dozen or so times as a kid.

I had to remove myself from the table and clear my head.  After I had collected my thoughts I went back to him and poured my heart out. Pouring my heart out almost always includes crying. I explained that moving as a child and moving as a spouse is like cupcakes and cake, similar, yet oh so different. I also explained the root of what was really bothering me. Getting my hopes up, planning for situation A and the Navy throwing us a curve ball and actually giving us situation K.  I don’t want to get my heart set on something only to be crushed when it doesn’t work out.

Part of Military Spousehood 101 is knowing you plan for things to NOT go according to plan. {Didn’t you get the thousand page manual about military spousehood? Ya, me neither.}  You have to be ready to roll with whatever comes your way. You have to know that plans change with a moments notice.  You have to plan for the unexpected. I know myself well enough to know I can’t daydream about that which I have no control over. I know I will be better off if I focus on keeping an open mind and letting the Navy do its thing. I also don’t want to be so hung up on planning for what might come next that I forget to enjoy now.

As fate would have it the orders we were slated to receive got pulled a few months back.  This month we should finally know where the Navy is sending us come January.  Surprisingly I was ok with this. Why? Because it allowed me to enjoy our last few months here at Port Hueneme.  Since I can’t obsess about our new duty station just yet I’ve been lucky enough to really enjoy our current one before we pack up our sea bags and set sail on our next adventure.

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2 thoughts on “Planning Not to Plan”

  1. I feel your pain. We live in California but my husband has orders to move to Cairo. It’s our first move as a married couple. So I’ve got one eye on learning basic Arabic in case we move, one eye on the middle east peace process in case the Arab world gets even more crazy and dependents are no longer allowed to accompany their spouses to Cairo, and one eye on my FB page to make sure no friends or family post anything about our possible move because I don’t think it’s prudent to tell my current employer until we’re within a few weeks of the move. PHEW!

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