Bloom Where You Are Planted
Guest Blog By: Leah Borg
We have never owned our own home, we are military. But that fact has never stopped me from having my garden, small and insignificant as it may seem. It might just be a kitchen window garden but I love to see things grow! I love the warmth of the sun. I learned how by living in Florida for more than 20 years. I love coaxing plants back to life. My parents swear that as a teenager, I brought a tree back to life just by caring about it, loving it, and giving it a little water each day. Yes, I have killed a few plants in the process, my husbands poor “welcome to our fourth home in three years” gift never made it through the first month in its new home.
Many of life’s lessons can be learned in the garden. One specific lesson recently took root in my military spouse mind and I knew I had to share with my military spouse friends. The lesson is to bloom where you are planted; no matter how long you are planted there, or how gray the sky is. This is most certainly not a new concept to most military spouses. We make daily use of the concept “Thrive, don’t just survive.” Yes, I know we all have those days where the kids eat cereal for every meal and we crawl in to bed at night wondering if we ate at all. My objective is to not make every day like that.
We all have that one friend who makes instant friends where they go…or maybe you are that friend! I know my friends roll their eyes when I haven’t even finished unpacking yet and I already have a play date set up. Hey, it is motivation to get those boxes unpacked, out of the house, and those wonderful family photos up on the wall. I do it for me and I do it for my family. They need a sense of normal as much as I do. And getting involved in my military community is how I adjust to a new life in a new place.
My method might not be your chosen method but next time you move, give it a shot. Or better yet, get involved with your community where you are planted right now. Check out what support groups are available for you and your family. Check with your FRO (Family Readiness Officer) and see what they tell you. They probably are in desperate need of some volunteers. Google your base’s name and see what pops up…I am almost willing to bet there is a FaceBook group you could tap into for the latest gossip… I mean, greatest information about where you are now living. 🙂 These groups are for more than where the nearest and cheapest dry cleaner or tailor is. You can set up play dates, find others in your service members unit, and get local information. We love exploring the towns surrounding our duty stations especially the local cuisine!
Ok, so you have Googled your base and nothing pops for social media. Why wait for someone else to be the change you want to see? Start your own group! You can feel a sense of pride and commitment as you put down roots in your community. Are those roots going to be painful to dig up at the end of the tour? Yes, but they are totally worth it! You will have flowers, I mean friends, quite literally everywhere. No matter how short or long you are where you are, don’t waste the time that will pass any way.
Despite how small your base or how much you think you are going to hate this assignment, grow some roots and bloom. There is nothing quite like the bond of patriotism to help those roots deepen and grow. Unless you have lived this military life, you don’t quite understand it. When all else fails, remember what brought you here and realize that all of us have at least that in common. A seasoned military wife once told that her strategy is to take a package of cookies to her neighbors with a note that introduces her family. She drops it off on their door step and somehow magically, she has new friends already, right next door! So, go dig that change out of the sofa, if you can find it underneath all the packing paper, and get to the cookie aisle of your local commissary to start making new friends…or maybe, you could take them a plant?
About Our Guest Blogger:
Leah Borg is a proud Marine spouse. She enjoys being a stay at home mom to her two gorgeous daughters. Leah loves all military spouses, but Marine spouses are her favorite!
She enjoys being a LINKS mentor as well as a Family Readiness Assistant with her husband’s squadron. Leah has previously won two military spouse awards and works to educate spouses in the language of OPSEC/PERSEC rules.