Tag Archives: year

sweet pea

14 Feb

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Two years ago today my husband sat across from me on our Valentine’s date and told me he would be deploying.  I was wearing my six-week old son on my chest, eating sushi.  We were stationed in Hawaii, so every date seemed like a dream, no matter what.  Even with a child, it was an idyllic place to celebrate.  Bonsai Sushi on the North Shore.  I stared off in the distance, and felt my mind leave our Family celebration as I absorbed what this meant.  Ever since my dear HD had graduated school it was beyond a doubt that he would deploy at some point.  Once he took his assignment in Hawaii, it also became certain that deployment would last one year.  No one avoids this, in his position.  Furthermore, he had no intention of trying to avoid it.  I saw it as one of his rites of passage.

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Addressing Anxiety

10 Feb

It’s been so long since I’ve written, but I miss coming to this journal. I’m certain that in a few years from now I will wish I had chronicled more of this deployment year, too. Perhaps I’ll write more as I begin to put it all into perspective.

Young G was looking at laminated photos of his father a couple of nights ago. In his broken-sentence style at twenty-five months old he said, “It’s fun… daddy home. He is workin.” The photos were of when my HD was home for two weeks in late September, and each depicted Young G with his father. Clearly my son remembered playing together, and the fun they had. Then he repeated to himself my answer for every “where’s daddy?” I hear: “He’s workin.”

We are at a friend’s house right now, and have come to the end of our stay with family. For the duration of this deployment – ten months so far – Young G and I have lived with family (mostly my mother’s and in-law’s home). It’s been a huge relief, obviously, to have had so much help. These grandparents have eagerly taken care of my son for me. The draining side is that it has made Parenting difficult, because I’m constantly under the scrutiny of a been-there-done-that (BTDT) mom. Not only that, but there were there and did that with either me or my husband. It gets fierce when I disagree with their methods, too.

The tension between gratitude and frustration creates anxiety.

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It’s Hard to NameThis Post without Quoting Hootie

30 Nov

My last post was written on Thanksgiving, using the iPad app, and I just realized it never posted. I think I sound pretty ungrateful in it! It’s pretty mind-numbing business being in limbo, and it is difficult to feel anything on a deep level, even gratitude. I sometimes miss the painful feelings of longing I once had at the beginning of this deployment, because even they have subsided and given way to this new-normal. My mind plays tricks on me all the time. It’s impossible to make sense. I crave simple things, and have come to question whether I deserve them or not.

Time has always interested me. It is an illusion, and does not exist in actuality. We like to talk about the “effects of time” when we see rusted vehicles and wrinkled faces. There are also “signs of the times” we mention when talking about violence in the news or hear political rock n’ roll. Sometimes we longingly reach back for “simpler times” as we embellish our pasts and become sentimental for romantic memories that are most often inaccurate. Because time is so illusory, we work so hard to measure it, mark its passage, weigh its value, and schedule within it. If you put five dollars in an envelope and forget to use it, then in twenty years you still have five dollars somewhere. If you put five minutes aside on your calendar and forget to use it, you’re screwed; it’s gone.

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Paranoia

10 Sep

I like to view this year as an experiment.  I’m doing trials on separation, travel, motherhood, single-motherhood, long-distance love, living with family, packing a car, and lonesomeness.  Most of these were predictable from the first time I learned we would face this deployment (Valentine’s day, 2010).  I was even able to anticipate some of the side-effects.  For instance, I realized that I would learn to live “normally” without my husband; I would get used to him being gone, essentially.  I knew I would become homesick for my own territory.  I knew Young G would develop cognitively with an awareness that we travel often and live without Daddy.

One of the side effects of this year has begun to intrigue me, because I never expected it: paranoia. Continue reading

Livin Without You

17 Aug

I was telling a story to my hairdresser today, talking about my husband.  As the facts unfolded in the form of answers to his questions, his eyes popped with intrigue hearing the tale.  It made me think about how revealing facts linearly is so different from giving pieces of picture one at a time and letting the listener put the puzzle together.  I actually think the hairdresser might have gotten a better image of who the HD really is because of the piece-by-piece story, rather than if I had started at the beginning.

Maybe that’s why I need to do with writing.  Just give a piece at a time, and let the picture come together.  It’s very organic that way.

I never know where a post is going to go when I sit down to write.  I just begin.  The ending comes naturally.

Saturday a friend of my brother’s told me I needed to write a book.  If I had a nickel…

This year might be worth writing about.  So might last year.  Or 2002.  They all added pieces.  Sometimes I feel like the only way I could tell my story would be to write it out like Steinbeck’s “East of Eden” and give the entire background of my life, and my husband’s, for three generations so that our story made sense.  Had context.

So much is out of context.  Even context itself, though, is dependent on perspective.  None of it is objective.  I guess the story only exists the way I tell it.  The way someone else would tell it is a completely different story.

Yesterday I had a fabulous day with my boy.  Young G and I went to a park, ate at Chick-fil-A, played outside, played in the bath, and had a lot of good laughs and toddler-conversation.  All day I thought, “I should get a furnished apartment for the next six months.  Forget living with family; let’s just hunker down together.” I decided we’d go to Charleston, where the HD and I lived before the Army.  There’s a wonderful church there that I missed, and it felt good to be near it.  I actually searched Craigslist.

Then night fell, and the quiet made it hard for me to rest.  I stayed up much too late waiting for sleep to overtake me.  I got up out of bed three times.  I forgot to lock one of the doors.  My father and his wife are gone for the week for work, and will be back tomorrow, so the last two nights Young G has been dependent only on me.  Not a problem, except that I just don’t do well alone.  In grad-school I lived alone and never slept well until I could hear my neighbor start his shower every morning.  I’m scared of defending myself alone in a house overnight, and terrified with a little one.

So it remains that I shall be rambling along from house to house. Never the Queen, always the subordinate.  But at least I’m at ease when I’m at rest.

In seven months my maniacal protector will return.  I never feel more safe than when I’m with my HD, because he’s psycho.  He doesn’t just swat flies, you know, he lures them in and suffocates them.  Any intruder in our home would be tortured — psychologically — by the experience.  I love this about my husband.  If you knew his story it would make sense.

 

Restless

3 Aug

When we packed up and left Hawaii, I put my entire music catalog on an external hard-drive. I have a PC Netbook with very little memory, so the external drive is where all my important stuff lives. I’m really proud of my music collection, and obsess over it a little. So, it bothers me that all my play-counts when back to “zero”. The plan lately is to listen to all my music again.

Ben Kweller is playing right now.

My whole life music has helped me feel connected to the world around me, and kept me from feeling isolated in my misery.  This is a good year to allow music to minister to me again, now that I haven’t got the HD.

::SIGH::

I’m so tired right now.  I’m exhausted with the feeling of obligation that I have.  I’m so tired of making other people happy.  I just want someone to bend over backwards for me, go out of their way, over-extend themselves, and throw me a surprise party. Continue reading

Smart, phone

15 May

I can’t decide if I love having an iPhone (at long last) or hate it.  The good is… obvious.  There are fun apps, informative ones, and handy ones, too.  The bad is that sometimes I can’t connect and have this burden of frustration because of it.  Previously I was unburdened whenever I was away from my computer.  On the good side, though, I love that I don’t have to take the time to sit down at my computer to discover little bits of information, like before.  Instead my curiosity about — say — the Braves’ score, is appeased quickly and without me leaving my son’s side.  But the phone is always on me, so perhaps there are times I should be — say — feeding my kid, and instead I’m combing FaceBook statuses while he stuffs rice down his pants.  I’ve been asleep, and woken up to reach for my phone because I hear it’s my turn in Words with Friends.

I found out about the “death grip“, as they call it.  Ever heard of it?  (Who dubs such names?) Basically the antenna on my phone is within the casing itself, and if I cup it in my left hand (as we righties are wont to do) it covers the antenna and I drop a call.  This is in the category of “new problem” and therefore “shit I don’t need”.  Do you know what I deal with every day?  My brain is killing me.  My heart is cooking my brain.  I am weary.  Let me talk without getting dropped.  For the love of all that is holy, do *not* let my calls get dropped because of the position of my hand!

I feel the tension of adoring this sleek, black, compact, magical device and despising the new trouble is has brought upon me.

Oldest story ever told, though, right? Be careful what you wish for, I guess.  Lovers, children, fame, fortune.  All bearing their abundant gifts and a new set of worries.  People live alone in austere trailers on the edge of society eating food from cans just to avoid new sets of worries.  I don’t relate to them.

Would you like to know how I view the onset of a “new set of worries”? Of course you would.  So, maybe I’ll write about it tomorrow.

For now, though, the phone serves the duty of being my constant companion.  Like all other spouses of deployed soldiers, I never turn it off, and never leave it far from me.  If I miss my husband’s call, then I’ve missed my opportunity, because there is no way for me to ever call him!  Additionally, I eagerly anticipate hi his blog entries, Facebook activity, and emails.  On some small scale I am relating to the parable of the man in hell begging for a drop of water to be placed on his tongue.

So, today (day #35) I will treasure the novelty and utility of this excellent device, and by the time a year has passed, I’ll be quite ready to dispose of it entirely and return to only a Moleskine notebook!