Do you remember a little song that goes something like this:
"You've got to ac-cen-tuate the positive,
e-lim-inate the negative,
hold on to the affirmative.
Don't mess with Mr. In-Between."
I think if I were to make a mix tape of songs that speak to me I'd have to put this one on there. I know what you're thinking...a tape? It just sounds better to me than a mix CD. Maybe I could call it a mix disc. Can we agree on that? Well, the last song on my mix disc of songs that motivate me would be this little ditty. It's not only a catchy tune...it's the way I try to live my life, including my life as Navy Wife.
Every wife has a different way to handle separation from their spouse. Some methods are definite no-no's. It's never OK to have a replacement waiting in the wings as soon as your hubby gets his sea bag out of the closet, even if he is from the other crew. This does nothing for morale on either crew...not to mention it's not recommended if you want to keep your marriage intact.
Other strategies fall into the grey area for me. Feeling sad when the tug pulls their sub away from shore isn't necessarily a negative, but could easily turn into one.
Now, focusing on the future, on your marriage, on your family, on your goals...that's accentuating the positive in my book. It's not always easy, but it's always my goal.
I had someone come up to me recently and tell me how she was going to be opening a bottle of wine and crying herself through her anniversary while her husband was out to sea. I suggested maybe trying some other way to celebrate such a wonderful day. Unfortunately, she wasn't able to hear me.
So, I'm putting this out there for all of you. One of the things that always keeps me going when Scott isn't here is remembering that he picked me. He jokes that marrying the girl down the road was easier than dating, but he did date others. He even considered lives with others. But he picked me. He chose me to be his wife, believing that I have what it takes to not only survive a military life, but thrive in it. And I do. In part, my successes can be credited to his support of me. But I also take some credit for myself.
When it comes to our marriage and how it relates to Scott's job in the Navy, realistic optimism is the name of my game. Scott doesn't butter coat the details of his schedule. If he's going to be working weekends for a month, I know about it as soon as he knows about it. If he has to work not only past the kids' bed time but ours as well, I know it ahead of time if possible. And with the very real possibility of last minute changes in his harried schedule, a little bit of go-with-the-flow is essential to mix into our planning ways. This all helps us be realistic in our goals.
Then it's up to us to be focused on solutions and what's positive. That means when Scott's not around for a birthday or an anniversary I might use that opportunity to write him a special letter about how amazed I still am with him. I might have a glass of wine, but it would be while reminiscing with photo albums or having dinner with friends. I might do something crafty with the kids and talk about love and marriage, and their father. Part of how I deal with missing Scott is to admit it and deal with it, but with my eye on the prize...we'll see him again in however many days, we've been married however many years...and always with the reality in mind that missing him is temporary.
All this said, I still get giddy when I see his number on the caller ID. I still get misty eyed when I read a card he's sent or left for me. I still have down days where my mix disc is full of sad love songs. But I don't mess with these perfectly normal and reasonable in-between emotions. I hold on to the affirmative...that Scott chose me to be his wife and share his life in the Navy and his life outside of it.
Feel free to borrow my theme song for your own. I think it's a great one!