I pondered this for a couple of days before I could respond. How do I deal with separation? How has that changed over the years? Let's face it, moving sucks - sometimes. Separation is NEVER easy and it is so hard to say goodbye to dear friends and family! I feel like we all have 'seasons' in our lives, military or not. People come and go; some people are only with us for a season, some are with us for multiple seasons while others are with us for a lifetime.
Moving season used to be way too hard for me - I didn't think I was cut out for this Army life. I shed tear after tear after tear. But now (many years and many moves later) I have come to realize that it is not goodbye as I continue to run into the same people over and over thought out this Army life. A few things that makes moving easier for me are, number 1, my husband. He is my rock, and my best friend. He lets me cry on his shoulder, but he doesn't let me wallow too long. He embraces me when I am hurting and pushes me to be stronger and better than I was before. Number 2 is my kids. I let them know it is OK to mourn a loss (yes - moving is a loss!) but we don't stay in mourning for too long. We pull ourselves up by our bootstraps (or in my case high heels...) and search the internet for what the next adventure will bring us! After I make sure my family is taken care of (or they make sure I am taken care of ) I go to the old standbys, the phone, (what exactly are long distance charges anyway??) Skype, (even though I can't STAND sitting at the computer...I really need to get Skype on my cell phone, but I don't think I would like that either...walking around trying to clean with a person in hand - now if we could figure out how to have them help clean - sorry, I got distracted ...) email and Facebook! It has never been easier to stay connected! I remember back in the day when the phone bills alone were a big issue for military families - I thought my husband might divorce me after he saw our first telephone bill as a married couple! For me, I deal with separation by (drinking wine) staying connected through the phone and social media, which is a lot easier than it was back in the day when we had to rely on snail mail (I'm not sure I even remember how to HANDwrite) and those overly priced phone calls (and cheap pink sweet wine). Plus I make friends faster now than I did 20 (cough) years ago! When I move into a new place if the neighbors haven't come to say hi to me in say 12 hours, I go say hi to them - dragging my kids with me! (Hubby doesn’t partake in this ritual.)
OH, and I love the fact that I know that people ALL OVER THE WORLD! If I am traveling somewhere whether it is for vacation or moving I will have someone to connect with, someone I met previously on this journey of life. For example, we are going to Seattle and we have 3 sets of friends we can't wait to have dinner with or share a glass of vino with! PLUS, they give us the hook-up because they know all the cool spots! AND I love how I cannot see someone for 10 years and then when we are back together we pick up right where we left off - as if we had seen each other the day before.
For many moving season is one of the hardest (aside from deployment) seasons one has to face, but it is also a great season for personal growth. It is hard, but in the end it will make you stronger and you will always cherish those friendships you have created along the way no matter how many seasons those friends stay in your life.If you are selected to be a military spouse, you may have many, many more seasons than others. I say embrace them. Make the most of each season that is given to you. Love and make friends like you are not moving in 2 years BUT enjoy each day more than you normally would because you know you are moving in 2 years.....