As military spouses, we’re comfortable putting our wants and desires on the back burner or dismissing them altogether because there’s always something that comes up that’s more important. Well, guess what? You are important!
The house can be dirty for a day while you work on that college assignment and your spouse can eat pizza and stay home with the kids one night while you go see a movie you’ve been wanting to see or do something you’ve been wanting to do. It may not be easy, but if it is important to you, you can find a way to make it happen.
I want you to take a moment to reflect on yourself. What 5 personal goals or “things-to-do” have you been putting off? What has been put on the back burner for the past few months -- years even? There may be more than five, but focus on your top 5 and work through that list first. Have you been wanting to go to school but haven’t made the time to fill out the application, request transcripts, and get registered? Have you been wanting to apply for a better job? Do you want to take an exercise or art class? Write it down, and work at it!
Once you’ve made your list, write down the 3 major obstacles that you’d have to overcome to accomplish each goal. Is it time? Money? Don’t know who to contact or how to get it done? Write it down, and work at it!
After you have a list of your goals and the obstacles in your way, create a plan to make each goal happen. Write out the who, the what, the why, the when, the where, and the how for each goal. Write down if you’ll need childcare and/or a pet sitter. Think past Plan A and B, and go to Plan D, E and F. Sit down with your spouse, let them know you’ve got stuff you have to do for YOU. Get them on board so they can support you, or at least give them notice that change is coming and that they’re going to be picking up some of the things on your other lists.
Military Spouses are perfect at the art of list-making. We make lists to prepare our spouses for deployments, to prepare our families for PCS moves, to go grocery shopping, or just to get stuff done around the house. These lists usually include requests from family members and necessities needed for the household to function with or without the service member home. We make these lists because there’s so much going on and we don’t want to miss an appointment or forget an errand.
Oftentimes, these lists are focused on everyone and everything around us. It’s easy for us to forget to put ourselves on the list. If we manage to actually do it, guilt sets in and we are quick to erase it or feel like we have to have justification for that time or item. It’s okay to make yourself and your wants and desires a priority in your life.
There may be many titles that describe you: Sister. Brother. Mom. Dad. Military Spouse. Friend, but they aren’t what define you. It is so important that, as you walk this journey of “military life” with your servicemember, that you don’t lose yourself in the day-to-day.
Remember, you’re a rock star and you’re important. The gifts you were blessed with are gifts the world needs. Put yourself on the list. You may have obstacles, even walls that you have to break down, but your goals and dreams are worth it. YOU are worth it! This Military Spouse Appreciation Day, sit down with a cup of coffee and a piece of paper, write those things down, and get going! You deserve it.
Written by: Brandy Simon, Career Corps Volunteer