Raise your hand if you’ve ever been overwhelmed by military life.
I’m pretty sure everyone reading this is sitting front of a computer with a raised hand. (And if you aren’t, please share your magical secret to how in the world you’ve managed to avoid that feeling of not being able to handle it all!)
Whether you’ve found yourself surrounded by moving boxes, or sea bags filled with dirty laundry, or emails telling you to hurry up and wait, or cranky kids who miss their dad, there are times in military life that can make you wonder how you’ll ever dig yourself out and see the light at the end of the tunnel.
Take my MilSpouse friend, Holly. Holly’s husband came home one November afternoon and announced he had orders in hand, and they would soon be packing up and moving. To Japan.
An OCONUS move is overwhelming enough, but add to that the fact that she was pregnant with a 2-year-old running around and a family who was refusing to let her leave. Oh yeah, and then she went into labor at 27 weeks, leaving her stressed, worried and restricted to bed rest. She still had to go through overseas screenings, still had to sell the house, still needed a root canal.
Poor Holly was overwhelmed.
But the fact that she got through it all (and can laugh about it now) is why she loves this week’s military wife quote:
Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.” ~Arthur Ashe
In other words, just move forward. Take one step at a time. Simplify.
Holly had so much piling onto her plate that she didn’t know where to start. So she decided to simply start and then take it step by step from there, doing only what she could at any given time.
“I was so overwhelmed that I finally had to stop in my tracks and remind myself that I can only do one thing at a time,” Holly told me. “So I had to figure out my priorities.”
She started with her health and the health of her baby. Then she focused on the overseas screenings and passports. Then she worked on selling the house. She broke it all down into steps, and before she knew it, everything was taken care of and she was on a plane to Japan.
“The most important thing you can do is take the first step,” Holly said. “You don’t have a choice in the matter. It all needs to get done. So just start.”
I don’t think there’s any way to avoid overwhelming circumstances if you’re a part of a military family. But if you remember to start where you are, use what you have and do what you can, you’ll see that light at the end of the tunnel in no time.