Monday, March 11, 2013

With Gratitude

A good day....the bed is made! did more than two months go by since I wrote on this blog?! Like so many other "things on my to do list"  this year it was put off for another day.  After many deployments I consider myself somewhat of an expert on goal setting and time management. For some reason, this deployment was different. (Having a child deployed, along with my husband, definitely doubled my anxiety.)  All the goals I set for myself like getting in better shape, brushing up on my Italian, and learning to play the guitar just completely slipped away from me.  (Maybe the guitar was a stretch anyway? )
There were too many days I was proud of myself for making the bed...ok...too many days I was proud of myself for getting out of the bed!
 The deal is, when the division commander deploys there's not an SOP (translation... standard operating procedure) for his or her spouse. In fact, there's not an SOP at all, ever.  No one lays it out and tells you what is expected of you. It's overwhelming. I have no official roll when he is gone (and only an unofficial role when he's here) and whatever role I wanted to play I had to create.  So, after I made the decision to get out of bed every morning, I decided I would just be myself.  That wasn't good enough for some people, and I make no apologies to them, but it worked for me.  I find that if you consistently play yourself you never forget your lines or miss your cues.

Every division commander's spouse feels differently about his or her place in their community. I see my role more like a cheerleader and guidance counselor than the class president. My place is on the sidelines and I let those who are much younger, and have much more energy, lead and make the tough decisions. I've been there and done that so now I choose to play a supporting part and I extend my gratitude to all. And my gratitude is sincere and heartfelt. I truly appreciate everything that is done in this community to make Fort Riley a better place to live...and wait. 
 I love to entertain and share Quarters One with as many people as possible. Any chance I get to open our home to say hello, farewell, or just thank you, I will take.  Hopefully, I have succeeded in making people feel welcome and appreciated. Even as I write this, I realize that there are so many spouses I didn't have a chance to connect with this year. I can only hope that everyone who did visit Quarters One left with a happy heart. 
I suppose if I re-evaluate and make my deployment goal a simpler one (hindsight is 20/20, after all) then it would have been to show my gratitude to everyone possible, whenever possible, and as many times as possible.
In that case, hopefully, I accomplished something after all.

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'Til next time 

Duty First!


  1. You are such a beautiful person. I'm grateful you have put yourself out there as a Division Commander's spouse and shared some of your thoughts and feelings. I'm simply a junior captain's wife and I love to read your perspective. I admire what you believe your role is and--from a far distance--I think it is amazing how you have carried it out. I think being a senior spouse of any sort would be a lonely position in some ways--who can you really share things with? who really understands what challenges face you? who is sincerely your friend verses who has an anterior motive? Like you said--there is no SOP--yet, I'm sure everyone who has potentially criticized you must believe there is one. May they be blessed with some mercy and understanding. May YOU be blessed for all your sacrifices--great and small. My mother-in-law was a senior spouse years ago at Fort Riley. I know when my husband was deployed it was much more difficult for her than when her husband would leave during his service. Bless you for being a mother who so willingly supports her child in serving this magnificent country. Bless you for enduring. Bless you for sharing.

  2. Whitney, thank you so much for your kind words!! They are truly appreciated! Shand