Recently I had the chance to be involved with a small-talk, side conversation with some senior spouses (O & E) and something started percolating around in my head (not too unlike the old Maxwell House coffee commercial showing the fresh perked coffee splashing inside that tiny little glass handle). A smidge of the conversation involved how busy everyone was and all of the things that went into making everyone's day soooo busy. Kids--to and from school plus after-school activities; family things--shopping, washing clothes, dry cleaners, trying to make nutritious meals without making daily trips to the commissary; church groups and the various clubs and committees there-in; and, support to their DH, not necessarily of DH in his job, simply the support of their DH, because he was dad, father, husband, bread-winner.
I asked what I consider of importance and have commented on in this venue a few times. It basically went like this, "Since everyone is so busy, how do you reach out to the younger spouses, not just new in your unit, but new to our world, and see to their needs?" The spontaneous answer was quite interesting ...
"They don't." And when I followed-up with, "Just how do the younger spouses know what to do and the protocols and the expectations, so that their pockets will have the tools they'll need to use to grow up to become, ... you?" And the answer by committee was, "Somebody else will have to figure that one out because we don't have enough time." I was floored, because I knew that wasn't the way they were brought up in our Service. Fortunately for the most part, the gals I was talking to and the community of spouses they represent is only a segment of our spouse population. But it's there.
When we can't make the time to bring along those new to the military way of life, then like any of the myriad gripes we have about the "next generation" just not getting it ... in this instance we just have to lay the blame on the obviously shortened 22.5-hour days.
Honest, I swear we used to have a solid 24-hours in each day. I guess the only way anyone ever managed to do all of the things these ladies addressed as taking all of their time, AND STILL managed to help others, simply must be credited to having this longer, 24-hour day.
My heart goes out to their folks getting lost in the shortened day. It really is too bad there's a segment of our spouse population that seems to only have a 22.5-hour day to work with. Fortunately, most of us still have the full 24-hours to work with -- let's use it well. Over & Out, MaintenanceToadOne