I've recently discovered there really is a difference in civilian and military thought processes. It's not just deployment misunderstandings - it's our way of life. My friends just don't get that we are always in a state of uncertainty. I think I just got used to my life being on the edge and the future uncertain.
We're in that three years on station phase of life! You all know what I'm talking about.....where are we going next? One minute we think it'll be this assignment, that falls through, then we think it's that assignment, his commander won't release him, then we're looking at school, but trying not to....perhaps a deployment thrown in for good measure. There is never any certainty, even when you think there is. I've made so many alternative plans since January my head is spinning - and let's not forget that we are retirement eligible in a few months....there is that possibility too.
My civilian friends don't get it. They think we're just making the whole thing up - NO ONE can have that much uncertainty in their lives, right? I forget that we don't just look at a career and have one way to go, one choice, one path. There are so many options, so many places to go, so many paths we can take and they are always fluid. We serve the needs of the services, not what we necessarily want to do. Civilians can't really comprehend our life, much less truly understand the flux we live in on a daily basis.
It's not a gripe necessarily. Just a shock to me. I've never had someone say that there is no way we could have so many changes in 6 months. To me, that's just the way life is around time to change duty stations. It's a constant changing and adjusting.....literally until you pull in to the new station, unpack everything and your spouse has been at work for at least three months. Up until then, life's a juggling act and a perpetual question mark! It was a huge wake up for me when my civilian friends started moaning about how much uncertainty there was in MY life. HA! Poor things, it's too much stress for them to keep tabs on the latest potential move possibilities! I thought it was just keeping up with the changes in their address books that bothered them! On the bright side, most of them have NEVER stressed me out by having to change their addresses - wouldn't that be weird?