Since early this year, my family has been enduring the predeployment yo-yo. You know the one. Two weeks of training. A weekend at home. Three weeks training. A weekend at home. A month of training. Five days at home. A month of training in a different state. A few days' pass before heading overseas.
I'm not going to lie. I was never a big fan of yo-yos.
Don't get me wrong. Yo-yos were BIG when I was growing up in the late 70's, early 80's. There were folks in my family who were quite proficient with the toy. I usually ended up whacking myself in the forehead or knee and with a sore index finger for wrapping the string too tightly in an effort to do a better job.
A yo-yo was a frustrating toy. But what with 'yo-yo' in it's name isn't? Do we need to even talk aboutyo-yo diets! Gah!
As a rule, I am a proponent of yo-yo free living.
With deployment, I find the yo-yo especially cruel.
Do I want to see my husband? Of course.
Do I want to have my heart ripped out and stomped on numerous times because we have to say goodbye a dozen times before it's actually goodbye? Nope.
Do I want to live through the weeks and months of nitpicking and bickering because he's still here, but he isn't here? Nope.
Do I enjoy marking time and not truly jumping into a real, live my-husband-is-deployed schedule for months on end? Nope again.
But, that's the way the cookie crumbles where deployment is concerned. I have felt like a horrible wife on more than one occasion. Whether it be dreading this last, huge trip to see him (you know the one...where you have to plan the travel and do EVERYTHING while he sits at a base and waits on you to show up) or wishing the deployment would just start so it could end, it's not a positive experience.
For as much as I've wanted to toss this yo-yo in the closet, I'm not looking forward to storing it. It will be a long time before I have the opportunity to use it again and, well, I will likely end up mad at myself for wishing away one more use.
That's the ridiculous thing about time and deployments. They come and they go no matter what we do. And, even though we know it rationally, we waste an awful lot of energy focused on them.
Here's to living in the moment and enjoying time together, even if it's fleeting.
If you have an tried and true advice for making the most of the yo-yo, drop it in comments.