My husband's first deployment was a one-year deployment. Three Hundred and Sixty-Five days sounded insurmountable in the beginning. I don't recall any particular method of marking time during that one year, though I'm sure I had some sort of system. The second deployment was a shorter one, clocking in at just under seven months. I remember grabbing a post-it pad and beginning with 60, writing numbers in reverse order on a fresh note until I got to one. When we were at the 60-day mark, I hung the countdown pad on my office door and each day when I walked in, I ripped a sheet off the pad. It felt good to watch the numbers decline. Although I was always conscious of how much time was left to go, I didn't want to begin the official countdown until we were two months out.
Each of us have our own way of coping with deployment. From taking marbles or jelly beans out of a jar to marking X's on the calendar, I've heard all sorts of stories from milspouses about how they've marked time at SpouseBUZZ over the years. For me, I prefer to find ways which ignore the biggest numbers because let's face it, it's often too much to consider. This is one reason I think Heather's way of counting down the time until her husband returns is fantastic. Heather is using the weekly method and she has decided to bake a different cake each week. I like this. Fifty-two is such a better number than 365.
Do you have a countdown strategy? If so, what's your method?