Do You Count Up, Count On or Count Down Military Life?


I am not exactly Count Von Count on Sesame Street, but I’m a countdown addict. I count down all the time.

I count down the days before my husband deploys.

I count down the days before my husband returns home.

I count down the months before our next move.

I count down the months before the submission of our next dream sheet.

I count down the years until my husband puts on his next advancement.

I count down the years until he will again have shore duty (so we have more time with him).

I count down how many holidays will be lost during the next set of orders.

I count…and count…and count . I’ve been trying to wrap my mind around why I count. I think I count because for some reason, I guess it gives me a sense of control – which is really ridiculous.

Let’s be honest – as soon as we count on anything, schedules change, budgets get cut, and our lives are changed in ways the countdown didn’t even predict. So, I’m done! I’m throwing in the towel.

I’m elbow dropping countdowns this year like a WWF wrestler (pause and YouTube it for a visual). I’m tired of counting down. I’m tired of feeling like time is controlling me and I’m not enjoying life freely.

In 2014 I vow to count up. No, that doesn’t mean I’m using reverse psychology and just wording counting down in an opposite way. Counting up means I will start to focus on the positive when I begin to count “down.”

Every time I think to start the countdown I’m going to make a conscious effort to think of a positive in that moment of our lives. I’m vowing to be present and find the blessings in the season of life where we are.

You always hear people say kids grow up so fast…you blink and they’re moving out of the house. Well, that’s also true with our adventure in the military life, I think.

In eight years we’ve moved four times, had one child, adopted three dogs, and I’ve had four careers. Can you imagine what the end of our military career list will look like?

I’ve had a full life in the past eight years, yet I’ve still counted down and not up. I’m done! Upward and onward to living in the moment and cherishing all the moments – good and bad.

I’m also admitting I’m an addict because I will most likely slip and fall back into occasionally counting down. When you see or hear me do it…remind me to count up and help me refocus.

Jessica Bertsch is a proud Coastie wife and mom of a 2-year-old. In her “spare” time she runs Powerhouse Planning, LLC She can be reached at


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