Many people I know have given up on making New Year's resolutions, and for good reason. Either they don’t stick with them historically, so they skip it altogether, or prefer words that are more action-oriented (like goals), in place of resolutions. Some have even traded in making resolutions for making a vision board. Others feel like you shouldn’t wait until a New Year to make changes, so they make them throughout the year, as necessary. Then, there are your good old cynics. They don’t make resolutions because they feel like they are a waste of time.
Personally, the last 10 years of being a military spouse has taught me that it’s hard to resolve when so many things in your life are out of your control. As soon as we get a schedule that works for our family, it changes. As soon as we make those new friends, get that new job or start those classes…it’s time to move.
For military spouses, New Year's resolutions are actually just cleverly disguised wishes.
While I was thinking about my 2017 Wishes, it occurred to me there are many wishes military spouses have in common, simply through leading similar lifestyles. There’s an old saying, “If wishes were horses, then beggars would ride." In our case, the things we’d “beg” for are common for civilian families. While we knew (for the most part) what we were signing up for when we married into the military, it doesn’t make the hard times less hard. Thank goodness for those incredibly amazing good times though, right?
Still, there are parts of this lifestyle that we can only wish and hope for.
Some big, some small.
For instance, that dream assignment? You know the one we’ve longed for, for many years…could this be the year that we actually get to PCS to said dream place? Whether it be the duty station close to home, overseas or to live in Hawaii for a few years; it would be nice to finally get there.
Whether or not this wish comes true, we’ll resolve to bloom where we are planted. To make the most of wherever the next place is that we will call home.
But since we’re moving, can we wish to have the movers actually take care of our household goods? What does it feel like to PCS and not have to file claims? Show me someone who hasn’t had their furniture damaged during a PCS and I’ll show you someone who did a DITY move. During our last PCS the movers took the extra care to wrap the trash can with the trash still in it (after we’d put it in the infamous “Do Not Touch Anything Here” corner), but somehow my son’s headboard disappeared from the truck. We hear countless tales of how we go extra lengths to take great care of the movers. Here’s to wishing in 2017, they’ll take care of what makes our house a home.
At the top of the list of Milspouse Wishes 2017 is to have a year where our service member doesn’t miss the big stuff. It’s a huge wish, one that is rare for any military family. Just one year where they’re home for birthdays, anniversaries, recitals, Thanksgiving and Christmas would be a miracle.
While that wish is a long shot, here’s a compromise. If they have to deploy, can we wish for some decent, reliable wi-fi? Even if for only 15 minutes, it would be nice not to spend half of your call asking “What did you say? You’re freezing up.”
Love them or hate them, New Year's resolutions are tradition, just like the things that we wish for as military families. And just like with resolutions, you find yourself slipping back into old habits... these wishes probably aren’t going to be granted.
But the thing about our community is that wish granted or not, the resolve to do whatever it takes to support your service member does not wane. We may not always get what we wish for, but the resolution? It’s always there.
Happy New Year! Wishing you and your family a beautiful 2017!