I can’t decide whether I’m rocking this deployment or whether it’s kicking my ass. I can point to arguments in support of both; I’m never sure which way the scales are going to tip on any given day. I don’t remember feeling this weebly-wobbly during last year’s deployment, but that could be selective memory on my part. Or maybe I’m just picking up on the nuances a little more clearly now that it’s not my first one. I don’t know.
Let’s look at the case for “This deployment is kicking my ass.”
Six-legged Invaders: Ants. They’re fascinating critters when they’re not swarming in my sunroom. The poison I dutifully sprayed around the perimeter of the room and all the windows has helped some, but I’m paranoid that they’re living in the walls and all I’ve done is cut down on the ones I see alive. The dead ones aren’t a whole lot of fun, either.
Drip… Drip… Drip… The remnants of Tropical Storm Beryl brushed by us yesterday, bringing a day of rain. I usually like rainy days for the pleasure of being cozy and dry inside our snug little house. It’s a lot less cozy to realize that the rain has decided that it would like to join me and the cats indoors. It’s not the first time this has happened, but we thought our intrepid homeowner roof-patching skills had taken care of the problem (which had previously only shown up in a crazy storm of the raining-sideways-and-tornado-warning variety, not light steady rain like yesterday). Apparently not. So, now I’m on the hunt for a roofer who can diagnose the problem and fix it — without, I sincerely hope, having to replace the whole roof.
PCS Panic: I know, I know, it’s a little early to start flipping out about orders that are supposed to come next April or May. Except OH WAIT, Sampson recently mentioned to me that if the stars align for the orders he really wants (sorry about the deliberate vagueness), we would have to be at the next duty station in January. That would make December the crunch time for the move, and that is this year. This PCS will be our most complicated yet:
- We own our house and plan to rent it out. That means whipping a lot of things (such as the ant issue, the leaky roof, the overgrown bushes in the back yard, the fence, the shed behind the garage, the effed-up window in the laundry room…) into shape and finding a property manager and figuring out a whole lot of stuff that is brand-new to us.
- We have pets this time, which we didn’t for the various flight school PCS moves.
- We’ve lived here for just about four years now, and the Law of Expanding Crap has ensured that we have more furniture and stuff in general than we did before.
The PCS stress might not be fully attributable to this deployment, but Sampson’s absence points a horrible magnifying glass at everything that absolutely must get done before we move. All I’m seeing is the inexorable expansion of the to-do list and the months my husband won’t be around to help with any of it.
Lest anyone interpret that as resentment towards Sampson, please note that it is his support and faith in my competence that imbues me with the strength to suck it up and get things done. Most of the time, it’s comfort enough to know that he would be here to do battle with Murphy if he could — most of the time.
Then there are the days where I can all but feel the to-do list looming over my head, mocking me with tasks at which I can wield no experience or expertise. Those are the days when I feel fragile, overwhelmed. I suspect that is a signal that I’ve let my focus drift too wide and I need to squeeze it back down to concentrate on a single step rather than the whole seething mass of Everything that Must Get Done.
And on the days when even tackling a single step threatens to drown me, my best bet is to shunt whatever is currently kicking my ass aside for the moment and contemplate the ways in which I am totally rocking the deployment. That’ll be my next post, “Who’s Winning, Me or the Deployment? (Part II).”