I am a planner.
Few things get me more excited than having a game plan for the day, complete with a “To Do.” (Confession: If I accomplish something NOT on my “to do” list, I have been known to write it down then immediately mark it off. I know. I’m kind of a nerd. I’m okay with it.)
I love knowing what’s going on, who’s doing what and how we are going to get there.
Which was a great attitude to have… until I married my beloved soldier.
Within 14 seconds of being married, I determined that to thrive in this Army wife life, we have to adopt a flair for being flexible.
This Army wife flair for flexibility is no small feat—sometimes those Army changes come so hard and fast, we might feel like we need the flexibility of an Olympic gymnast.
It can be hard. It can be frustrating. It can be overwhelming. Oh, but sisters, once we figure out that flexible flair, it sure is rewarding!
Don’t get me wrong… there are still “those days” when I get that precious phone call or text from my darling husband which include “Oh hey, I’ve got some news… You know that big plan/schedule/PCS we were talking about yesterday? Yeah, scratch that…” that make me twitch.
So here are a few steps to success for quickly developing a flair for being flexible.
1. Be creative. Sometimes when our plans change, it can really throw everything for a loop. The sightseeing road trip you had mapped out for your PCS? Plans changed. The redeployment date for when your beloved soldier returns home pushed back again? Plans changed.
Instead of trashing our to do list and curling up in a corner with a box of dark chocolate (trust me—I’ve been tempted,) we can take a look at our list and get creative. Try to have fun with it and pretend it’s a new puzzle to solve. Seek out new resources on your post or within your friend circle or even on the Internet. Where there’s a will, there’s a way. And you WILL find a way.
2. Find an outlet. When I married my beloved, he asked just one thing of me: When plans change that are totally out of his control, don’t take it out on him. This is SO important and has proven to be a sound policy in our marriage. We all know that our spouses do everything in their power to make things work for the best of the family… but a majority of decisions are way out of their control.
So instead of taking it out on our soldier, we need to find an alternate outlet. Perhaps it’s a close friend or family member we can vent to. Perhaps spending some time in prayer to regain perspective. Exercise is also a great way to relieve frustration. (Might I recommend boxing?) Refer to point number one and get creative on how you can blow off some steam before facing those changes head on.
3. Cling to your positivity. Even when things seem to be falling to pieces, keep a positive perspective on what you DO have. Don’t focus on the things that are going wrong, but be thankful for what is going right. Sometime this takes work (and a lot of deep soul-searching) but being positive shifts our perspective and gives us flexibility we didn’t know we had. I know that personally, a lot of those hard changes often turn out to be blessings in disguise (it just takes a minute to show up.)
When these powers combine, not only are we able to handle those unexpected changes with class and composure, but we can be a great supporter and cheerleader for that soldier that we love so much. And before we know it, we are rocking our newfound flair for being flexible and bending in ways we never though possible.
More flexible by the day,
“The willow is my favorite tree. I grew up near one. It’s the most flexible tree in nature and nothing can break it – no wind, no elements, it can bend and withstand anything.” ~Pink
PS: Sweet sisters, if you are in the process of discovering your flair for flexibility and need some encouragement, I would love to lend a listening ear. I participate in our ministry website or you can get connected on our Facebook Page.