Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Spouse of the "Man in Blue" - What I've Learned

"Man in Blues" ? Does Ryan have the blues?

No. I'm referring to him as "a man in blues" meaning Air Force.

As most of you know, in January he "took the plunge" in taking a more active role in the Air Force by taking a pilot spot. Although he's been in for 8 years, this past year our lives have changed drastically. I've never considered myself a 'military spouse', as before his only activity in the military was 1 weekend/month and 14 days/year.

So when he was commissioned back in March, and I sat in a "Spouses Forum"...I felt clueless. All the wives were dropping terms like "TLF", "TDY", "enlisted vs officer". "IFS" "UPT" "Tincker AFB" "March AFB" "Nellis"....the list went on. Whaaaat?

Then we were separated for a few months.

Then I moved to San Antonio. There was I was the base library, trying to get a card. The librarian asked me for my address. I started rattling off my address in Arizona. She said, "No, ma'am, you're address here in Texas".

......tears started rolling down my face. "I don't know my address." Yes. I cried.

"Well, where's your TLF"

*What the heck is a TLF!?!?"*
(I now know is means Temporary Lodging Facility)

"Ma'am, what's your husband's squadron?"

All questions I didn't know the answer to. Finally, I told her our room number and which hotel we are living in. I think out of pity she gave me a "Pity Library Card". (Would that be a PLC?!....ah the acronyms!)

Anyways, here are a few pieces of knowledge I've gained from this experience. I'm sure I will continue to gain more...
  1. After any time of separation, readjusting isn't easy. He has been away, in a completely different un-natural environment. When he returns, his life has been on pause, while everyone else continued on. Be patient with each other.
  2. Learn to iron. And learn to iron well. Always buy heavy starch. (Unless you really hate ironing. If you do a poor job ironing his uniform, he will never let you do it again. Especially if he's the very Type A, meticulous type. Over the years, I have gone through "Ryan's Ironing Training Program" (RITP)
  3. Everything has an acronym. (EHAA)
  4. Don't plan on anything happening for sure. Plans were to move to Columbus, MS for 1.5 years starting in June. Guess who ended up in San Antonio in June for 4 months! And then Riverside, CA for another 4-5! (Prior to that Ryan was in Pueblo, CO for 2 and Montgomery, AL for 2)
  5. You will form an interesting bond with the other spouses. You may not have a lot in common all the time, but you'll find something to have in common. You're stuck in a different city - away from family - a support network is important!
  6. Being positive is a must. Sometimes the situations aren't fun -- and it's up to you, the spouse, to keep them smiling and keep their eyes on the goal!
  7. Be careful about not complaining about where you're living. (Unfortunately, I need to practice what I preach, because I've had my moments where I don't love Texas). You're together. You're in a safe place. You are blessed.
So far this experience of living on a base, being a more active military spouse has been a good one! It's something I am proud of. I look forward to returning to our "home base" in Arizona, where I can hopefully become more involved. (and be home again...but shh...I'm not supposed to say that!) 


Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

I am sure you have learned so much through this process. The acronym thing is tough as it can make you feel like such an outsider! I think you have handled your time in Texas so well. I know living in a hotel room is far from optimal but you have taken it in stride! I hope the remainder of your time flies by. I am sure it will feel so good to be 'home'.

Marlys said...

Interesting read! You are faring well in your new atmosphere, but I know your heart is pulling you back to AZ! Hang tight on this roller coaster ride! You also have acronyms in the medical field but you are used to them. I am sure you have learned a lot while in TX!
I'm glad you are handling this so well!