Tag Archive | military spouse

A Navy Wife Question: And what do YOU do?

Note:  Not a dog post.

This is for the Navy (or other military) wives out there.  This evening I went to a friend’s house (was not a navy wife) for dinner and while the other guests and I were chatting before dinner the question of course came up about my occupation.  I don’t understand why but as humans, we must have some sort of social obligation to find out what others do for a living.  I do understand that it is a good general conversation starter but still, isn’t there something better to ask?  To me it just feels like that is the main way to judge someone.

When I was asked, the first time I wasn’t thinking and I said “well I was working at [enter workplace name here] but I just recently quit.”  The next time I was asked I was prepared and just said “I’m a Navy wife.”  The first time I was caught off guard, the subsequent times I was prepared.

To me there is a stigma in being called a “Navy wife.”  I know most Navy wives are patriotic, supportive, and willing to do anything for their service members.  There are also those that are so gung-ho about every single thing that it is irritating — I call those the cheerleader types.  I am not saying being positive is bad, I am saying the cheerleader OVERLY positive and OVERLY enthusiastic types are annoying and get on my nerves.  Those are the ones I want to just go away.  I also know there are the wives that love their husbands but do not love their husband’s job and cannot wait until their husband’s commitment time to the military (aka jail sentence) is up.

There are all these different “types” of wives but it still boils down to being a “navy wife” and if that is all I can say, then what is the point?  To me it says that I do not have an identity separate from my husband.  By having a job or being a student that says “hey, I’m doing something with my life!”  I already have a double major and a BA in History, so I can’t say I’m a student anymore… I am not trying to bash on housewives I am just trying to say that being a housewife is NOT my thing.  If you stay home with your kids, all the power to ya!  But I do not have kids so I don’t have an excuse to be at home doing “nothing” all day…

My question to you is how do you answer this?  I also posted this question on my personal facebook page and I have already gotten a few responses.  What do you say when someone asks “what do you do”?  When I answer “I’m a Navy wife” I feel awkward saying it and to me I feel like I am saying that I do not have an identity…how do you answer this and still sound like you are your own person?  I suppose with time it will get easier, but right now it is just hard and a bit weird.

 

And for those of you keeping track, once Andrew does get his dolphins they will be gold not silver. I still thought this was a fitting image.

P.S.  I do have a couple more posts that I am planning and/or have already written partially that I would like to follow this piece.  They are navy related but not quite as difficult as this topic was…I do have a couple Corgi posts that I would like to share too. Now to just keep up with this motivation that I suddenly have!  I have fallen off on blog posting quite a bit, mostly because all the time I have to write I usually put towards writing my emails to my husband.  Those emails are like novels some days!

Stay tuned for Gwen’s big news! 😀

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Living the Single-Wife Life

**Not entirely a dog blog post. You have been warned.** 🙂sub disapear

Lately I just have not felt like writing much. When I do write, I am penning emails to my husband who is at sea. More specifically, he is under water and out of touch with the real world. The sailors can receive emails and they can write them back but they cannot send them until they are no longer on patrol — you can’t be sending emails and be stealthy at the same time… This deployment we have heard from them a couple of times, which was more than we had expected. I felt like actually sitting down and writing tonight because I miss him. It’s not the same writing an email to him even if I know he is going to read it, it still feels like I am talking to a brick wall. I even told him that in an email and he thought it was funny. His response was, “even if I am a brick wall that you are talking to, I still look better than a brick wall so that has to mean something.” I’m glad someone has a sense of humor.

If he’s a brick wall, I’m a retaining wall. Those left at home have to hold down the fort and make sure to keep everything in working order while the other half is away. The retaining wall may get a couple cracks from the pressure it holds up daily but as long as that wall does not crumble from the strain, it will continue to stand there as long as it is needed. Living the Single-Wife Life makes me create these goofy analogies all day long…

Gwen is not amused. (She was really hot and miserable that day…Corgis don’t really like the hot weather and it was nicer outside than inside! ugh!)

I also talk to my dog. I don’t find anything wrong with this except for today I informed the dog that I was going to take a shower and then looked at her like she was going to say something to me. I seriously need to get out more!

Some of the things that I have done to keep myself busy have been work, work, and more work. I feel guilty not having enough time for either Gwen or Owen (or even myself!). I did take Owen to a horse show where we did pretty well for our first real show together in about 4 years! More on that later though. When I am home with Gwen she gets spoiled (of course!) and she now goes out to the barn with me every day except when it is too hot for her to sit in the car. I’ve been having to go and medicate my horse daily since he has a case of gastric ulcers but those seem to be heeling nicely.

Owen. At the horse show!

One day I went into a little thrift shop near where I work and I found the neatest thing! It’s a bread box! Like one of the old-fashioned roll top ones, so of course I bought it, intending to put my bread in it. I brought it home and cleaned it up and it sat on my counter for a few days until my mom came to visit at which point she put all of Gwen’s doggie treats in it. So now my bread box is a dog treat box but it is a great way to keep all those different kinds of treats hidden! 🙂

I have also started running again. I am not entirely sure why I quit in the first place (got lazy) but I did and now I have to work myself back up to the distances and pace that I previously enjoyed. It’s not easy but in the end it will be rewarding. The past few days I’ve been gimping around on sore feet and legs. I can’t wait for my legs to get stronger and no longer have to look and feel three times as old as I really am! Staying positive and working towards goals — looking at doing a 5K in August! — that’s what will get me through the rest of this stinking deployment!

One last parting word before I sign off: I ask that if you know me or my husband, please do not put any personal info in the comments ESPECIALLY if it pertains to the boat he is on. The submarine in the above picture is not his, it is just an image that I got from another wife who found it somewhere else. Any info regarding the coming or going of his boat is pretty much on a need to know basis so I do not put anything on this blog, facebook, or anywhere. After a certain period of time has elapsed, I am able to say “he’s gone!” but that is basically it. OPSEC (Operations Security) is a real thing and as subs are meant to be weapons of stealth, the only way to keep them and the loved ones on board safe is to keep it hush-hush. I have not had any problems with this to date but I don’t want it to become one. The following is a great little way to remember OPSEC…(click on the image to make it bigger if you cannot read it.) Enjoy! 🙂

opsec

We got da Bluez

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Gwen and I have both been a little blue lately.  Andrew left on his first deployment with the “big Navy” not long ago.  I can’t say any specifics but I can say that this is a lot shorter than he would normally be out.  I suppose this is supposed to be a good thing, like being able to dip your toe in the water to test is before you dive on in…not that there is much choice in the matter.  What the Big Navy says, goes.

I took Andrew to the airport since he had to meet his boat elsewhere and just dropping him off there was easier than it had been when he left on his NROTC Midshipman cruises when we were still in college.  At least then I was able to go home and be with my parents and go to work.  Here, now, I’m not working, I don’t have any friends yet, and I’m not living with my parents.  The days leading up to his departure were not fun at all.  I can only hope it gets easier (doubt it though).

What does it feel like for him to be gone?  Painfully lonely and sad.  The only communication that we get is via email and even then it is not often at all.  For them to receive email on the sub, they have to surface and the messages for the whole boat as well as the communications and other official whatnot all get received and put through a “pipeline.” From what I understand, it is like using dial-up while trying to put a bunch of stuff through it while at the same time sharing with a bunch of people…slow and difficult.  So it is a real treat to receive an email from them, so far I have received two little emails. 🙂

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After my husband left, Gwen was at first a little sad like she was when he was doing his training back in South Carolina but after being a little mopey she returned to normal.  I think she was figuring he would be back in the morning like usual.  When he was packing all his stuff she was following me around since I have always been the one to leave to go see family.  She didn’t understand.  The next day she slept in the chair that she and him both like to sit in…it is “her” chair since “her” blankie is on it…she didn’t want to move anywhere and the next couple of days she spent long hours laying in that chair or looking out the window.

I tried to keep her busy, giving her toys with treats inside, throwing the ball, tying her outside so she could dig holes in the yard, and going on as many car rides as she wanted.  We even went to Petco and picked out some new treats the other day!  I like to think that Gwen enjoyed that. 🙂

Gwennie has been a big help keeping me from being too lonely.  When I get sad or lonely she knows.  A Corgi can’t dry your tears but she can lick them away, clean your ears, and cheer you up!  If I’m feeling down she will bring me her Kong and will lick my ears until I laugh and play with her.  This little dog is going to be my saving grace. ❤