Monday, September 1, 2008

Using gratitude to pull us through

When my soldier has called the past few weeks, I have found that I'm doing my best to keep him upbeat. He is so ready to go on leave, exhausted, restless, hot, irritated and "doing (his) best not to go insane."

Last week, I found myself feeling sorry for him. Commiserating doesn't work. I think both of us were depressed when we hung up the phone. I felt pretty helpless and sad most of the week following.

Today, I was in a great mood when he called. I rattled on and on about my life, new friends, my kids, my running and cycling... I thought surely my enthusiasm would bring a smile to his face, as it usually does.

He reminded me how fortunate I was to have such great friends and fun things to do. He compared my situation to his. He is frustrated with his current position and people that he works with. He will be changing positions and moving to another camp in October and then he will be spending time with loads of family and friends (and me!) during his leave....still a month away.

"See baby?" I reminded him, "Its temporary! You're almost there!"

"Yeah, I know. I'm just having a difficult time getting from day to day right now."

I could worry but worry does neither one of us any good. We've been through this before. I know it will pass. In the meantime, I need to focus on what usually gets me through times like this: gratitude.

Tonight as I sat with my kids as they snuggled in their beds, we took turns saying what we were grateful for:
  • my friends at school
  • water and food
  • my sweet girls
  • my sweet Mommy
  • that we're all healthy
  • that we have comfy beds to sleep in
  • the bear that (my soldier) sent me
  • that Daddy doesn't yell at us anymore
  • Daddy and Uncle Zen (the ex's brother/roomie)
  • our old house
  • our new house
  • our friend's house where we had a party tonight
  • that my girls help me with chores around the house
  • our toys

I'm sending all of that love and gratitude to my sweet soldier across the miles. He is not a victim and he's the first one who'll say that to you. I know and he knows that he has a choice of how he can view his situation. I can't make him change his mind however, I can change my own mind of how I view him and this deployment.

He is ok. He is of sound mind. He is healthy. He is strong. He is loved. He is amazing. He is powerful. He is ok. He is ok. He is ok.

Thank God that he is OK.

And thank you God that I am too!


  1. Wow, he sounds amazing. Even when he is down. I can't wait to hear how it goes when he returns

  2. Gratitude is one of our greatest abilities as humans. Love that you are teaching your little ones.

    Sounds like you are really missing him. :( When is he de back?

  3. I can relate to those days when it seems like everything you say to try and cheer them up is the wrong thing. It's hard and frustrating. But heaven knows we love them enough to try and think of more ways to make them smile. Hopefully tomorrow is a little better for him...and you.

  4. Gosh these posts really make me sad - and then happy!!!

    A month will fly by and you guys will be together ;o)

    And yes couting our blessings always grounds us!

  5. That is so important, T. Good post. One thing I was learning, when learning to pray like an adult (as opposed to merely randomly voicing memorized lines from my childhood) was to give thanks. That is a prayerful action often left behind or not even considered--we so easily first think of what is wanted/needed rather than the great wealth that is already had.

    Be well, T.

  6. I can't imagine all that he is experiencing and feeling. It must be a challenge to keep his spirits up and his frustration levels low. A month will fly by but until then there is so much for which to be grateful. How to help someone you love feel that love in such a place...

    I have a feeling that he is counting down the days and that there will be lots of love going on when he gets back... and that is a lot to anticipate and to feel anxious for as well! ;)

  7. I think they tend to get to that point where the day to day is just absolute torture. Hopefully it'll pick up!

    What is his job in the military?

  8. You know what my feelings on this thoughts are always with you both..

  9. Gratitude opens up our crown chakra so that we are able to receive universal intelligence. At least that's how I think about and articulate it. (I used to be an engineer)

    Gratitude is great!


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