*Tea review will be added later.
**This post was typed on a mobile device. Instead of excusing any grammatical and spelling errors, kindly excuse and pass over them.
Hey everyone! Life has hit full force and the life I thought I’d have here is so much greater than I ever imagined it to be. When we made the decision for me to quit my job to move to Italy, I surely thought I’d have a tougher time finding things to fill up the calendar.
I guess this post is to sort of explain my lack of posting regularly by expressing that I’m not simply being lazy. However, now that some balance is being achieved I have a plan to make sure this personal project doesn’t completely fall between the cracks and actually becomes part of the productivity I seem to still have day by day.
Growing Friendships and My Support System
You’re probably thinking, “Wow, spending time with friends sure sounds productive.” Maybe the thought was even accompanied by an eye roll. As a military wife, this is crucial, especially living abroad. Until living here, I could count the number of people I knew who had lived overseas on one hand. In college and working after graduation, I did not have any friends who have gone through this type of experience, or at least not any who shared about it.
Being able to talk with people about struggles I’m currently facing has been so valuable. Yeah, I can talk to my husband about it, but sometimes it’s nice having other perspectives on the situation. There’s a lot of things to get used to technology wise and regarding the culture.
For example, this winter was REALLY cold. I felt like I couldn’t layer on enough clothes to keep warm sometimes and the space heater became an extension of me as I wheeled it from room to room. At first, I thought I was being a huge wimp about it. Turns out this was one of the coldest winters or area has had in awhile. I learned that from others who lived here last winter… and then when it snowed for the first time in six years.
Also, it’s nice having people to run errands and carpool with. Sometimes I’ll tag along on a trip to the commissary just to spend time with a friend. Other times, we’ll plan a day to meet at the gym to get a work out in. I should probably do more of the latter.
I can’t forget my friends and support system back home. I still talk with them regularly as the time difference permits and am really trying to become a card person on people’s birthdays/special occasions back home. All my life, my grandmother has been so good about sending me cards and even postcards when they traveled the world. I’m returning the favor even though her birthday card was late, Brussels was a month ago, and Easter already passed. I said I’m trying…
Exploring My Interests
One thing you should know about me is that I LOVE playing softball. Prior to now, I was playing multiple times a week. It’s finally softball season here! We have practice three times a week and games start soon. You have NO idea how excited this makes me that I can play even for a few months over here. Also, I’m finally exploring the talent I have in written. During school, I was complemented several times on my writing ability and even have a bachelor’s degree in English. For years, I’ve wanted to start a blog. Obviously, I’ve done that. I started exploring the world of freelance so my voice and experience can be read in other parts of the internet. Eventually, I’ll compile some links together so you can check out some of my other, more professional work that’s out there. This shouldn’t come as a shock, but I’m just as guilty of binging Netflix and keeping up on television shows as most people are. I watched a lot of Christmas movies and finally got myself some Hulu access to keep up with shows from back home. There are days (occasionally) that I reward myself with only watching tv. I use the term “reward” her a little loosely.
Training, Meetings, and Trips
Yeah, I go on trips and they are a blast. I feel so fortunate to be able to experience the variety of cultures that Italy and the rest of Europe have to offer. Belgium and Spain were both fantastic! We have a cruise and two trips planned for Germany coming up soon so stay tuned!
I do take advantage of free trainings that are offered by the Navy that spouses can participate in. I’ve gone through SafeTalk, a suicide intervention and prevention training, and a training on being a valuable sponsor to someone new coming to our command. We’ll actually be going to Germany to participate in a Marriage Enrichment Retreat. For me, these experiences give me more that I can bring back to the states with me. I want to continue having a happy, successful marriage, and I know the SafeTalk training is something that will benefit me when I start applying to positions at a university again.
And yes, I go to meetings. The ombudsman hosts a meeting each month to address any information to us from the command and hear any concerns from the dependents. I’ve learned something every single time I’ve gone. When they’re held and I’m invited, I’ll go to meetings or briefings for wives who have husbands on the ship to try to better understand their perspective and possibly support them better if I can.
The Marriage Stuff
What I really mean is continuing to shape our marriage. It’s definitely evolved since we first started living together and in the long run the changes have been positive. We grocery shop together and use that time to discuss what we’ll have for dinner. It’s also when we talk about when we’ll go out to dinner instead. A cleaning schedule was put in place a couple weeks ago after a “discussion.” I believe it’s been helpful but the jury is still out on that. If anything, it reminds us both (*cough* mostly me *cough*) what has been cleaned that week and what still needs attention. I used to only do things away from the house when my husband was at work, but now, I’ve allowed myself a little more autonomy. Just because he’s home, doesn’t mean I have to be. Through trial and error, I’m learning what a good balance looks like for both of us to feel like we have a good amount of quality time together, whether it’s watching tv, cooking dinner, or walking around the NEX looking at things we don’t really need.
Being a stay-at-home wife is not what I thought it would be, and I think it’s a lot different than others think it is. I don’t wear pearls and vacuum every day. I don’t eat chips and become part of the couch (most days). Heck, I don’t even clean every day. Work-life balance isn’t something that only exists on the workplace. It exists at home too. I know I’d be miserable if I was the stereotypical stay-at-home wife, so I’ve redefined that role. I’m using this opportunity to better myself, my marriage, my friendships, and my experience living here.
**The reason I’m writing his from my phone is because we were watching a Champions League game in our room. My husband fell asleep and I had been working on freelance stuff. Instead of going another week without posting, I decided to finally bring this post to life by the light of my cell phone.