I have felt a bit out of sorts the last few weeks. Paul's been out of town training and I have to say, it's been difficult.
I mean, two weeks is just two weeks. No big deal. But the hard part is knowing what the two weeks represent - "practice" for another seven month deployment early next year. It should go without saying that I am not looking forward to it. This time around, I know what to expect. I know there will be days where I flourish and days when I hit a wall. I know there will be times when I crave Paul. When I physically hurt from missing him. And other days where thankfully, the minutes appear to be flying.
Since Paul's been gone on this training adventure, we've been able to talk every night for a few minutes. Yes, it's fantastic to hear his voice and so nice to get updates, but it's also been so hard. This part of deployment, how difficult it was to have real conversations over bad phone connections, is incredibly hard to remember. It's so easy to touch base at night and look back at the past day and sum it all up with, "It was good." or "I'm fine." even when really, such a simple statement never represents a full day.
Last week, I dealt with some complex business stuff. It's something I'll never go into on the blog, but something I would have loved to have been able to discuss face to face with Paul. Even though I know the end result would be the same, it would have been unbelievably helpful to see him and have him hear me in real time to offer insight.
And this week, I got some truly awful "news" about something that happened 19 years ago. That sounds so bizarre and soap-opera-y, I know, but man, when I heard it, time stopped for a second. I am so anxious to get Paul home, sit with him on the couch and share this story and in some ways begin to grieve. Both of these events have reminded me how hard it can be to break through the fluff and small talk when you are so far away and dealing with such different circumstances than your partner.
I guess this is just to say I struggled these past two weeks. Mostly feeling gloomy about facing the same thing again for so long. I know we are lucky we get to talk so often while he's deployed. I know we are lucky we will most likely have access to video chat. And I know I'll continue to pour my heart and all my thoughts into hand-written letters and email. But it's so far from the same. It's so far from in-person. It's so far from normal to have your favorite person on the other side of the world. And some days it's just horrible. Certainly not the worst case scenario - or even close - but still immensely difficult.
I know I have to take it one day at a time. I have to remember that these past nine months we have spent together have felt infinitely longer than the seven we spent apart (how cool is that?). I have to be (and I am!) grateful that Paul is going to be home for Thanksgiving and that our house will be full. I have to cherish each second of the rest of November and then the holiday season. I have to kiss Paul long and hard when the clock turns to midnight on 2013 to make up for spending last new year's eve apart and to celebrate starting a new calendar side-by-side. I have to spend time talking to him, face to face, not face to face to TV. I have to really enjoy the days and nights that we are blessed to be together.
I suppose that is the good thing that came out of these last two weeks - I am filled with joy that this weekend I'll get my husband back and I have the opportunity to really dive headfirst into us.
EDIT : Thank you, friends, for your sweet comments on this post and every post. Paul was able to get home last night (unexpectedly early!) and it's such a joy to have him back. We so appreciate your support. And cheers to the other military folks and people who are separated from their loved ones this week. xo.