Even though they may seem insignificant, little victories matter and are worth celebrating. They say you’re on the right track, you’re getting closer to your end goal, you’re making progress. This is true for business, life, fitness and, most certainly, deployment.
Time during deployment can feel like it’s barely moving. Days feel like weeks. Weeks feel like months. Y’all have been there, you know. I struggled with that feeling of time standing still during my first deployment as a military girlfriend, but I quickly realized there was a way to speed up time.
Well, sort of.
We all know you can’t speed up time, although if someone was to invent that technology, I’d put money on it being a military spouse tired of waiting. In the meantime, I’ve found that breaking the long months of deployment into shorter chunks and celebrating the passing of those mini milestones really helps!
A milestone can be just about anything you want it to be: vacations, events at work, a girl’s night out, a message for yourself or even a holiday. The only requirement is that they happen on a set day and you know about them in advance. Holidays can sometimes be the best ones because they come so quickly. Think about it: 55 days of deployment may seem impossible, but the 55 days between Halloween and Christmas? Those bad boys fly by!
You can have one milestone a month, or two, or three or however many you want. Before deployment, brainstorm all the different kind of milestones and put them in chronological order in some sort of list format. I make my milestone list on my phone and then check them off as they pass.
For example, my last deployment’s milestone list looked something like this:
4th of July
Our dating anniversary
And that was it. An almost five-month deployment boiled down to just eight milestones and they happened so quickly. I even included special occasions that would have ordinarily been spent with my husband so that I still looked forward to them arriving.
Getting to each of those milestones not only helped me make the time apart more manageable, but it also helped me share that time ticking down with my husband. It can be easy to forget that time sometimes drags for the deployed service member. They are also anxious to come home. When you can share that there are only X number of days left or just one more milestone until they come home, that’s encouraging for them too!
“Knowing that someone at home is counting down the days for #deployment to end matters to us. It means someone is just as anxious for us to be home as we are.”
Next time you find yourself facing a seemingly impossible long deployment, consider breaking it into smaller chunks. Those milestones can really help you and your loved one feel like you’re making progress through deployment.
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