When my husband left for deployment, I made a list of all the worthwhile things I could do to make the most of my time by myself. My list looked a little something like this:
Reconnect with girlfriends
Focus wholeheartedly on work.
Before we got married, my husband and I did long distance for a couple of years to follow our career dreams. During this time, I developed a dependence on my career for a sense of accomplishment and pride. When it came time to get married and live in the same place, there were certainly sacrifices made on both of our ends. Sacrifices are an essential piece of marriage; but when your husband is also married to the military, the word “sacrifice” takes on a whole new meaning. I am so blessed to have found a job in my field at our first duty station and though it may not be my dream job, I still want nothing more than to excel, still yearning for that same sense of pride and accomplishment. When deployment came around, I saw it as an opportunity to fully devote myself to work again just as I did when we were long distance. This did not necessarily mean long hours at the office but it was more an internal switch in thinking to do everything with a little bit more gumption, to go the extra mile. This new attitude combined with a climate of change at work turned out to be the perfect storm. I gained a sense of clarity when it came to seeing areas of weakness as opportunities for improvement. I was able to use the pressure and demands of change to stretch and grow in my role. I could finally focus solely on my career again with my husband cheering me on from halfway around the world. My heart is at peace knowing that I have not just survived, but flourished in the months while my husband is away.
Just yesterday, I set up a quick meeting with my boss to discuss a gap I had seen in one of our processes. After we discussed the issue, she caught me completely off guard informing me that all of my hard work had earned a promotion. I was and still am on cloud nine. It is so self-gratifying to know that all my efforts and the switch in my mindset over the last few months has paid off. It also made me smile on the inside knowing that this promotion was nowhere on my radar – that I was not doing this for public accolades or recognition, but for my own happiness and self-fulfillment. When all is said and done, I’m most proud of myself, not for earning the promotion, but for turning what could be such a sad time into a time of positivity, independence, and personal growth.
If you had any personal wins #whilehewasaway on TDY or deployment, share with us on the blog, Facebook, or Instagram! We would love to celebrate you on KTC!