Bloom where you're planted

Friends of ours from church bought a boat this summer and decided to head down to the beach today for the holiday and asked us to tag along. A great get-together - lots of friends from church were there.

Our friends brought water skis and took us out for a run. I've never been water skiing nor wakeboarding nor tubing. We never did boats and the closest I've come is jet skiing (which I adore and MacGyver and I are always on the lookout for some of the old standup jetskis on Craigslist that don't cost an arm and a leg). I am always up for new stuff so I decided to give it a try and it was a blast! I was worried I wasn't going to be able to get up at all but I managed to get up on my first try. Didn't stay up for long but I made it up!

Our friend who was driving the boat and giving instruction has the heart of a teacher so he was very good at explaining what to do and how to do it which made things much easier. I wrenched my shoulder pretty good on the first try and it's pretty sore right now. We'll see how it feels in the morning.

This family that invited us to go with them are awesome. I love how they just embrace life wherever they are. I'm very much a "bloom where you're planted" type of person - I think it's necessary in order to be "successful" in military life - but this family is the epitome of that.

I have several friends that are not the "bloom where you're planted" types and I have a hard time understanding how a person functions like that. Don't get me wrong - I've not liked every place we've lived while in the military nor do I like even the "good" places 100% of the time. Even our dream location will have it's drawbacks. But I can't spend months or years bemoaning the location I live in and I can't sit around waiting for "the next place we live" to be better. If I did that I might as well curl up into a ball and try to sleep the days away.

Not my style.

So I get out. I learn about the place we're living. I find things to do. I do my best to meet people. I try to put out of my mind the fact that we will be leaving here someday - probably sooner than later - and others may very well do the same. Military life is very much a "live for the moment" life. If you spend your time waiting to be in a "better location", you'll wake up one day and find that 10 years have slipped past you and all you have to show for it are a few lousy T shirts and not a lot else.

I'd rather look back on those 10 years and remember the time we went snowmachining (that's "snowmobiling" for those of you that don't live in Alaska) in -20* weather at the unit Christmas party or the time I had a massive snowball fight in the parking lot at swim practice or the time we took off down to Orlando while living in Alabama to go to DisneyWorld because the tickets were free. Or what about the time the kids and I jumped in the car and drove with friends from church (in Alabama) to New Orleans because there was a Mervyn's there and because I wanted FOR REAL beignets from the French Quarter? Who knew that a year later, the French Quarter would come really close to being wiped off the map??

Or what about the time MacGyver and I took off up to Chena Hot Springs for our anniversary? Or the trip to Talkeetna during HART (high altitude rescue team) training? Or jumping the rock at Waiamea? Or driving the road to Hana? Or finding our favorite bagel place down in Nashville? Or touring the plantation in Franklin? Or the beautiful homes we toured in Eufala?

NONE of those memories would exist if I had sat around moping over the fact that we weren't where I absolutely wanted to be. Not one.

Bitter or better. It's a choice. Choose a vowel.


- hfs


Annie said...

This should be required reading for all military spouses. I realize, as do you, that you aren't going to totally love every place you are stationed (you know the place I hated the most) but that didn't keep me from getting out and experiencing the area. And yes, now I even miss it sometimes.

Anonymous said...

Amen, sister. I think this is true for everyone. I have lived the majority of my life in NC and, sadly, I've visited more places outside of my state than I have within it. While I'm pretty neutral on the city in which we live, we embrace our community and we find activities that suit us. We are learning more and more about our state by simply looking beyond our back porch.

Choices are the one thing in life we have 110% control over and the vowel is one of the most important. We make good choices and not so good choices, but our lessons and experiences need to be taken from them; good or bad.

Very well written.

Andrew and Leigh said...

Hey! We did the Eufaula house tour thing, too! Did you include the Rattlesnake Rodeo as part of your AL experience? You didn't miss much. :)


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