Of course, I've also gotten to a lot of states…
Last month, Scott was in Texas. I've never been to Texas and we're loooong overdue for a vacation or getaway. We tried to figure out a way I could get down there to El Paso. He drove the first weekend of October and I thought I might make it down over the long Columbus Day weekend. I wouldn't be able to leave until Saturday morning and then spend all day driving, with two dogs…and since Scott was working nights, he wouldn't be able to meet me until late Saturday night or Sunday morning…and I'd have to leave by Monday afternoon in order to be back for school on Tuesday. And this is us meeting halfway, near Albuquerque, not even me getting the whole way to El Paso, so I still wouldn't get to Texas. Plus, I was dog-sitting on that weekend, so I would've had 3 dogs and we just decided it wasn't worth it. I've been under enough stress with work and pet-care and and a half-remodeled house (I used that weekend to paint the bathroom). Scott was dealing with a wonky schedule of night shifts. It would've been too stressful, all for about 6 waking hours together. Not to mention trying to find a pet-friendly place to stay in a good location when we'd never been to that city before.
My point is…if I didn't have a full-time, can't-leave-it kinda job, I would've spent the whole month in Texas. I could've taken the dogs and we could've had a fabulous change of scenery for a few weeks. In fact, Scott just came back from a long weekend of duck hunting in Missouri…I could've gone there too. Okay, maybe I wouldn't want to go on a camping trip in Missouri in November. But I wouldn't mind a weekend road trip.
Back in the day (i.e. Alaska), I would take 2 weeks of unpaid leave each year in order to go on a pre-deployment vacation and a post-deployment vacation. It was necessary for many reasons and I had a fabulous principal who told me to do whatever I needed to do. I appreciated that. Here, such things are not allowed without a special letter to the board of education or something. If or when the time comes, I'll definitely be writing that letter. However, until then, I'm pretty much here, going to work each day, even if Scott is somewhere else.
In the past, I've seen wives go home for months at a time while their husbands were deployed. I've never done that because that was a choice I chose to make. I chose to find a full-time job, so that was a sacrifice in some ways. However, I can't complain about having a job: It's money, obviously, and it's a special kind of fulfillment I wasn't sure I would find when I became an army wife. Scott and I were talking the other day about how I moved to Alaska with nothing but the intention of being an army wife and how that was a good thing because I didn't feel like I was sacrificing anything. My first set of friends were army wives. Some had careers, some didn't at that point, but the army always came first. I never felt pressured to find a job. That was my own undertaking. Since then, I've had the opportunity to work and it definitely complicates feelings when it comes to moving and readjusting to new places. On one hand, I've been fortunate enough to have the best of both worlds. On the other hand, I definitely have trouble feeling like I belong at times.