A couple of weeks ago, I wrote Living For the Weekend— a post about the pursuit of life in short weekend bursts followed by 5 days of drudgery and boredom. Well, it was more like how to avoid that particular pitfall and I was certain that I’d figured out the key to doing just that. Make the most of each day! Seize the moment! And, in the words of the very wise Elisabeth Elliot: Do the Next Thing.
But those pithy phrases quickly unraveled as my ship pulled away from the pier on Saturday enroute to a 9.5 month deployment. I’m not living for the weekend as much as I’m living for the next in port period. My life is lived in fits and starts. In two or three-week time periods between my ship’s underways where I cram in as much salsa dancing, Italian speaking, writing, and friend-visiting possible. I exist in the shrinking time between lengthening (9.5 months!) deployments. I’m stuck at the intersection of moving every year and avoiding new people because I am tired of saying goodbye.
Of course I’d much rather stay inport and take glass blowing lessons at the Chrysler Museum, or argue with the Mayor about dating/not dating, or get involved in a small group in my church. I’d like for my real life to stop being interrupted by deployments and underways and random craziness at work. My real life. Did you catch that?
I constantly think that in my head. This can’t be my real life. This imposter life has too many problems, not nearly enough kissing, and entirely too much exhausting work.
My real life is waiting for me somewhere in the bright, not-so-distant future. A life of loveliness, unending happiness, no stress, and a surprising lack of problems or care. And I am impatient for that life to begin already.
Except there is no such thing as a life with unending happiness and no stress — at least not a life that has meaning. A happy life does not necessarily a meaningful life make.
It’s hard to be patient. It’s hard to take life as it comes each day with all of the interruptions and inconveniences and inconsiderate people. It’s hard to not rush this real life of mine or bend it to suit my will. I’m like a puppy that has to be continually brought round to the newspaper again and again. Over and over, I have to remember that this — a life of deployments and hassles and craziness – is my real life. I could get a new job, of course, but I would just encounter another set of problems and hassles and stressors that are not necessarily more enjoyable than the current set. I keep coming back to this C.S. Lewis quote which is the purpose of the blog in the first place:
I welcome every single day of this deployment — every day that’s a part of my real life. This Girl is not interrupted. This girl is just getting started.