To combat my deployment gloominess, it’s time to focus on the positive. Here are my personal top five reasons to celebrate a military marriage.
5. Container gardens–although I’m mad about flowers, I am not a gardener because of the bugs–they frighten me. The reality of frequent moves means traditional gardening in a waste of time anyway because beloved gardens must be abandoned, but containers are portable. They can move with you. I began stuffing ceramic pots with colourful blooms and bug-free sterile soil from Canadian Tire. Suddenly, I’m a gardener!
4. Ball gowns–like most middle class Canadian women, I had few (actually no) opportunities to sport a ball gown apart from my high school prom and my wedding. I’m a bit of a girlie girl (see confession re bug phobia above), and adore dressing up in pretty clothes. Marriage to a naval officer brings regular occasions to put on formal wear that don’t exist for my peers in civilian marriages.
3. My master’s degree–no, I don’t have an M.A. in marrying a sailor, but when I moved to Halifax with him, I was unemployed, bored and lonely. (His ship was away close to 300 days during our first year together.) I took the opportunity to go back to university for a master’s, something I never would have done if I’d had a job to keep me busy.
2. Increased confidence–I naturally shy away from new experiences, and change freaks me out. Left to my own devices, I’d move back to my home town, preferably into my parents’ basement, and never leave. My horizons have been broadened immeasurably due to my marriage to the sailor and the many moves it has brought.
1. Independence–I have become a stronger, more independent woman simply because I’ve had to. Things that totally flummoxed me when we first got married, I now handle without a second thought. A flood in the basement? I can deal with that! A muffler that falls off the back of the car? Bring it on! Using a hammer to dismantle our futon to make room for our new bed? Okay, I now understand a screw driver might have been a better choice, but the point is, I didn’t let that piece of furniture get the better of me. I acted with strength and determination.