August 6, 2009

3/30/09 The red badge of misery...

This is not new material for those that keep up with this site. It is, after all, the overarching theme of my writing: staying positive.

At each duty station I hear the same tired lines of how much "I hate it here, I can't wait to leave, yada, yada, yada, I am miserable!" Those that actually like, or at least try to like, their current duty station are few and far between, and often times, if you're like me, will become an even bigger pain in the sides of the miserable. Why is that? Why is that those that hate their duty station proudly wear that red badge of misery?

I can think of two reasons, neither of which make it acceptable. #1: it is used as a bonding method between people (especially wives). They try to "one-up" the other with who hates the duty station the most, and in the end wind up in emotionally destructive friendships. #2: those that insist on hating their duty station want the world to know that they think they are better than where the military has sent them.

For reason #1, the simple solution would be to try to bond with others in a more traditional way. Instead of an escalating gripe-fest, try bonding over shared likes-kids, dogs, working out, scrap-booking, whatever. Everyone will have their own individual issues with each duty station, but why air your dirty laundry? Try washing it instead. Then go hang out with your uplifting friends!

Reason #2 truly fascinates me. (Please note: I have been guilty of this at times, but try my darndest to keep this attitude away.) Someone from up north loves to make a fuss about how they hate the South. Read: I think the North is better than the South...and you are silly for liking the South. We can all think of a number of these types of dichotomies-beach vs. desert, small town vs. big city. The thing that is so bothersome about this is the arrogance attached to it. Your home is no better, no more special, than someone else's home. "Home" typically has the same warm-fuzzy connotations from one person to the next. The same is true for duty stations. It's so arrogant to think that you are better than another because you "know better" than to like your current duty station.

I know that all duty stations are not created equal, and that some will definitely be harder than others to try to love, but have some mercy on your hubby and those around you. Laugh at the random places the military sends you, smile because it's only temporary, then get out there and enjoy it!

1 comment:

  1. I think one of the greatest lessons my mother taught me was, “Bloom where you are transplanted.” The military likes to transplant you more than some other jobs, but I think if wives would start looking at the opportunities to bloom rather than the opportunities to wither, we’d all be happier about the place where the military, and ultimately, God has transplanted us to!

    Great post! Keep it up!


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