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More Tips for Military Families – #157

Waiting – Not Waiting Around – Tip #157

When you have a family member absent or deployed, there is a temptation to put things on hold until they are back, wait for calls, check your email obsessively, listen for any media or news reports about the deployment and generally forget/ignore that there is a whole world out there.  Your absent family member is such a large part of your world and when they are gone, it can feel like there is a part of you missing too.  We could spend our whole lives waiting – in line for groceries, tickets, bathrooms, gas, to get in or out of something, etc.  When it comes to military life and waiting for a loved one to return, make sure you are just waiting and not waiting around.  There is a difference and you need to grow, learn, change and experience life too – because while they have been away, that is what they have been doing.  Your waiting doesn’t have to involve drastic changes or grand gestures just try to shake it up a little every day and I truly believe that the waiting will be a little easier.


* Make a list of things you have always wanted to do

* Check your list each week and try to do one or two things

* Try cooking new or different types of food/recipes

* Drive different ways to work

* Go to different exercise, dance or yoga class each week

* Rent movies that you know your absent family member wouldn’t want to see anyway

* Make a list of people that you haven’t connected with in a while and then get in touch

* Read a book or magazine cover to cover that you have never read before but always wanted to

* Make a care package for yourself and then save it for a day when you really need to feel pampered

* Learn about support services in your area BEFORE they get home – you may never need them but it will be comforting to know they are there

* Get a base or community map and mark of the places you haven’t been but thought might be interesting and then go to them

* Visit your local MFRC, Readiness Centre or support centre and find out what other families are doing and what activities they have for you too – you will be amazed

For more information about our tips, resources or books, go to: http://www.whileyouwereaway.org

To submit a tip of your own, write to: Megan@whileyouwereaway.org


More Tips for Military Families – #141

Waiting: A Documentary Opportunity – #141

People all over the world spend a lot of time waiting for other people or things to happen.  I believe that some people spend their whole lives waiting and then look back at the end of it and wonder why they did that or, even sadder still, don’t ever realize what could have been.

Military life is all about waiting.  I didn’t know that when I met and then married my husband.  I imagined it to be like when you see it in the movies, you are waiting for him to come home safely after a deployment (that I, foolishly, believed happened once or maybe twice in a career).  Military life is not like that.  It is filled with waiting – waiting to hear if you are posted, waiting to hear if you are going to experience another deployment, waiting to hear if they are safe through the deployment, waiting to see if they are damaged after the deployment, waiting to hear if they will be promoted and then your life will change again, waiting to see if your children adjust, waiting to hear from family and friends that don’t live anywhere near you, and so on and so on.  No one told me about the waiting.

I am an impatient person by nature and waiting isn’t my strength.  Military life has brought me some peace with patience. For me, it is what you do while you are waiting that will make the difference to your quality of life, your sanity and that of your family’s.  It is why I write these blogs, books and develop resources.  I want to give people the opportunity to wait differently. I have learned so much about myself during “wait times” and have even ended up being surprised when I enjoy them.  I want this for other military families so that they are not ‘waiting their lives away’.  We spend enough time waiting in line, waiting for phone calls, people to show up, for appointments, etc.  When you are in a military family make the waiting not just count but worthwhile and fun.

There is now an opportunity to be heard!  A Toronto film maker is looking to do documentary on waiting and would like some stories from military families…

The Waiting Room chronicles our attitudes, behaviours and cultural values attached to waiting. Through peoples’ stories and interviews, the documentary examines  the profound effect waiting has on our lives and gives us a front row seat in the world of waiting rooms, as we meet the people in them and follow their unfolding stories.  

For the documentary, Makin’ Movies award-winning director Maureen Judge would like to talk to women and men  who spouses are deployed overseas about what it is like for them waiting for their spouses to return home. The documentary is being developed in association with TVO and the National Film Board of Canada.

Email: waitingroomdoc@makinmovies.tv

Tel: 416-516-1833

Makin’ Movies website: http://www.makinmovies.tv

For more information about our blogs, books and resources go to: http://www.whileyouwereaway.org

To submit a tip of your own, write to: Megan@whileyouwereaway.org