I've quickly fallen into my daily routine, which these days isn't much. I find myself either running with the dog, at the gym, reading, or out with friends. That's pretty much what we do here! Back home it was easy to fill up a day with errands, shopping, time with family and so on. SO many places to go, so many things to do. Here in Guam, it's a chore just to go and get your tires rotated in town. What takes 20 minutes in the States takes at least 45 minutes here, or more. It's either 25 mph traffic & stoplights. Closed roads. Closed businesses (yes,very common) or a fabulous combination of both. It's the pace of life, what can I say? Which isn't necessarily a bad thing folks. Guam has taught me to slow down, take up things that interest me and appreciate the values of friends and family. And to answer your question, yes it took a full year to realize this. I love being able to walk over to Julie's house and chat with her while we watch Tommy get into everything (he's approaching those terrible twos!). Bible Study and dessert with a small group of friends from church. Or lunch at this unbelievable crepe and tea restaurant with Abby and Kate. One of my favorites, a hike to Haputo beach with Katie and her giant dog June. Back home my days consisted of crazy work hours, volunteer commitments, church activities, all of which were in separate parts of the city. I would typically leave at 6:30am and not get home until 8:30pm. More often than not I wondered why I paid ridiculous rent for a place I barely saw. It was easy to get caught up in so many things that you lose appreciation for them. I still loved my life back home and the hustle and bustle but this opportunity in Guam has given me a new perspective. I used to think I wasn't "up to par" unless my Outlook was chock full of appointments (all color coded of course). There was something about feeling more validated as a human being when I could complain (or is it brag?) about how crazy my life was when deep down I was really just trying to keep up with the Joneses.
I often compare Colin's 2008 deployment with his 2009-2010 deployment. We were dating in 2008, so I was in SoCal and he was floating around the Pacific on a ship for 9 full months. Plus the other 2 1/2 months he was in Guam. We were blessed with two 10 day opportunities for me to come out and visit him. A tough year but we learned more about life and each other than many dating couples learn in the life of their dating relationship. Round two has been a tad different. Colin's been playing in the sandbox since August 15th. This time we have not had the luxury to see each other. Something about the military preferring that dependents not hop a plane into Kuwait City or better, Bagdad. Seriously, what's their problem? [Smirk] Instead we have learned how to enjoy the first year of marriage 10,000 miles apart, both of us away from the comforts of home. We've been blessed to learn even more this time around (and might I add, I've learned many men are far less, shall we say "charming" when they're married to you versus still trying to woo you. I'm pretty sure it's a fact of life). We've had many more fights and arguments but we have also shared some great conversations and had the opportunity to write old fashioned letters. We both know that we'll survive these 8 months apart and will be so much STRONGER because of it. I couldn't be happier for having married my man, I'm proud of what he does and cannot wait to see his face in April after 8 crazy months apart. I am sure most military wives can agree we regularly fall asleep each night dreaming about the outfit we plan to wear when we pick our husbands up at the airport. So far, my outfit has changed five times. I expect another dozen changes or so. Tis' the simple things that keep me going.