First I would like to state the obvious: I haven’t posted anything in two months.
That is pathetic. And it’s also precisely why I am not a professional blogger.
More importantly though, The Pilot has been deployed for a little over a month now. Last time I wrote, I couldn’t get him to leave. Then, one Friday he came home and said, “Three days. For real this time.”
I’d be lying if I said it’s been easy. I’d also be lying if I said it’s been the worst month of my life. It’s been both and neither. It’s been surprisingly better than I expected and simultaneously more lonely than I could have imagined.
It’s a bitter world of ironies really.
When we first got married, I had the hardest time learning how to sleep with that hairy-legged monster in my bed. Now, 18 months later, I can not sleep without him. I’m constantly tired because I either can’t fall asleep prior to 2 AM, or I don’t stay asleep for longer than an hour at a time.
It used to irritate me that, despite how clean and tidy I kept the house, living with a boy meant there was always dirt on my rugs and the kitchen always looked like I had lost a match on Iron Chef. Truth be told, since he’s been gone, this house has never been more clean. It also doesn’t look like anyone lives here. Cooking for one is down-right depressing and I’d gladly take some dirt on my rugs if it meant he was home to put it there.
Because I work from home, my weekdays have been largely unchanged. I have a structure to my day that, for all intents and purposes, was almost entirely untouched by his departure. I handle Monday through Friday pretty well to be honest. What I did not anticipate was how long, hard, and seemingly unnecessary the weekends would feel.
Weekends for the Pilot and I were strictly reserved for doing nothing, together. We slept in, went to a French bakery every Saturday for brunch, watched movies, went out for dinner, watched more movies, went out for dessert, etc. It was gloriously lazy. Weekends now, however, are probably the hardest part of deployment. Doing nothing with someone is fun. Doing nothing by yourself looks really bad and is boring as all get-out.
I still sleep in, but instead of going to the bakery, I go the gym so I don’t look like a puff-pastry when he comes home. I still watch movies, but not ones that he would pick. I have watched almost every BBC produced period piece on Netflix. I’m not bragging. I’m confessing. I eat popcorn for dinner and drink wine for dessert. Again, confessing.
I realize that all of the above sounds positively dismal. Am I bored? Yes. Do I miss him? Obviously.
Is this time wasted? Absolutely not.
If anything, I’m trying to be more intentional about how I spend my time. Despite watching some movies, I’ve read seven books since he’s been gone. Which is more than I read in high school… or college… combined.
I’m working out almost everyday. Nothing crazy or extreme, but forcing myself to leave the house and get some fresh air has helped me keep some perspective.
I changed my diet. I removed meat from my diet and am doing my best to eat clean; putting in my body only what it needs. Fruits, veggies, quinoa, coffee, and the occasional Chic-fil-a diet lemonade. Dont’ judge.
Most importantly, above and beyond the loneliness, boredom, or self-pity, I have all the time in the world to learn that who I am in the Lord’s eyes is even more precious that who I am in the Pilot’s eyes.
If nothing else, deployment has taught me that time alone with God and in Scripture, is absolutely invaluable. And more than that, it does satisfy even the loneliest of hearts.
Our time apart has taught us this: we must, both of us, need the Lord more than each other. For sanity. For strength. For joy. For hope. For truth.