Not many people in the military say they’re grateful to be separated from their spouse. But you shouldn’t spend the entire time your spouse is away in a negative mindset. Unfortunately, there are times when a service member has to go on short trips or temporary duty assignments (TDY).
Here are some ideas to take advantage of the time your spouse is gone. Or at least try to!
Set attainable personal goals
Use this time to meet your personal goals. Your goals could be daily, weekly or monthly. They may involve big changes or small ones. Your finish line might be the next time you see your spouse or sometime before. You can use this time to work on your fitness or even take on some DIY projects. By setting goals, you can focus on a specific length of time. Your motivation and progress may surprise you!
Tackle home projects
You might not be a master DIY-er. But you don’t need to break out the sledgehammer while your spouse is away to do some home improvement. Tackle projects like decluttering or redoing bathrooms and bedrooms.
Don’t be afraid to bring out the pressure washer or hang lights just because your spouse is away for a few weeks. However, you might want to discuss any major home renovations with your spouse first!
Find a “battle buddy”
If your spouse is away for a short trip or TDY, it’s likely another member he works with is too. Try seeking out another spouse of a service member who’s gone. You can make a new friend with some common ground already. The time your service members are away may encourage and grow a new friendship.
Cook food they hate
Whether your spouse is a picky eater or just prefers different things, use this time to cook things they don’t like. This could give you a chance to perfect some meals you want them to try. Try new recipes for when they get back home. Cook with friends or host a meal exchange. Or just make some baked goods all for you!
Lean into your community
Even if you’re new to a community, you have one. Now is the perfect time to lean into your community. Take this time to seek out or better the one you already live in. Find places to volunteer. Volunteering is a great and low-pressure way to meet new people. It’s also a productive way to discover new businesses and areas in your community.
Whether you work from home or out in the community already, it can feel isolating while your spouse is gone. Make a “bucket list” of places to visit while they’re away. Grab a friend and be a tourist in your town or city.
Create special memories with kids
Sure, it’s nice to make memories when your family is physically together. But having special time with your kids (or other loved ones or pets) while your spouse is gone isn’t wrong. Make those memories! Attend the events! Take the pictures!
Looking back, your kids might remember Daddy being away for work. But they’ll also remember how much you laughed and enjoyed things in the time he had to be away. Besides, they will be eager to share the memories and videos with him when he’s home.
Schedule a “wallow day”
A wallow day is a bit like an extensive pity party. And while you don’t want to dwell on missing your spouse, it’s perfectly normal to be sad. Your spouse is gone — that’s not fun! It’s okay to have off days. Plan a day where you sit on the couch and watch movies. Eat junk food or invite a couple of friends over for a girl’s night. It’s healthy to be sad while your spouse is away. Just be careful not to stay in that negative mindset the whole time they’re gone.Read comments