Well, here it is. Almost New Year’s Eve. A new year is upon us. For most, there will be no shocking changes in their lives when the bell tolls twelve. Even for me, there will be none. Not right at midnight. Not right on the nose.
No, my changes will come later in the month of January.
I was thinking about it today, as I was reveling in another doofus free day, that, very soon, all of my days will be doofus free.
I can’t tell you how excited I am about that.
For many years now, 4:30 p.m. has brought nervousness and fear. Why? Because that is when he gets off work. Very shortly thereafter, he would arrive home. Would he yell at me because dinner wasn’t cooking? Because the clothes weren’t put away and/or washed? Because the kitchen was a mess? Would he yell at me because I didn’t find time to do something that he wanted done, but had only mentioned in passing? Or because I didn’t do something that he felt needed to be done yesterday but he didn’t mention it until that morning?
Yes, ladies and gentlemen, in case you were wondering, that is the sign of someone that has been emotionally and mentally abused for a good portion, if not all, of their marriage.
4:30 p.m. was the time when I knew that I would be told that I had failed at something. Usually at being a good wife. Doing wifely things that, according to the jackass,were not a real job but a responsibility. Solely my responsibility.
It dawned on me today that I have maybe a month of that left.
Can you say “Glory Hallelujah?”
I can’t wait to have my own house, with my own rules. Not having to pick up a grown man’s detritus that he leaves all over the house and then expects me to pick up without so much as a “thank you”.
In fact, when he’s not acting like an idiot, he has been much more polite since he asked for the divorce than he ever was before.
That’s pretty freaking sad.
Sure, there’s a part of me that looks to the coming year with sadness. I mean, 6 months ago I was making plans for his retirement. Where we were going to live, what our house would look like. You know, the usual stuff that you plan for when your spouse of 16 years is getting ready to retire.
There’s a part of me that mourns because that will never happen.
A bigger part of me is scared spitless because I’ve never had to pay rent on my own or worry about electric or water bills. I’m a military brat. Of the 38 years that I have been on God’s Green Earth, I have spent only 7.5 years of my life in civilian housing. That’s a little over 1/5 of my life. Not a lot, in the whole scheme of things.
Another part of me is scared because I am going to be leaving the military. Oh, sure, I haven’t worn a uniform for the past 15 years, but I have always been a part of it. As dependent daughter, then active duty, then dependent wife. I understand the culture and the way that we talk. The closeness that develops between military families. Sometimes, they aren’t friends. They’re family. I’ll miss that, too.
But, the biggest part of me is ready. And chomping at the bit. Will it be easy? Hell, no. But I am, at my core, a military wife. I can handle everything thrown at me. And more. Just because I’m divorcing the idiot, doesn’t mean that I have to give up every part of me. Everything that defines me.
That’s still me.
When I joined Toastmasters a couple of years back, I had to give a speech introducing myself. I chose three things: mother, military wife and student.
I’m still those things. I will always be those things. I will always be a mother and I will always be a student. And just because I won’t be an active-duty military wife, doesn’t mean that I have to give up what that means.
What does it mean, you ask? A military wife is someone who does what needs doing with little complaint, no tears, and helps those that need it along the way. She sends her husband to far away lands without railing against the military that has sent him there three times in the past four years. Even on those days where she isn’t sure that she can drag herself out of bed, she does so. She gets up, sends the kids to school and then follows them there to volunteer. Or she goes to work. Or she goes to school to improve her education. She lives her life with strength and pride, knowing that what she does back home allows her spouse to do what needs to be done worldwide.
I may not have a military spouse when all of this is said and done. But I will still have that strength and pride in what I do. I will be faced with problems and drama. And I will face them with courage and snarkiness. 😉
Just because I’m dumping the extra baggage, doesn’t mean I have to dump who I am.
And just like a person on a diet doesn’t mourn the weight that comes off of them as they work hard to their next weight loss goal, I won’t mourn the weight that I shed, either.
Because, while I have been a bedrock of strength, something that my husband has used to build his career on, it’s now time for me to fly.
2012 will be my year. Because I wouldn’t have it any other way.