Since I don’t bring up E’s career very often, a quick sum-up so this post makes sense to everyone: My husband is a Chief Petty Officer in the Navy and is mostly assigned to nuclear submarines although he’s currently on shore duty. In 2012 he has to go back to a sub.
It looks like E is going to re-enlist again in a few months really soon in October, meaning he is definitely in the Navy for the long haul. We knew he would be re-enlisting at least one more time the LAST time he did it (which seems like just yesterday but was apparently 2 years ago)(having a baby can really make time fly y’all)(I bet you’ve never heard THAT before) because it put him over 10 years, the halfway point. After 20 years of military service you get to keep certain benefits – a pension, base privileges, cheap health care – forever.
Since he enlisted when he was 19, my husband is going to retire at age 39.
To be fair, it’s only a retirement from his first job. He’ll probably find something nuclear power related to do in the civilian world and put in another 20 or 30 years before we get to sell the house, buy a yacht and abandon our children travel the world. But maybe, instead of getting a job where he has to carry a briefcase and wear a tie and commute every day, we’ll start a business. Or buy a bar. Or move to rural Tennessee and live on $1000 a month plus whatever I can make blogging working at Walmart. The thought of a life that boring and normal makes me giddy and lightheaded.
But before we can start making plans like that we have to make it through the next 10 years of Navy life. We will have to move – probably several times. E will be deployed – probably several times. We’ll have to sell this house – the house I love, the house my babies came home to – in a market that means we’ll be lucky if we get out without having to bring money to closing. Forget getting back any of the cash we’ve already put into it. And even more than the material inconvenience of leaving, I cannot even begin to imagine my life without the friends/support system/general awesomeness I have here. In fact, I’m going to have to stop thinking about it right now or risk getting all sweaty and shaky and panicky. Starting over – even after 28 continuous years of experience starting over – is HARD.
To be 100% candid, re-enlisting also comes with a bonus – as in dollars – that would mean our plans to turn the third floor junk room into a guest room (and perhaps the guest room into a second nursery) could happen in the foreseeable future rather than “some day” and our “four bedroom” house could actually be sold as a 4-bedroom house. It would also mean canceling cable is as far as our drastic budget cuts have to go – no buying cans from the dented pile, veggies from the bruised cart of bread from the thrift store (true story: as a kid I thought the Hostess Thrift Shop was where they sold used donuts and muffins). That kind of financial security also makes me giddy and sort of lightheaded.
So there’s an upside to go with the downside. And truthfully, not having to worry about sudden unemployment or layoffs or downsizing or whatever not-at-all helpful euphemism companies are using these days is such a blessing. So I’m going to think about the good parts instead of the maybe-in-a-little-whiles.
Another upside? The uniforms. Oh, yes.
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