Posts Tagged ‘moving’

Wandering Thoughts

Monday, January 28th, 2013

It’s that time of year again, when we’re waiting to find out if E’s going to be promoted switching jobs it’s sort of complicated and everything is up in the air. We’ve done this for several years now, including the time we got surprise orders to San Diego while I was pregnant, so it might feel like you’ve read this post before. (I assure you this is new, I’ve just whining about the same things AGAIN.) So far, things have always worked out and we’ve managed to stay put in Connecticut, much to my delight and E’s…less than delight. He likes the place, just not being passed over.

I’ll admit that in past years I was sort of relieved E wasn’t promoted. That’s a shitty thing to be happy about, but the logistics of moving are so overwhelming in our current house-owning state. We bought when the market was still high (not at the peak, thank God, or we’d be so far underwater on this house we’d never get out) so selling it without shelling out a huge chunk of cash is going to be hard. It’s even harder to realize that all the work we’ve put into it won’t bring us any return on investment and we’ll have to start over at zero dollars.  Not being a home owner has its advantages…but I love my home.

Beyond the financial aspect of moving, there’s the emotional aspect of leaving somewhere I’ve lived longer than anywhere else in my life. Actually, I’ve living in this HOUSE longer than I’ve lived anywhere else in my life – before this, my record was all 4 years of high school in my parent’s house in Virginia. I moved every single year of college, then twice three times in the first year of marriage. The funny thing is, I used to like moving. I grew up in a military household and thought I could keep doing it indefinitely. But the truth is, being settled is comforting. A support system is important to me, especially as a mom. I have mom friends. My kids have kid friends. I have a mechanic, a pharmacy, a preschool, a library card, a favorite playground, and a zillion other things I don’t want to leave.

But. Even after I’ve said all that out loud (and to myself many, many times) I am not going to freak out if we have to leave. We are still in the easily-movable years with the kids where they adjust and make friends quickly. The Navy comes with a built in support system for families so I wouldn’t be starting for the bottom of a sad, dark pit – more like half way up a ladder that reaches the top. Starting over without the enormous costs of a house could give us the freedom to build our savings faster and splurge on things like family vacations more often. If E got promoted we might actually see him on a regular basis, instead of just waving at him as he runs out the door for another 36 hour shift.

To be totally honest, a lot of our moving options sound kind of…exciting. San Diego. Hawaii. Japan. Guam. Yes, it would be insanely far from our families, but they’re all limited-time-offers (and I am SURE my friends and relatives would find a way to visit me in Hawaii). We have friends in a lot of those places already. Even if we get transferred to somewhere on the East Coast a change might be good for us – what better excuse to purge all our unnecessary stuff, get organized and start fresh? I’m almost ready for that kind of challenge. Almost.

There is just so much uncertainty in our lives for the moment, thinking about it and NOT thinking about it both take a huge amount of effort. I don’t have the energy for much worrying on top of the thinking too, but please excuse me if more of this leaks out of my head between now and the end of April.

Re-up

Thursday, July 22nd, 2010

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.

From the day E was pinned (promoted) to Chief

One of the Navy Balls - I was 3 or 4 months pregnant

E doing his best Top Gun impression (I'm still pregnant)

Sailor Sandwich! Tell me you're not jealous.

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Bad Words

Wednesday, March 10th, 2010

So the good news is we won’t be moving this year. The bad news is we won’t be moving this year because E didn’t get selected for Limited Duty Officer by the Navy. Being passed up for LDO sucks, but it sucks extra hard because I know he feels like it’s a direct judgment of his worth as a person. Which I think it RIDICULOUS because he’s amazingly good at his job, including all the itty bitty meaningless hoops the military loves to make people jump through – like always saying numbers a certain way or rechecking a valve you checked literally 30 seconds ago just because it’s a step in the procedure manual. He knows that shit inside and out. His boss got a call from another captain this week just to let him know how awesome E is and how lucky the office is to have him. And yet some guys he’s never met down in Washington DC decided he wasn’t ready to be an LDO based on a few pieces of paper and one interview. I’m so pissed on his behalf I want to punch someone and scream profanity in their stupid faces.

Last year when he didn’t get selected, I wrote a blog post for Military Spouse magazine (which seems to have disappeared into the dark void of the internets Found it) about how even though I was sad for him I was super relieved not to be uprooting our life right then. I was 8 months pregnant, the housing market had just tanked, we were kind of broke, and I was totally unprepared to start over in a new city in a new state. I got a few positive comments about how hard being a military wife can be sometimes, but one asshole wrote a jerk-off post about how I was a terrible person for even THINKING there was an upside to not getting selected, let alone writing about it on the internet. He said my selfish attitude was probably to blame and called me everything besides a traitor to our armed services. Charming and helpful all around.

This time, my disappointment on E’s behalf is greater than my desire not to upset our lives. Even though his selection would mean an even more difficult move, leaving so many more friends, losing all my real-life support, and still be a pain in the ass financially, I know how much he wanted it. How much he DESERVED it. And I am genuinely disappointed that the Navy doesn’t appreciate all his hard work. I guess I’ll just have to make sure he knows I do…until we go through this whole damn mess again next February.

The Nomadic Life

Tuesday, January 19th, 2010

I don’t talk much about E’s job* here, for a couple of reasons. First of all, I don’t want to get him in trouble by running my mouth and accidentally giving away something that could compromise national security. (Do I really know anything that important? I could tell you but then I’d have to kill you.) (Sorry, military joke.) Secondly, his job’s not really a big part of our lives right now. Well, not a bigger part of our lives than a normal civilian’s job is – you go there in the morning, you sit at a desk, you go to boring meetings, you come home for dinner, rinse, repeat. The fact that he wears a uniform and answers to people named Lieutenant and Admiral doesn’t matter so much while he’s on shore duty instead of attached to a submarine.

But in a few weeks our contented life of Daddy being home to tuck the baby in at night may change. Last fall, E applied to be a Limited Duty Officer – which is a great career decision for a lot of reasons – and we find out the results in February.  If he’s picked up it would mean a move followed by at least one deployment, probably on an aircraft carrier (Our friend who was picked up and commissioned this past spring is currently on the Carl Vinson helping with the relief effort in Haiti)…followed by several more moves and probably more deployments.  I wouldn’t be the first woman to become a single mother** because of the Navy but it’s certainly not something I’m looking forward to with all the joy and excitement of Christmas morning.

The whole situation is one big question mark until after we hear the LDO results but it’s all I can think about. There are a ton of if’s going on right now and I hate ifs. IF E gets picked up. IF he gets the job path he’s hoping for. IF they transfer us. IF we have to sell the house. IF we can’t sell the house because of the stupid housing market. IF we get to choose where we want to go. IF he’s going to be at sea for 6 months. IF we plan to expand our family again in the next two years. IF IF IF IF.

All I know for sure is IF we have to leave Connecticut I’m going to be more upset than I’ve ever been about a move before. It’s so nice to know how to get to the mall and the doctor’s office and the post office and the other post office that actually has parking and to know which mechanic won’t rip me off and where to get a bridesmaid’s dress fitted and where to buy fresh pasta and who makes the best local wine. Learning all those things in a new place is exhausting, even more so now that I also need to know all the baby related stuff too – pediatricians and 24-hour pharmacies and playgrounds and restaurants where no one complains about a few coasters thrown on the floor and maybe a screaming fit or two. I like it here, New England weather and all and will be very sad to leave.

*E’s job: He’s a Chief Petty Officer (E-7) who runs nuclear reactors on fast-attack submarines. Currently working at Electric Boat to help coordinate construction and repair work between the shipyard and the Navy.

**I hate using the term single mother because having a husband who’s away at sea is in NO WAY like being an actual single mother. I can stay home without working and still pay my bills – not to mention the health insurance benefits. But I can’t think of a better term right now. Suggestions welcome.



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