The hardest part of any deployment is the boredom that comes late at night or on the weekends. I came up with various projects and activities to stop the boredom. One of my biggest pet projects the next 6 months is to be active in the Autism Community. I was diagnosed almost two years ago with Aspergers, I am raising a child with autism. I think the biggest contribution I can make to the Autism cause is through donating the time I have to teaching the next generation and this generation of people with autism that you can be successful, happy, and fulfilled having autism. There is a six race paddleboard series starting May 4th. I begged, cajoled, and sent out e-mails to get someone to watch my children during the race. I’m signed up for the May 4th beginner’s series 1-mile race, and really excited to try out paddleboard racing. I started to paddleboard a few months ago after seeing a picture in a catalog. I fell in love instantly.
There are also a lot of little projects around the house that need doing. Johnny doesn’t ask for much, being barely verbal and autistic, so when I offered to redecorate his room, he jumped at the opportunity. I asked him what he wanted to decorate his room in, and he said Woody. So I purchased some Toy Story bedding and Toy Story accessories. I also asked him what color he wanted his room painted, and he replied “green.” One of my projects is to paint his room green.
I have two children, and if I paint one room, I have to paint the other room. Jane, on the other hand, has changed her mind several times, and now has opted for Lilac, though that will change many times over. The best thing about painting a room is the fact I can also clean out both rooms in the process of getting those projects done. When I was looking at both kids’ rooms, I realized that our house is entirely the same color throughout. I decided to paint a few rooms some bright colors, just to liven up the place, and add a little personality. Paint is an easy way to decorate without spending goads of money, changing the fundamental structure of your house, and if you don’t like the way the painting has turned out, it is very easy to turn around and repaint it a neutral color.
We adopted two dogs as of late, and those two dogs have managed to do a number on the landscaping. The biggest project outside is to replace the rocks and landscape fabric around the pool. This simple little-big project can easily be accomplished a few hours every night. I can clear the old rock, clean it, replace the fabric, and put clean and new rock down. All this will take a few hours every night, while the kids are playing in the pool, or while they are at school. I can do a few feet at a time, until it is done. I have six months.
Establishing projects, coming up with schedule, and establishing a routine are all ways to make deployments manageable and even fun. The biggest joy I have in this whole process, is I have absolutely no intention of showing my husband what I am doing the next 6 months. He will come home to major household projects done, kids having a fun summer, and a wife, who doesn’t feel like she wasted several months out of her life while she waited on the couch for her husband to return. Furthermore, the biggest project I have to accomplish is to live day-to-day, hour-by-hour.