Dreaming Together While Apart

Thanks so much to Malori from Living a Warrior Life for contributing today’s guest post on dreaming together while separated by deployment. Please keep Malori and her husband Mark in your thoughts as they close out Mark’s current tour in Afghanistan.

As I write this, my husband Mark’s deployment is drawing to a close. This was his second combat deployment to Afghanistan, with the first one being in 2011-2012. Because of these deployments and living three hours apart when he’s been stateside, we are used to being separated physically.  I even said to him on the phone a few weeks ago, “Deployment and being separated feels so normal.”

Malori_Mark

That doesn’t mean I like being apart but it has challenged us to find creative, meaningful ways of being connected – which I think is something all military spouses can understand. In June we were married at the courthouse two weeks before he left and have planned our church wedding for April. Over the course of his deployment, we have been working on our “team” mentality, and we have done that my dreaming and goal-setting together.

What are some good points to discuss during deployment?
Below I’ve outlined some of our major topics.

Healthy Habits

This encompasses diet, exercise, sleep, and stress management. These
things can always use improvement! We have both gotten in the habit of eating a gluten-free/Paleo diet and frequently discuss our findings on nutritional information. (Yes, it’s possible to be Paleo even on deployment!) Mark is also great at encouraging me to work in an exercise routine – even if it’s using a resistance band at my desk!

Financial Goals

We have always been open about our financial health with each other, but since getting married that has become even more important since it is “ours” now. Our goal is to have my student loans paid off by 2015, and to build wealth so that we can provide for our future family and leave a responsible legacy. We are also planning on taking Dave Ramsey’s “Financial Peace University” and “The Legacy Journey” together.

Education and Career Goals

I went to music school, but I don’t use my degree very much. I have found that instead of spending hours in the practice rom, I would prefer to work directly with people. Because of my love for health and wellness, I am building an essential oils business and might go back to school for nursing and functional medicine. Mark is planning on getting his Masters degree within the next few years, but will be focusing on Captain’s Career Course in 2014. We have different strengths and interests, but we are each very supportive of each other’s endeavors.

Wedding Plans

As if dealing with deployment and an upcoming PCS weren’t enough, we have our church wedding to plan! I’ve been doing all the footwork, of course, but I loop Mark into all
the details he cares to know. In keeping with his analytical military mind, he had me use a matrix to figure out which reception venue was the best option. (It lined up with my “gut” instinct!) I also created a “secret” Facebook group for us, his twin, and my sister to use for any discussions wedding-related.  It has been quite helpful!

Long-Term Goals

Besides events in the near future, we also love discussing the big picture. Where do we want to be in five years? Ten years? How do we want to raise our future children? Where do we want to travel? What will our forever home look like? I made a List of 100+ Dreams and shared it with him, and that was a fantastic conversation starter!

Like the first one, this deployment has been a challenge, albeit in different ways. But it has allowed us to grow, to discover more about each other, and to sharpen our relationship-building skills. Our communication now, at the end of this tour, is much better than it was before he left! Deployment confronted us, we accepted the throwdown – and I believe that we definitely have the victory.

P2Follow Malori Online

Blog: Living a Warrior Life

Twitter

Army Wife Network (Blog Assistant Coordinator) and www.lovingasoldier.com

Thank you again, Malori, for contributing to Marrying the Army!

 

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