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I was sitting in a Chick-fil-A play area next to an old friend after we both recently moved to the same area of a brand new state. Her husband is a civilian doctor. Mine plays with tanks for a living.

We talked about how crazy and hectic the last two months had been since we made this place our home. I droned on and on about the church, co-op, and activities we’d joined, the housing fix-me-ups we’d done, and the friends we’d made.

When I finally stopped blabbering, I noticed she was staring at me like I was from another planet. Finally she said, “Wow, you really hit the ground running.”

She commented with a shrug that her family hadn’t joined anything yet, barely left the house, and barely opened moving boxes.

“We have time,” she said.


A luxury I’m unfamiliar with. Her future in this new place is steady, with no end date. No orders wait around the corner. She isn’t trying to stuff her kids with memories before her spouse leaves for months at a time.

They can find their groove. They can cultivate friendships slowly and organically. They can establish themselves as part of this new community as the years roll by. There’s no rush. No foreseeable expiration date for the moments they have here.

Three more months roll by.

I’m at a mandatory-fun military function talking to a friend that’s leaving as quickly as our friendship formed. As she talked about their PCS plans and the possibilities in their new home, I mentioned that we were putting together a list of possibilities for our next stop. I told her I was so anxious and I didn’t feel like I’d had enough time to enjoy my life here.

“Well, you can’t stay here forever,” she laughed.

No, we can’t. Five months in and we’re already plotting the next step, counting down possible scenarios and plans and schemes until we run out of time, and away we go.

But that’s what we do.

We’re always counting down to something: a move, deployment, homecoming, promotion list, TDY…there’s always something on the docket. “We still have time” is never in our vocabulary. We’re constantly looking ten steps ahead as we multitask between the present and the future. Sometimes with ease, sometimes with nervousness.

This can be an amazing gift as well. We make more lifelong friendships in a year than many make in a lifetime. We can make an entire life from the ground up in a week. We can make a house a home in 48 hours. Without the luxury of time, we use every second purposely and meaningfully.

Because unlike most of the world, we know what a precious thing time is. We know the uncertainty of the future, but we also know how to greet it like an old friend. Time may not be a commodity we’re given in excess, but, oh, how well we spend it. 



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Mission: Milspouse is a
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EIN Number: 88-1604492


P.O. Box 641341
El Paso, TX 79904


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