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"Winter" seems to last forever

When “Winter” Seems to Last Forever

Life is all about the seasons, and some seasons, like winter, seem to last forever.

Sorry if that sounded kind of corny or slightly cliche, but from where I’m sitting, it’s true—especially for military spouses.

We have seasons of joy. We have seasons of pain. We have seasons of hopeful anticipation. Of disappointment. Of frustration. Encouragement. Waiting. Challenge. Victory.

Yes, it’s all about the seasons.

Sometimes we have a season of “winter” that seems to last forever.

Now, when I refer to a wintery season, I’m not talking about the beautiful, freshly-fallen-snow-sparkling-Christmas-is-coming-winter of glory.

I mean the gray, damp, mundane days of winter that drag on and on and make us wonder if winter will ever end.

Will winter last forever? Fortunately, we all know the answer is no. Nope, winter will not last forever—even if we’re stationed literally (or figuratively) in Alaska.

Wintery seasons of our milspouse life could be those moments during deployment where we’re far enough in that the beginning seems like lightyears behind us, but we aren’t quite at the point where we can feel comfortable starting the homecoming countdown.

A season of winter might look like those months leading up to a less-than-exciting PCS, when you and your spouse talk constantly about the move, but it’s still too early to start making plans and engage all systems go.

Winter can be those moments as a parent when you’re trying to navigate a hard “phase” (little ones not sleeping, dealing with separation anxiety, or the tumultuous teenage years) when sleep-deprivation, emotions, or general confusion are simply overwhelming.

We know in our brain that these gray, challenging, winter-like seasons won’t last forever, but how do we convince our hearts (and sometimes our weary physical bodies) of the same truth?

Here are a few ways that I, as a milspouse, parent, friend, and leader, power through when winter seems like it will last forever:

1. Break it down into manageable chunks.

One thing about the “winter” seasons of our life is that it seems like “spring” is a hundred years away. If we spend too much time thinking like that, we will psych ourselves out and spend most of our time in the fetal position rocking back and forth in a corner going to town on a bag of Dove Chocolate. (Sometimes, this is an okay alternative… but not a great habit to adopt permanently.) I personally break the “winter” season down into manageable chunks. If counting the days is overwhelming, focus on months or weeks. (Personally, nine months sounds more appealing/less overwhelming than 273 days!)

2. Find victories in the everyday.

Our world seems to set us up for only rejoicing in the “big victories” of life, like landing a dream job, birthing a baby, or running a marathon. But lemme tell you what, readers—in our winter seasons of milspouse life, we should celebrate our small, everyday victories, like putting on pants, grocery shopping, and keeping the Tiny Humans alive. It makes a difference and helps us cope when winter seems to last forever. In the words of Steven Furtick (especially when in the light of social media), “Don’t compare your ‘behind the scenes’ with someone else’s ‘highlight reel.'”

3. Reach out for support and encouragement.

Community has been such a lifesaver for me personally in my seasons of “milspouse winter.” Not only are friends a great support, but they can also redirect our perspective to look for the coming season of spring that is sure to be around the corner.

4. Set a goal that is unrelated to your “season” and work for it!

I’m a goal-setter, and sometimes, a challenging (yet achievable) goal, completely unrelated to our upcoming “spring” season of life, will be just the ticket to get us through the cold, hard winter. And again, don’t feel like it has to be something huge or profound, like deadlifting your own body weight or making a bajillion dollars. Let your goal be an item you enjoy—learning a new hobby, taking a class, going for a walk every day for a month, or reading one book a month for a year.

5. Cultivate an attitude of gratitude.

I know, I know—this one might be easier said than done, but it has been a game-changer in my life for sure (no matter what season I’m facing). If you’re a little nerdy like me, consider keeping a running list of things you’re grateful for. I started this project back in November 2011 and recently passed 10,000 (yes, ten thousand!) things on my gratitude list. Talk about an encouraging perspective!



Okay, readers, I want to hear from you. How do you make it through your winter-like seasons of milspouse life? How do you press on to your theoretical “springtime?” Did any of the above tips jump out at you? Please don’t be shy—join the conversation below.

And remember that if you are in a figurative season of winter (regardless of duty station), know that we here at AWN are cheering for you! Hang in there. Springtime is coming!


  • Sharita Knobloch

    Dr. Sharita Knobloch has been married to her beloved infantryman husband for 12 years. She holds a Doctor of Education in Community Care and Counseling: Pastoral Counseling from Liberty University. Sharita is mama, a smallish dog owner, aspiring runner, writer, speaker, and spiritual leadership coach. She has been with Mission: Milspouse (formerly Army Wife Network) since February 2014. In 2020, she was named Armed Forces Insurance Fort Bliss Military Spouse of the Year. Sharita gets really excited about office supplies and journal shopping, is a certified auctioneer, overuses hashtags on a regular basis with #NoShame and frequently uses #America! as a verb.


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The Days Are Long as a Milspouse

The Days Are Long as a Milspouse

If you’ve read any of my blog submissions on Mission Milspouse lately, you’ll likely see a pattern where I have been mostly writing about what I’ve learned being a military spouse for the past twenty years but in presented in slightly different ways. In addition to...

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