Your summer does not have to be filled with lonely nights and lonely days.
Some of my most memorable summers occured while my husband was deployed. Those were the summers I visited family that lived several states away and was able to stay for longer than a week. Those were the summers I bonded with girlfriends and made life long friendships. Once I made the decision to plan "something", my attitude shifted. I found the time passed quicker and I was able to create some positive memories, which I still cherish to this day.
Here are three tips to plan some summer fun on your own, along with some additional tips from a few military spouses.
My hope is you create a summer that is filled with loved ones, old and new friends, and an adventure or two.
1. Plan to Visit Friends and Family.
As I mentioned before, spending time with family that lives far away is a great option to help shorten the summer. Another tip: take a look at the calendar and pick one friend a month like military spouse Stacy S. did, "...for me, the long summer alone happened more during our drill sergeant time. I made plans each month to visit friends so I always had something to look forward to and make time go faster."
2. Attend Local Events.
When we lived in Connecticut we attended the nearby weekly "Summer Series Beach Concerts". We backed our picnic dinner, lawn chairs and cold drinks and settled in for a few hours of music on the beach. Military spouse Laurie's advice is similar, "Don't be afraid to try something new that the local community would be offering. I normally don't like going to events and stuff like that without my hubby, but I made myself do it, and the kids and I got to experience new things while keeping our minds off missing him."
3. Read More and Don't Forget to Leave the House
What happens if you just don't feel like leaving the house? Marine Corps wife Jane shares, "I read books and forced myself to leave the house even when I didn't have anywhere in particular to go. If I didn't, I would sit on my couch in my PJ's for days on end. Plus, it was one of the hottest summers on record so I had to find places that had air conditioning." Sometimes just getting dressed and out the door with a book you've been wanting to read can inspire you to stop at a park, coffee shop or local outdoor attraction for some fresh air and sunshine. You might just run into a friend or make a new one.
One final piece of advice, creating a memorable summer is unique to your preferences. While other command spouses might be planning a shopping trip to the outlet mall or spa day, you might prefer the adventure of strolling through a new nearby city or attending an evening concert/play. Take the time to write down the things you enjoy doing and then invite a friend to join you on your little adventure.
Using these three tips should give you a great head start to planning some fun summer memories during a deployment.
What tip can you share that got you through your first summer alone?
Shaping Up a Successful Summer When Your Spouse is Away