Deployment Goals Review.
Some days I feel like I have accomplished nothing, except keeping my children alive. Heck, there are days when just getting them all fed, bathed, and in bed feels like a major accomplishment. Then I do dishes and laundry, and go to bed exhausted, dreading doing it all again the next day.
During deployment, it’s easy to get overloaded being a mom and caregiver. I can forget who I am as a woman and as a person. It is comforting to remind myself that I am more than a Cheerio-sweeper/taxi driver/cook. So I like to have little projects and activities that are just for me. They bring me peace and satisfaction when I’m alone. Each time my husband deploys, I set intentional little goals for myself. They help me see that I AM making progress as a person, even on the days we have frozen pizza and go to bed without baths.
Our 6th deployment is finally drawing to a close. Thank God! When it began I posted some of my ideas about setting S.M.A.R.T. goals. Today, I am excited to do a deployment goals review, and share those results with you!
My Goals were to:
- Lose Weight. I haven’t had a baby for 2 years, and after 4 kids, some of that baby weight is still lingering. I knew I needed to lose at least 10 pounds just for health reasons. I wanted to lose 10 more just for the convenience of fitting in my clothes and feeling more fit. Well, the first 10 pounds went pretty quickly, in the first 2 months. Since then, I have been able to maintain, but I am frustrated that even with a big increase in exercise, I haven’t gotten past that plateau. But my clothes ARE fitting better. So I decided to check my measurements. Turns out I lost 6 INCHES in my waist! And a few inches everywhere else! So don’t just look at the scale, check your measurements.
- Train to Run a 10K. I have run a few 5K races before, but I wanted to push myself up to 10K distances. The unit was participating in a 10K fundraising event. Having a date and a deadline was very motivating. I had a 5K to 10K running plan, and I stuck with it while the kids were at school. Things were going great, until my grandfather died 2 weeks before the race. I went home for the funeral, so I did not run in the race. BUT, I now run a 10K distance at least once a week on the treadmill at the YMCA, so I am really pleased with that, and feel like that goal is accomplished!
- Read more Books. I love to read, but sometimes in my busy mom life, reading takes a backseat to all the other things I need to do. I promised myself to intentionally schedule reading time. I would turn off the TV in the evenings, and enjoy some quiet reading time. I have been honored to receive several books for free! I review military spouse books on my blog, about one each month. So far I have read and reviewed 15 Years of War, Tribe, and Sacred Spaces. It has been an amazing experience to connect with other military writers, and read accounts that provide so much insight into my own life and marriage. Caveat: it is really challenging emotionally to read war stories during a deployment!
- Spend time writing. Writing is always therapeutic and enjoyable to me. When the deployment started, I was working on my first novel. (It’s about the members of a small French village who go off to fight in the First Crusade.) It’s fun, and I was enjoying it, but about a month into the deployment I started blogging instead. And now that has really taken off! I write almost every night. I don’t get paid (except for this one article so far), but it has been so satisfying to meet new people online, connect to other military spouses and girlfriends, and help other people through their own military deployments. So yes, I can check that one off, and I will continue writing on the blog even after the deployment ends!
- Save money for Disneyland. This one was fun, because it involved the kids. Disneyland will be our big family trip after deployment. In the past 6 months, they earned dimes by doing chores and reading books. So far they have earned $150! And we still have a little ways to go. You can read more about our Dimes for Disneyland project here. Don’t worry, Mom and Dad are saving for the actual tickets. This is the kids’ spending and snack money for the park.
- Read a little bit from the Bible every day. I have a devotional book that leads you through the entire Bible in one year. I was doing really well during the school year, because I read it each morning after I dropped the kids at school. Then…summer hit. And my quiet time vanished. So it has been sitting by my bed getting only the occasional glance, and I am several books behind. (I missed Psalms and Proverbs, oops!) I’m a little bummed that I didn’t stick with it, but the good news is that I can pick it back up again anytime and just start on the calendar date. So that is one goal NOT accomplished.
- Make new friends. We moved to this base just a few months before the deployment began. We move every 3 years, so I don’t have time to wait and just hope to meet nice people. I have learned to ask for phone numbers the first time I meet someone. I reach out through Facebook to connect with other wives in my husband’s unit, or people in my neighborhood. I strategically go to places where I can chat with other moms. And I invite people to my house for dinner. It’s a little like speed dating, haha, but I am happy that I have made some good connections this deployment! There are some wonderful people who have stepped up and helped me out. There are friends who have helped me celebrate holidays and milestones without my husband. For those new friendships, I am grateful.
- Survive the summer with 4 kids! It hasn’t always been pretty, but so far, we are doing well! We have kept pretty active with swim lessons, Vacation Bible school, trips to the YMCA, and playdates with friends. We are also lucky to live near the beach. My parents came out to help for 1 week, and we did some fun vacation trips with them too. So I think this will get marked down in their memories as a fun and enjoyable summer, even though Dad was away. They might not get baths every night, but they are all alive and healthy, and that is sometimes the best I can do!
So yeah, when I look at it this way, I feel like I have had a pretty successful deployment. Have you ever done a deployment goals review? What deployment goals do you set for yourself?