Introduction by Melissa Amster
It's not often I get to meet our featured readers in person, but it just so happens that this month's reader, Rebecca Hill, moved to a town about an hour from where I live. So my family and I recently went to the hotel where she and her family are currently residing and we all hung out at the pool and went to dinner together. We had a great time. Rebecca is so easy to talk with and has a great sense of humor. Of course, the first thing we talked about was books! Her sons got along especially well with my younger son and our husbands hit it off too.
I'm going to let her introduce herself now, since changing her introduction to third person does not do it justice! Once you've gotten to know her a little better, check out her guest post about surviving deployment through books. You may learn something new, as well!
I have been teaching online for five years now and LOVE it! I love to share new insights with students and listen to the click of the bulb! I can’t see it since most of my contact with them is through phone and email, but hey, when they get it I am happy!
I started blogging books for MyMilitarySavings.com two years ago! Running a book club has had its challenges, but that makes it even better! Why stop when something gets a little difficult? You just learn to change tactics and try again!
M*M*S Book Club Blog
Surviving Deployments Through Books
Deployments are something that not everyone deals with. It is a very unique situation, but if you are affiliated at all with the military, then you know how crazy they can be! If not, the best way I can describe one is like this: Place yourself in a square, add everything that you do on a daily basis. Now shake it up and watch it all go nuts! Then add in the normal stuff that your spouse does (lawn care, car upkeep, etc.) and shake it again! The amount of stuff might just drive you insane if you do not have a plan! You have to have a plan! Don’t go into ANYTHING thinking that you can “just wing it”. Get your support system in place, hire that neighborhood teenager to mow your grass and remember; it’s all going to be ok, just breathe and take it a day at a time!
There are several ways of surviving deployments, and all of them revolve around one thing: KEEP YOURSELF BUSY! Staying busy, not only with your hands, but your mind as well will keep you from going insane. Kids, jobs, house, etc., all will drive you crazy if you do not moderate yourself. By combating the empty space from the beginning, you create your own rules. As a military spouse, as well as a service member myself, there are whole new rules to the ballgame. I do not allow myself a lot of down-time. By having that down-time, I allow my mind to wander, and let’s face it ya’ll, this is not always a good thing. Before your spouse leaves, I suggest putting together a “TO DO” list. Target anything that you want to get done, and special projects that you have been eyeing. Make sure that these are something that you can do either by yourself or with your best friend. But even more important, get that book list together for the days and evenings! You are going to need something to occupy that time that you are relaxing. Go ahead and put that book list together!
When my husband found out that he was deploying again, my book mountain grew! I started researching the books I wanted to read, got on a first name basis with my local librarians, and made sure that my list was together. Having those go –to reads that I enjoyed is also a plus! I also joined a book challenge! There are many places to do these! You can either get with a friend or find a list online that you like, or create your own! I decided to customize mine as following something that has already been done can get boring really fast. My sister and I sat down and worked out a list. We had 50 topics that we had to fill in, and then we found books that fit that topic. We also decided to see who could get done first! When I was not working on the house or having fun with the kiddos, I was reading! I also got books that I could read aloud to the boys at night. We started reading at bedtime, and working through several books that way. We found that we looked forward to that hour of reading together at night, and half the time they ended up in my room at night, so we just hunkered down in the covers and read. There are so many good books out there!! Start with authors that you are familiar with and see where they can take you! I always check out WHO my favorite authors are recommending! You just might be pleasantly surprised with a new favorite! There are a couple of suggestions to this however. Do NOT read anything super sappy!! You don’t want to end up in a teary mess! I am not a fan of the dark when I am alone, and so reading something by Stephen King was not the way I needed to end my night. Although, on that note, I did get the entire linen closet organized AND four new projects completely lined out and prepped for starting. I did get through the entire Outlander series in a week, and started in on reading the Welsh series by Sharon Kay Penman again. I guess I forgot to mention at the start, that I DEVOUR books! I love to read! Reading not only helps me to keep my thought process coherent, it helps me to continue learning. I read books about Yellow Fever, the underground in London, True Crime, a ton of historical fiction, and completely rewrote the approved book list that I have for students! By pushing myself to learn something new, I chose to invest into an area that I had never really studied before, but always allowed myself to read something that I had on my mountain when I finished a new book. By the end of the deployment, I had read 59 new books and added about ten thousand more to the mountain of “wish to reads.”
Any situation you find yourself in can be fixed with a good reading session!! Keep a good book or ten on stand-by for those moments when you need to relax, but want to keep your mind busy. Having that “thing” can really make a difference in EVERYTHING!