As we navigate military life, we are no strangers to change. We move and move again, we raise our children together and alone, we juggle our finances, and handle deployments. We are wonder woman each and every day, and funny thing is that these are just the most obvious things that we handle on a regular basis. In this crazy military life, change is common, and how we deal with it can make or break us. Change happens and developing the ability to change with it is the key to thriving in this world of ours.

military life changesSo often when we are met with change we respond with resistance, and looked at it as a source of stress. But I’m here to tell you that it doesn’t need to be that way. What if you could think about change in a whole new way? What if the next time your soldier walked in the door with some “news” instead of getting frustrated, you could find the silver lining? What if the idea of an upcoming change brought about excitement and inspiration instead of stress and resentment? It can be that way, and for many of us it is!

Change doesn’t have to be something to fear. Change can be something that gives us a fresh start, a new attitude and a brighter future. It’s the knowing how to “handle” it that makes all the difference. Over the years I have watched people who move through change with ease and have even been “one of them” a time or 2. What I noticed was that those who transitioned easily did something that the rest of us didn’t. They changed with the change and they used the following steps. With these steps you can prepare and shift your mindset to bring new life into your reality and a smile to your face that will have you prepared for any situation that comes your way.

6 Steps to Change

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You may have noticed I’ve been a little quiet lately.  Between the passing of my mother-in-law, supporting my husband, handling military life and dealing with all the feelings of my own, I haven’t had the focus to do much else than the bare necessities. And I have been feeling guilty for taking a much-needed time out from anything that drains me physically or emotionally and just staying in my corner to “reset” myself.

military life timeoutThe past 2 months took a toll on me in so many ways, but it also taught me so much about myself, my life and the things I’ve done wrong. I guess “wrong” isn’t the best word, but the reality is that since helping take care of my father and then just recently my mother-in-law as they lost their battles with cancer,  I haven’t done the best job at allowing myself to grieve.  Sure I talk the talk, but if I’m honest with myself, walking the walk hasn’t been happening.

This time it wasn’t about deployment or being a military spouse, it wasn’t about being “mom”, it wasn’t about any of the stuff that life has put into my path, but it was rather a building up of putting myself and my feelings on the back burner.  And while that’s ok for a very short period of time…long term it doesn’t work so well. [click to continue reading …]

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You know me – I’m all about the life balance – Enjoy this guest post from Lisa Hayden of the Parents Need to Know blog!

children-961685_640It is vital for you to have the best time with your kids because no sooner than you know it they will be all grown up with their own families. It’s true that time flies, and with busy schedules it can be pretty difficult to bond with your kids and you need to be quite creative in the activities you do together. As a matter of fact, creativity should always be the center of family time.

If you want to understand your kids better, make it a point to bond with them. You can play air hockey with your kids, bike around the neighborhood and a lot more. Be creative so that your children will be looking forward to such moments. Do not hesitate to try something new. [click to continue reading …]

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Sometimes as we traverse military life it can feel as though we live separately from the outside world. We have our own lingo, we take pride in things others take for granted and our day to day challenges are very different from our civilian counterparts. Because of this we need to build stronger coping skills and hone our self care strategies so that we are prepared – especially for the stuff we never see coming.

Unspoken Toll of Military LifeI didn’t realize how much I’d been slacking on both my self-care and coping strategies until recently when we were blindsided by a family crisis that none of us saw coming. 5 weeks ago I went to Florida to take care of my mother-in-law for what we thought was a case of pneumonia. What we didn’t know was that we only had a few weeks before she would lose her brief battle with cancer.

Like many of you, I’m good when my world gets turned upside down. Military life has given me lots of practice (see my journey and strategies in Right Side Up).  I can sort through the logistics, deal with changing circumstances and efficiently blow through a to do list like nobody’s business.  I can be strong for my family in a way I’ve never been.

Military life taught me that – and I’m grateful.

But if you look closer, you will see the cracks and the toll military life is taking. Maybe the sudden death of my mother in law has left me raw, but the reality is that the events over the last few weeks have highlighted a few habits or lessons I’ve learned since becoming a military spouse. And they aren’t pretty, healthy or productive.

Military life has shown me how

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