• Military Life: Are you a Reactor?

  • Have you ever noticed that sometimes in our desire to hold down the fort, we become our own worst enemy?  I know that all too often, my reaction to military life can rile up the nest faster than anything else.

    It doesn’t matter if it’s a last minute change in flight times, postponed orders, or a misplaced travel voucher that puts me over the edge, it’s my reaction that determines how we deal with it. I’m the one my family turns to for guidance and strength and  how I react makes all the difference in the world. If I am calm our world is calm, but if I react in a “mom has lost it” type of way, chaos and mayhem are sure to follow.

    So many of us are REACTORS, and the vast majority of our spouses probably are too.  I believe that reacting is the skill that actually helps us shift easily from “MOM I’m hungry” to “where is my ruck sack” to helping a fellow spouse in crisis without skipping a beat. It’s the ability to react quickly that keeps our troops alive.

    Reactions help us juggle the multitude of demands that are placed on our time and our life.  But it can also become one of the many negative patterns that we easily fall into when we live the military life.

    Reacting creates an instant avalanche of emotions that push us to take action.  And sometimes that action isn’t very conducive to a peaceful life without chaos. In fact many times our reactions happen when we are triggered by a person or an event.

    Think about the last time you lost it, I mean truly lost it.  My guess that it happened because of something someone said or something that happened in response to what they said. This event triggered an instant feeling inside of you that ran like hot lava through your veins, and the next thing you know you are reacting like a crazy person without even thinking about it.

    Been there, done that. It’s those uncontrollable reactions that I’m talking about which create the chaos and stress that we want to avoid which put us into what I call a Tornado of Intensity.

    You know how it feels, everything is a priority, nothings getting done and you feel as if you are running around like a chicken with its head cut off in the middle of a frozen pond.  And let’s not even discuss the lovely words that flow from your mouth when your service member asks you if dinner is ready.

    Reacting doesn’t help us get things done at all; in actuality it puts intensity into every aspect of our lives creating stress and chaos on a whole different level. Reacting messes up our priorities and holds us back from doing the things we want and need to do.


    ~Judy Davis, the Direction Diva is a motivational speaker, author and entrepreneur as well as a military life and teen suicide prevention expert. Co-founder of DASIUM, Judy’s books Right Side Up  and Warning Signs: Is Your Teen at Riskare go to resources for families and her websites are filled with tips, inspiration and resources for those looking for direction. Connect with Judy at TheDirectionDiva.com

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