Friday, 9 January 2015

This time, it'll be different...

I was dreading the New Year for the first time ever this year, and not just for the usual reasons of going back to work and the end of Christmas. It was because Rich went away with work a few days ago. Luckily it's not for anywhere near as long as last time he went away, but it's still for longer than 3 weeks and is abroad, which is what I classify as a deployment. I'm missing him terribly, things had been so brilliant between us lately, and he really is my best friend as well as my boyfriend. However, we have vowed that this time it is going to be different.

There will be no huge bucket list of things I decide to do to fill my evenings and weekends. I put far too much pressure on myself last time, planning to do a lot of projects and take up a lot of hobbies, meaning that when I didn't manage to do everything, the perfectionist in me kicked in and I beat myself up about it. My bucket list this time just consists of "be calm". I keep reminding myself that it doesn't matter if the washing up doesn't get done one evening because I'm too tired. It doesn't matter if I don't manage to spend all of my evenings crocheting. It doesn't matter if my house isn't perfectly clean and tidy at all times. It doesn't matter if I'm not blogging 5 days a week, commenting on other blogs and taking part in all of the Twitter chats. I am a human being. I have a chuffing long commute to and from work every day. Just because Rich isn't here doesn't mean that those facts go away, instead I have double the amount of housework to do, and I have to do all of the cooking myself, which takes up more time, so I actually have less free time than I did before.
I kept finding myself saying "when you go away I'll do..." and I had to stop myself. It's too easy of a trap to fall into, and I won't do it again.

We also know how to be apart now, how to deal with each other, and how to keep the connection there. It's harder, of course, but it's perfectly do-able. My expectations of Rich last time were far too high, and only exacerbated by hearing stories of other couples going through similar things - meaning that when I didn't receive the letters and phone calls, I was disappointed. I know this time to not expect anything, all of the contact I do get is a bonus (he does get huge Brownie points though if he sends me a postcard to add to my collection!).

Why am I telling you all of this? I hope that anyone else facing their first deployment can learn from the mistakes I made the first time around. Expectations are bad, for yourself and your partner. Don't make them! I'll keep you updated with how I'm doing, but things are looking good so far. I had a little cry when I said goodbye in the morning before heading to work, but luckily the girls I work with are amazing. I told them they weren't allowed to be nice to me or it'd set me off again, and they took great delight in pretending to insult me all day, making me laugh a lot. It's still strange being on my own in an evening and not talking to anyone, but it is awesome having Taylor Swift on all of the time and being able to sing as loudly as I want. My poor neighbours.

Rachel x

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