Life can be overwhelming, especially during the stress of deployment. Outside factors threaten, bills pile up, laundry too, and, all at once, even the safe confines of your home can feel like another part of a growing list of stresses. How do you find peace in the middle of chaos when you are too tired, busy, or angry to do all that needs to be done?
Find your happy place.
This is not about escapism into medication, TV, or other activities meant to numb our senses and feelings. It’s about finding one, simple space in your place that you can call your own.
Several years ago I found myself sitting in my living room, crying as I shared some personal grief with my sister over the phone. I stared into the dining room as we talked, and kept staring long after I had hung up and blown my nose for the last time.
It is hard to describe the emotional comfort I found in that small vista of my dining room.
The colors were so rich. The chairs stood at attention. The table top was miraculously clutter-free. No bags or laundry baskets hovered sheepishly around doors; nor were errant shoes clogging walkways. Instead, there flowed from the room a steady stream of impressions: it’s clean; it’s pretty; it’s calming.
This was not true of the whole house. One doorway away, the sink was filled, recycling bags overflowed, and clothes covered the floor—even so, subconsciously, I had found my “happy place.”
Whenever life threatens, I go to that room, kept clutter-free and ready for just such a reason.
This isn’t necessarily an easy thing to do in a busy household. It is stressful to manage alone, to try and hold everything and everyone together. However, the ability to find one corner of your house that is sane, calm, orderly, and possibly pretty, might be all you need to recharge and keep going.
Take a moment to stake a spot as your own. It might be in a bedroom, bathroom, or in a sunny patch in your kitchen. Wherever it is, find it today. Help your family members find their happy place too. Help each other maintain these happy places together.
Life can be sane for just a moment if we know where to look for support. Sometimes people support us, and sometimes our environment does too.
Michelle Judd is a writing coach who helps others break through the obstacles that hold them back from pursuing their dream of writing and publishing.
Request a deployment/reunion event for your group.
We have exceptional speakers available for keynotes or to lead military family events. All workshops and presentations are customized to meet the needs of the participants/audience.
Karen Pavlicin’s workshops:
“Your dynamic presentation to the unsung heroes of the 10th Mountain Division provided instruction, encouragement and hope at a critical time and will have a major impact on the health and welfare of the Soldiers and families at Fort Drum, NY.”—Command Chaplain Nichols
To arrange an event, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Terri Barnes collected her best Stars and Stripes columns in her award-winning book Spouse Calls: Messages From a Military Life. Deployment, reunion, moving, motherhood, friendship, and more.
Military Life: Stories and Poems for Children is a collection of original stories and poems that touch on many aspects of military life from a child’s point of view. From moving to making new friends, deployment, homecoming, patriotism, and tender family moments.
Deployment Journal for Spouses: Memories and milestones while my loved one is deployed by Rachel Robertson is a personal journal for anyone who has a loved one deployed with the military. Gentle journal writing prompts and inspirational sayings guide you through deployment and homecoming.