military life

Enjoying the Ride

A good traveler has no fixed plans, and is not intent on arriving at the destination. -Lao Tzu

Most of the time this blog is about library land, today it is about military life. The fluid geography that comes with our military lifestyle has provided me with opportunities and experiences that I would not have sought out on my own. We’ve lived in places I would have only visited. I’ve met challenges I otherwise would have shied away from. And, I’ve come to understand that “life is what you make it” isn’t just a quaint saying, but a hard and beautiful truth.

This time of year in the military carries with it a collective anxiety, anticipation, and excitement that I can’t imagine exists in any other community (though I would be happy to hear about it if it does-add it to the comments below). It is the time when so many of us are waiting for lists and orders and other official indications of where we’re going next, what the next job will be, and who else will be going there too. The move could be anywhere, and could be scheduled anytime between now and whenever. And, just when you think you’ve received official word of where you are going and you’ve sold half your belongings at the community yard sale, the game could change and you could find out you are staying right where you are (true story).

We military families get quite a bit of press for our resiliency. After nearly twenty years as a military spouse, I feel comfortable telling you that press is deserved. We aren’t all saints, and we aren’t all heroes–but we are unequivocally resilient. Right now, this Vagabond Family is impatiently awaiting word about where and when we are going next. We may know in a week, we may know two months from now. The orders may have us moving within weeks or within the year. It is not for the faint of heart. But it is a wonderful adventure.

When I have those inevitable moments that creep from anticipation and excitement toward anxiety, I remind myself of the Lao Tzu quote that began this post. And, then I translate it into what I share with my 11-year-old when we take a detour on the road or in life:

Don’t get stuck on your destination. Enjoy the ride.