Tag Archive | work

Deployment: It’s a Balancing Act

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Today’s post for Blue Star Families is all about maintaining balance in our lives during deployment.  Is there a magic formula to use in order to be healthy in all areas of our lives?  Unfortunately there is not, and I’ll be the first to admit: I am NOT awesome at maintaining balance, and I daresay it gets worse during a deployment.

My auto-pilot mode during deployment is to become a work-a-holic.  I have my momentary, tearful pity-party right after saying goodbye, and then it’s grindstone time.  But I will admit that in the last month of the first deployment, I literally worked myself sick.  I succumbed to a bad case of the flu (I am rarely ill) and was down and out for five days.  It was like my body was screaming at me, “Malori, you’re outta control, so I’m gonna MAKE you stop and rest whether you like it or not!!”  (I didn’t like it.)

So during this deployment, I’m making more of an effort to maintain a healthy balance with my life.  That is why I made it a deployment goal to nurture friendships one to two times a month.  Hanging out with friends and family is a healthy way for me to de-stress (yes, I’m an extrovert), and I didn’t do much socializing last time because I was working so much.  Do I sometimes feel guilty taking time out to stop working?  Yes.  But I know it’s good for me and I should do it.

Other ways to maintain balance are by exercising, eating healthily, and getting adequate sleep.  Especially during a stressful period of time (hello deployment!), these three aspects are vital.  On my goal list is to take 10 Krav Maga self-defense classes this fall, and I’m also continuing the gluten-free diet I began in January 2012.  As for sleep?  Well, I’m pretending that copious amounts of coffee and concealer can take care of that – so I can definitely be more diligent about sleeping more.  A restful, minimum night’s sleep for me is six hours, but nine is optimal.

How can one make the best effort to reach balanced goals during deployment?  By writing them down and making them SMART: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound.  Goals do a person no good if they are merely bouncing around in the stratosphere.  Early in our relationship, Mark taught me the SMART principle and it has proven to be very sound advice!  Whatever your goals are, I highly encourage using this acronym.

Even though it’s pretty stressful, deployment can be a unique time for us as military wives to work on our goals and even our long-term dreams.  We can look at the deployment and know we have a finite amount of time during which to accomplish great things!  Our lists will be different, but the things they will have in common are the incredible drive, commitment, and pride that military families possess.

~Malori~

Follow Blue Star Families on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ and build a support network so you can keep your family and personal community strong throughout the duration of the entire deployment life cycle.

Henry Ward Beecher

Please click HERE to view my disclosure statement, in compliance with FTC guidelines.

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This Busy Life

Another week down!  And this has been a BUSY week.

Last Saturday, I took a ladies beginner handgun class with two of my friends from work, and it was so much fun!  There were only eight of us in the class, so we each got personal attention and tips from our instructor, and I feel SO much more comfortable now with handling a firearm.  For all of you who are familiar with weaponry, we practiced mostly with a Glock 17, and a little bit with a Smith & Wesson “38 Special.”  I personally felt more comfortable with the latter….the Glock felt too big for my hand and the kick-back was a little much for me.  My friends and I are looking forward to going back to the range ourselves and practicing. : )

On Sunday I felt super-efficient: went to Mass at 0830, followed by Turbo Kickboxing class at the gym.  That kickboxing is a full-body workout!  The next morning, I got up at 0530 for a gym workout before heading to the office.  That is a disgusting, ungodly hour, but I’ve found that doing this is actually energizing and gives an extra kick to my day.  I taught my new violin student after work and then came home to work on envelope addressing projects….until after 0400.

Yes, you read that right: I was working until after 4AM.  By the time I got in bed, it was 0430….so I had been up for 23 hours straight and then got only 2 hours of sleep.  It was necessary to stop at a convenience store on the way to work to buy 5-Hour Energy Extra Strength so I could actually be cohesive.  The day went pretty well, actually: I made almost 50 cold calls to potential clients, and even though I’m new at it I thought it was fine (especially considering how little sleep I had gotten!).  I was supposed to volunteer at the USO for 3 hours that night, until 2200, but around lunchtime I called my team leader and said that I just couldn’t come in….I desperately needed my sleep that night and also didn’t want to drive home at that late hour with so little sleep.  I had envelopes to do again that night, and then got almost 7 hours of sleep.  Whew.

Today I realized this is the break-down of my working life:

45 hours = at the office (includes mandatory 1 hour lunch break each day, and sometimes I use that time to work on envelopes)

2.5 hours = teaching

c. 17 hours = envelope projects (sometimes more, sometimes less, depending on how many projects I have)

PLUS I spend about 2.5 hours per day commuting for my office job….which equals 12.5 hours of driving per week.  So if you add my time spent at work and time spent commuting so that I can work, it adds up to 77 hours/week.  Plus, I volunteer at the USO for 3 hours once a week and once or twice a month I have a music gig (each one is usually about 1.5 hours long, plus commute).  So on those weeks that I have a gig, I could be working/commuting over 80 hours.

With sleeping more on the weekends, I probably get about 50 hours/week.  Not bad.  That leaves 38 hours for doing other stuff, which averages about 5.5 hours/day.  But it doesn’t feel like I have that much free time!!  How come I can hardly find time to write if I have all this free time?  Seriously, I could be managing my time better and be getting more stuff done.

I feel like the only time I can let myself totally relax is when I’m with The Warrior, because I want to spend quality time with him.  One of our favorite things to do is laze (is that a word?) around and watch movies, and it does not feel like a waste of time…but I would NEVER do that by myself.  (Whenever I watch TV or movies, I’m working on envelopes.)  Even while writing this I feel like other things are calling my name….like putting away laundry or cleaning my bathroom.  Life is too short to not be productive!

Okay, with that said, it’s time to work on envelopes for a couple hours…. : )