Saturday, November 28, 2015

Selfish Saturday

My birthday was two weeks ago. Months prior my best friend from college and I decided that we should take a Saturday for ourselves and hit the pause button on adulting for a day. We decided that was a beyond excellent decision that must be repeated.

My friend, Jessica, is my best friend for a long list of reasons. Here are just a few.....
  1. We have the same name. (Seriously, isn't that awesome?)
  2. We attended the same college. (We are approaching the 20 year mark on this relationship.)
  3. She is my little sister in our sorority. (Kappa Delta, by the way)
  4. Perhaps most importantly we LOVE UK basketball. (There have been some great texts over that topic for sure.)
In all seriousness, the reason our friendship works so well is that we both live insanely busy lives, so we understand each other very well. Once we are in the same room it is like absolutely no time has passed and we just pick up where we left off. We do not get to see each other often and our friendship is a fueled on text messages, but it works for us.

We have been there for each other in our darkest days and can easily recall the calls that led to floods of tears. Together we have healed through the frequently truckloads of drama the Lord knows we can handle. It is the healing together through adversity that has made our bond so strong.

Neither of us make time for ourselves beyond the occasional hair appointment or perhaps random kid-free trip to the store. We are great at telling others (including each other) how important that is for self-care, but our self-care comes in the the massive amounts of books we read. We both love to escape into our books and that occupies a chunk of our conversation when we see each other.

But we did it!! We were selfish together for the first time!! We both worked and ran away to Lexington, KY on a Friday. Selfish Saturday 2015 began the next morning. The entire day, we did what we wanted. We did not have hubbies or kids whining, nor chiming in. We finished our day celebrating my first visit to the Rupp Arena and cheered on our UK Wildcats together!

We had a blast and of course we both had to go home super early on Sunday because we have too many responsibilities. But we did it!!! The ladies who preach about self-care, actually took time for themselves! It was amazing! I am overjoyed we did it! And I cannot wait to do it again!

It will be a long time before another Selfish Saturday will come around for us. I can assure you, we will do it again and again and again. I am so thankful for my friend. I am so thankful that we took the time to be together. I look forward to many more selfish days in our future!

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Get the Stories Out

We currently reside in a county that is probably 99.7% civilian. Most of what they know about military life comes from the media, Lifetime or the movies. Truth be told, they don't want to hear the actual truth about what our families go through. They only want to hear the "cool stories" about the wars and not about the healing that takes place.

I am learning that civilians truly believe that the government takes cares of our family's every single need. They don't understand the amount of red tape that exists for us, because the amount of red tape we cut through does not exist in the civilian world.

Many think that buying a green light bulb will actually help our families. They don't understand that our level of need and assistance goes way beyond a simple purchase.

Lies about our benefits make civilians envious of our "lavish" lifestyles and cause them to not to friend us.

When our children share their life experiences, apparently our children "think they are better" than others and this makes it harder for them to make friends.

When a veteran serves our country, apparently he must be violent and angry so we need to stay away.

When the caregivers of our wounded choose to have a job and/or independence and/or not make their entire existence about the catastrophic injury, then apparently the caregiver is selfish and should be ashamed.  

When our wounded get prosthetic legs, apparently that makes everything all better. 

We have an abundance of ignorance in the civilian world. We need to get our stories out there so more can understand. Most importantly we have to not be angry at people for not understanding. You cannot comprehend something that you know little to nothing about. It is our job to inform and educate not hold it all in and lash out because someone simply doesn't understand.

With Veterans Day approaching, this is a great time to get those stories out there and help combat the ignorance. I challenge all of our military friends to tell one civilian a day about our military life and how the fight for the families of our wounded, ill, injured, killed and missing never ends. I challenge you to let everyone know we lose 22 veterans a day to suicide. The only way to lessen the ignorance is to increase the education.