Almost a year ago today, B and I were finishing up one of the toughest months of our marital lives. I was working at the day care, excuse me child development center, on base and had a fairly standard 0830-1730 schedule. He was working from 1700-0300 ostensibly, though he rarely made it home before 0700. Add in all the meetings he had that occurred during normal working hours and he was a zombie and we never saw each other during the week. Weekends were fraught with tension and fights abounded as we were both tired and not coping well. All either of us could do, was cling to the other and wish for him to be done with the hectic schedule of working flight.
This weekend, B returns to flight. It’s the right move for the squadron and, honestly, the right move for him too. He’s started chafing in the back office job. He fixed all the big things, saved them tens of thousands of dollars in a couple of quick moves, and has felt stifled in his ability to affect change.
I have to remind myself that things are different this time. I’m not working outside our home, so I can be flexible with my schedule to meet his. He’s not working Monday-Friday with different guys every day and a schedule that shifts once a month. He’ll be working the same exact schedule as his guys, there will be no time shifts, and he won’t be trying to manage people that he only sees half the time. He’s also not trying to rewrite the way the system works this time either.
But there’s a lot that will be the same. He’ll work two to three days at a time and have two to three days off at a time. Over half of that off time will be during the work week, while I’m teaching. He’ll only get every other weekend off. I’m most afraid of the silences that will echo on the weekends that I’ll spend the majority of by myself. I’m an extreme extrovert and I get enough alone time using the bathroom to not need any extra throughout the day.
Life has thrown us a bit of a u-turn in this. But it doesn’t have to be wholly unwelcome. While we’ll only get two weekends a month, they’ll be three day weekends so we’ll have more ability to take quick trips around Turkey. We’ll eat better because I won’t eat out without him, unless it’s with a friend, and he’ll be working such hours that eating out before or after work won’t happen. He’ll also be working on the weekends, which is my biggest time for wanting to go eat out.
There’s definite good in finding ourselves back here again. Now to buck up my courage to face the long, quiet days when he’s at work. And do more than pin things to pinterest while I have free time.
Life has thrown us a bit of a u-turn in this shift. It’s not wholly unwelcome.