In less than a week it is my year anniversary of my retirement from the military. I went through the up’s and down’s of becoming a civilian. I was angry. I was humbled. I was lost. I was thrilled on the amount of time that I had on my hands. I was BORED! No one told me about the boredom. I knew that I would have time. Time to cook, to clean, to do chores, to hang out with the family, to watch shows on the T.V. I could be anything that I wanted to be. Be all that you can be….in the civilian world.
I gained 30 pounds- I ate Oreos and washed them down with chocolate milk. I used my treadmill as a dog bed. I threw away all the brown shirts and green/black socks. I put my retirement certificate in the desk drawer. I watched the Marvel movies 3 times, in the correct order. I single handily supported all puppy and kitten YouTube videos. I got a job…I quit the job. I took 2 months off and hung out on my back porch and smoked. I got another job. I got a third dog- a really big dog.
I miss it. I miss the late-night text messages, the endless meetings where nothing was accomplished, the unrealistic training schedule, the ranges, the early morning running, the scrambling to the car at 11:25 to get to the drive thru before the rest of post. I miss driving in before the sun comes up and sitting in the long line of other cars waiting to be let in.
Now, I am just me. Of course, I am a wife, a mother, an employee…. I still have a ‘title’ I guess. I am a veteran. Now, when I go to the hospital- I am sent down a long tunnel to the ‘other side’ where the old people hang out and compare hearing aids and shoe inserts. I get to park in the veteran parking spot in front of Lowes. I go to Lowes a lot now. Not to buy, but to look. I look for projects that I need to do, want to do, and should do. But I don’t buy because there is no pressure to get it done. I can now justify waiting, because I have all the time in the world to get it done.
I got hobbies. Well, I think that I always had the hobbies, but I didn’t have the time to do the hobbies. I got new hobbies because I realized that I didn’t like the ones that I had been doing. I finally cleaned off the treadmill a couple of weeks ago. For two weeks I was running like a pro. I was getting miles in, I felt great, I felt fit, I had something to do for an hour. Then, I realized that I am a veteran and old. My knees starting hurting, my calves started to cramp bad, my back hurt…running was not fun. So, I started walking. Then I thought that I needed to get 2.5 miles in at least 30 minutes or I wasn’t walking right- now my shins hurt along with my back, calves, and knees. I walked slower, 15-mile pace, right? That’s the goal? One year almost done. I feel like I am waiting for something. I don’t know what I am waiting for. Where is the travel? Where is the exploring? Where is the discovery of my true self? I sure as hell can’t find time for all that…. I have another job. One that I actually like, working with the military again…. but with better hours and I get to wear whatever I want. But I am back to working set hours and days- no riding off into the sunset for this girl. I have bills. I have responsibilities. I have an COVID-19 addiction to Amazon Prime.
I am sure that I will find my way. I am sure that my mess of a thousand different hobbies will pan out to just a manageable three. I am sure that I will finally pick out flooring for the second floor. I am sure that soon I will fix all the DYI projects that I tried to do on my house that DID NOT turn out the way I was hoping. I am sure that I will finally find friends to invite over for a BBQ and a game of spades. I am sure that I will find my new running stride. Maybe in another year?