I think one of the most common (and most maddening) comments I hear from civilian women is what shortly follows the, "how do you do that kind of life?" dialogue. She usually says something to the affect of, "Oh, well I guess you must just be used to it by now." It's usually referring to some sort of hardship that is common for military spouses like moving or living without your husband for long periods of time.
Last night during the family readiness group meeting, we stopped to talk about how everyone is doing. I'm the odd ball in this group. Everyone else has had their husband deployed since October. I had mine here through the holidays and now get him every weekend. Fortunately they have still accepted me as one of their own. Even with the difference, it was amazing how much our stories resonated throughout the whole group. Stories of waking up in the middle of the night scared holding your breath because you're afraid there might be an intruder in the house (alarm systems have turned out to be only a small consolation). Eating way more food that comes out of the freezer because you have no idea what to make when it's just you. The burn out with your own children even though you love them more then anything simply because there is no one there to share the responsibility of child rearing with. Catastrophes that always seem to wait until a husband can't be there to help. Turmoil over trying to make major life decisions when you are a world apart geographically and so much more!
As I was trying to get myself to sleep again I kept thinking about the women who have said that phrase to me throughout the years. I've grown accustomed to some of this military lifestyle and have learned how to cope with most of it. I have learned that overall I'm stronger then I give myself credit for if I would just pull myself up by my bootstraps and move forward. However, I have not, nor will I ever, grow comfortable with having my one true closest best friend, lover and soul mate out of reach. I will never magically learn how to be both a Mom and a Dad to my boys. I will never be happy about the fact that we live hours and hours away from even our closest family. I will never learn to enjoy leaving friendships behind that it took me years to find and cultivate just to start all over again from scratch.
Out of all the retired military wives that I have had the pleasure of knowing, they have all told me in one way or another that you never really get used to this life. You just learn to do the best you can with the circumstances you are placed in.
So, no, I'm not "used to this," I'm just doing all I can in spite of it today.