Keeping Connected, Part II

Despite the obstacles we faced during T’s first deployment, or most probably because of them, we managed to grow as a couple. We learned a lot about each other. And we learned a little about what we needed to do to this time around to support each other and our marriage.

Here are some more ways we keep each other close across the miles:

Exercise

T worked the night shift when he was in Iraq, so despite the time difference, he was usually awake when I was and we actually had similar schedules. T came up with the idea that we should try to time it so we could run “together”. It didn’t always happen, but when it did, it was so comforting to know that he was doing the same thing I was at the same time. It was time set aside when I could think about him exclusively, and in some weird way, I could almost feel him there with me. It definitely made me feel closer to him.

We also had the added motivation of reporting back on how far we each ran, how long it took and whether or not it was a good run. It was a good conversation topic.

Of course, that was back when I was running. These days I don’t run unless I’m walking the dog and I need to get back in time to watch DWTS. And, T is on the day shift in Afghanistan, so our schedules don’t exactly jive anymore.

But, we are still working out “together”. We have both started the exercise program outlined in The New ME Diet. (ME stands for “metabolic effect”.) The program is weight-based and focuses on using combination exercises to stimulate weight loss and muscle-building hormones. (Book review coming soon!)

Even though we can’t work out at the same time, we both do the workout on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. And it is still great to talk about how the workout went and what kind of progress we are each making.

Side note: All of this is rather hilarious since we almost never work out together when T is home. In fact, we almost never work out, period, when he’s home.

Books

T and I are both voracious readers. Last deployment I couldn’t send him books fast enough and when I did send them, he had to eventually ship them back home or leave them there. This time, I got him a Kindle before he left, which is a whole lot easier to lug around than a footlocker full of books.

Kindle

We talked a lot about books to begin with, but the very talented and well-read Maranda over at My Camo Colored Life recently shared a fabulous idea with me. She and her husband recommend one book a month to each other. T and I agreed that this was a great plan, though I’m not sure we’ll be able to do it monthly.

Here are our first picks…

T for me:

Sh_t My Dad Says

I’ll let you know how it is once I have a chance to read it.

Me for T:

Percy Jackson and the Olympians

I already sent him the first two books in the series and he read The Lightning Thief in three hours. Despite the younger reading level, he really enjoyed it, so just sent him the next two books.

Dog Tags

Most wives find it comforting to wear their husbands’ clothes during deployment. (I almost went PC there and said, “most spouses”, but I don’t think the reverse is true…probably.) I did dig T’s PT sweatshirt out of his trunk, where it was lying in a crumpled, dirty heap, and I wear it constantly around the house. I find it soothing, even though I look hideous in heather gray.

But, what I really like to wear is his spare set of dog tags. I can wear them anywhere – even to work – because I can hide them under my clothes. (This is a good idea when you’re in public, by the way, since the soldier’s social is on the tags.) It’s like keeping him close to my heart.

And since he, across all those long miles, is wearing an identical set, it helps me feel connected to him.

Besides, they look bad-ass when I’m working out.

Blog

I started this blog on our first wedding anniversary, as my gift to both of us. T is a loyal follower, and not just because I threatened him with bodily harm. Reading my posts has given him some insight on what it is like for me to be back here waiting and worrying.

And that – despite the distance – has brought us closer together, too.

Read Part I here.

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3 responses to “Keeping Connected, Part II

  1. I can’t wait to hear more about “The New ME Diet”.

    “The Shit My Dad Says” will have you falling out of your chair with laughter! You know that phrase “kids say the darndest things”? It should really be “old men without filters say the darndest things”! LOL!

  2. This post is even more awesome than the first one.

    I’m with Jessica. I can’t wait to hear more about the diet plan!

    I too wear The Hubble’s dog tags when he’s gone. It just give me some symbol so that I can think of him constantly. It was weird to take them off when he got home!

    I’m so excited you two will be recommending books to one another!!! The Hubble and I do it every other month, not every month. That way we have a month to choose our own reading materials. I just finished his rec to me last night and I am working on my review!

    My little sister is giving me a nook soon (she bought it for my mom and is now going to buy my mom an ipad so I get the nook when my mom gets the ipad) so maybe I’ll let him take that during the next deployment. Or I’ll buy him a kindle. That’s a great idea!!!

  3. I love to read your blog. Probably one of the few that doesn’t have a loved one deployed. Had family in the service a long time ago, but not in harms way. Still, it brings faces to the many names and pictures that you read about. Many are affected by deployment, not just the moms and dads, but their loved ones. Hang in there. I do want to know about the book T recommended. Sounded like my mom could have been the ghost writer for it.

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