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Making The Most Of It

Make sure that you are well aware of all the things your community has that can support you and make military life a little easier. Take a few minutes to explore what your community has to offer.

It is that time of year again, when we hear about postings, the possibility of moving to another base, unit, city or province or discovering we have to stay somewhere we were hoping to leave. Whether you are moving or staying where you are – it will be easier for your family and yourself if you can focus on what you have rather than what you don’t. Try to see it as an opportunity, make plans on how you will make the most of it and accept that it is your reality. By now, you are probably reading this thinking, “Who is this annoying Mary Poppins like person?” I am not always positive or upbeat. I have had postings that I have dreaded, ones that I didn’t go on and ones that I couldn’t wait for the end to come, but then when they came I was left with some surprising feelings of sadness.
Postings and moves are what you make them. The MFRCs are constantly offering the gift of time to parents (a true gift) and have wonderful programs available. I cannot believe the amount of advertising some of them need to do to get people through the door. I have had the privilege of being posted to Petawawa (yes, I said it) and have been on bases across North America. I decided early on that I would take help and use what was being offered to maintain my sanity (or, a healthy level of insanity at the least).
I know firsthand that moving, going through a deployment or military life, in general, can drain the life right out of you. It often feels easier to stay at home and hunker down, but what I have discovered is that the best things that have happened to me didn’t happen from my couch.

For what its worth, my advice is…

  • Do a Google search and find out what fun and different things there are to do in the area
  • Get the rest of your family thinking positively by playing “Did you know?” – You come up with interesting facts about where you are moving to (or staying at) and quiz them about it (we have even done it where they have to go off and find things too)
  • Visit your local MFRC and find out what services they offer
  • Go onto the internet and do a search or onto Facebook and ask families that are already living on these bases what tips they have for you and ask them to tell you the best things about living there
  • Whether you are staying or going, your posting is a reality – you can spend all of your time thinking about what you are going to give up and lose or you can decide to look at it as an opportunity to have a new adventure and learn about yourself. The spin you put on it will also rub off on the rest of your family
  • If you have children, do some research about local schools and find out some things these schools do that might also interest your children
  • Tell your family members about a time when you had to deal with a lot of changes and all of the good things that came out of it
  • Find some funny or unique pictures of where you are moving to and include them in an email to everyone with your change of address and information
  • Take time to introduce yourself to your neighbours and ask them for help when you need it, offer it when you can
  • Walk or drive around the base or town and check things out with your family and see what gets them interested (we drove around and found one of the most impressive parks with play equipment most schools can only dream of having my kids instantly began to warm up to the move)
  • Go to your local library and find out about events happening in your community
  • Ask your family what they would like to do or participate in. Don’t assume it will be the same interests year after year
  • Visit the local stores and look at the flyers people and organizations have put up
  • Local coffee shops and restaurants have advertising for camps, activities and even deployment information take a moment to stop and read their bulletin board
  • Read the local newspaper to get ideas of things to do in your community

Make sure that you are well aware of all the things your community has that can support you and make military life a little easier. Take a few minutes to explore what your community has to offer. You could end up creating some wonderful memories and lasting experiences that you will not have when you sit at home and hope that happiness and adventure will knock on your door and find you – that is just someone trying to sell you a driveway sealer or some lawn care you don’t need!

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Megan Egerton

Megan Egerton is a military wife, mother of two, principal and writer. Author of While You Were Away:101 Tips for Families Experiencing Absence or Deployment

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