Life After The Uniform

On Our Own

My family has now been living on Civvie Street for three years. In some ways, it feels like longer, and in others, we still feel very connected to our military past. We had a discussion recently about how we would have most likely moved this past summer, which means that we’ve gone through one full “posting” out here. With the clarity of hindsight, we realize just how much we have learned.

Anyone who knows me knows that I like a plan … for everything. I’m the Queen of the Binder (complete with labeled dividers) to organize any project or event. And so, my husband retired from the military, changed careers and we moved across the country with a seamlessly organized flow of checklists and timelines. I know I have a lot of military soul sisters who can relate. What struck me after we got settled here though was that for the first time in our married lives, we were truly on our own.

What we hadn’t thought about before hand was how much the military actually contributed to the building of our lives – sometimes for the better, and sometimes for the worse. I thought of all of the aspects of our lives that the military had either strongly influenced or completely determined. This list included:

  • Where we lived
  • Our social circle
  • Our social calendar
  • My husband’s wardrobe
  • My wardrobe
  • When we took our holidays
  • Our children’s social circle
  • Our children’s education
  • The décor in our home

I’m sure this list could be a lot longer, if I thought about it some more. But, what became apparent shortly after my husband’s release, was that we would have to make these choices and decisions for ourselves now. The task was liberating and daunting at the same time. I’ll get more in depth about that in future blog posts, but suffice it to say, we were surprised at how easily we adapted to some things, and how challenging other things were.

How about you? Whether your spouse is retired or not … are there choices and decisions that you are happy to let the military handle for you? Or do you wish you had more control over these things?

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Laura Keller

Laura Keller has enjoyed writing for as long as she can remember. Eventually, she became the wife of a Combat Engineer and mom of three. After her husband's retirement, the Keller Krew settled in southwestern Ontario, where they readjusted to life after the uniform. The Keller family faced another readjustment when Laura’s husband passed away suddenly the summer of 2016. Laura had been contributing to CMF Magazine since its inception back in 2010.
Canadian Military Family Magazine