Monday, October 3, 2011

Into the Green

There are many deployment rituals to help count down to homecoming.  Some people make a paper chain and remove one link each day to count down ...


Some people keep a huge jar of M&Ms and eat one (or let their kids eat one) each day...

this would be dangerous for me...

And some people keep excel programs on their computer like the popular "Donut of Misery" that counts down the years, months, days, hours, minutes, and even seconds...  It is mildly depressing to be able to see see how many seconds my husband has been gone. 


a random example of the donut

As of right now, according to my Donut, John has been gone 5, 581, 615 seconds. 5 MILLION. Awesome.  If that isn't a case of too much information I'm not sure what is.

For me, my countdown technique is more simple.  If you are a friend or family member of mine you know that I have a slight addiction to all things paper and stationery.  Buying a new calendar every year is an exciting occasion (I just ordered my 2012 refill and it was way too much fun choosing what I wanted).   I would be totally lost without my planner.  As of right now I don't have a blackberry or iPhone nor do I really care for the idea of keeping my life planned electronically.  I used Outlook at work because I needed to separate my "social" from "work" calendar and my secretary and co-workers could schedule appointments for me and send them to me easily.  But for my everyday life, paper and pen is what I prefer.

Every week I note the number of day's John has been gone.  Somewhat depressing but it also gives me a sense of accomplishment.  This week marks days 146 through 152.  That is a lot of bedtimes, baths, meals, holidays, weekends, and milestones that Kate, Connor, and I have done solo.  And while it is sad to look at it from a general standpoint, it is also something for me to celebrate.  I have done okay and we have been happy and healthy.  Plus, the days tick by. Surely and steadily.

John left last May and the calendar tabs in my planner were red...  When we hit July they turned orange...  Because I am always looking for something to look forward to, a baby step to get excited about (pumpkin spice, anyone?), I noticed that October, November, and December were a fitting color - green. 



Green is a color that tends to represent forward motion, easiness, and simplicity.  We all want to get the green light when we are driving.  We want green grass, green trees, and are usually happy to have a green beer in March.  "Going Green" these days tends to evoke thoughts of change and innovation. 

This year, for me, green represents being close to having my husband home. 




6 comments:

Karen said...

Yay for green! Question - what type of planner do you use? I have a slight addiction to planners and have yet to succeed in my quest to find the perfect one for me.

Keep Calm and Have a Cosmo said...

I use a classic sized Franklin Covey binder with two-pages per week view and calendar tabs. My life isn't complicated enough for a page per day but it is nice to know I can switch if necessary. This year my pages were their Botanica line.

I have used Day Timer in the past. I like the paper choices FC uses more. They have professional lines (which are more boring) but they also have lines that have more color and intrigue for everyday.

sanctimomious said...

great post! When Chris was gone during the time we were living in the tiny house, we did a paper chain. Except I started it about 2-3 months out, and in the 9x9 foot kitchen it meant we had to run it from wall to wall about 8 times. It was a south american fiesta in there!!

Glad to hear you are 'going green'. I hope time flies.....

Melanie said...

You are an inspiration not only to military mothers (fathers in some deployment cases) but to mothers all over! Almost there Jill!

Laura said...

Ah, the Donut of Misery. It was slightly depressing. Particularly, when used on deployments where the 100% went over by several weeks.. ! I used Day Timer, when I was working in R.E. My only frustration with it, was the size of the one I really needed for personal/business. I carry a wristlet purse...

Elizabeth @ The Young Retiree said...

I never did the donut of misery (we've been through two in the two years we've been married!) and I know I will not for this next one. I, like you, keep track of the days he's been gone and don't really count down to homecoming until the month or so before he gets back. I could never do the kisses in a jar or M&Ms! My counting will start again rather soon and I think I am going to do a paper chain to make for him when he gets back with one thought on it each and every day!

Hi, I'm Jill!

Hi, I'm Jill!
Extrovert. Mom of two. Wife of a cute Naval Aviator. Lover of wine. When I'm not chasing my two kids around town you will find me writing, taking too many photos, and researching the ten future areas the Navy could potentially (but probably won't) PCS us. We are fish out of water, landlocked at 7,000 feet. For now.

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