August 30, 2016

“Once I get a raise…”
“Once I lose 10 pounds…”
“Once I retire…”
“Once we find out where we are moving next…”

When is the right time to chase your dreams, to make a change, to travel the world? When is the right time to go back to school, to change jobs? When is the right time for anything, really?

There are these huge gaps in time where sometimes I feel like Nick and I have to put our lives on hold for a while. Sometimes we are waiting to hear where we are moving next, or just trying to survive a particuarily difficult time, or trying to get settled, or actually in transition moving from one place to the next. There is constant waiting. There is constant change.

Don’t get me wrong, I love all of it. There really is no other life I would rather be living with my husband. I love the changes and the adventure, and I love that Nick and I are always doing something new. But you can love something that is hard. It’s easy — and sometimes just necessary — for both of our lives to revolve around the military. It’s easy to just feel like I’m waiting — waiting for the next thing, waiting on the military to dictate our lives, waiting for my life to begin.

It takes months to pack up a house, move, unload all of our stuff, and settle in. The movers packed us up in June, and we still don’t have our stuff! We’re living on borrowed pots and pans and rented furniture. I’ve felt like we have been in transition, like our life has been put on hold, for over two months.

These days, I keep finding myself saying, “Once the movers come and I can get the house organized….”

But before that, when we lived in Connecticut, I kept saying, “Once we get to Hawaii…”

Before that, I kept saying, “Once we find out where we are moving next…”

Before that, it was, “Once we get through this move to Connecticut…”

And, gosh, before that, it was, “Once we decide whether or not Nick is staying in the military…”

But you know what? I’m not alone in in this. I’m sure that whether you are a military spouse or not, you can relate to these feelings. Because everyone has something that is holding them back. Because everyone has something that they are just trying to get through. Because there is always something standing in the way of doing what you really want to do.

But everyone should also have the chance to ignore those things that are holding them back. Everyone should have the chance to enjoy their life, no matter what stage they are in. Everyone should have the chance to overcome whatever it is in their life that is holding them back. Everyone have the chance to find happiness any place they can.

So, I’m done putting my dreams on hold. I’m done just trying to “just get through” the hard times. I’m done using struggles as excuses. I’m going to make right now the right time. The right time to be happy, the right time to chase my dreams, the right time to just enjoy life.

make now the right time finding ithaka (1 of 1)Because through all the waiting, all the uncertainty, and all the transitions, one of the most important things that military life has taught me is how to enjoy the here and now. I’m going to enjoy this time for what it is — the hardness and the craziness and the beautiful times that will undoubtedly emerge. I’m not going to wish my life away. I’m going to find the good wherever I can. I’m going to treat every weekend like a special occasion, because it is. I’m going to embrace the challenges that military life has and work on them, not just try to get through them.

And I’m going to make sure to keep on writing, no matter how busy I get or how hard it is.

Life in Hawaii is so good and I don’t want to miss any of it because I am thinking about how hard something else is.

So whatever it is in your life that you’ve always wanted to do, go do it. Don’t wait until life calms down. Don’t wait for the right time. Make now the right time.

This week, take the first step towards something you’ve always wanted to do. Let me know how it goes!

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8 responses to “Don’t wait for your life to begin.”

  1. Jen says:

    I definitely agree with enjoying the here and now! It’s important to follow your dreams even though the military can put a damper on them sometimes.

    • Carolann says:

      The military definitely makes it hard. I had to quit a job I loved right after I had gotten my masters and a sweet promotion! But I’m realizing that I’ve been kind of using military life as an excuse to put off the things I really want to do. No more!!

  2. Holly says:

    Love love love love love!!!! I’ve said for a long time that I want to “live in the moment” and I’ve put off a lot of stuff in the past because I wasn’t following that advice. This past year, I have done a lot of things I said I would wait just because I was sick of waiting–traveling is one of them. And next year I am planning to do even more of that!!

    I am glad the movers are finally there and you can get settled again, but I am also glad that you are living your life as much as possible anyway 🙂

    • Carolann says:

      I’m so so so glad that you are traveling more. I feel like over the two years I’ve known you, you’ve blossomed so much. I see you living in the moment, trying new things, and just being yourself and I love it. It’s so inspiring to me. Traveling more —- that includes Hawaii, right?!?!

  3. Audrey says:

    Good for you, Carolann! It’s so easy to say, “I’ll do that once XYZ happens…” I know I catch myself doing a lot. K and I try to be aware that we’re only guaranteed right now- not “someday.” It’s important to go after what you want!

    • Carolann says:

      I really think that military life has made me more spontaneous, more in the moment. I lived in New York my entire life before I got married, but I never went to NYC or took advantage of all that New York had to offer. When you only live somewhere for a short period of time, or when you only have a short amount of time with your husband/friends/family, I feel like it makes you appreciate the moment even more. It’s kind of bittersweet, but it’s made me learn that all we have is the here and now and that we should take advantage of that whenever we can.

  4. Irene says:

    This is such a wonderful post! Have a nice day:)

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