We don't have a date yet. Afghanistan will have to be content with the back burner until we are given a deployment date. In the mean time, Afghanistan is also on our back burner, always in the back of my mind, catching my eye in the headlines, stealing my attention in military discussions... Sapper has 4 deployments to Iraq under his belt, not including an unaccompanied year at the former Camp Howse near the DMZ in Korea. Never-the-less, it isn't deployment, per se, that befuddles me-I'll cross that bridge, once again, when I get to it. No, these days, in the time between that next deployment and that time when soldiers are, theoretically, supposed to be "recovering" and healing from the last one, supposedly "reintegrating" into regular, American, civilian life, not only are they preparing other units to deploy as well as themselves, (field exercises and long hours at ranges, for example), they're just not really at home. I don't know what others' experiences are, but much of the time, it's like still being a single parent: running the household, managing medicines, appointments, yard work, killing wasps, dealing with freezer repairmen, responding when the school calls, and all other household duties, in addition to trying to manage one's own needs (not very good at that yet) on my own, except this other ghost in a uniform comes home from the field or whatever other duty now and then.
I've found that I actually do deployment quite well, once the initial hit wears off-once the first few weeks of near-overwhelming tears subside and regular life takes over. I get into my routine, which I've pretty much maintained the entire time Sapper has been home anyway, and I'm fine. No, it's this business in between deployments that has me in bubbles, brick silos, or what ever you want to call it. Since Sapper came back from Korea, he hasn't truly been ours. Well, the Army lets us have him from time to time, but, the time between deployments in past years, used to actually belong to the family. Soldiers will always carry their combat wounds (physical and mental) but these days, it seems like even when he's home, there's still one foot out the door. He says he wants to be with us, do something, whatever, but spends a lot of time in some sort of man-cave. Barking dogs, a running laundry machine, and kids-being-kids-doing-what-kids-do put him on edge these days. Don't invite him to the hockey game-it's more than he can handle. Do I ask him if he can be at the house when the youngest gets off the bus one day, or if he can cover an appointment so I can handle another obligation? Do I ask him to stop in at the pharmacy to pick up a refill?
Most days, I just handle all the daily and non-daily household, child, and other tasks, chores, and errands myself. It's what I'm used to doing. It's easier. Or, maybe that's a cop-out. But most of the time, even if he has a day off, I just go about my business. If one of the boys has an appointment, we just go. If I need someone here when the youngest gets off the bus, I arrange something with a neighbor. That's what my routine has been for nearly a decade. Sometimes it doesn't even cross my mind to see if Sapper is available that day, or if he wants to go to that appointment. To my defense, though, some days it just doesn't seem like he has anything to give. So don't ask.
So, anyway, according to Abraham-Hicks, these are all upstream thoughts. How does one move from these upstream thoughts to downstream thoughts? I'm sure life would feel better going downstream-paddling upstream is such hard work, and, as I'm told, there's nothing that we want upstream. I get the analogy; I just can't figure out how to apply it to specific situations. Is downstream focussing on solutions? Or is downstream simply letting things go? Not focusing on them? Or is it focusing only on happy things?