It sounded very exciting to hear that we would be leaving the United States and going to live in Europe. For us the closest we had been to a foreign land was Epcot in Florida. Now we have ventured across the pond to Germany. We were full of questions but one we never considered was, How would it change us?
Here are a few things that we will remember before going back to the States;
1) Never again tell someone in the States to only speak English.
I do not know German. I have only learned a few phrases that have gotten me through the day. I feel so much better when the person I am talking to speaks English. I should learn more German but I find it to be a hard language for me to learn.
2) There is a difference between 110 volts and 220 volts.
Plugging an item into the wrong voltage plug can cause you to spend a lot of money on replacing them. Paying attention to the volts is a lesson one learns very quickly. Especially when it is your computer that you plugged in wrong.
3) Recycling is extremely important.
I have learned the importance of recycling and how it influences the German economy. Everything is recycled and though it is difficult and frankly, a pain in the neck to do, the rewards for doing it outnumber the pain it takes to do it.
4) Learn your History, remember it and respect it.
To live where history has happened is an amazing and a wonderful gift. Everyone should learn the history of where they live. History good or bad keeps us all connected.
So, what do you think are the most important things you have learned by living somewhere else?
About a month ago I started noticing that the school supply section in the store was being put together. It was looking great and man, who doesn’t like a new set of pencils, pens and colored crayons to give to their children for the upcoming new school year.
I started to get upset for a moment as I remembered how one year I had followed that school supply list to the letter. I got my daughter the best pens, folders, notebooks and yes, even fancy aloe tissues, four boxes because it was cheaper to buy them in bulk. I was proud I put everything into my daughter’s backpack and sent her off to school. I felt like I had given her the best of the best. This school year was going to be great.
I was so excited to see her when she came home from that first day and when I did see her, I asked, “How was your day?” She told me that all the nice pens, folders and notebooks had been all gathered together and redistributed back out to the students. She shook her head and said, ” That’s okay, I do not mind, but can you go and re-buy me those pretty notebooks, folders and pens you put in my bag this morning as I no longer have them as my own?”
Here’s the Thing…those items were for my daughter to use. Never were they suppose to be gathered together and redistributed to other students. She was to be the one who was to benefit from choices we made when going over the school supply list. When I spoke to the Teacher I was informed that, “No, the supplies are gathered then given out to the students on a need basis.” After a short discussion, I gathered all the supplies that I had bought and returned the other items back the Teacher.
Redistribution at its best. My daughter was smiling once again.
That was the last time I ever really followed the school supply list. This year will be no different.
I could not take it anymore and had to go to the doctor’s office. So today I went and asked him why my neck is constantly aching. I rambled on and his face was blank but attentive. He was a good listener as I described how my neck seems to be hurting more lately. With a straight face he folded his arms and began to tell me that what I had there is no cure. I panicked, wondering what was I going to do and with no cure…..He paused, stepped back and leaned against the door of the small examination room and flatly told me.
I am suffering from, “shaking head syndrome.”
He continued on, that if I am interested in trying for a cure it would be to stop watching others do silly things, avoid all contact with those who are not being intelligent and make sure that whatever I do, I stop shaking my head.
“No amount of shaking your head will make them stop what they are doing,” he declared with a bit of exasperation in his voice.
I sat and stared at him, “How in the world am I going to be able to do that? Silly things seem to be happening all around me, all the time!”
“Just know if you do not stop, your neck pain will get worst. So, what is it going to be?”
I realized right then and there that this was serious and I needed to stop seeing the silly stuff that happens each day.
So..starting today…no more, I am going to conquer this I will make sure that…I guess…I guess I will let it go…..
It’s not working.
There is not a cure for this.
I was asked, “What is the one thing that is important to learn while being in the Military.”
I confidently stated, “Learn to count.”
You can learn how to do everything else but counting is really important and is a mandatory action for everyone. Most times counting starts with counting to ten. It allows you to refocus your thoughts, review the situation you are in and then allows you to respond in a manner that is measured. Your breathing has the opportunity to go back to normal and your stress level mellows with each number. It does not matter where you practice counting. It can be at the vehicle registration office, in your car, at the commissary, or even at the PX.
The counting to ten group is a large group and joining it can be a daily thing. But there is a larger group of people who are counting. They are the ones counting the days, months, or years that they will return to a place they consider to be better than the one they are currently living. This group includes all those who are counting down the days for a deployment to be over, changing their duty station (PCS) or plain old leaving the Military (ETS).
So, counting is the most important thing to learn.
All learn it …
Eventually do it..
51 weeks and a wake up.
It has become apparent that there seems to be a lack of self-discipline/respect lately. It seems as if everyone is scrambling to find the latest way to brag, steal, judge and destroy all that is simple, respectful and responsible. Could we blame it on, poor upbringing, bad genes, lack of education or just plain old stupidity? Maybe it is the fault of the school system or …gasp…poor parenting?
I am not sure but I can assure you, that finding someone, anyone who has been properly trained in the essence of etiquette, is far and few between. I am not talking about socialites, I am referring to everyday people who one encounters that do not seem to understand basic courtesies.
I am sure someone out there is saying, “What gives you the right to judge what I do?” Because for better or worse, you represent me too. You are out there spewing your crazy stupid God only knows what and the rest of us suffer. It can be overlooked BUT when you start crying out the, “It was not my fault or that was not me” crap you are in essence saying you’re an idiot. There is no way around that. You do everything you can to blame it on someone else but truly you are the only one to blame.
So…stop it. Plain and simple. Stop doing stupid things and admit that you need to learn how to behave in a public setting. Take your time getting dressed in the morning, brush your teeth, clean your house, clothes, and car regularly. And for Pete’s sake, stop blaming everyone else for your poor decisions. Really no one made you put those clothes on. You did and frankly, someone should have had the decency to tell you not to. They would have said something if they knew that you were not going to blast them in social media.
See, when one learns manners they also learn to tell others what they really should not be wearing thus sparing the rest of us from witnessing a true disaster. It also assists in avoiding the embarrassment that can occur when society really can not handle seeing you in a bad way.
So…maybe it is time to stop and think about what you are wearing, saying and doing when you are out in public. Maybe then there would not be so many social media sites dedicated to your lack of manners. You are not in the position to be upset or mad when they bring it to your attention.
Just do the right thing…THANK THEM and never, EVER do it again.
I enjoy watching this show. I enjoy being a critic; analyzing and seeing if it really depicts the Army life. I giggle at some of the story line, shake my head and secretly wish they would emphasize more of the true reality.
Foolishly, I had turned to this forum to give me some idea of what living in the military would be like, would there be sincere friendships or back stabbing snobby from those pretending to care?
What I have learned is there is both. This show even with its typical stereotype characters does accomplish the stupidity that runs in the ranks of the military. It shows how the military runs by pressuring wives to be nothing more than tools to further the career of their husbands and how wives back stab and maneuver their power by using their husbands rank.
Drama sells, being in other people’s business makes those living it realize that they are not alone. Some learn to justify their own actions from watching those playing “characters” Some seek solutions to their own problems by watching characters of a show solve their concerns.
But…..Here’s the thing….Promoting poor behavior like “pushy rank seeking wives” does not promote camaraderie. Even if this behavior does happen, they should be promoting healthier relations. A trend away from the political drama stances would benefit the show as well. As in this last episode, a little more about how the financially strapped family got help would far better assist a viewer who may in the same situation than watching about the Don’t ask, Don’t tell politics.
If they should be showing anything, it should be the lack of physical fitness . Most military spouses are extremely overweight and in need of a healthy diet. Stress runs high in the military family and coping with this truly should be emphasized.
The show is entertaining to watch. Hopefully these others topics will rise to the surface to provide those who are true die-hard fans the tools they need to be more whole in their military life experience. Then again…it is only TV.
I need to make a confession, I was a civilian before I became a part of the Military community. When we made a family decision to “serve our Country” I will admit I had little knowledge of how other military “wives” viewed those who do not serve. It irritates me to no end and even horrifies me when I read other military blogs who say things such as this: (she is talking about a reunion with her husband at an airport)
“While I could not be more thrilled to see my husband that much sooner, it kind of creeps me out that we will have our very public private moment surrounded by civilians who just don’t get it. People who gawk at men and women in uniform walking through airports. People who snap pictures of couples reuniting without a clue how precious that moment is for them. ”
I am not sure if she realized that her words are extremely disrespectful to civilians. I can only guess she must be very young and inexperienced to write such gibberish. Still, it is time to get off the pedestal and stop thinking that she is somehow entitled to a “special” reunion.
Here’s the thing….Be happy he came home!… Enjoy the moment regardless of where you become reunited! Do not be so self-absorbed. Just enjoy and embrace your moment. If others want to take pictures of you, cheer you on or smile in your direction, let them…Enough said.