Sometime in the past year, I met a very inspiring woman who told me the stories of her “humble beginnings” as a military spouse. This woman is the owner and president of a successful, booming government contract company. Her husband, a service-disabled veteran, is the CEO. They have a beautiful family, a beautiful home, and they are good to their employees. She shared hilarious stories of their first duty station with Husband and I, and memories from their first years together as newlyweds. And seriously? She’s definitely my most real role model.
I’ve now come to love that term, humble beginnings. These are our humble beginnings. Sometimes I get frustrated, seeing how far ahead of us other couples are, especially the ones that are close to us in age. I get jealous that they have so much, or have accomplished so much, and I wish we were there too. But I am slowly acquiring the patience and wisdom to sit back and tell myself— STOP. Those are not your humble beginnings, that is not your story. You’re living your story your way, and you’re doing the best you can. In the end, that’s all you can really do or say, right?
Husband and I don’t have a lot of extra money, but we work really, really hard. We never air our dirty laundry in public. We try to never fight in front of other people— it’s so tacky. We don’t own a home, and we have two car payments. Aside from our beds & our desks, all of our furniture is hand-me-downs from my family… beautiful & solid hand-me-downs, because my family has exquisite taste, but hand-me-downs nonetheless. We have big goals and bigger dreams. Sometimes, we drive through neighborhoods with big houses, pick out the ones we wish could be ours, and say, “Oh look, there’s our house. Honey, did you leave the light on?”
Our china cabinet is filled with an assortment of sparkly new crystal from our wedding and family heirlooms from both sides of our family. We’ve discovered that martini glasses should not be left in the freezer door to chill, because we’ve each broken a beautiful new martini glass from swinging the freezer door open too fast. We’re down to two.
We’re struggling with this work-life-love balance… but we’re strongest in the love department. Never-ending, unconditional love for each other. Work and life? That balance is hit or miss. One week we’ll both excel at work and let the house become a mess and eat take-out every night. Another, we’re struggling to get out of bed in the morning after staying up late cleaning, watching movies, or feasting on trial & error home-cooked meals from the previous evening.
We’re learning things together— big and little life lessons. Like, did you know you have to put the Christmas tree in water right away, not 2 days later? Yeah. Learned that one quick. Or that hanging pictures & wall art can be pretty easy, as long as you have the right tools? That mice in kitchen pantries even show up in the cleanest of houses, and that Tupperware can be a great investment? We know that Husband doesn’t mind vacuuming, while I prefer to mop. He’ll take out the garbage, and I’ll clean the toilets. Washing dishes is a chore we divide up, because we both hate doing them. Laundry? Joshua does his weekly. I’m lucky if I get to mine once a month.
Sundays are always reserved for military haircuts and picking up the newspaper for coupons. Sometimes, Husband’s hair doesn’t come out as he likes it and he gets upset. Some days, the paper doesn’t have any coupons & I get upset. On random occasions, he just shaves his hair off at home & we forget all about getting the paper.
Mondays are for $5 burritos at Moes. Our love for burritos began long before our marriage, and it’s kind of our thing. On his last deployment to Afghanistan, I waited a whole 7 months before having a burrito, because it didn’t seem fair to have one without him, when he couldn’t. We love our Moe Mondays.
The best part of every day is when we finally get into our comfy, pillow-top, queen-sized bed together, Husband on his back, my head on his chest, Lady by our pillows or feet. We set our alarms for work the next day, kiss each other goodnight, and off to sleep we go.
These are our humble beginnings.