January 28, 2011
By Jacey Eckhart
The laws of physics should not apply to me. Since I did not take Physics in high school, surely I am not bound by its rules and regulations. So when a ten inch…no, 12 inch….OK, OK…22 inch pile of wet snow was piled behind my VW Beetle this morning it was a fairly reasonable assumption for me to think I could just throw the car in reverse and back right over it.
And get stuck. Couldn’t rock forward. Couldn’t rock back. I threw the car into park. Damn this deployment!!!
Yes, I fear damning the deployment was my very first thought. Even though this is our family’s seventh deployment, I confess there was no cursing the snow. Cursing the car. Cursing my own magical thinking. I was not even thinking that even if Brad was not deployed he would already be at work and thus not available to dig me out of this drift.
Instead my first thought was to blame the deployment. Because blaming the deployment is always the first step in igniting my deploymentality.
People who have never undergone deployment or who did their deployments long, long ago forget this step in deploymentality. They think blaming the deployment is a sign of whining weakness. I don’t think so. I think it is natural, even fairly logical to blame bad stuff on the deployment. Going through deployment means that everything you do, everything that happens to you is automatically just a little bit harder than it has to be. It is like walking around with one foot in a pickle bucket. You can do just about everything, but it is awkward and you look fairly ridiculous.
I try not to think about that. Instead I think about igniting my deploymentality—that little bit of the brain that is bigger than the deployment, stronger than the separation, more powerful than one ordinary mortal is meant to be.
This morning my deploymentality heard me start cursing the deployment and kicked into gear. Instead of telling me I was an idiot and the neighbors were filming me for a hilarious segment on Tosh.0, my deploymentality told me I was flippin’ brilliant to have a garden shovel right on hand. My deploymentality congratulated me for having read and retained the USAA info about how to dig out of a drift. My deploymentality thought up a game I could play in which every shovelful of snow I dug out from under my wheels had to have a positive little thought attached.The snow was beautiful falling in the dark last night.
This is only temporary. There is a finite amount of snow under this car.
San Diego sure was a great place to live!
By the time I actually dug myself out of the drift, I was laughing over a memory of Brad “beaching” our huge white Oldsmobile 88 in the snow in front of our new housing in Rhode Island. We couldn’t see evidence of a drive under all that snow so he had to guess. Mercy, I love that guy.
Which is kind of where deploymentality always ends up, isn’t it. It takes you on the route through your hardships, through your annoyances, through your petty grievances and plops you right in the lap of love. Where you meant to be all along.
Jacey Eckhart is a military life consultant in Washington, DC. She is the author of "The Homefront Club" and the voice behind the award-winning CD "These Boots." Facebook Jacey or contact her at email@example.com.