September 16, 2010

Deployment Goal Month 3: Reading

This third month was a hard month for reading for me. I don't have much free time to read, and once I get the kids in bed I just don't seem to have the energy to open a book. I started a book called "Behind the Blue Star Banner", and I just couldn't keep reading it. It was driving me nuts. Maybe it gets better the more you read, but I just decided it wasn't for me. The author is going through her first deployment, and as we all know deployments are hard and in general they suck. Unfortunately the tone of the book just came across as whiny. As I am going through my third deployment, I've already learned that complaining isn't going to change the fact that my husband is in the Army and has to deploy. It is wasted energy to whine or complain about the things we cannot change. Don't get me wrong, I do whine and complain sometimes, but I would not write a whole book about it and I won't spend my time reading one about it either.

At the same time that I was struggling through the above book, I was able to listen to "The Five Love Languages" by Gary Chapman. Military OneSource has this book on audio playaway for free. (Google audio playaway--it is a great little contraption to listen to a book, and is great if you are taking a walk or washing dishes.) I had been wanting to read this book for a long time, but I hadn't really read or even thought about what the 5 love languages actually were. When I listened to it, it became very clear what my language is: Quality Time. Hearing that chapter made me understand why I was struggling so badly in the months (or maybe it was more like the year) before Pat deployed. He spent such long hours at work that we had no quality time together. And because we were so busy during the week days, some chores and errands fell to the weekends. Thus the weekends didn't even supply us with enough quality time to fill my love tank. While I don't think this book is groundbreaking, I do feel like it helped shine a spotlight on something that was previously in a dimly lit room for me. I knew I wanted quality time, but I wasn't aware that it was my love language. I knew I was unhappy with the current state of things, but it was as if I couldn't figure out why I was bothered so much. So in the end this book really helped me discover what I need in my marriage.
As for my husband, I'm not going to share with you what his love language is (or rather what I believe it to be). I could have probably told you his love language without reading the book, but it did give me ideas on how I can express my love to him while speaking his language.
I do recommend this book. Whether you feel like your love tank is leaning toward empty or you are in a love euphoria state, this book helps teach you how to express your love in a language your partner understands and gives ideas of how to show that love in ways you may not have thought of.

Now I'm starting "Eat, Pray, Love", which is another free book on Military OneSource. I'm struggling to get into it but hoping it gets better. I'm sure you'll be able to read what I think of it next month.

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