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5 Rules to Simplify Your Military Life

Simplify on Chalkboard

by Dana Bretz

Who doesn’t like to keep things simple? When so many things in our lives are hectic, uncontrollable and downright crazy, it’s nice to be able to eliminate stress. Even if it’s in small areas, every hassle free moment is a major victory! Here are some tricks to keep you from losing your cool.

  1. Avoid the commissary on pay days. Unless you are a fan of cram packed isles, long lines and playing bumper carts, stay home! Frustrations will by running high and patience will be low. Add a couple of hungry kids to the mix and you have a recipe for disaster. Every single time I have went against my better judgement or simply forget what day it was, I have went home feeling like I just miraculously survived the zombie apocalypse. If you absolutely have to make a food run, save yourself, send your spouse!
  2. Learn how to tell military time. The military is all about being on time. We have all heard “If you’re not early, you’re late” so many times that we might as well cross stitch it on a pillow. The faster you learn how to convert military time into civilian time, the better. My trick is to just subtract 1200 from whatever time I need to convert. Who’s ready for a math problem? If your appointment at the clinic is at 1330, what time do you need to be there? Well, 1330 subtract 1200 equals 130. Throw the colon in the right place and you have just figured out that you need to arrive at 1:30. I know, I know this was kind of a trick question because we need to make sure we are always 10 minutes early, but you get the picture. I’m sure there are many other ways to convert time, that’s this girls…and I’m pretty simple.
  3. Avoid using ink in those address books. For those of us who actually keep actual address books, this is an important one. It’s almost laughable to think about how many times I’ve had to update addresses. It’s wonderful to live a life where you get to make so many lasting friendships, it’s a nightmare to try to keep track of said fantastic friends. You could always throw the book out the window and keep a nice database on your computer. However way you decide to stay on top of things, just make sure you do. The relationships you make are priceless in this life.
  4. Just take a minute to learn about OPSEC. Operations Security may not seem that important to a spouse, but think again. With social media being the preferred method of communication these days, military spouses need to be mindful of some things. It’s probably not the best idea to share when your spouse is going on TDY’s, deployments, specific flight information or even work schedules. We need to be mindful of the information we put out there. When in doubt, keep it private. Some of you may be thinking, is she serious? Can a military spouse really breach security? Absolutely. It has happened. Can you imagine the amount of stress that came along with that? So save yourself some grief and think twice before you share that status. For a quick course in OPSEC awareness check out http://cdsetrain.dtic.mil/opsec/.
  5. Remember that military spouses do not have rank. I cannot stress this enough. It’s no secret that there can be some division between spouses in the military community. But, why? Why, does this dreadful issue rear its ugly head so often? Unfortunately, some tend to forget that we have zero rank. You are you! It really is that simple. This issue can get quite messy, if we let it. Save the drama for the theatre and please don’t let your spouse’s rank determine how you treat people. We all play for the same team, people! Get over it already.
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