I know there’s a lot of sad posts about deployment. I know there’s a lot of “you can do it champ” style upbeat articles about deployment. Complete with Kirsty Alsop worthy craft projects to “keep you busy” and also make you spend a ridiculous amount on chalk based paint in B&Q and leave you with what was a perfectly good chest of drawers looking like something from Barbies Ikea Dream Palace.
There are also a lot of articles written about taking up a new hobby to fill those hours that deployment has left you with. Such as learning French, going to the gym or other worthy self-improvement activity.
Unfortunately, after doing a couple of deployments following the above advice I do have a bit of a problem with the practicality of its application.
Firstly- I do not have the time nor inclination to randomly start hacking furniture apart after I’ve said goodbye to Popeye. I may want to take apart furniture but that is mostly from rage and not through a new feeling of domestic pride or energy.
It does not fill me joy and a sense of satisfaction to sand and paint and sand and paint and venture into THE SHED OF DOOM to find a screw or Allen key in the pursuit of a home makeover.
It has never been a Kirsty Alsop experience. My floral dress get ruined, the dog ends up covered in masking tape and I end up thinking sod the whole thing I’m going to eat chocolate and watch Friends on the sofa.
Secondly- taking up a soul balancing, calm inducing hobby is a lot easier said than done.
I’ve found that after Popeye has deployed I don’t actually have that much extra time to myself.
It gets filled up quickly with having to do 100% of the life admin stuff overnight. All of a sudden I’m responsible for all bathtimes, lunchboxes, clean clothes,
healthy dinners AND breaking up World War 3 that erupts in the living room over whose turn it is to watch Peppa Pig or Nella the Princess Knight. Diplomacy in the Land of Oyl takes a up a lot of my headspace during a deployment.
With all the above there is little time to learn French apart from the difference between Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.
My gym involves running around after two toddlers and a mad dog.
I do make sure to have something planned each weekend. Just something simple like meeting up for coffee with a friend or going to
hell soft play with the kids.
Then one day is a PJ day and then we are back on the treadmill again.
Take it from me, grand designs are all well and good but they are just that: Designs.
Keep busy doing the everyday and you will get there.
My patented Wine and Chocolate on the Sofa method has been tried and tested and is way more successful at keeping me sane, teaching me French AND I don’t have to go searching in the shed or take out shares in Dulux to achieve it-
My home might not be up cycled to it to it’s eyebrows but it’s a place of everyday comfort. And that is what I need most when getting through a deployment.
So, take your bra off, stick Sabrina on Netflix and relax. You’ve got this.
Muchos love Olive.