Finding a Better Way – Where’s the Truck? by Beth Steinke
find•ing/ˈfīndiNG/ (from Google)
Noun: 1) The action of finding someone or something: “the finding of numerous dead rats”.
2) A conclusion reached as a result of an inquiry, investigation, or trial.
It is the courageous act of making today better than yesterday that has me so in awe of Military Spouses. I challenged myself (and all of you) to find one thing that I could control and to find a better way. For me, I was creating my own chaos by staying in bed until the last possible moment each morning as if I somehow liked the drama that all that rushing around created. You know, the thrill of “Will I be able to make it to work on time if I sit here for two more minutes?” I am so excited to report that my push to get out of bed just five minutes earlier had a dramatic effect on each morning’s outcome. But, Mr. Chaos must have missed me. In the early days of my newly minted plan to find a better way, I made it to the car early not once, not twice, but three times – in THE SAME MORNING!! I calmly handled that crisis with expertise knowing I wasn’t going to be late for work – all because I had given myself that slight edge that put me on top of my morning. Confident and proud I headed off to work – on time.
Oh, but it was what was to come that makes this story great. The very next day – day three of the new me – as I pulled out of the garage, into the driveway – I stopped dead in my tracks. You see, for two years we have lived in this nice little community but for some reason, the neighborhood has all red curbs – no parking – including directly in front of our house. We have been told by our neighbors that it was not really a big deal if you needed to park there. For nearly two years that was indeed the case. The evening before my morning glory story, I noticed my son’s truck on the red curb. Being the “kind and caring” mother that I am, I hollered up the stairs for him to move his truck into the driveway. In an effort to avoid the annoying prospect of having to shuffle the cars around later, he opted to respond with a completely well thought out, teenage response of “Oh Mom, It’ll be okay.” Teenagers are expert at conserving their energy. I never really gave it a second thought – good sense and tired Moms must not be able to co-exist in the same space in time. Fast forwarding to the next morning, I suppose that you all can guess what happened. The sitcom that is my life would certainly have made this a hit episode.
There are so many takeaways from my little tale of terror (alright, that could be overly dramatic but I really thought the truck had been stolen). First and foremost, have an emergency fund. $260 for unexpected impound and towing fees could have meant the difference between eating that month and getting the vehicle back except for our emergency fund. My next big takeaway is to speak kindly. My son was mortified once he realized his truck was gone and I realized sharply (maybe for the first time) that I massively impact the stress level during a crisis situation. If I remain calm and go straight into problem solving mode, everyone responds in kind. And lastly, that giving myself a cushion of time at the beginning of the day by getting up just 5 minutes earlier, I can conquer almost anything.
As Military Spouses, we face challenges like this all the time. But, by changing one small thing at a time, we can take back some power from what often feels like a life spinning out of control. The power of getting up five minutes earlier gave me a welcome confidence to handle this unexpected and stressful situation. And I was only 15 minutes late for work!
Money, time, bad habits, focus, attitude – what is your challenge? I want to hear from you. Email Beth at [email protected]
Beth is a proud, active duty Navy wife who has faced head on the peaks and valleys of a military life. She knows all too well the struggles of deployment, the thrill of homecomings and the uncertainty of next year. Together, she and her husband, Roger have raised 3 boys. The oldest has been in the Navy for 6 years and the youngest son attends college at California State University, San Marcos. The middle son is still searching for his passion in life. For many years, Beth worked on behalf of military families with Operation Homefront, a non-profit supporting military families struggling with the challenges of deployment and pain of injury recovery. At their current duty station in San Diego, CA, Beth works for a business coaching and training company as part of their corporate development team.
Beth Steinke is a Military Spouse and a Military Mom. I am in awe of all Military Spouses and Military Moms. They serve too and handle so much. They do it very well. I am also impressed at the these goal-driven women who can move mountains. Happy Mother’s Day to all.