And how do we keep our balance? That I can tell you in one word…

I have come to a conclusion about the Navy.  I came to it as I was reflecting on my birthday this year, and our Easter celebration with the Midgets.  To preface, I’m a big fan of traditions.  And routines.  And schedules.

My conclusion about the Navy is that it does not allow for traditions.  Or routines.  Or schedules.

For the past several years, NavyGuy and I have done different things each year for my birthday, for Easter, for Christmas, Halloween – basically for almost every special occasion.  For most of my life growing up, each holiday or special occasion was a collection of rituals and familiarity; ham at Christmas, the kids’ table, search for your Easter basket, don’t tell your sister when you find hers, ho-ho cake for birthdays, Labor Day cookout at the camper, Uncle D plays Santa and hands out the gifts at Christmas, green jello pineapple rings, family.

Now every holiday and occasion is different.  And that isn’t always a bad thing, it’s just non-traditional.  As a Navy family, we don’t have a regular weekday schedule.  There is no such thing as a daily routine.  I suspect it’s because the Navy is built on traditions and routines and schedules; the beast that is the Navy doesn’t leave room for individuals to establish anything that resembles patterns or schedules in their own lives.  NavyGuy will be deployed for the next Thanksgiving.  Who knows if we’ll be able to establish any kind of tradition for how we celebrate our wedding anniversary.  Maybe he’ll be here for my birthday next year.  Deployment cycles are always changing, so NavyGuy could be around for a holiday one year, and not the next.  Some occasions we may celebrate with the same people, but more than likely, we’ll be living somewhere else and surrounded by a completely new squadron and new friends.  Traditions and routines and schedules and planning are no match for the Navy; it will win every time.

Which could really put me in a foul mood if I dwell on it.  However, even though I’m going to have to accept that routines and traditions are going to be few and far between for the foreseeable future, the Navy does allow for one important thing: memories.  I won’t always be spending holidays with the same people or doing the same thing to mark my birthday, but I can make sure there are memories.

Fellow Navy spouses – do you agree?  How have you dealt with this feature of Navy life?  (Or are you less concerned with tradition and routines?)

And for the rest of you – can you name the musical that’s quoted in the title? 🙂

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