Think of any word. Search it on Google Images. Write something inspired by the 11th image.
After much deliberation, I chose the word waiting. The 11th image was this one, which was labeled something to do with a cat waiting for the mail. Looks more to me like a cat using the mail slot as a conveniently located window, but I guess then it doesn't really go with the theme.
These days, we're sort of in limbo while we wait to find out where we're going next, when we'll leave here, whether I'll get pregnant, and how all of these factors affect my job prospects. We won't leave here for at least five months (likely more like seven or eight) so there's plenty of living to be done in the meantime. But it's hard not to want to focus on what's next. What might be next. What we hope is next. We're spending far too much time on Zillow looking at houses that will only sell before we even know if we're actually moving to the city in which they're located.
And I have roughly as much power over these things as that cat does over when the mail comes. Which is fine. Such is life as a military spouse. It's really not that I want to control everything. It's just that I need to remind myself that life here in Okinawa goes on and I can't and don't want to wish these months away. We've got a long list of things left to see and do in Okinawa and the surrounding islands, as well as a couple of off-island trips planned.
These Okinawa years haven't turned out quite as planned, but what ever does? These have not been years of gainful and meaningful employment for me. But I did get my master's degree and will return to the US a better teacher. We haven't managed to expand our family, but we have taken advantage of the time we've had together as a family of two, whether traveling around Asia or hanging out at home. Whenever we get wherever we're going, time to hang out together will be in very short supply.
Life for as long as Raj stays in the military (so at least another ten years) is going to look like this - knowing that we'll only be where we are, Raj doing what he's doing, for two or three years. Even aside from the military transitions though, I think it's human nature to focus on the next stage. After I graduate, when I get a better job, after we're married, when we have kids, once the kids are in school, after we buy a house, once/when/after...
So as much as possible, I remind myself to turn away from the mail slot of what might be, to live in the present. It's ok to look forward to things, but not as a substitute for appreciating all the good things about life here and now. No matter what's next, there are really good things here and now.