January 20, 2005


I've had a remarkable evening of clarity. Over the past few weeks, I've worked myself into a tizzy about making plans for block leave after Iraq. Long story short, my husband and I booked a cruise and vacation for May, which once seemed reasonable but at this point is way outside the block leave window. We might end up losing the whole vacation if he can't take leave later, and it's been twisting my stomach in knots. I was worried about losing money if we don't get to go, worried about plans and organization and schedules...and then I got invited to go to dinner with CPT Sims' wife tomorrow night and I realized how infinitely trivial my problems are. It broke my heart to suddenly realize that there are people who would give anything to have my stupid vacation problems, and I felt ashamed to even be worrying about it. I finally let go of the stress and decided it doesn't matter. If my husband and I are together, I don't care where we are or how much money we lose. My problems are not problems.

Last I heard, Mrs. Sims still reads my blog from time to time. If she's reading now, I want her to know that she makes me a better person every day.

Posted by Sarah at January 20, 2005 09:44 PM

Hi Sarah! By the way, it is Heidi not Mrs. Sims . . . you are not one of my students! I do ready your blog from time to time and enjoy it. Thanks for such a thoughtful tribute to Sean back in November.

I look forward to seeing you at dinner. It seems like yesterday we were out celebrating your birthday . . . where does the time go?

I hope all works out with the cruise . . . Sean and I took a cruise to Greece before Kosovo and had a WONDERFUL time. If the timing is not good, head to southern Spain. We had a wonderful time during R&R and have a special "souvenir" that keeps me busy everyday!

Posted by: Heidi Sims at January 20, 2005 10:57 PM

I have several suggestions:

1) If the vacation is not possible to take at the time scheduled, call the providers, and through yourself on their mercy. The fact that a military family is involved gives them an opportunity to demonstrate flexibility, and get some good PR at the same time.

2) If that doesn't work, try posting the location and time on the blog, and ask if anyone wants to bid on it. Send the link to the Miliblog ring, and ask for help.

Posted by: Linda F at January 21, 2005 12:19 PM

I would love it if either of those two options would work, but the problem might not be one I can fix. If the husband were to get extended, I could use the military clause in the insurance and cancel it. But if he's just not allowed to take his leave during that time, then that's the same thing as any boss revoking a vacation time, and there's no budging. Also, the cruise is non-transferable, non-refundable (since it was, after all, a free gimmick), so I can't even give it to my parents or anything. So we're stuck. Good ideas though.

Posted by: Sarah at January 21, 2005 03:18 PM

Don't you just love the block leave concept? My husband is due to come back from Iraq after a 13+ month deployment. We will be moving about 2-4 months after he comes back...we don't know when, because we don't have orders as of yet. So, on top of our reunion, we have a possible cross country move and he is to retire his sister from the AirForce sometime this summer as well. But, I always realize--there is always someone who has it worse than I do and my problems are insignificant in comparison to theirs. Enjoy your husband. We have a saying among Marine wives that pretty much sums it up--"Semper Gumby" which means "Always flexible."

Posted by: Amy at January 22, 2005 09:08 PM

I've been a Marine wife for 19 years and periodically, I have to have that moment of clarity. Just about everytime we've had a homecoming. It's natural and, as far as I'm concerned, normal.
Amy is right on all counts. Block leave is almost never really what you would think it is.
And oh yes...Semper gumby should merit being the military wife's motto....(well, that and hurry up and wait.)
PS: Good luck with your plans!!

Posted by: Carrie at January 22, 2005 10:45 PM

Sarah, I was catching up on your site since I've been gone. I needed this. Thank you for clarity. I lost alot of pottery to breakage and was really ticked. Instead I really need to count my blessings. It was great meeting you. Cindy French, Erin's mom.

Posted by: Erin's Mom at February 1, 2005 02:24 PM