I was recently talking to a friend about our PCS from Virginia to California. It was our worst PCS to date. We had last minute orders and only a week to plan. Of course it was the ONE place I didn’t want to go: NAS Lemoore.
Not only did I not want to go there, I spent the entire time fighting for something I didn’t want. As always, the husband was really busy so I gave my job three days notice, and then proceeded to spend most of my time fighting to plan the trip. The last day, the movers took almost 12 hours to load the truck.
The only thing I wanted to do on this PCS was see my 90-year-old grandparents and of course between the packer’s delay and a big storm, that didn’t happen. So not only did we move across the country for my husband, we weren’t able to do the ONE thing I wanted to. On top of that, we couldn’t establish lodging as everything was booked, so we didn’t have a hotel room until we were a day out. This was only due to being the squeaky wheel.
At the time, my saving grace was that we had decide to buy our house sight unseen so we would have a place upon arrival. Of course you know Murphy, the house fell through five days before we were supposed to close. So while it all worked out and we had a better house under contract within a day, it meant couch surfing for two months as we waited for the short sale to close. I just remember fighting so hard to make something work that I didn’t want.
I know I am not the only person who has had at least one of these moves. If you have this conversation with a group of military spouses they all have at least one of these stories. Here’s the thing: you cannot let an awful move define you! It cannot ruin your next duty station because as always it is what you make of it. You know the old saying, “Bloom Where You Are Planted.”
During this growing season, I learned several important lessons. Here are seven I want to share with you!
7 Lessons Learned From a Less Than Perfect PCS
1. Accept Help.
Put your pride away and take all the help you can get! We had two random strangers (at the time) who let us stay with them. Without their help life would have been a lot harder. So put your pride aside and take that olive branch.
2. Fake It Until You Make It!
Sometimes you just have to give it a chance. I was VERY unhappy here, but once I gave up being unhappy and just starting faking it, I truly made it. You would be surprised I MADE it. I made friends, met people and got involved.
3. Be Flexible.
This duty station has been the best thing that ever happened to us. We have grown our real estate empire from three homes to seven and I have a fantastic job getting experience I probably never would have had. I learned to adapt and just evaluate all of our situations and try them out even if I wouldn’t have made them.
4. Put Your Goals On Hold and Do Something Else.
Different duty stations bring different assets and make more resources available. The key for us with this crazy duty station was to reassess. When I couldn’t find work, we took family time and really enjoyed each other. It didn’t grow our empire or help us get to where I wanted to go, but it worked for us.
5. Keep Your Eyes on Your Dream Even if it Appears Impossible.
I love buying and managing houses. At our previous duty station we were using my salary to invest in rentals in Charleston. When we first got out here and I was unable to find a position, I thought these dream were over since we could not maintain this investing momentum. While it wasn’t possible in the beginning we have managed to still grow even faster than before. The key is to not give up and keep your eye on the dream.
6. Get Out of Your Comfort Zone.
The great thing about the Navy is they place you based on needs of the Navy not necessarily where you want to go. For us that means we have experienced tons of thing that we would not have otherwise done. Just recently we camped on the dunes of Pismo in California. While we probably would never have chosen to live in the middle of California, we have experienced some AMAZING places because of it. So get out of your comfort zone, try new things, and enjoy what the area you are planted.
7. Embrace It!
This has turned out to be an amazing duty station for us. We have bought four houses, met amazing people, and I have a terrific job that I never anticipated finding.
What important lessons have you learned while you were blooming while you were planted?0
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