YDU: Abandon All Plans!


I had a plan.  When I flew to Virginia a year ago today to get legally married to my husband in a courthouse eight months before our real wedding, I did have a plan.  I planned he would miraculously get stationed in California. I planned I would continue my work.

If someone told me that I was going to be unemployed for the entire first year of my marriage, I would not have believed them.  I would have tried to convince them that they were wrong because… I had a plan.

Life is, of course, what happens to you when you are busy making other plans. Through our three PCS moves this year alone, I kept thinking, “But… my plan!  It must work!” Not being in control of our fate was something that was hard for me to handle.

In a military marriage, we must face many obstacles that people in civilian marriages do not think about. Our active duty loved one chose to serve our great country and we choose to stand by their side, no matter where it takes us.

I had heard that the spouse network in the military is strong and supportive. People said that no matter what unit your PCS takes you to, you can count on a spouse group, or even just one kind fellow military spouse, who is more than willing to come to your rescue. Military spouse friendships are supposed to be created quickly.

Kate Garrison is a Coast Guard Spouse who has recently moved so we don’t know where she lives.

A military spouse network was not exactly part of my original plan. Yet I found that this year I have bonded with other women over the fact that we are all in this together and face many of the same unknown futures.

A year ago today, a friendly Air Force spouse named Sarah gave me my first look into the kind spirits of the military spouse sisterhood and accepted me into the military family when we met on an airplane.

Then, the first holiday my husband and I had away from home as a couple, a friendly Coast Guard spouse named Ashley took us into her home.

The military spouse kindness continued when I began my job search.  Two influential military spouses have helped me greatly in this first year of my military marriage. I emailed Jacey Eckhart, the editor of SpouseBuzz when I was having trouble getting a job.  She listened to my story and wrote about me. She then offered me the opportunity to write, which has been my passion for the past year.

Then I found Stacy Swearengen, an Army wife and owner of Military Spouse Portable Career Planning. She graciously offered me the opportunity to receive career coaching and presented me with tangible steps to pursue a career I would love.

Kind, supportive spouses in the military community help a new military spouse like me understand this new life and find comfort in the fact that I am not alone.   These women were not part of my original plan, but they are part of my plans for the future. Here’s to many more loving years of my military marriage and positive spouse friendships!



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  • SJGArmy

    LOVE this Kate! Sounds like your original plans weren’t part of “the” master plan, but look at you now girl! You are a very talented and gifted writer and the rest of our military spouse sisterhood will continue to enjoy reading (while relating) to your articles.

  • Merilee

    Great article Kate!

  • CoastieWifeCC

    Thanks for sharing Kate,
    I can so relate, I’m a proud Coast Guard wife and I too had a plan.. In 2012 I had planned an early summer wedding Coastie.. Then due to a change in orders, we had to bump it up a couple months. There went my plans. I had planned the dress, cake, music, etc.. but my dress wouldn’t even arrive on time, forget cakes, music, and the rest.. I planned a family reunion at our wedding, but due to the date change our families couldn’t be there. I’m a planner & this was all a bit nerve racking, but I tried to take it in stride.. We were married and life would now go as planned right?? :)

    I moved 600 miles to be with my husband…. no more long distance dating.. I planned how things would be in my new city.. Then I learned about overseas PCS less than 2 months after I arrived. OK, I can do this, just because I had moved & just unpacked.. I can do this..I’m a dedicated military spouse.. eager to learn all the military acronyms and get connected to military life and resources,, Overseas… a new adventure.. no my plan but I can do this..
    .. WOW, I had to learn fast.. I had no idea what a POV was or why we could only take one.. lots to do, overseas screening, etc.. my coastie was “underway” and delayed (of course) but, he’d be home the same day as the move… That would be hectic, but I planned as smooth a move as I could, I would be organized and ready.. except the movers showed up 2 days early..

    Its hard to believe that was little more than a year ago… since then I’ve stopped planning.. LOL
    No honestly, I’m learning to be a bit more flexible.. Thanks for sharing, this really made me smile, nice to know I wasn’t the only one who had a plan,. :)