This year, I’m making it my goal to find more balance between my civilian and military life. You see, I’m a civilian, but I’m also in the Army Reserves. It’s something I have to explain to people a lot when they ask me why I’m not available at certain times of the year.
So, how you balance the two is a question that many people ask. For me, it means keeping track of both of my work schedules months in advance. The minute I receive my schedule for the Reserves, I make copies and turn it into my civilian employer. It makes life easier for me and my employer, so I don’t have to ask for time off last minute or find someone to cover my work for me. It’s also less stressful on my end, because I had to learn this the hard way as I’m a person who always prepares last minute.
Also, at first, most of my family and friends didn’t understand or know how to balance planning around me being gone. They wanted to know why I was gone at least one weekend a month and unable to commit to plans with them at times. It’s this way because I’m the only one in my family that’s currently in the military. It’s hard to explain to them why I sometimes have to drop everything and go work with my Reserve unit. It’s a new concept for them and something that I’ve become accustomed to. I try my best to be understanding and let them know it’s okay to make plans without me, and I’ll make it if I’m home.
Balancing the two is not always easy, but slowly, I’m finding ways to do so. I’m a civilian but also a soldier, and it’s part of my life. I keep the two separate and don’t let them mix, because the military is part of me, not my whole life. And that’s how I’m finding balance between the two this year.