MSEJ August 2018 - Page 37

Now we’re facing retirement, and that tons of time… it’s all run out. The things that are urgent have shifted dramatically, and he’s very stressed out trying to juggle it all.

When I was asked to write a piece this quarter about military retirement and the transition process, the terms didn’t seem right. “Transition” and “retirement” don’t do this thing we’re in the middle of justice.

It doesn’t feel like a transition. Instead, it

feels like we’ve skidded to a stop after traveling over 100 miles-per-hour. Every day, I’ve got white knuckles and am looking over the dashboard, praying we don’t skid too far one direction or the other while the brakes do their thing.

After years of envisioning this moment, I thought I knew where I was headed. When the time came, I thought we’d be happy, relaxed, and making some much needed vacation plans. I thought I’d be answering the phone without a care in the world.

Instead… it feels like someone just handed me orders to an unknown destination. I don’t know if they even said “Good luck.” I’m not sure when the next paycheck will arrive and have no idea what the next month will look like (or the month after that).

No one told me how stressful it would be or how much fear I would face. I never knew how brave I would have to pretend to be, or how

much work it all is. Even as you’re trying to get ready for civilian life, the military will always try to squeeze one more moment of work from your spouse.

As I look back over the past year and advice I’ve given, I know that despite my present circumstances, that advice is still right on the money. If you’ve been in fifteen years or more… Know that you will retire, and it will happen sooner than you think.

"I always knew it was out there, that place beyond military life and its hurry up and wait."