Military Spouse Magazine

DEC 2018

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G O O D A D V I C E Each year, celebrating the winter holidays seems to start earlier and earlier. But a season of joyful celebration and reunion that begins in November and travels through January can be painful and isolating for many. One Christmas in particular comes to mind when I think about strug- gling during the holidays as a military family. My husband was deployed to Iraq, and in an attempt to keep things festive, I traveled home with our three kids. Everyone around me worked so hard to make things special for us. But the presence of those I loved served as a constant painful reminder of the one who was miss- ing from our midst. I was then placed in the position of pretending I was enjoying everything around me, that I was having fun, when in reality all I wanted to do was curl up with a snuggly blanket and have a good cry. Christmas morning was excru- ciating as I watched the kids open presents with their grandparents and cousins, smiling and laughing, when I simply wanted to isolate myself and sleep the day away. Looking back, I recognize how good it was to have that forced interaction, pain- ful though it was at the time. FIND JOY IN HARD MOMENTS While you may experience longing and a sense of loss, it is a choice to let those emotions consume you. Seasons of celebration are not about the pres- ence of certain people, though they may make those times more complete, but a celebration and appreciation of life, of another year well-lived, of joy in the moment and a recognition that each moment brings difference and to appreciate those differences. In this spirit, I have learned to step out of my isolation bubble and devel- oped a heart to serve others. >> " Seeking connections when you are hurting is hard; it goes against the grain of our nature; it is opposite of what we long for when we are hurting the most. However, it is the most healing and restorative move you can make. Photo by Roberto Nickson Hurting This Don't isolate. Make the choice to reach out to others. By Jolynn Lee, 2018 Armed Forces Insurance Marine Corps Spouse of the Year® Holiday Season? Holiday Season? Holiday Season? Don't isolate. Make the choice to reach out to others. Don't isolate. Make the choice to reach out to others. Hurting This Hurting This 2018 Armed Forces Insurance Marine Corps Spouse of the Year® By Jolynn Lee, By Jolynn Lee, 2018 Armed Forces Insurance Marine Corps Spouse of the Year® 12 MILITARYSPOUSE.COM / DECEMBER 2018

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