Military Spouse Magazine

FEB 2019

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Page 19 of 35

THE BIG PICTURE Mrs. Goldfein has moved 21 times, worked as a teacher, stayed home with two daughters, served numerous causes and accompanied her husband to countless events. She has worn many hats and struggled to find her identity at times. But Mrs. Goldfein learned not to focus on life as a collection of unfinished beginnings; instead, she focused on life as a series of "short spurts" and found value in each of her roles. "I think it's important to embrace the journey along the way," she said. This mindset helps her stay focused and recognize that serving alongside her husband fulfills a higher purpose. This could be nowhere more evident than in the days following May 2, 1999, when Mrs. Goldfein was notified that her husband's F-16 was shot down over Serbia. He was alive, but his condition was unknown. She anxious- ly awaited news and prayed. Later, her husband emerged from an aircraft, "a muddy mess" and saved. Such a scare could prompt anyone to want to quit military life. Instead, Mrs. Goldfein remained firmly in place, feel- ing compelled to honor those who rescued her husband. "There were so many people who, because they are so professional and so good at their jobs and never became complacent, that my husband is around today," she said, speaking of the egress team, fellow pilots, the rescue team and others who contributed to her husband's return. She sent them personal notes and hosted Thanksgiving dinner that May. Perhaps this shares a secret to persevering in this life. Staying strong involves remembering that we are part of a most unique community. We are not sent forward or left behind alone, and our in-betweens are fired with a fierce desire to make better what we already have as military spouses. H THE GOLDFEIN FAMILY FACED POSSIBLE TRAGEDY AND PERSEVERED, SOMETHING ONE CAN ONLY IMAGINE REQUIRES A SIGNIFICANT AMOUNT OF MENTAL FORTITUDE . Mrs. Goldfein found strength in recognizing her family's connection to honorable, committed, highly professional service members, who would risk their lives for her husband. EXPERT ADVICE FROM MRS. GOLDFEIN In her 35 years of being a mili- tary spouse, Mrs. Goldfein has learned a few strategies that help her stay strong. They can help you, too, no matter where you are on your journey. SET GOALS Use moves and deployments as a chance to accomplish something new. GET INVOLVED Ward off loneliness by join- ing a club, signing up for base activities or volunteering. GIVE TO OTHERS Help someone else by volunteering or performing random acts of kindness. KEEP "TREASURE NOTES" Save kind notes or cards, and read them when you feel blue. Mrs. Goldfein said that this re- stores her when she feels like she "can't give another ounce." TREAT AND REPEAT Mix indulgence, wisdom and humor when you're caught in a rough patch. "If all else fails, I recommend chocolate-covered peanut M&Ms," said Mrs. Goldfein, with a laugh. "And, as you're eating them, just re- mind yourself, 'this, too, shall pass.'" 20 MILITARYSPOUSE.COM / FEBRUARY 2019

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