The Itch to Move

Service member and children walking away

Although I can’t speak for all military families, I feel I can safely say that once the majority of military families are at a duty station for two years (give or take), you begin to contemplate what’s next. That “itch to move” can be almost overwhelming, especially if you’re ready to leave your current station, if your friends are moving before you, etc. All kinds of questions begin to pop up around the dinner table, such as: what stations may be available to us? What are the schools like there? What part of that area is safest for us to live? Should we live on post? What are the sports options for our kids? And maybe most importantly, do they have good food? I’m sure there are times my husband wants to shout out that he has no idea if they have good food or if the sports programs are top notch because he has absolutely no clue where we are going next to begin with!

So I hop on Zillow or to console myself and find our dream home a year or more out from our PCS date, and then silently cry as all my hopes come crashing down when MY house sells to some other family who moves before us. (No judgment here as this is me right now with Zillow as an open tab on my laptop.)

This itch has only intensified for me this year as we have had a long, no-sun winter in upstate New York. I. am. over. it. I want some heat. I want to feel like I’m melting while I bask in the sunshine. And because I feel this way, there is a part of me that I have allowed to “check out”, whether it be in rearranging my current house, planting flowers for spring, taking on extra responsibilities, volunteering at church, or even investing in my friendships.

Trust me, friend, I understand all of this. It is so hard to stay present when so much of our military culture is transient. In another Military Mom Collective article, Rebecca Hurtley says it perfectly. “My best advice is to just soak each day up for what it is. Try not to live in the future, or the past.”

Stay present. Stay engaged. You are in your current environment for the FULL length of time that you are for a reason. Don’t allow the “itch” to rob you of precious time that you have at your current duty station with these specific friends. As we all know in the military community, our current situation will change. We will move. Our “itch” will be scratched. But in the meantime, trust that you are exactly where you are supposed to be in this moment.