Of the 12 neighbors physically closest to my house, 4 are staying here, 4 have already left and the houses are empty, 2 move out this week, 1 moves out (like us) next week, and the last I assume moves out this week or the next, but they keep to themselves so I don’t know for sure. In other military neighborhoods we’ve lived in, it’s about 1/3 who leave (here only 1/3 are staying), and they don’t all happen at once.
Moving is stressful and living in an area where just about every other family is experiencing the same stress at the same time means there’s no oasis of calm. This escalates the stress, and I think it’s the kids who feel it most. The squabbles, the tears, the bad behavior – all seem to be worse than usual for all the kids in the neighborhood. And naturally, husbands and wives are just trying to get through the ordeal without bloodshed.
Yesterday, my neighbor was grumping about her husband, and I told Bill about it. “You know what it is: he has his priorities, and she has hers. Unfortunately, their top ten lists don’t match.”
“They never do,” he said.
“There should be some agreement,” I persisted.
“It’s called compromise,” he insisted.
We parried like this for a few minutes.
Finally, I mentioned an Excel spreadsheet I had just made with a pack list for moving (hey, it only took me to the fourth move in four years to think of doing this). “Don’t you think that something like that list is a priority? If we need to secure the valuables in the car before the movers come, securing the valuables in the car is a priority that we agree, not compromise, on? (brief pause) Be very careful how you answer. I warn you that so far your answers have not been to my satisfaction.”
“Are you saying that we’ll get along better if I agree with you?”
“Yes, the list is a priority,” he drones. “Everything else is a compromise.”
My resolution for this month: I will not kill my husband. Come July, the desire to do so should be past.
What is a New Month’s Resolution? Every month I look at where I need to focus my attention. Perhaps I’ve been procrastinating on certain chores. Perhaps I need to spend some extra time with one or more of the kids. Perhaps I’d like to try a new habit. New Month’s Resolutions are not grandiose plans to lose ten pounds or declutter the entire house or give up smoking (of course, I don’t smoke, but if I did, this would not be the venue in which I would give it up). New Month’s resolutions are short-term commitments; they are easily attained goals; they focus on what is needed right now, instead of what is best for a lifetime.
Do you have a new month’s resolution?