The military lifestyle poses many uncertainties for families. For example, deployment orders, Permanent Change of Station Orders (PCS), or a job assignment could change at a moment’s notice. And when this happens, it can be frustrating. Let’s be honest, I want to jump up and down and scream how can this happen, AGAIN? My heart starts to race, I take a deep breath, and then I’m able to focus on the task ahead: dealing with the latest change.
Here’s how I deal with changes to orders:
- Acknowledge my feelings. Some changes are good. For example, a deployment may be cancelled or the new orders may move your family to a duty location you have always wanted to call “home.”
- Review plans made based on the original set of orders. You may have already made plans based on the original set of orders, such as completing school registration for your child(ren), placing a deposit on a house, or alerting your employer of an upcoming move.
- Start a new to-do list. A new set of orders brings a new to-do list. Talk to your family and decide what task each family member will take to help you tackle your new list.
- Research military protections. This item may not apply to your situation. However, it is worth some research time because you could be eligible for military protections if you need to change a cell phone contract, break a lease, or inform your employer of a change in military orders. It may be helpful to contact your local legal assistance office for specific questions.
- Keep a sense of humor. I know this is easier said than done. It is hard to be upbeat when many changes are coming your way, but humor does make is better.
I also try to visualize where I’ll be in a one year. Of course, orders could change again, but imagining that I made it through the latest change helps me realize the chaos is only temporary.
Has this ever happened to you? How do you handle order changes?