Rule One: surround yourself with friends. GOOD friends. Don't limit yourself to on base.. or even the same Branch in the case of a Joint base like Ft Meade. Find Civilian friends too. they may not 'get' Military life but you are depriving yourself if you surround yourself with only military spouses. They don't have to all have the same interests. Although it helps to find something in common. You know, like Stamping.
Rule Two: do NOT sit around moping all day wallowing in self pity. Worse.Idea.EVAR. being gloomy is okay.. for like 24 hours. Then suck it up, untwist your big girl panties and get over it. (you only get 12 hours if you have kids. 6 if they are in diapers)
Rule Three: do SOMETHING.. anything for YOURSELF ALONE. at least once a week. even if it's nothing more than locking the bathroom door for an hour to keep cats, dogs and kids out and you sit in the tub and read. I recommend Janet Evanovich for a laugh.. and Stephanie Meyer for some adolescent romantic fantasy. and Sparkle. I am all about the Sparkle.
Rule Four: succumb to the inevitable: join Facebook or Myspace. Now I don't necessarily advocate playing every stupid Zynga app offered, but these social networks are a great way to stay in touch, reconnect and find new friends. I have found people I went to grade school and high school with, and am still in touch with friends from various duty stations.
Rule Five: Get OUT of the house. sign the kids up for a play date. sign yourself up for a playdate. meet somebody for lunch. Go shopping at Hobby Lobby together. watch Twilight Marathons.. at home and in the theater( only 350 some odd days!)
Rule Six: Rediscover the fine art of letter writing. yeah, emails and IMs are great.. but what happens when he is in the field for weeks at a time? Handwritten letters( okay you have permission to type them on the word processor if your handwriting sucks) can be carried anywhere. and re read ad naseum. Extra points if you send handmade cards.
Rule Seven: give back to the military community.. somehow. Volunteer to watch the next door neighbor's toddler one afternoon so she can take a nap. Donate your time at Fisher House. Make a Welcome to the Command basket for the new arrival. Offer to teach a class at MWR.
Rule Eight: be grateful when somebody helps you out. and don't be afraid to ASK for help when you need it. that used to be my biggest problem.. Since I don't drive, I can be stuck when it comes to basics like grocery shopping.
Rule Nine: don't take advantage of the kindness of others. Pay if forward, or back. Somebody fixes the laptop your husband screws up 30 minutes before leaving, bake him cookies. His wife will love that she didn't have to.
Rule Ten: never let on to your spouse that you are an emotional wreck. he doesn't need reminding or the guilt trip. He's not exactly thrilled either, you know. if you must vent, do so after you are done with the anger/depression.
Rule Eleven: set a goal for yourself. It can be big or small.. Lose 30 pounds, read 20 books, run a half marathon, Finish organizing the shoebox full of pictures of your wedding 15 years ago. But something attainable while your spouse is off saving the Universe.