Here’s how to deal with a PCS. . . when all you want to do is stay

When it comes to the art of moving, military spouses have it down. Every few years–if you’re lucky enough to stay somewhere for that long–we break out of notebooks, spreadsheets, and Post-Its.  The physical act of moving begins to feel mechanical at some point.

But what about the emotional? What happens when all you want to do is find a place to hide because you aren’t ready to leave? We all know staying behind is rarely an option; we are aware we must leave. But how can you do it in a way that honors the place you’re leaving behind? Here’s my guide to moving on when you aren’t quite ready:

Skip the countdown

Don’t set a timer on your phone; don’t have a running tally next to the calendar. Just allow yourself to be present in every day and make the most of it. Allowing yourself not to feel and see the weight of the upcoming move will allow you to loosen up and enjoy your final days and weeks, not dread them coming to an end.

Visit your old favorites

Chances are, you have picked up a favorite spot or two along your travels. Go back and revisit them! Now I know what you’re thinking: “I’ll get sad knowing I don’t know when, or if, I’ll ever see [insert place] again.” Chances are, if you approach your visit this way, you will be correct correct. Instead, think about the blessed life you live to have been able ever to experience this place in the first place. Go back to these sites and think about how far you have come as well as milestones you’ve achieved along the way.

Get connected

Ensure that you have ways to stay in contact with the individuals who have become a huge part of your life. You do not have to have the place in common to remain close. Be sure you have cell phone numbers, email address, and are linked up on social media. Just because you are coming to the end of your story in one place does not mean the characters in your next chapter have to be entirely omitted. Make plans to see each other down the road and hold each other accountable for it. Trust me: You’ll be glad you did.

Feel accomplished about your time

Making the most of your duty station is a slogan that is not foreign to a military spouse. It runs like a ticker tape through our heads nearly the entire time we are located somewhere. Feeling like you did not make the most of your time in a particular location can be debilitating. If there is a shadow of doubt within you that you will be left feeling a bit of regret, change course. Savor the time you have left in a place and leave there feeling like you left your mark.

By Adriana Clifford