Loading...

Follow MILLIE Journal on Feedspot

Continue with Google
Continue with Facebook
or

Valid
MILLIE Journal by Randi Cairns - 2h ago

We use the word “home” willy-nilly and with some degree of carelessness. It’s where we land at the end of a long day. The building that holds our stuff. The address where the bills and demands on our time and finances are delivered. If we’re sentimental, it’s where we raise our kids or fur babies or build a life together with someone we love.

“Home” carries with it the weight of permanency for the civilian world. Non-military families may not move as often as they buy new underwear like it feels like we do. Except under certain circumstances, they typically don’t need to differentiate between a “for-now home” and a “forever home.” And that’s something PCSing families can’t say.

We live where we’re sent, and we bloom where we’re planted…or resist but survive until we’re sent somewhere else to call home. Maybe we see a great big adventure with each change in zip code. Maybe we look at what’s lacking where we currently find ourselves and fantasize about what that forever home of the future looks like. Maybe we’ve got a countdown calendar and a bucket list already in the works. We share the journey with other military families, but we each have our own feelings about and experiences of the trip.

Home for us is where we land — for now. Where we store our stuff — until we need to pack and move it again. Where the mail arrives (sometimes, when they don’t mess up the change of address order) — until we have to forward it again. Home is where the bus drops off and picks up the kids — until we need to change their schools. Where our job sends our paystubs — until we need to find another source of employment. In ways large and small, home is a very temporary situation and designation.

But home is also somehow forever as well, even when we know that we’ll again — sooner rather than later — be leaving where it feels like we’ve just settled in. It’s another license plate (and driver’s license) to add to the ever-growing collection. It’s new foods we embrace in our weekly meal planning. It’s colorful new expressions and mannerisms and appropriated (in a good way) traditions and habits. It’s new photos in the scrapbooks and destinations we might not have otherwise ever seen or experienced.

Home is the strangers who become friends and the friends who become family. The community that welcomes us when we arrive and sheds tears as we depart. The people and places that cheer for us as we thrive and hold us as we struggle.

Home for us is not a single address you can pop into your GPS. It’s the sum total of all the places we’ve been and those we’ve yet to travel. The people who’ve been there for us and those we have yet to meet. It’s not a place at one point in time but the accumulation of all the minutes we’ve shared on this military family trip.

And when we one day find ourselves in that forever home, sure, we’ll fill it with the stuff we’ve moved too many times before. But we’ll also fill it with the memories of a lifetime and a village that may not share geography but wraps us in love.

MILLIE is an online community and digital marketplace that connects members of the military and their families with specialized knowledge and trusted resource providers to alleviate the stress of PCSing. Check out MILLIE’s Installation Guides, our network of veteran and military spouse real estate agents, and MILLIE Scouts, our on-demand task service comprised of military spouses.

Baseside Chats| MILLIE Journal | Facebook | Instagram | PinterestTwitter

Enjoy this story? Give us some claps 👏👏 to help others find it, and be sure to follow along!

What We Mean By “Home” was originally published in The MILLIE Journal on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 
Maxwell House Becomes Official Coffee Partner of the United Service Organizations (USO) to Support the Hard Work of Service Members and Their FamiliesThe coffee brand announces official partnership and $650,000 donation to USO in honor of Military Appreciation MonthPhoto by Mike Kenneally on Unsplash

We love spreading all the goodness that others in our space are up to, and this is too good to pass up. The USO, Military Spouse Appreciation Month, and COFFEE! It’s like a trifecta of greatness. Enjoy!

PITTSBURGH & CHICAGO — (BUSINESS WIRE) — Today, Maxwell House joins forces with the USO to help keep America’s service members connected to the things they work hard to defend — family, home and country. As the Official Coffee Partner of the USO, Maxwell House will support USO programs designed to strengthen military families and spouses and will include in-store promotions as well as coffee and monetary donations.

Of those the USO serves, military spouses are one of the most overlooked groups, with an unemployment rate at least four times higher than the national average. Maxwell House and the USO are shining a light on the stories of hard-working military spouses by underscoring the unique needs and challenges they face. Watch this compelling video which captures the story of one military spouse and how she has overcome her own employment challenges and now helps others in the military spouse community find meaningful employment. Through the generosity of Maxwell House, military spouses will be supported through programs like USO Pathfinder® and Coffee Connections.

“Military spouses are the backbone of our military and are crucial to the future of our Armed Forces,” said USO Chief Development and Marketing Officer Lisa Anastasi. “Our partnership with Maxwell House is all about recognizing, supporting and fueling the dedication and well-being of our military spouses so they have the tools and networking opportunities they need to succeed.”

The Maxwell House and USO partnership will span throughout the year and include in-store promotions surrounding Labor Day and Veterans Day, as well as coffee donations to USO Coffee Connections locations and in care packages sent to troops abroad.

“Maxwell House has always worked hard to deliver coffee that has fueled millions of Americans’ hard work for over 125 years,” said Ashley Tople, Director of Marketing, Coffee at Kraft Heinz. “The USO has a long history of helping military families whose tireless efforts often go overlooked, and we’re proud to partner with them to amplify their efforts.”

You can show your support for service members, military spouses and their families who work hard every day to protect our freedoms by donating to USO.org/maxwellhouse. Your donations will support critical programs that help military families thrive.

For more information about Maxwell House, visit MaxwellHouseCoffee.com or on Twitter @Maxwell_House, Instagram @OfficialMaxwellHouse, Facebook @MaxwellHouse

About the USO: The USO strengthens America’s military service members by keeping them connected to family, home and country, throughout their service to the nation. At hundreds of locations worldwide, we are united in our commitment to connect our service members and their families through countless acts of caring, comfort and support. The USO is a private, nonprofit organization, not a government agency. Our programs, services and entertainment tours are made possible by the American people, support of our corporate partners and the dedication of our volunteers and staff. To join us in this important mission, and to learn more about the USO, please visit USO.org or follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

About Maxwell House: Maxwell House Coffee values hard work and has fueled America’s workforce with dependable, good-tasting coffee for over 125 years. Introduced in 1892 by wholesale grocer Joel Owsley, it was named in honor of the Maxwell House Hotel in Nashville, Tennessee, which was its first major customer. The company’s slogan is “Good to the last drop,” which is incorporated into the logo.

About The Kraft Heinz Company: For 150 years, we have produced some of the world’s most beloved products at The Kraft Heinz Company (NASDAQ: KHC). Our Vision is To Be the Best Food Company, Growing a Better World. We are one of the largest global food and beverage companies, with 2018 net sales of approximately $26 billion. Our portfolio is a diverse mix of iconic and emerging brands. As the guardians of these brands and the creators of innovative new products, we are dedicated to the sustainable health of our people and our planet. To learn more, visit http://www.kraftheinzcompany.com/ or follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter.

MILLIE is an online community and digital marketplace that connects members of the military and their families with specialized knowledge and trusted resource providers to alleviate the stress of PCSing. Check out MILLIE’s Installation Guides, our network of veteran and military spouse real estate agents, and MILLIE Scouts, our on-demand task service comprised of military spouses.

Baseside Chats| MILLIE Journal | Facebook | Instagram | PinterestTwitter

Enjoy this story? Give us some claps 👏👏 to help others find it, and be sure to follow along!

Maxwell House Becomes Official Coffee Partner of the United Service Organizations (USO) to Support… was originally published in The MILLIE Journal on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 
Container MovesThe Easy Way to Do It Yourself

With PCS season upon us, it is easy to get overwhelmed with all the moving parts. Pardon the pun, but it’s true nonetheless. Moving is a huge undertaking that is often complicated and riddled with stress. When you add in the thought that the moving company will (maybe) ruin or lose some of your things, it’s understandable to want to bury your head and say, “I just can’t.” Or consider taking on the monumental task of doing it all yourself (with ample help from family and friends). Yet the idea of hauling all your things cross-country may not be appealing, and that is where a container move becomes a truly viable option.

Container moves are a less stressful way to move. You have the freedom to do as much, or as little, as you wish. As an added bonus, most of the time a container move can save you money. So if you’d like to maintain complete control over your move, think about moving with containers.

With a container move, you have options. You can do a true, do-it-yourself move. In this case, the company you contract with would drop the container you need at your door. You pack and load everything into the container and lock it yourself. Once you’ve done that, the company picks up the container and drives it to your next destination, where you unload and unpack everything yourself. Most of the time, you can have the container as long as you need in order to load and unload it. Containers are standardized by size so that whatever company actually drives it to your destination will be able to transport it most efficiently. As a general rule, a 16-foot container will hold approximately 10,000 lbs. of household goods. Container calculators are readily available online to assist you in estimating what size and type of container you need.

Moving the MILLIE Way

Another option is what some in the industry call a hybrid move. With this option, you can hire the container company to do some of the heavy lifting, packing, etc. It’s really a mix-and-match game. If you need/want more help packing your household goods and loading the container, you can pay for that service and do all the unloading yourself on the other end. Or vice versa. Or you can opt for packing/unpacking services, but load everything yourself. It’s really and truly up to you.

Or go for the full-service option. This way operates exactly the same as a traditional military move. The difference is that you’ve selected the company that is moving you and you have total control over every piece of it. In addition, going through a container company, even with the full-service option, can save you money. We all know that PCSing is expensive, so if the container move can save you money, it might just be the right choice for you.

Stay organized with MILLIE’s FREE PCS Binder downloadables!

Whichever option you choose, remember that MILLIE is here for you every step of the way. A container move will most likely necessitate more time and coordination on your part, but MILLIE has got you covered. Check out our Moving Binder and other PCS “helpers.” Remember, too, MILLIE Scouts are available to help you with a myriad of PCS-related issues. Whatever you need, we’re here for you.

MILLIE is an online community and digital marketplace that connects members of the military and their families with specialized knowledge and trusted resource providers to alleviate the stress of PCSing. Check out MILLIE’s Installation Guides, our network of veteran and military spouse real estate agents, and MILLIE Scouts, our on-demand task service comprised of military spouses.

Baseside Chats| MILLIE Journal | Facebook | Instagram | PinterestTwitter

Enjoy this story? Give us some claps 👏👏 to help others find it, and be sure to follow along!

Container Move — The Easy Way to Do It Yourself was originally published in The MILLIE Journal on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 
MILLIE Journal by Millie Guest Author - 1w ago
The Mega-List of Things You NEED to Know for an OCONUS MovePhoto by Roman Kraft on UnsplashBy MILLIE Scout Chelsea Sipe

Getting those official order in hand always seems to take forever and then there is a flood of emotions, questions, and concerns about the upcoming PCS overseas. I remember feeling the exact same way when I found out we were going to Stuttgart, Germany.

I was so excited, but I had a son who was 18 months old, a dog, and a cat. What would we do about our house? Shipping cars, can we send one or two? What’s included and what do we have to cover out of pocket? The questions circled day and night. If this is you, take a breath, I’m here to help you!

I’ll share my top tips for PCSing to Germany, plus tons of tips for PCSing in general. I’ve PCS’d over 10 times thanks to my husband’s — and my father’s — time in the service. I’ve lived overseas for over 10 years, as well as Hawaii and in three states in the continental US.

№1 — Use Your Resources!

Moving overseas can easily be overwhelming, so it’s best to rely on the many resources on the web and within the military. Your spouse will be required to attend a Levy brief. They are offered at least once per month and this brief is FULL of all the information you need to answer all your burning questions. You’ll learn how much “per diem” you’ll receive for lodging/food/expenses (varies by family size), how to schedule your HHG (household goods) shipment/express shipment, how to ship your vehicle (one is included), and how to schedule your overseas flights. Overseas moves are different than continental moves in a few ways; we will cover those in more detail below.

Check out MILLIE’s PCSing step-by-step action plan.
№2 — Connect With Your New Community on Facebook

Facebook is so much more than connecting with friends. It has blossomed into a “one-stop shop” for all the information you are craving. When we found out we were moving to Stuttgart, Germany, I jumped onto my laptop and did a quick search on Facebook for groups in Stuttgart. There were a plethora to choose from and they even had a specific group for those of us moving to Stuttgart. I was able to find photos of what the housing looked like, connect with other moving families, find out where the best pet-friendly hotels were, and read questions from other families arriving. I even met one of my best friends on that page! There is nothing like the bond over the stress of moving.

Moving the MILLIE Way

Be sure to check for traveling groups in that area, buy/sell/trade groups, and parent support group for those with children.

One of the major perks of moving to Germany is being able to travel! We easily covered over 15 countries in our 2.5-year tour. I even ended up starting my own blog and website to help others (like you) to get the most out of your adventure in Germany.
№3 — Get Organized

Ok, you’ve got the basics of moving to Germany, but how is an overseas move different? Anytime you have an OCONUS move (Outside Continental United States), your household goods will be boxed and then crated. Typically, a crew will come and package everything in your house and then a truck will arrive with large wooden crates. All of your items will be placed in these crates and they will be sealed for their shipment overseas.

All those tubs have to go in the crates! It’s magic.

In order to maximize space and weight, packers will do their best to fill all of the extra space. We’ve seen everything from creating “bundles” with linens and packing paper to a box with items for 5 different rooms! It’s a game of Tetris with your personal belongings. The better organized you are, the better.

At least a couple weeks before the “pack out” date, I start to organize all of my items together. Anything small needs to go inside a small Tupperware or baggie. I purchased a ton of Sterilite containers (size of a shoe box) and sorted everything from my craft supplies to our tools, art supplies, and junk drawers. It makes packing and unpacking so easy! Everything is organized and ready to go on a shelf or into a cabinet. If you want to jazz it up, add some labels too.

Use this time to purge, have a garage sale and decide what you want to bring. I’ll cover more on the different shipments below.

№4 — Ship One Car or Two?

This is a tough choice! The military will only pay for one vehicle. We started doing our research in preparation for moving to Germany and it was a toss-up. There are horror stories of people buying a lemon (a car that doesn’t work well after purchase) and with the mandatory base housing rule, we may only need one car anyway. We decided it was best to send two vehicles, even if we incurred a bit of an extra cost (typically $1,000-$3,000). We were happy with our choice because we ended up off post and we were easily able to sell our vehicle when we left Germany.

  • Be sure to check with the lender you have a loan with on your vehicle to make sure they will allow you to ship the vehicle overseas.
  • I also suggest not shipping oversized vehicles (large trucks, three-row vehicles). The roads and parking spots are narrow in Europe, the parking garages have low overheads and you won’t see larger vehicles, which puts more attention on that fact that you are an American.

Looking to ship an extra car? Trans Global Auto Logistics is the best company to use, hands down.

Why Drive When You Can Ship Your POV?

№5 — What to do with the pets?

So many military families have furry members of the family. We are right there with you. We have one cat and one dog. Unfortunately, any expense to get them to Germany is on your dime. You can write off the expenses on your taxes, but that’s it.

If you are PCSing to Germany, try your best to get a flight operated by Lufthansa. If you do a google search, you’ll see “United operated by Lufthansa”. The Lufthansa carrier is amazing with animals and their fees are some of the lowest across all the airlines for international travel. Even if your travel office refuses to book you on a Lufthansa flight, it would be worth flying separately or asking a family member to help.

Before the flight, you need to make sure all vaccinations are up to date and you must have a 10-day health certificate with the USDA stamp (easy to get at a military vet). All your paperwork must be completed correctly in order to fly. You also need an appropriate crate size and type. Check with the individual airline.

PCS’ing with the Millers: Advice for Pets PCS’ing

If flying your pets is cost prohibitive, start talking to family members to see if anyone would be willing to take them during the time you are stationed in Germany.

№6 — Housing

Research the housing rules, what type of housing you qualify and if you are able to live “on the economy” or off post. In most cases, lower enlisted and geo-bachelors must live in on-post housing. The Army also has a mandatory on post housing command policy (at least for Stuttgart). This means that unless they are not able to give you housing within 60 days of your arrival, you will be living on post in the stairwell apartments. If they cannot give you housing within the 60-day window, then you will be given OHA (overseas housing allowance) and can look off post.

We ended up living off post. We spent over 60 days in temporary lodging before moving into our home in a small town in Southern Germany. We absolutely loved the experience, but it comes with many factors such as dealing with utilities, not living on a secure base and being truly immersed in the culture. Just something to prepare yourself for and think about.

№7 — Shipments: HHG, Storage and Unaccompanied/Express

With an overseas more, you’ll have a few different shipments. I’ll explain what they are and how to prepare.

  • HHG (Household Goods): This is the bulk of your household belongings.
  • Storage: These are the items you do not want to take to Germany. They will be stored for you for free.
  • Unaccompanied/Express: This is supposed to be a shipment that is quicker (than your HHG), but sometimes it isn’t. This shipment is everything you think you’ll need as soon as you arrive. It’s typically sheets, pillows, towels, a few toys for kids, extra pet items, small baby gear, and school supplies. Some families also add bikes, extra clothing and comfort items (folding chairs, tables). You may also choose to skip this shipment — we did. Instead, we mailed a few boxes to our sponsor and had them within a few days of arriving.

Hopefully, you’ve been getting organized and going through all of your items to purge, donate or sell. Now you need to decide what to include in an express shipment and what to send to storage. If you’ve used your resources, you should have an idea of the housing sizing and what extra furniture may not fit. It’s recommended to have split box springs if you have a king size bed. It’s also best to leave over-sized furniture because Europeans live small and those items may not fit (12-person dining table, canopy king size bed frame, etc).

As far as storage, we also highly suggest storing all of your 110v appliances and tools (computers, laptops, and lamps are the exceptions). Europe uses 220v electricity and you’ll overheat your items if you plug them in directly. You can purchase transformers to convert the electricity, but it is not a perfect system and daily use will often ruin your appliances. It is easy to find 220v items when you arrive. If you joined those buy/sell/trade groups, you’ll see plenty of people posting when it is time to PCS. Get an idea of the cost of items.

BONUS tip: if you end up getting off post housing, you’ll get a stipend to buy items.
№8 — Cell Phones

Once you have orders, call your provider and ask to have your phone unlocked. This is provided free of charge with a copy of orders for service members and their families. You will also need to pay off your phone (if you are paying monthly). This allows you to insert a new SIM card once you reach Germany. You can choose to have a contract with an European carrier, we used Deutsch T-Mobile (different than the US version).

Another option is purchasing a pre-paid phone and doing the “pay as you go”. This means you won’t have a contract to deal with, which can be a pain to cancel.

№9 — Study for the USAREUR License

Sorry, you can’t drive in Germany with your stateside license! You’ll still need your stateside license to be valid, but European road signs, speed limits, and the driving etiquette are different. Have your service member look up the practice tests on JKO/AKO. You can also take the official test online (up to 30 days before you arrive). Your service member will need to create a separate account on JKO/AKO for you in order for you to also take the test. Be sure to study the signs, “right of way,” and speed limits. Take your time and then take the test. Once you have a passing score, you can get your official license and you are ready to drive!

TIP: Speed cameras are everywhere in Europe. The fines aren’t overly expensive (around 20 euros) and we all joke that we have a separate budget for the letters that arrive in the mail every few months. The cameras are hidden well and are often just as the speed decreases.
№10 — Prepare for the Language and Culture!

You are moving to a beautiful country full of amazing culture, food, and a difficult language. Do everything you can to prepare yourself. Duolingo is a favorite app and it is broken up into short segments of leaning each day. I’ll also give you a few tips about German culture.

  • Cash is King! Make sure you always have euro on hand and that you keep enough to pay for almost anything. We may or may not have had to run to the ATM because a restaurant didn’t accept a debit or credit card. Oops!
  • Clean restrooms = euro, yep, that’s right, you have to pay to use the restroom. Usually, around 70 cents euro and you’ll get a 50-cent voucher in return. So, keep your change in your pockets during rest stops.
  • Sunday’s are Quiet Days. Sunday is a day of rest and Germans take this very seriously. That means all the shops are closed, as well as most restaurants. Festivals still take place and tourist attractions are open, but if you need to go shopping or buy groceries, you’ll have to visit the base commissary and PX.
  • Germans are some of the kindest people I’ve ever met. I’m still close with my neighbors and the parents in my son’s kindi (preschool). However, they are direct, and this can make some people uncomfortable. Oma will tell you to put more clothes on your baby, Opa will stare at you with your flip flops in spring and your neighbors might be a bit too nosy.

That’s the bulk of what you need to know to prepare for your move to Germany. It is truly an amazing adventure, so get out of your comfort zone and enjoy your time abroad! Feel free to reach out to me on social media with any further questions or find me here at MILLIE!

Until next time, happy PCSing!
MILLIE Scout Chelsea is here to help!

Chelsea Sipe is a military spouse and previous military dependent with over 33 years of military moving experience. She is a mother of one little boy, a licensed special education teacher and a MILLIE Scout. After living around the Globe, including a recent move to Germany, she started a family travel blog to encourage other families to travel. Check it out at packmoreintolife.com.

PCSing to Germany was originally published in The MILLIE Journal on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Most folks have a bucket list going. It’s a running list in your bullet journal, or stuck on post-its in a mound of papers you should have filed but haven’t yet, or on a Trello board (raises hand), or on some glorious vision board you’re better about decorating than you are about “envisioning,” or shoved in the recesses of your brain. If you’re not careful, it can easily become your “shoulda-coulda-woulda” list. Now, I could easily go into a rant about how foolish it is to save your grand list of glorious one-day things for any time that’s not the present, but let’s just agree to table that conversation for another day.

Instead, let’s talk about the bucket list you need now — a neighborhood bucket list.

What it is.

A neighborhood bucket list is a running list of all the must-see or must-experience spots in the neighborhood. It can include local places of interest like museums or historical landmarks, aquariums or zoos, and the like. Maybe the town is host to the last remaining drive-thru movie theater on the coast — that would make the list. Or the town BBQ joint that was featured on a Food Network special. Whatever makes the place you call home special or one of a kind or quirky or magical or mysterious, all of that is neighborhood bucket list worthy.

What you need it for.

You’re constantly coming and going in this life, amiright? If you’re coming and looking at a new zip code to call home, your neighborhood bucket list is going to encourage you to embrace all that this move has to offer. It’s going to remind you to celebrate a new place with new discoveries to be made. (It’s also going to save your life the next time someone in your house exclaims that they’re exceedingly bored and there’s nothing to do.) Consider your neighborhood bucket list your treasure map for your new home.

If you’re going, and unless you’re using base housing, you’re likely going to have to rent or sell your current home. And you’re going to want every possible advantage in that process — like a handy dandy “here are all the things that make this house and the town it’s in magical” list that you can share with prospective renters or buyers. After all, you remember how important the idea of there being things to do in the area was when you last moved, right? Provide some extra value to people interested in possibly renting or buying your house (and give yourself a competitive advantage).

Bonus points if you add your notes/comments from your own experiences utilizing that list when you were new to town.

How you create one.

There are several different ways you can populate your neighborhood bucket list. You can do a standard Google search or ask folks you know in/close to the area what’s worth mentioning/visiting. You can pull up the location in Trip Advisor or ask your real estate agent to share some favorite spots. You can tune in to a MILLIE Baseside Chat featuring the location you’re next headed or join Moving the MILLIE Way group on Facebook to have the benefit of a whole community of support and feedback.

There’s no one right way to do your intel gathering. And there are no right answers for what should or shouldn’t be included on your neighborhood bucket list. Just take the time to do your homework and put together something that will be meaningful for your family to explore together when you arrive. And give the gift of where to start exploring to the folks who will next call your house home.

Be sure to check out our weekly Baseside Chat Livestream in our Facebook group, Moving the MILLIE Way — or catch the #replay on our YouTube Channel!

MILLIE is an online community and digital marketplace that connects members of the military and their families with specialized knowledge and trusted resource providers to alleviate the stress of PCSing. Check out MILLIE’s Installation Guides, our network of veteran and military spouse real estate agents, and MILLIE Scouts, our on-demand task service comprised of military spouses.

Baseside Chats| MILLIE Journal | Facebook | Instagram | PinterestTwitter

Enjoy this story? Give us some claps 👏👏 to help others find it, and be sure to follow along!

The Bucket List You Need Right Now was originally published in The MILLIE Journal on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 
MILLIE Journal by Joseph Moehrholt - 3w ago

How yoga got me through my first two military moves

In mid 2016 the first moving truck pulled up to my apartment in Santa Clara California. I had already started packing and was counting down the hours until I set off for my new adventure. I spent months before mapping out the path and planning it in a way that allowed me to see sights I had never seen. But that wasn’t the point of the truck. The point was to get me from Santa Clara, California to Augusta, Georgia. They had their own schedule and I had mine.

The night before, I slept on the couch in my moms living room. Nerves were peaking as I had to say see you later to friends and family members. Excited for the new path, but scared at the same time. I was packing nearly nine years of a life and laying down new roots.

I didn’t have much to pack. We lived in a small two bedroom apartment, and were leaving our couch behind. This was the first time I was going to move more than 200 miles. I didn’t know what to expect, and really it wasn’t much. I had planned a trip and mapped out how I would get from Santa Clara to Augusta. I just kept saying Augusta out loud in every conversation, like it was the hottest newest city to happen in 2016, but for me it was. It was the start of the army spouse life.

There was one item that I wasn’t wanting to pack with the movers. I had to pile two dogs, into a two door Fiat and drive cross country. Space was limited, both physically and mentally. I organized the car days prior just to see if there was any more space that would possibly appear. I drove the dogs around in the car to see who they would do with all the items, they laid on everything but the space I made for them.

Dog bed in the back, duffel bag of clothing, food and snacks my mom provided for me, and a yoga mat.

The yoga mat stayed rolled up nicely in the car, never touched once on the way to Georgia. I told myself that I would have time to practice in the hotel between driving through each state. But the only time I did anything remotely to asana, was getting out of the car and stretching while getting gas.

I unpacked the car the first day I arrived in the home, and still rolled up and stuffed in a corner of a room was the yoga mat. It did that for the first two months.

But those first two months seemed to be the longest I have every experience. No one would have been able to prepare me for the chaos of pcs-ing. I have moved a few times in my life, between Oregon, California and Washington, but this was a who new style of move. Even after we had arrived in the new home, I was still waiting for items.

The asana practice was a supplement to the journey inward to maintaining happiness during this time

While I was learning postures, I was learning a lesson that no one had shown me, and it was almost sublimating. It was worth, every notation that was being forced into my mind with out me know. It was the yoga of moving. What I saw was myself not being angered over the delayed of shipping. Instead I took it to the mat with an asana practice. Finishing, sitting on my mat and saying, “Okay so it will be one more week until my bed gets here, I can use an air mattress. I don’t have a TV, I’ll go walk downtown again this afternoon.”

This was the right use of my energy, restraining anger to find another thing I could improve. This wasn’t a physical yoga, it was mental yoga. Sometimes, it didn’t matter how many down-dogs I did. It took time to sit with myself and observe my feelings for me to have a moment where I didn’t feel the PCS-face was showing.

The asana practice was a supplement to the journey inward to maintaining happiness during this time. Doing asana wouldn’t bring me clarity of my mind in the moment, but the feeling after did. My mindfulness was growing and I slowly became aware of the emotional state that surrounds this type of life changing experience.

Using yoga to help your PCS.

I wouldn’t consider myself a master in the art of pcs-ing nor in yoga, but I would give these tips to all who are about to take their first to their last psc.

Breath

No really, do it. Slowly and controlled. When we take even two moments to focus on the breath, we start to activate the parasympathetic nervous system. This is the system that helps with the rest and digest of the body, the opposite of fight or flight. You can do breath counts for the inhale to exhale, or even just take a seat and listen to how you’re breathing. Most smart watches these days have a breathing guide on them; use it.

Sit

When you’re planning the move, watching the packers or hopping into the car to make that first or last ride; remind your self to sit. Think of the song: Head, shoulders, knees and toes. Use that reminder to take a full body scan, where can you soften and relax. Feeling the sensations in your body of needing to take a moment and reconnect.

Be mindful

No one around you knows how you fell, yet they all do. Remember that our emotions are the first to show on our face or in our voice. Be mindful towards how we express ourselves. When we start to feel that no one is understanding of us, we mentally bring down our emotional state. This builds toxins and acids in the body, be mindful of your eating.

The yoga of PCS-ing. was originally published in The MILLIE Journal on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Separate tags by commas
To access this feature, please upgrade your account.
Start your free month
Free Preview