A lesson in broken washing machines, deployments and flexibility
Flexibility is another word for grit. Do you agree?
In a world of now, and I want it my way, the whole ‘just be flexible’ thing can be a tough pill to swallow.
Just this week I was being interviewed. We were asked to share a time when we really had to embody grit as a military spouse.
The first thing that flashed into my head was a time during a past deployment when we moved from our rental to our new home. I was tasked with handling the move by myself since my husband had left for the Middle East a week before some renovations on the house were completed.
Upon moving in, our 1952 brick rancher was determined to give me a run for my money. First, the AC went out. Let’s just say no air conditioning in July in North Carolina is a not a pretty thing, friend. Next, the valve in the bathroom stopped working. It wasn’t until our washing machine flooded our laundry room the same week that I really hit an emotional breaking point.
There I was, standing ankle deep in water, using what towels I had unpacked to sop up the suds, with a laundry list of business to-dos and no communication with my spouse for more than a week. I felt like the tears were ready to squirt out of my eyes.
But you know what? Even though I was ready for those tears to come, and I even welcomed them, they never poured. Not one single tear.
Looking back, I think deep down I knew those tears would do nothing for me. They’d just slow down what had to be done, and it was only me who could do those things (like a true handywoman, YouTube a fix to my washing machine leak for a start).
During that season, and many other times in between on this military journey, I have had to really be flexible, often more flexible than my comfort zone allows, because you don’t get to choose what life throws at you, just your reaction to it.
It isn’t always easy to be flexible. It requires you to have soft edges, the forgiving kind, the kind that only comes from personal life experience. You also have to build margins into your life, and true flexibility requires you to give up a certain level of control, while at the same time trusting the universe is conspiring for good on your behalf.
That is the place where grit begins. Flexibility. Military life teaches us a lot if only we let our guard down enough to listen.
Do you have a similar story of flexibility or grit? How has it made you a better person or business owner? Let us know in the comments below.