PCS season is approaching... and with it feelings of stress, frustration, and tension.
As we enter yet another PCS season, my generous military friends and I have compiled a list of things we love about moving. Let’s give ourselves a break from those frustrations that we all know so well and reflect on the reasons we do enjoy moving!
How often in the civilian lifestyle would you be able to see so many different places as you do now? By moving frequently, we have the opportunity to visit not only the places we live, but also all the places we stop along the way!
Exposure to New Cultures
Diverse cultures can be found even within the U.S. Each place we move to has a different culture from the last. You will undoubtedly witness varying ethnicities, style, and food, and certainly pick up a few things along the way.
Trying New Things
As we encounter new cultures, we will find new trends. Every community is different, and you may find yourself picking up a new hobby. Each place we've moved, I've added another activity to my list of interests. Most recently, I have been sewing. If you had told me a year ago that I would have picked up sewing and other handicrafts, I would’ve laughed and drank the glass of wine in my hand.
Finding a New Favorite Spot
We all develop our favorite spot to eat, enjoy a night out, hike, or take the kids at our duty station. When we move, we get to explore new restaurants, hike new trails, and find new adventures. Of course we miss our old spots occasionally, but moving allows us to explore!
Purging the Clutter
There is nothing like moving to remind you of everything you own. When you live somewhere for three years, it is all too easy filling every nook and cranny in your home with stuff. Chances are, at the end of your three years, you will have a Christmas morning experience with all the things you'd forgotten about. Except this type of Christmas morning is much sadder because it is filled with regret and a little bit of shame. Moving allows us the opportunity to regift or toss out the unnecessary items that we don’t need to carry across the country with us.
Although it is stressful looking for a new home, especially if you liked your last, you get to go house shopping again! Maybe you are looking for a new fun rental, or perhaps you are willing to invest in a property to lease when you move next time. Either way, you get to see many different homes and you get to decorate a new space!
Building New Friendships
Have you ever moved somewhere and not made a friend? Probably not. Each time we enter into a new community, we're interacting with an entirely different group of people, both military related and civilian. New friends keep us fresh and educate us on our new culture. They are fun and an entirely necessary part of moving.
Reuniting with the Past
Although you are constantly making new friends, you're going to run into previous friends, too! There is a lot of overlap in the military and you never know who you'll see the next time you move.
The Chance to Have a "Do Over"
In more ways than one, moving allows us to start from scratch. If you made an unfortunate decision and committed to a job that is really not a good fit for you, moving makes that decision temporary. Same goes for housing. Perhaps you put too much money into rent for a home and need to cut your budget back. Or, you chose to live further from your spouse’s work but learned that the distance you created was not worth the sacrifice. When you receive orders to PCS, you get a do over, a chance to do it differently and better next time.
Ultimately, We Become Well-Rounded Individuals
Through our exposure to various cultures, hobbies, and jobs, we learn about a lot. We become diverse individuals who can adapt to our ever-changing lifestyles with grace and hopefully teach our children to do the same!
Nothing can completely eliminate the stress you feel when you receive orders to PCS. However, these ten things are certainly positive points to dwell on when you become overwhelmed.
We are all in this together, so let’s enjoy this crazy adventure!