I’m adding What I Wore On Wednesday to this blog. Be prepared for humor, laughter and perhaps an occasional tear in this section of this blog.
This Wednesday marks us being here in Japan for exactly one week! We’re still newbies at living in Japan.
The hardest part of moving frequently is finding your new community. In the last week, we’ve done great finding new schools, new shopping areas, the community library, the new hospital, and signed our boys up for Japanese and piano lessons. These are the relatively easy things. Now I need to find friends. I’m making progress. I guess the meet-and-greet is the easiest because I’m gregarious and look confident, even when I’m not up for putting myself out there.
While I just wish my real friends were here to go get coffee with, I also realize I need friends in the same geographical location. My kids need friends whose parents I grow to love and respect, too. We also need a strong support system because there will be times during this duty station while my husband is gone for a few months, while we are in a foreign country! Yikes. And it is then and now that we need a positive community and support system.
My husband excitedly brought me a flyer a few days ago from the hotel laundry room. It announced the Officers’ Spouses’ Welcome Coffee Social at the O-Club. I appreciate my husband’s encouragement and thoughtfulness. He knows I love these Coffee Socials! I’ve been to more of these socials than I can remember. My favorite coffee social event memories are from our duty station in Newport, Rhode Island. I loved the women I became friends with there.
I invited my husband’s sponsor’s wife who doesn’t make these events since she home schools. My husband watched her kids, too. What a supportive husband just so I could go to coffee with someone! So I got ready and wore some business casual attire, as instructed on the flyer.
Upon arriving at the spouses’ social I got this awesome name tag:
It says, “Hello. I’m new! I’ve been here for one week.” I added my name below.
Notice the name tag doesn’t say all the things I’m feeling, “I’m exhausted!”, “I’m living in a hotel waiting on housing.”, “Almost all my friends are in the United States.”, “My children have cried today because they miss their friends, which made me cry.” or “I need new friends!”
While the name tag doesn’t include those latter comments, every military spouse knows that relocating so recently means you are going through all of those hard things!
Then, my husband’s coworkers wife Stephanie introduced me to several other wives, one woman Camilla with a stunning British accent (who reminds me of my sweet British friend Debbie at home) volunteered to organize a department spouse dinner or coffee! Thank the world for sweet women like Camilla and Stephanie.
Then, I went on to the typical “fair” part of the spouse social, and chatted with the school liaison, joined the Officers’ Spouses ‘ Club, signed up to join the bi-monthly coffee dates at the local American style coffee shop, meet the school helper counselors who I will be utilizing for helping my kids adjust, and I signed up to joined a Japanese-American Spouses club event, and then I was invited to a Japanese and American Mom and Tots group. Lots of options to get out of the house and start making friends.
I gained all those things by putting on some desperately needing to be worn clothes that have been hiding at the bottom of my suitcase, and simply showing up with a bit of confidence and gregariousness while wearing, “Hello! I’m new. …” I also went out of the house without children, ate some delicious food and connected with some sweet women.
Later, I went home joined my husband and children and we went and ran errands and later had dinner with the sweet Stephanie (mentioned above) and her husband.
Readers, what did you all wear on Wednesday?
P.S. Later in the night two of my children got sick, particularly my youngest. In the late hours of the night I wore chunks of her Mac-n-cheese. Hey, it comes with the job of Motherhood.
When my husband told his coworker today at work, his wife sweetly sent me a text and asked if we needed anything. Now that is a great beginning of a friendship.