Army life is overwhelming. Isn’t it? All those living among graceful ladies and chivalrous gentlemen start taking toll after sometimes. No? The mess parties,the welfare programs, the lectures to motivate families,escorting some dignitaries to your town and what not. Then this constant race of performing well and rated higher than the others among army officers sometimes result into ruining the best of relationships you ever held here inside the fraternity. The Army wives feel hassled with this constant battle of maintaining perfection everywhere. It’s a race.
The house should be beautiful,the kids should be well mannered,the clothes they wear should epitomise their grace, the parties should be a hit, the senior ladies should be appreciative,the talent they possess should be some use to the organisation and what more even the smile they wear in public should be perfect. Hmph! Is that even possible to achieve all?
But we all constantly try. Don’t we? While lecturing the OR families about how they should look after their own kids somewhere our own kids are neglected. The parties were meant to bring people closer but sometimes they turn into the best places to drift people away.
We all talk about how much problems jawans families are facing but then problems are human they are not meant to be limited to be a certain class or people so it should not be an astonishment when we say that problems lies among officer’s families too. But then nobody talks about it. I mean it’s really tough to accept especially when you are suppose to lead people by example.
Our number as a community is in lakhs. Is it even acceptable that same rules applies to all? Do we really believe the utter chaos that we see once we step out of our beautiful cantonments is not part of our lives? Though I am not saying that we all feel the same way but then this is exactly my point that we all can’t feel equally happy or sad about the codes which implies equally to all here.
We are all suppose to live like a community but not like individuals and that is the problem!
And if this all is true then why don’t we talk about it? What is wrong in that? What’s wrong in holding all those conferences regarding Military life and stress related to it? Aren’t we preparing grounds for some bigger problems in future?
Infact why blame the organisation aren’t we all responsible for the problems we face in our lives after all ? So why do we even allow ourselves to get burdened with the loads of perfection and surround ourselves with the myths of perfect life
when we can totally achieve a blissful happy ‘Army life’ just by accepting that it’s not perfect!
You need to address that you are husbands,wives,sons,daughters,friends and human first before being an Lieutenant,Captain, Major, Colonel, Brigadier,Major General or their families. You are allowed to break and breathe in an environment which is flexible.
So what do you do now? How can you be perfectly happy while enjoying the best of army life? How can you create balance between our professional and personal lives? How can you make friends along with your good ratings and not just foes?
There are many other hows which are exclusive to army life but you know what the answer to all these questions is only one. Yes! One!
We can achieve all this by being normal. By normal I mean by being civilian first before being an army officer,army wife or an army brat. Trust me all those badges which we proudly carry with ourselves are root causes of our displeasures here.
Didn’t you hear ‘ With great power comes the great responsibilities’ (yeah,yeah I know Spiderman’ uncle said that) So while it’s a great honour to be a part of this great and lovely fraternity it is also important that we don’t take it too seriously.
Here are few tips how can we not let our army life overpower our real self and kill the real we!!
Be proud of your identity that army provides you but don’t use it as a mask over your real self. Always remember you were born civilian. It makes you humble.
Yes,we have messes and cooks but try to cook at your home. If you work or you have kids then it’s okay to use the facility but if you can then do it. Trust me no mess food can compensate what a wife or mom can cook for her own family.
So okay your husband might not be gelling well with his colleague but that doesn’t mean you would not gel well with that person too . Infact that makes it more important to create a good relation with that particular family. Trust me it works and it will eventually make everything right and most importantly easy.
Same goes for the officers that they have more reasons to behave more humbly with the particular lady with which their wives are not gelling well with. It will solve half the problems that ever existed in the first place.
Try to be competitors but not stabbers. You can always rise without pulling anyone down. Remember Karma always bites back!
Look good and glamorous but never ever make fun of those who according to you are not well dressed. Remember it’s just your style doesn’t matches to theirs and maybe this is the way they want it.
Be supportive towards your neighbours and colleagues.Try to mingle with them casually and talk your heart out if possible once in a while which is so not fauji talks.
Be genuinely cordial,welcoming and helpful to your successors. There’s no point feeling insecure and also try to remember that how you feel when you go to a new place and know none. Everybody has a place here. You should always try to be their best guides and first mentors as no one else knows the hardships your appointments have to offer to the new people.
Same goes to you if you yourself are in successor shoes. There’s no need to be over elated and feel over powered. Be humble and thankful towards your predecessors for looking after things so well which makes things easy for you. Try not to think that you suddenly changed everything about a place which was surviving even before you. It’s just a two year tenure take it easy and pray that everything goes well as your predecessors who are leaving successfully.
Throw away that feeling that you are carrying all the loads and nobody else is working. It’s bullshit.
Don’t ever be part of any group. It should never be Officer vs CO, CO vs other officer, Officer vs other officers. It’s never a good practice inside army other than the facts that we are not school kids anymore.
Don’t be the part of nagging army wives community who always pushes their husbands to work more and worry about their jobs more than the officers themselves. Try to understand that originally it’s his world not yours.
Also don’t be the part of lousy army wives who just won’t do a single welfare or participate into anything official only because the are not in the race anymore. Come on you are more than that. You are already a part of a community which is great.
Try to treat your buddies and other helps extremely cordially. Remember you don’t own them. You are no Queen Victoria and they are just helping you.It’s their generosity so try not to take them for granted. And trust me it’s extremely important for your own mental peace how you treat other people.
Try to have a circle outside army too. It’s of utmost importance. I repeat utmost importance! Too much army is injurious to health. An outside circle of friends show you a mirror that world also exist outside army and you are eventually part of that world. It not only keeps you grounded but also doesn’t limit your exposure.
Just don’t be a sit at home army wife. If you have kids or other responsibilities then it’s okay not to work but a work life of your own will help you taking army life a little lightly and keep off your mind from indulging into useless things. If not anything go to Asha Schools voluntarily and understand how wonderful life is in spite of all the troubles.
The idea is just to have your own personality than just being someone’s wife. It solves half the problems you are having from the organisation. It’s not necessary to do a full time job.You can do anything you like.
Last but not the least make time for a hobby,sports,dance or anything that delights you. Meditating for sometime a day is also not a bad idea. Laugh some more,make some jokes and live casual for a while if not possible always.
Remember It’s easy to be bad but it’s extremely difficult to be good. You can bad mouth in a second but having courage to listen to the bullshit and still maintaining your calms is rare.
Nothing remains forever. It’s all a myth. So try to enjoy what comes the way and help people by the virtue of your post. That’s the only purpose of your appointment.
And if you want to read more on army then here are the links
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