"Time is the cruelest teacher; first she gives the test, then she teaches the lesson"- Unknown
When this deployment first started, I was bracing myself for 18 month. That hit me like a load of bricks. I couldn't even talk to my husband about it for two days. For some reason, the thing I thought about most was that I was 32 and when he came back, I would be 34. I realized that we wouldn't be able to have a baby of our own together for what sounded like such a long time.
One of the greater disappointments for me to deal with during the deployment was the over all sense of the loss of time. Think of all the things that happen in a year plus of time, you know? You can't get time back, not even by grieving its loss. Poof! Every second that passes is just gone. Mason Cooley said "regret for wasted time is more wasted time." And he's right- you can sure waste a lot of time simply waiting for the time to pass. Looking back, I wonder if I wasted too much time idling my engine.
Now, just simply as it began, all that time is behind us. What seems like it will never end when you are enduring, well, it will end, my friend. So keep looking forward, but not so much that you don't stop to consider the lessons you are learning along the way.