I love lists.

Making them, organizing them, reading them, re-organizing and double-triple-quadruple-checking them. I do it all, all the time. They are all over my house: on the fridge, the calendar, my laptop, and my phone. And I make lists about almost everything: grocery lists, to-do lists, bucket lists, Honey-Do lists (the hub’s favorite kind!), and lists of my goals.

We were lucky enough to be able to go home to Nebraska for Christmas, which was so great, the 12-hour ride, not so much. So to kill some time, we (actually just me, but my husband had no way to escape… mua-haha) decided to make a list of goals for our life together in 1, 5, 10, and 15 years. In the end, I think that he actually enjoyed looking forward to our future, making plans, and daydreaming about all that could be. We talked about getting PhD’s, buying land and building a home, writing books, traveling to foreign countries. We also talked about the not so fun things like deployments, paying off student loans, and the very first goal on our list: surviving our first military separation.

Much sooner than we’d like, Maggie and I will be left to hold down the fort here in Tennessee until our Andrew is done with his training. I’ve had more than just a few pity-parties for myself and felt homesick for Nebraska cornfields like never before. But I finally put my big girl pants on and just sucked it up. This isn’t the only separation we are going to have to endure; there will always be more training and another deployment. I realized that I could either be miserable and mopey for months, or I could make the best of my situation and set the tone for all the ones that will eventually follow. So, with this in mind, I decided to make a list of goals for just myself to accomplish during our separation and in the new year.

  1. Find a church home
  2. For every negative thought, try to think of something positive
  3. Listen to more Michael Buble and Taylor Swift
  4. View the world less through my camera lens and more through my own eyes
  5. Make a new friend
  6. Take more baths (No, I promise I clean myself daily, I’m talking about the kind of baths with lots of bubbles, wine, chocolate, and Michael Buble – playing in the background – see no. 3)
  7. Complain less
  8. Finally read the books I bought last summer
  9. Become content with being alone
  10. Start learning a new language
  11. Paint our bedroom and the laundry room
  12. Volunteer
  13. Start a vegetable garden
  14. Travel to see friends

I know that these next months will be quite difficult for me, but I have a whole host of new things to look forward to, including the fact that my grocery bill and the amount of laundry I do will be A LOT less while he’s gone. I’m going to take this opportunity to learn how to be the best version of me, to grow into someone who can handle hardships, and to enjoy each new day until Andrew comes home to me again. Happy 2016 everyone!

Anna Butler

Air Force wife, History teacher, lover of books, chocolate chip cookie dough, and a nice, big cup of tea. I was born and raised in Bellevue, Nebraska and went to college at Nebraska Wesleyan University in Lincoln. I'm a diehard Husker fan and no matter where the Air Force takes us, I will make it my mission to find a Nebraska bar during football season! I try my best to be a good cook, housekeeper, and Christian wife for my kind and loving husband, and I love to write about how God has worked His magic in my life. However, you'll find that my point of view and interpretations are never too serious. After all, God has a sense of humor; He made the platypus!