I've been writing this blog for almost 2 years now. And I've never written about PCS'ing. Well, I've mentioned PCS'es our family has gone through in the past, but not recent PCS'es. I've had a couple of people ask me when we'll be moving but I usually answer that I don't really know. And the reason I don't really know is because my husband and I have become homesteaders.
Yes, that's right, we have no desire to PCS. Therefore, we're planning to stay here as long as possible.
Our first duty station wasn't bad. We liked it for awhile, but as we drove away from our house to embark on our next adventure, we never looked back. We were ready to move on. Our second duty station was fabulous! But we had to leave. Didn't have a choice. But now, at our third duty station, we have some options, and the possibility of staying in one place long enough for our son to get through elementary school is very tempting.
Mr. Roller Coaster has orders for 2 more years here, giving us a guaranteed 5 years in the same place. Wow, 5 years! I haven't lived in one location for 5 years since I was a kid. And if the stars align just so we could probably stay here for another tour after this one!
But there are drawbacks. Mr. Roller Coaster isn't crazy about his current job. Of course he knew going into it that it wouldn't be as fulfilling as his previous position, but when he comes home in a bad mood because of his work day, I often wonder if it was worth it. Maybe we should have broadened our horizons for the sake of my husband's sanity and possibly for the sake of his career.
I know military families who have PCS'ed so many times that they have trouble remembering every location they've called home. But I also know military families who have stayed put for over a decade. There are pros and cons to both. I've moved so many times in my life that I really don't know any lifestyle other than a nomadic one. At times I've felt a visceral need to move, to get a change scenery, a different perspective. But the older I get and the longer I stay in one place, the harder it is for me to think about leaving.
I'm not looking forward to when Mr. Roller Coaster is up for orders again. It's going to be a very difficult decision for us, especially if his professional options in this area are as limited as they were this time around. We agree that if we're presented with the opportunity to give our children some stability, some sense of a "normal" life, we'd like to take it. But if that stability comes at the expense of my husband's job satisfaction, then we might have to move along. (Plus, if Mr. Roller Coaster could find orders to Europe, there's no way we're turning that down!)
So for now we're homesteaders. And it's nice to know I won't have to fill out any change of address forms for awhile.
Have you ever stayed at the same duty station for two or more consecutive tours? Would you prefer to homestead or see the world? Would your husband take a job he knew he wouldn't like in order to give your family some stability?