Opening The Deployment Thankfulness Jar

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It has been over two months since Daddy Big Feet has returned from his 5 month deployment and in that time we have moved house and location. It has taken this long for the waters to slow from crashing waves to gently moving waters.

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Rewind 7 months and there was a feeling that the water was rising at a rapid rate and that any minute the panic would take hold. Daddy Big Feet was gearing up to leave in the next couple of weeks and I needed a distraction. Enter the Deployment Thankfulness Jar. The idea was simple and by no means innovative. There are many versions of Thankfulness Jars out there. This particular one, was made to be used throughout the entire deployment as a way of mindfulness. Taking a moment to remember what we have been thankful for in the week that has past. Every Sunday evening while we ate our evening meal I would ask Little Feet A and B what they were thankful for that week. Little Feet A understood from week 1 the game and to my surprise it only took Little Feet B (who had only just turned 2) a couple of weeks to understand what we were doing.

Everyone that came to visit and stayed over on a Sunday night was required to do it and it always led to a thoughtful moment snatched in time. My request normally received a startled and panicked look, but was always replaced with quiet pondering. The chance to think back over what has happened. Some weeks it could be something big while others something so small you had clung on to. Patterns appear and you begin to realise the small things that you take pleasure in and the bigger things that are important to you.

For more, find the original post through the link below.

The first week Daddy Big Feet returned we decided to open it the jar that was now full. We sat round the kitchen table, where they had all been written over the previous few months. It was one full of smiles and run away tears. Tears while re-reading some of the girls notes. But above all, gratitude. Gratitude that our little family was once again sat round our kitchen table altogether, in the same house and country.

We would love to share just a few of those notes…

My sister out of the blue came to visit just 24 hours after Daddy Big Feet left.

My sister out of the blue came to visit just 24 hours after Daddy Big Feet left.

Little Feet B - Two GREAT things to be thankful for if you ask me

Little Feet B - Two GREAT things to be thankful for if you ask me

Little Feet A. She had a really rough go of it and suffered a whole lot of unexpected anxiety in the second half of Daddy Big Feet’s Deployment. The phrase of the first half of the year was, ‘Mummy always comes back’.

Little Feet A. She had a really rough go of it and suffered a whole lot of unexpected anxiety in the second half of Daddy Big Feet’s Deployment. The phrase of the first half of the year was, ‘Mummy always comes back’.

Clearly a stressful week…

Clearly a stressful week…

The petrol that fuelled me for 6 months! Forever grateful for caffeine…

The petrol that fuelled me for 6 months! Forever grateful for caffeine…

A beautiful I LOVE LAMP moment from Little Feet B here.

A beautiful I LOVE LAMP moment from Little Feet B here.

The Deployment Thankfulness Jar has been shared with a hope to inspire those who are about to start out on a deployment journey with your Little Feet, those who may be half way through and those who know they will be on one of those journeys in the future. But also, those who aren’t even in the military lifestyle and just think it's a great idea for teaching positivity, even when things are difficult and there seems like no end in sight. .

Deployments are bloody hard there is no denying it, but through all it by giving yourself and your children a chance to reflect and consider on a week to week basis what has made us happy and thankful for will reap the benefits. Positivity can do wonders and if you don’t feel it, don’t worry - fake it until you make it. I think we’d be surprised quite how many of us do just that.