Life Lessons – Military Appreciation Month:
Kimberly Bacso

*Are you happy at the moment?

I’m not unhappy, but I’m definitely on edge as we prepare to move for the second time in a year. Getting orders for a new duty station is like suffering from spring fever. I tend to plan and daydream about our new home and it’s hard to focus on the here and now.

*If you could go back and say anything to your 16 year old self now – what would it be?

Study hard but take time to develop and explore your interests so you can choose a college major that will serve you well for the long haul. Heed the advice of your teachers and other mentors who know you well. My high school government teacher advised me over and over to study English and not accounting. Many years later I’m the editor-in-chief for a health and wellness organization and not doing accounting at all.

*What’s the most important thing you’ve learned this year?

Beautiful things can happen when talent meets passion. Six months ago, a small group of military spouses and I went live with InDependent, a health and wellness campaign partnering with Public Health Foundation Enterprises, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping military spouses thrive despite all of the unique challenges we face. We merge our individual skills to put out high quality content every day on a volunteer basis because we believe that we can truly make a difference.

*What do you most want to achieve in the next 12 months?

Now that InDependent has a proven track record, I would love to find funding so we can launch a social fitness program with a big name partner. And, I’d love to see the team receive a modest salary. They deserve it!

*What’s your secret to happiness?

I don’t believe in happiness as a destination, or something to be achieved. Life is a series of moments, some good and some unpleasant. It’s up to me to acknowledge and appreciate the good moments for an overall sense of well-being.

*What one ritual or practice keeps you grounded?

My morning yoga and meditation practice helps prepare me for whatever the day has in store. I love waking before the rest of my family and spending some time on my mat. It lets me ease into my day before anybody wants anything from me. And, if I’m not able to do anything else for myself during the day, I know that I had an hour to build flexibility, strength, and a sense of peace.

*What’s your biggest regret?

I’ve moved around my entire life. I regret not maintaining closer relationships with all of the amazing women who have been my friends along the way. Social media is great for kind of keeping in touch, but I’d like for it to go deeper than that.

*What’s the most important lesson you’ve taught your kid(s)?

I’ve taught my daughter how to be healthy through eating well and exercising. I don’t know if I should be proud or mortified that my daughter lectures her elementary school friends on nutrition in the school cafeteria. I also shake my head and smile when I see her using my phone video herself teaching yoga.

*What bad habit would you most like to change about yourself?

I would like to stop the ugly voice inside my head. I am definitely my own worst critic, and I’d like to learn how to give myself a little grace.

*Aside from motherhood and marriage what are you most proud of in your life?

I’m proud that I have the life skills and determination to accomplish anything I set out to do…from natural childbirth to running a marathon. A friend once joked that I could assemble a rocket if only given the instructions. Maybe not a rocket, but definitely IKEA furniture!

*When were you happiest?

I try to thrive wherever I am even though I’m never there for very long. But, I’m especially thankful for the years we got to spend in Germany. My husband and I were there for three years when we were first married. Then we got to go back later with our daughter for four more years. She got to visit more than 20 countries by the time she was eight.

*What ten words best describe you?

teacher, yogini, vegetarian, loyal, conscientious, hard-working, strong, flexible, detail-oriented, determined

*What’s the most important thing you want civilians (or public) to know about Military families?

We may come and go from your lives in the blink of an eye, but we are especially thankful for your friendship and the opportunities you give us while we’re there.

Kimberly is a co-founder and editor-in-chief of InDependent, an organization dedicated to helping military spouses thrive through health and wellness. She exchanged an office with a view for a life of adventure when she became a military spouse in 2001 and a mom in 2004. Since then, she has been teaching military spouses how to create rich lives through fitness, healthy eating, travel, and creativity. She is a registered yoga teacher and lifelong vegetarian currently residing in Kansas with her husband, daughter, and two poodles. Follow her on Twitter @Kimberly_Bacso.