Life Lessons – Military Appreciation Month
*Are you happy at the moment?
Extremely. I decided that after switching jobs every time we moved, I was ready to start my business as a freelance writer. This is the best decision I’ve ever made. Finally I am happy as a military spouse, a mother and a writer and editor.
*If you could go back and say anything to your 16-year-old self now – what would it be?
Throw that plan in that trash. Life isn’t going to work out the way you planned. It’s going to better. Be open to every opportunity and don’t sell yourself short. You can achieve your dreams. Life isn’t over when you turn 30.
*What’s the most important thing you’ve learned this year?
I am a happy mother when I take time for myself. This isn’t the popular answer in our society of Pinterest mothers who make homemade soap. But it’s works for me. Plus I think I’m a good example to my 2 daughters that Mommy has a career and is successful outside of her job as a mother. My daughters aren’t going to be scarred for life for going to daycare. No more working-mommy guilt for me.
*What do you most want to achieve in the next 12 months?
Finish my professional website and start writing a professional blog. This has been my goal for the last 6 years. It will be done by December 31.
*What’s your secret to happiness?
Service to others. When you take the focus off you and your problems, you can serve others. Offer to help. Offer to listen.
*What one ritual or practice keeps you grounded?
*What’s your biggest regret?
That I didn’t join Toastmasters International sooner.
*What’s the most important lesson you’ve taught your kid(s)?
People, not screens, are a priority in our house. We look each other in the eyes when we talk. We invite friends over for dinners that go past bedtimes. Spend time together outside. Be goofy together as a family.
*What bad habit would you most like to change about yourself?
My coffee addiction.
*Aside from motherhood/fatherhood and marriage what are you most proud of in your life?
My writing awards.
*When were you happiest?
When I get an email from a reader who says “I thought I was the only one who felt that way.”
*What ten words best describe you?
Over-scheduled, can’t say no, Navy wife, Iowa farm girl, writer, editor, mother, foodie, lover of an afternoon nap, book lover, old-fashioned
*What’s the most important thing you want civilians (or public) to know about Military families?
Please get to know us even if we are moving in 2 or 3 years. I don’t want to spend that time alone in my house. I want to experience the best of your hometown. Show it to me. Better yet, let’s explore your hometown together.
Freelance writer Michelle Volkmann is a Navy spouse and mother to 2 Disney-obsessed daughters. She has worked for newspapers and magazines around the world. She survives on bacon and coffee and hates washing dishes. She currently lives in Monterey, California. She is scheduled to move in December, but she doesn’t know where the Navy is sending her family. Please stop asking.