Surviving Separation: Time Left

This is part six in a series about surviving separation from your spouse. Read all posts in this series.

Gregg and Hallee - 1 week after his return from Afghanistan in 2003

Gregg and I have been married for over seven years. We didn’t live together until our first anniversary. Three months after we married, he deployed to Afghanistan. A couple of years later, he changed his military specialty and went to school 400 miles away for eight months. A couple years later, he went to another school, even further away, for six months. He is currently in Afghanistan again, this time as a civilian contractor, and has six more months there before he can come home. On top of these extended absences, his civilian job had him away from home for months at a time, when he would come home on Friday night and leave again on Sunday. We have spent more time apart than together, so we have learned how to have an abiding, intimate relationship even though we’re, at times and currently, thousands of miles away from each other. This series will provide you with little tips and hints we’ve picked up along the way.

Time Left

Gregg calls where he is the weirdest timezone on the planet.  It isn’t 8 hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time.  Or 9 hours ahead.  It’s 8½ hours ahead.

Not always easy to calculate on the fly.  I’ve gotten good at it, but it’s easier for me to calculate forward than it is for him to calculate backward.

We discovered Time Left.  It’s a free program that adds a clock or a countdown to your desktop.

I have a clock that shows what time it is where Gregg is.  He has a clock showing what time it is where I am.

We both have a countdown for when he’ll come home.  The second he has a plane ticket purchased, I plug in the date and time his plane lands.  I choose it to give me minutes instead of days.  Minutes disappear faster than days.  At the time I wrote this post, he had just under 17,000 minutes before he’d be home.

It’s little things that help keep us connected.  Day vs. Night.  Having it right on top of all things on my desktop gives me a little connection to him whenever I’m at my computer.  I know he’s at dinner or in bed or doing whatever daily phone call he has at whatever time he has it.


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