This fire life has many good things, as well as bad. I think life in general treats us this way because without both of those we don’t learn how to appreciate the other. I want to dive into these a little today. Especially the last thing in the title. The awkward in betweens that aren’t necessarily good but not necessarily bad.
So, let’s talk about the good. Our firefighters have a career of saving lives, saving forests, and helping do their part to make the world a better place. How could we not be proud of being with someone like that?! More things that are good about the fire life is the schedule not every couple gets to have days during the week off together. Getting to partake in school days, less crowded store shopping and public. It’s nice to go to the lake without the crowds of the weekenders there. And if you’re lucky enough to have a little weekends and a little week days off with your firefighter you get the best of both worlds. Some other really good things include having someone who knows how to cook and clean just as well if not better then you. It makes a huge difference to have that extra help. Overtime is that double edged sword but can be a great thing when that paycheck rolls in. The list could go on and there really isn’t an end to the things we could say are good about this job.
But, what about the bad??? All of those things listed above have bad sides to them. Because of the life saving there then comes negative impact on our firefighters mental health. There are so so many important events missed and a lot we have to learn how to handle as if we were single. Like I said that overtime check is great but it came with the cost of not having our firefighter present for days on end. Increasing their stress and our stress as well. The more fires our firefighters go on brings a greater increased risk of contracting firefighter cancer. This career can be beautifully devastating.
But what the heck is the “awkward” about? It’s the in between of the good and the bad the things we feel guilty about yet are necessary. Let me give an example. My husband’s position right now allows him to come home on some nights, yet he is on call. More then once it’s last minute, “hey I am coming home.” All those funny hurry up and clean isn’t quite funny. It’s at the end of the day and the last thing I planned on worrying about was dishes in the sink. It gets a little awkward for me to allow him to see the reality of what life looks like when he’s gone. Like no I don’t always have it together when you’re not here. Then there’s the night he says he is coming home and that dang episode on that show he can’t stand but I love is on. I had every intention of watching because he wasn’t going to be home. The routine when he is on shift I am used to is totally highjacked and I am in this in between of which routine am I supposed to be in. It is awkward, it is hard, and dang it it is wonderful because when I think about it I am going to get to see my firefighter.
These two worlds somehow need to coexist. He is very much aware of the life that is lived with and without him there but for me it’s being comfortable allowing myself not to always have it together for him. It’s a complex life with so many different factors that can make it good, bad and yes sometimes awkward. But it isn’t a life I would trade for anything. Even on the days I question why we do this to ourselves I know deep down it’s right where we’re supposed to be. The fire life is constantly being willing to adjust your life, your schedule and your daily routines. Make the most of each phase and season of Fire life you’re in. Being willing to learn, adjust and grow from it all good or bad.