Semper Gumby! My fellow Marine spouses and myself often use this as our motto instead of “Semper Fi”. It reflects the secret to surviving and thriving in not just the Marine community, but the military community and lifestyle as a whole. For those not old enough, Gumby was a popular television Claymation character. He was very flexible.

I have been a spouse for 27 years….wow, sounds like a long time when you say it out loud. But over the many years of packing, unpacking, relocating, and making new friends at every locale; there’s a common thread that runs through my life experience and it’s FLEXIBILITY. The logistics alone of gathering family and household goods, organizing the search for new schools for the kids, finding a new home—often done without your active duty spouse, can be overwhelming. On average we move every 2-3 years. Flexibility means being open and accepting of the unknown – city, neighborhood, people, cultures, etc. It’s necessary to “roll” with what comes at you and handling one thing at a time. Flexibility is key to keeping your sanity and more importantly, your sense of humor.