Acronyms are everywhere in the Army.
Why say a string of words when one succinct combo of letters nails it? One of my new favorite acronyms is CTFD (Calm The F%$k Down). It is not an official Army acronym, but it should be. I tend to run down the rabbit hole, and PCS season can have me spinning in a hot second. I am well aware of this less than attractive trait, and I have learned to CTFD. Almost daily I find a need to repeat CTFD under my breath. It is like a mental rubber band snap on the wrist. No one needs to know, but I need to hear it. KTP, CTFD! Sorry mom, but fudge, frick, frig or freak wouldn’t cut it.
I am emotion based and my logical husband can usually distract, divert or talk me down. I do not always like what he has to say, but he usually gets me to CTFD. My children have a much less diplomatic approach. “Mom, why are you spazzing?” Spazzing? Who is spazzing? I always froth at the mouth, but maybe I was overreacting just a smidge. Even after yoga, I struggle with quieting my mind. When laying in silence during savasana I pray the poor soul next to me will not hear the squeaking of the hamster wheel in my head. My friend named the hamster in her head Liberace. If I ever got a text that Lib was loose I knew it was time for an intervention, and by intervention I mean a day of junk therapy. Everyone has a Liberace, but not all freely admit it.
PCS season can bring more CTFD moments than most. You wrestle with the Army to maintain any iota of control you can salvage, and wrap your hands around clinging tightly. You have no idea where you are headed, where you will live or when the magical and almost mythical orders will arrive and illuminate the path ahead. That is the bad news. The good news? If the Army wants you there, they will get you there. It won’t be easy or pretty, but it will be done. The packers will pack almost everything, and I do mean everything. I will never forget unpacking our kitchen in Germany, and finding a small neatly folded fast food bag that contained two not so soft tacos, a napkin and hot sauce packet. That was more WTF than CTFD, but you get the point.
We are now facing our umpteenth move, and I am perplexed by a good problem to have. I think. We are moving to a community that has a magnet school program. We have to choose and apply and hope we are chosen to attend the school we choose. KTP, CTFD! I am an Army brat and Army wife. Choices are not my strong suit. I was raised in a world where you get what you get and you don’t pitch a fit. Now we have to choose and apply to high schools? Wait, what? The perfect partner to CTFD is our family mantra, “There is always a solution.” Eye rolls and groans are the knee jerk reaction from my family when I invoke those words, but we have found it to the honest truth. All or nothing is a scary situation, but reminding yourself of options can help everyone CTFD. The solution might not be exactly or even remotely what you wanted and/or planned, but there is one. Army families know how to make things happen, and sometimes you must CTFD to see the best way forward.
“Life goes by fast. Enjoy it. Calm down. It’s all funny.” ~ Joan Rivers
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