Deployments can seem interminable, especially at the beginning. Whether it’s six months, twelve months, or fourteen months, it’s hard to face the prospect of such a long absence. “Repackaging” the absence in smaller chunks—while giving yourself something to look forward to following each chunk—can help make the situation more manageable. During my husband’s last deployment, my children and I chose a fun day trip to take once a month, and we then counted down each month to that day. After all, getting through a month with something exciting waiting at the end of it is easier than getting through an entire year. Any weekly or monthly “milestones” work: some military friends count down the number of trash nights they have left in the deployment until their spouse comes home to take over trash duty again!