There are so many wonderful aspects of military life, but for some mandatory fun is not one of them.
Mandatory fun or required attendance at military social events is not always fun.
Some events are a bit stuffy and too formal. Some are too crowded and impersonal. Others are family oriented or for adults only. They don’t always fit in with your schedule and logistics can be difficult. Still, you are required to attend and so you do.
These mandatory fun events can actually be fun.
It’s all in how you perceive it. If you go in with the mindset that you won’t enjoy it, then you likely won’t have a good time.
Next time you have mandatory fun scheduled, try to have fun. Look for the positive in what otherwise could be a time where you are negative.
Formal military events, for example, are not my favorite.
A military ball is definitely mandatory fun in my book. I don’t like all the preparation it takes. Service members have it so easy; all they have to do is put on their uniform.
I, on the other hand, have to go dress shopping because of course you can’t wear the same formal gown to multiple events. Then you have to find shoes and a handbag to go with the dress. Shopping takes all day.
Add kids into the mix and you either have to drag them along shopping or get someone to watch them. On the day of the formal event it takes ages to get ready.
Once at this mandatory fun, you mingle with people you don’t know. You listen to the service members talk about work using all sorts of acronyms. How are there so many acronyms in the military? I have no idea or at least a minimal idea of what they are talking about. It is always shop talk.
Though preparing for this mandatory fun is no fun at all, the events usually are. I get to talk to military spouses that I otherwise might not see. I meet some people my husband works with and put a face to names I’ve only heard.
If nothing else, there’s usually wine.
Military family events can be time consuming.
You might have had other plans for the weekend but had to cancel them because this was a mandatory fun event. If your children are in sports, scouts or other organized groups, you might be driving between events. It can be a hectic day. Children will likely get overstimulated and over tired. There might be a meltdown or two as well.
Family events are more mandatory fun for my husband then for me though. He doesn’t like giving up his free time to see people that he works with all week long. I understand that.
For me however, this is fun. I don’t get to see those people or their families as much. These types of events can be stressful with logistics and behavior, but they can also be fun. I love to see my babies dressed up with the theme of the event. I like to bake so potluck events are great.
Sure we’ll be very tired at the end of the day, but it’s worth it.
Mandatory fun can be fun if you look at the bright side of it.
Holiday parties are another instance of mandatory fun that really can be fun. The bright side for me is that I get to see the look on my son’s face when he meets Santa or the Easter Bunny.
I get overwhelmed when there are a ton of children running around and our son follows in, but these events are few and far between so I can handle it as long as there’s a coffee in my hand.