We’re in the home stretch.
We’ve entered the final chapter.
We’re in our Senior Year. (That is our recent terminology for an assignment here because most people are here for no more than 4 years. The newbies are Freshman; those who’ve been here more than a year are Sophomores; those of us on the way out are Seniors, with all of the accompanying attitude that goes with it.)
However we say it, our time in Germany will soon come to an end. I suppose soon is a relative term – we’ve probably got about 5 months left, give or take. (At this point we do not know when or where we are moving – that is life in the Air Force – but hopefully we’ll have a destination and a plan by the end of next month.) We certainly have enjoyed our time here (with the possible exception of the first month) and if we were told we could stay another year or three I would be completely okay with that.
But with a trip back across the pond on the horizon, I find myself behaving just a little differently. Anyone who has moved frequently might recognize some of these behaviors…
- I am relentlessly purging. We’ve got a weight limit of 14,500 pounds and I *think* we’ll be under that - we moved here with 8,000 pounds (hence the name of this blog.) But I don’t want to take any chances, especially since we’ve accumulated a few things while we’ve lived here, and we have to account for the treasures we’ve got in non-temporary storage back in the States (which will likely prove to be frightening in the sense of what-on-earth-were-we-thinking-saving-this.) Plus, even though everything will be packed up and moved for us, we will be the ones who have to unpack and find a place for it in our new home. I don’t want to deal with any more junk than I have to. When Jeremy asks me, “How was your day?” I sometimes respond with how many things I threw out or donated.
- I am purchasing the things I love. Cheap antiques and other interesting things won’t be so easy to come by stateside. I am making lists for a few last shopping trips and things to look for at the Bis-Bis. I also have a running list of the grocery items I want to import, but I’ll wait to buy those until just before we leave.
- I laugh at the fact that those two behaviors are diametrically opposed. I rationalize this by saying it is a process of prioritizing. I’m getting rid of the Happy Meal toys so that I can bring back more pottery.
- Been there, done that, here’s my two cents. I am freely doling out advice on all things European. Need a Paris hotel recommendation? Let me tell you where we stayed the first, second, third and fourth time we went to Paris. Confused about the train system? Want to know where to shop? Need advice on what to do with the kids on a rainy day? Who is the best 1st grade teacher? Just ask. I’ll gladly give my opinion (which may or may not come with the directive to check out my blog.)
- I am planning meals around the random ingredients in my cupboards. This sometimes involves purchasing three ingredients to use up that one can of whatever, but I’m slowly making progress. Really.
- I keep doing mental calculations to determine if various consumables will be used up before we move. I’d rather use it up than throw it out or move it, so I’m adjusting my usage of various items (cleaners, lotion, food items) accordingly. As a result my floors are a bit cleaner and my skin is more moisturized. Thanks for noticing.
- I have a sense of urgency about participating in annual events. Rain or shine, if we want to see it, we’ve got to go for it. There’s not going to be a “next year.” (Well, hopefully there will be a next year – I’m not predicting the end of the world or anything – but this is our last shot.)
- I keep staring at my DEROS list. That is the list that we made of all the places we wanted to travel. I’ve narrowed it to 5 places that I really, really, really want to visit before we leave: One more trip to London (planned!); one more trip to Paris (in the works!); a family trip to Normandy (spring break!); a trip to Denmark (maybe the stars will align?); and a trip to Stockholm (I think I’m going to have to let this one go very soon.) Sorry Munich, Canary Islands, Baltic cruise and the rest of my travel dreams. Maybe another time.
- My calendar is my friend. I stare at the pages regularly, looking for a magically free weekend to pop out at me so that I can plan one more trip to wherever. So far it is not happening.
- Visions of logistical details are running through my head. Even without a destination or departure date I find myself wondering just when we should schedule the packers and movers, when we should ship the car (and if we should sell a car), when the last day of school will be for the boys, and when we should move into a guest house. It’s maddening.
- I am attempting to document the seemingly mundane aspects of life. I want to remember those little details. I want my boys to remember those little details. I’m taking plenty of photos. Smile, Döner Kabob guy! We’ll always remember you!
- I have a renewed passion for the people and things I love. Perfect example: my favorite Thursday activity – meeting friends at the market - can’t be taken for granted. And I ought to take lots of photos while I’m there.
- I have an LCF for the things I do not love. LCF stands for Low Care Factor, that “whatever” attitude about things that I don’t want to deal with. I’m not going to get super passionate about the fact that the school bus is completely inconsistent in its arrival time. I’ve got trips to plan and closets to purge.