I think it’s starting to sink in now. Slowly, subtly…but sinking. At the time I’m writing this, I have 6 weeks of work left. At this point, it’s mostly mind over matter and every other cliché you can think of. Finish strong, tough it out, keep your head in the game, don’t burn bridges. A lot of words. A lot of pep talks about the importance of getting out of bed and turning on my computer FOR ONE MORE DAY. A lot of scolding myself for daydreams or accidental visits to Pinterest, the time sucking vortex reminder that I will never be as creative or talented as “they” are. Things I do not do: crafty DIY projects.
And as my daily routine comes to an end, I start to realize that our time stateside is limited and then I start to feel twinges of sadness, nostalgia, excitement…an assortment of substantive “mini-breakthrough” thoughts masked as seeming absentmindedness. Flavorful, fleeting tastes of my true feelings about the change that is about to engulf life as we know it.
Ithink about hot sunny days on the lake with my family and long afternoons that lead to happily exhausted nights grilling out on the front porch and waving at neighbors who drive by in their golf carts. I think about helping my mom with dinner as music wafts out from the kitchen and about making my brothers laugh by voicing the thoughts that pass unfiltered through my often twisted mind.
I think about having Nerf wars with my brother’s-in-law and game nights with my in-laws and bonding with my sister’s-in-law over how blessed we are to have married into such a family. I think about my niece or nephew that will be born while we’re gone…I had my first major meltdown the other night, just sobbing in bed about how extremely sad I was to think about missing the birth of my first niece or nephew and how many other major milestones we’ll miss in his or life and in the lives of our friends and family.
I think about eating tacos and cheese dip and drinking margaritas on the patio of our favorite restaurant in Atlanta with my best friends; talking about anything and everything until we’re full and tired and content that we’ve been brought up to speed on all the details of each other’s lives that we miss when we’re apart.
I think about my best friend’s fast approaching wedding…and a lump catches in my throat and I have to very quickly think about something else because I can’t start crying just yet…I am so excited for that day. It’s possible that I’m more excited for her wedding than I was for our wedding (sorry, Z) because I don’t have the nerves or the pressure of details weighing on me. I get teary just thinking about how meaningful it is to be able to watch my best friend marry the man I’ve heard her dream about for the past 20+ years. I can’t wait to celebrate with her and her family and my family and so many of our mutual friends.
I don’t think about the day we leave. I don’t think about the goodbyes. I don’t think about being gone for the 4th of July (one of my favorite holidays) or about missing the birth of a dear college friend’s baby. I don’t think about those things because right now I’m just trying to deal with the slow, subtle sinking in. That, I can deal with. Usually. One thing at a time.