Saturday, July 31, 2010

Turning Point

It finally happened! I made the transition to being incredibly stressed about all the things I have to get done to being really excited for a week of vacation with friends and family and then heading to post! My suitcases are mostly packed, all the errands that can be done are done, and it's time to sit back and enjoy the ride. Housing at post is solidified, even if I will be in a temp apartment until mine is ready. Just knowing that I have housing is enough for now. Tomorrow we're having a gathering at my house in NH, which I'm really looking forward to. Then it's a week of relaxing fun! I hope everyone else's weekend is off to a great start as well. (I also made a discovery last night - when I write casually, such as for blog posts or emails, I tend to way overuse parenthetical phrases, ellipses, and exclamation points, often rendering sentences almost undecipherable. This is so different than my formal writing style; it was an interesting realization!) (And yes, I know what I just did there... And here.)

Thursday, July 29, 2010

It's Over

Nine (9) long hours later, pack-out ended. It was mostly painless for me, but I definitely had a few "oh my goodness what am I going to with all this stuff?" moments as the boxes mounted. In my defense, half of every box is packing material. The two women who packed me up were wonderful, but the overall organization of the company left something to be desired. (They sent two teams of packers and one team of movers and one truck for two moves in two different buildings. I was essentially move #2, so everything took waaaay longer than it should have.) It's over now and out of my hands. After a wonderful dinner out with a new friend/neighbor/colleague I'll be sorry to leave behind, it was back to the drudgery. Laundry. Packing boxes to ship via the mail (clothes and dog supplies I can't wait for). Reassessing the mountain of things I kept behind for 2.5 suitcases. Reassessing some more. Cleaning out the car one final time. Reassuring Hattie that the world is not ending. She may not believe me for the next two weeks as her world really does turn upside down, but all will end well, insha'allah. Anyway, bedtime. Tomorrow is another (very long, very busy) day. And then I get to go home!! A whole week off with nothing (much) to do but relax and soak up America for the last time in a while. The hardest part is over.

Ready... I think.

It's almost 9; the movers are slated to arrive in the next hour. I am actually sitting down and eating breakfast - because everything is ready for them! Unprecedented. I did almost have a breakdown yesterday when I got home from my admin tasks to find my apartment being ransacked (under the guise of maintenance) by the renovation team. For the second time this month. After I had written, called, and telepathy-ed (ied?) my anger, frustration, etc.. So, I freaked out a little bit. Which apparently helped, because within 20 minutes my apartment was (almost) back to the way I had left it. And I channeled my anger/frustration/disappointment/anxiety into preparing the kitchen for pack-out. After that, I got pretty much everything I needed to done. I even had time this morning to go get drinks and snacks for the team (which I just couldn't motivate myself to do at 11:30 last night when I was finally ready to do so). So, fingers crossed, I will be this sane at the end of the day. Hattie, however, is another story.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The Question Is...

Will I get through the next 33 hours or so while maintaining my sanity? Anyone who knows me knows that packing is not my strong suit. Even for a day trip, I pack too much and stress about everything that could go wrong. I call myself a contingency packer; others call me insane. I am the one rolling a large suitcase, a mobile office, a purse, and a shoulder bag for a 2-day trip. My poor mother usually ends up helping out; she is happily staying in NH for this one. (After I brought her to South Africa under the guise of a 3-week touring holiday but with the ulterior motive of helping me pack and move back to the US, she has gotten wise to my tricks.)

So today's task (as expected, left to the last minute) is to prepare for tomorrow's pack-out. I have set some very low goals for myself for the day: separate out everything I'm bringing with me on the plane, separate my UAB shipment, print/scan a few last things, box up a few things I want to ship ahead, and tidy up where possible. Ultimately all will be well, as the packers don't particularly care how organized I am - everything will go in a box. I am mainly concerned with keeping all the important stuff (passports, tickets, wallet, etc.) out of their way and then making sure Oakwood keeps all of its own furnishings. I just have to stress for a day, and it will be over. (Meanwhile, I also have to go to FSI for an hour or so and trek over to Main State to complete the check-out process and ship my training materials to myself.)

So, it's time to shower, walk Hattie, get dressed, and go get the paperwork done. If nothing else I can stay up all night and get the prep-work done. It's not that much (I really have been trying to get things ready along the way), but it's not where I thought it'd be.

So, breathe. And... Go!