It's crazy to think that at right this moment in 3 more weeks we will be checked in at the airport ready to begin our trip to Japan! This last week has gone by so quickly. I went back to work on Wednesday and enjoyed a quiet few days to wrap up several projects. Most everyone on my team was still on leave so I had lots of time (free of meetings) to clean out my cubicle (see picture below) and work on my transition plan. We have 21 days total, and hopefully I only have 9 work days left (if the leave I requested gets approved).
This is what puts us in the "lame duck" status. We have made significant progress towards preparing for our new life in Japan, however, we are still living in our old life here. We are going to the same jobs, coming home to the same (although nearly empty) house, doing the same routines, but, all the while, knowing that nearly everything about our lives is about to change drastically. The "lame duck" phase is really bittersweet. We are so excited and thinking constantly about what our new life will be like, however, we have to keep living in our old one. I've also noticed how other people seem to view me as a "lame duck" as well. It feels like some people in my life have already begun to sort of separate themselves from me as if I'm already gone. I don't think it's ill intentioned, it's probably just a natural response to dealing with separation. It's just going to make these last 21 days a little more awkward with some people.
Here is the Maggie update....
Updating this part of my life is really what kept me from blogging all week. I decided, after adding up all the potential expense (possibly close to $2,000) that bringing Maggie was not going to be an option for us. We would be In a different situation if our house had rented or sold and if we just had a little more time. 45 days is not a lot to be making these serious life decisions. This was such a hard reality to except. I had to keep reminding myself that living in another country has been my dream for as long as I can remember and that I can't expect it to come without sacrifice. To keep the story short, God blessed me with a wonderful couple who was actually able to take Maggie and Max. I never even considered the possibility of them getting to stay together, so that was really a blessing. To try to ease the transition and pain on the kids, I treated them to a trip to Build-A-Bear Workshop. We told the man that was helping us why we were there, and he actually gave each of the kids a free bear! It was a really hard start to the new year for me, but I got through it and I know Maggie and Max are going to be better because of it. Their new mom offered to be my Facebook friend, so we will be able to keep and touch and see pictures of them and their new adventure.
Two other big events this week were getting our house officially on the market (in the "sign in the yard" sort of way) and the kids visiting Dr. Elam, their pediatrician, for the last time. Whew, what a week!
Here are the things that are hot on my to-do list at the moment:
- Find 10 suitcases (yes...10! We can each have 2, and what we take with us in the plane could be all we have for at least a month)! I'm going "Goodwill" hunting today with Sandy, so hopefully we will get lucky!
- Build a "travel" kit for the kids on the plane. I want to do a little more research on some ideas, but I'm thinking a DVD player, movies, cards, coloring books, etc.
- Get comfy clothes for everyone to travel in. 14 hours is a LONG time to be in the same clothes.
- Research the best ways to avoid Jet Lag!