I woke up early this morning (Thursday) at 3:00 AM and couldn’t get back to sleep right away, so I decided to get up and write tonight because on Friday and Saturday AM, my usual times to blog, I not really going to want to get up. There’s only two mornings left until it’s time to head out for the airport, so my preparation week is rapidly shrinking. I’ve crossed off most of the items on my to-do list and what’s left is stuff I wanted to do on the last day anyway: Put out new hummingbird food, water my indoor plants, gather up the dog’s necessary things for her trip to the kennel, and then start packing. It’s not an overwhelming list, and I think I should be able to get it finished with no problems. Paul should be home by Friday afternoon barring delays like those he had on the way out to San Jose (his flight ended up being delayed 4 hours and he missed the entire first day of his conference!), but most of what’s left to do I can finish today and Friday. I feel like I’ve got a pretty good handle on what’s needed, and with only one load of laundry left for today I’m almost done–with the prep part anyhow.
I think I’m still a little behind the curve on the mental part of this trip though, and it doesn’t seem real to me yet that we’re actually leaving in two days. I have been in this holding pattern of counting and waiting for so long now that I can’t seem to shake myself out of it. The last tooth I had pulled was on December 15, 2010, and at that time I began counting off the necessary three month I needed before my mouth healed and I could return to Texas. Of course, by the time March 15, 2011 arrived Paul was one day from beginning his new job. Knowing what I know now, I wish I would have pushed harder to get him to delay his start date by a week or two and had returned to Texas then, but it’s a truism that hindsight is so much clearer than foresight. ‘What ifs’ are lovely to contemplate, but they don’t change anything. Though I still have no real idea of what I’ve learned in these last two and a half months while I’ve gone steadily downhill, waiting until Paul was able to take some time off, I’m sure the time wasn’t wasted. Being unable to drive, barely able to walk, and hardly willing to force myself to do anything beyond going to church once a week has certainly instilled that lesson in patience I wrote about several months ago (Learning Patience in a Hurry — March 25, 2011). In my heart I still feel that this downturn of mine is temporary and reversible, but I have a clearer insight into people whose lives are more permanently affected by a handicap of any kind. Maybe I needed to learn that, and to learn that there are so many others whose problems are greater than mine. It takes the focus off me, and puts it back where it belongs: Concern for others will trump self-centered awareness every time. Because the other notable things that have happened over the last two and a half months have been that my friend’s sister has been diagnosed with stage 4 cancer, my sister (with cancer) has ended up in a full-time care nursing home, my mother-in-law (with cancer) has been told she has six months to live, and Paul’s aunt (with cancer) less than a year. News like that puts a new slant on that self-aware thing, doesn’t it?
As for now, it is my hope that I will be able to write a few times after we reach Texas and during the week while we’re there. I’m not sure how often I’ll get to though, mostly because this time we’ll have our daughter with us. That means my time will be a lot more family-oriented and a little less ‘me-centered’ than it was last October.
Judging by the events of the last two months, that might not be such a bad thing.