*Note to self.....read this blog post at any time when you feel busy and overwhelmed because it will feel like a CAKE WALK compared to life right now!*
Before any of you start sending me emails or Facebook messages about looking for the joy in my circumstances let me just start off by saying that I am not complaining or unhappy but the list of things that have to be done is absolutely and totally ridiculous. You know it's bad when you tell friends you prefer to NOT have a going away lunch but would rather they drive you around doing errands so it only takes 2 hours instead of 395 hours via bus, train, or taxi.
Closing out your life in a country you don't plan on returning to any time soon is a tad bit daunting. Besides all the mundane things like dealing with movers and getting medical records and school transcripts, you have to make sure every item on the bucket list is checked off. Nothing like squeezing in a traditional Chinese tea ceremony and telling the sweet lady that you need the express version....just pour the tea and let me take pictures and I'm outta here!
Or visiting the store that sells inexpensive Fine Bone China plates and buying 16 place settings for all the people you don't ever want to entertain just so you can say you bought Bone China in Asia.
Or gaining 5 pounds in two weeks by visiting your favorite restaurants over and over because you just never know.....it might be the last time you EVER get to eat a dumpling.
Or taking your file folder of random currencies to the money exchange guy only to have him tell you that some of that money isn't used anymore (at least I think that's what he said). Or have him laugh when a big pile of money equals a whopping $1.29. You don't even care. You'll take it because that $1.29 will at least buy you....well, nothing in Singapore.
I am often asked how the boys are doing. Repatriation.......it is the big scary monster hiding in the closet. There are books written on the subject and counselling offered for kids so they aren't completely traumatized when returning home where they can't just hop in a taxi to meet friends and have to be more aware of their surroundings. In typical Jenkins fashion, my boys aren't responding at all like they are supposed to be. They are both very excited about our new adventure in Chicago and I'm just relieved that the therapy fund I started in fear of the dreaded "repatriation" can now go towards a new blender.
Speaking of blenders, Scot and I were making a budget for all the items we have to buy when we get back. This list includes every single thing you plug in. Nathan informed us that it's just like when we got married. Yep.....except no one is buying us our blender and toaster and it isn't arriving at my house wrapped in nice silver wrapping paper!! I also don't have to write any thank you notes - so there's that.
If anyone is looking for a cure to being a helicopter parent, moving will do it. I honestly have no idea how either of the boys are doing in school right now. They are alive and breathing each morning which makes me a very successful mother. That and I haven't received any phone calls from the school. I am pretty much rocking this parenting gig right about now.
In less than two weeks my home will be swarming with people packing up my belongings and I won't see any of it for 6-8 weeks while it travels by sea to get to St. Charles, Il. I have heard horror stories of people's containers nose diving into an ocean so I pray that my 16 place settings of Bone China I'll never use make it to me in one piece! We will also get our stuff that has been in storage for 4 years. It will be like Christmas opening up that container to be reunited with my piano and whatever random items I thought I couldn't live without four years ago. And yes, the fact that I can't even remember what is in there says a lot for how important it is.
In the meantime, I have air shipment, sea shipment, give away, throw away, put in suitcase, and the "can't leave the island until it's finished" piles all around the apartment. Let's just say that when I got a call from a guy threatening to turn off our electricity today, I dug out the electric bill from one of the piles and made my way to the electric company after begging a ride from a friend. We are living life on the edge!
Scot has been in the states for almost three weeks and is settling into his new job. We are supposed to be closing on our home this Friday. I say that with a healthy amount of trepidation......you will understand if you remember the drama of our last house transaction. Oy vey. If all goes well, we'll have a new address in a few days!
The boys and I are meeting Scot in Chicago for a week. We'll be sending Garrett off on a trekking adventure while Nathan and I head to Houston for a month waiting on our stuff to show up in Chicago. Hopefully we'll be settled into our house by the beginning of August just in time to explore some of the bike trails near our house and introduce ourselves to the management staff at Target. My new best friends.
Life is good. We are good. Change is good.
God is so good.
I think I'll have that printed on a t-shirt and wear it as a reminder every single day.
19 days and this chapter will come to a close. We are forever changed by this experience and I am so thankful for every moment!