We were supposed to leave on Tuesday the 27th, but it looks like it will be Wednesday instead. So now begins my last week in Michigan. Usually at these turning points - leaving a job, saying goodbye to friends, moving - I get caught up in a lot of sentimental reflection, like one of those corny flashback montages at the end of a TV series. But this change is so BIG, encompassing all three of those aforementioned shifts (and so many more), that I don't have time for my usual sap. That's probably a good thing. But I do have a couple of quiet minutes at the top of the day, so I thought I would jot down a few observations about getting ready for the grand exodus.
Nothing has ever made me so popular as moving. Getting married came close. I remember that warm feeling at my wedding, when I got to see some of my closest friends and family meet each other and celebrate on my behalf... that was pretty fantastic. Amazingly, I've been feeling that same warmth almost every day for the last month. Particularly since the start of July, my free time has consisted of a nearly non-stop parade of friend visits and a series of fun local adventures. By the time we leave town, I think I will be able to say that I saw every person I needed to see. But more than that, I've had the pleasure of spending more time with those whose company I probably should have enjoyed more often - really cool coworkers and friends that I took for granted because they live nearby. Of course, this can lead to a sense of regret, which will probably hit me after I've been in Chattanooga a couple weeks. But really, I'm not big on regrets. I knew that I had a limited window to hang out with all of these wonderful people and I made the most of it. I'm even a little proud of myself.
I've been having good luck with timely reunions. In the past two weeks, I've been able to hang with my two oldest friends (meaning those I've known the longest - M and S, you know who you are), as well as their lovely spouses and Dan's best friend from high school, J. In a weird way, I feel like old friends are inherited through marriage, so if you add it all up I got to hang with five buddies from way back, none of whom live in Michigan. In addition to that, my mom is hosting a family reunion this weekend during which I will be able to see five of my six siblings. That's one of the many reasons I'm feeling lucky.
Packing is way better when you don't have anything else to do. My last day of work was on Friday, so my only job right now is to visit with friends and pack. What luxury! The last time I moved when I wasn't working was when I left home at age 20, and back then I had barely enough stuff to fill half a bedroom (also I was moving from Dearborn to Ann Arbor, a distance only 1/15 of my upcoming journey). I don't have that combined sense of panic, frustration and exhaustion. Not yet, anyway. I'm able to approach packing in an organized fashion, which appeals to the obsessive librarian in me. I hesitate to say... it's kind of fun. I'm excited for this morning's project - watching DVD reruns of Star Trek: The Next Generation while I clean out the closet!
I'm guessing the next time we move will be in Chattanooga, from our new apartment to a house, but who can say what the future holds? I can't imagine moving to the west coast - I would just want to throw everything away and start over, rather than pack and haul it all. As it is, I can't believe all the shit we've accumulated in this one bedroom apartment. I used to take pride in the art of the three carload move (I used to not need more than that) and look at me now! I'm starting to worry about fitting all this into a ten foot truck. I don't know how people do this with kids, but they do and we will, too, if need be. I guess the point I'm getting at is that I suspect I'm enjoying certain luxuries that won't be available next time around. And I can definitely say that I won't be sharing that last week with the same set of fascinating people. That's why I'm trying to enjoy it while it lasts. There's simply no time for the montage.