Tuesday, November 15, 2016

It made me feel excited, well, excited and scared

Even though I had almost five months notice about moving to Japan, almost four of which I spent as a semi-retired person, I still spent the last week before leaving running around like a chicken with my head cut off.

Truthfully, a lot of it really did have to wait until the last minute. For example, I couldn't sort things to move via suitcase, express shipment, or slow boat until a few days out, because I needed the things that I wanted to ship faster. We did clean out several boxes and things throughout the summer, but there was still some left at the end. We also didn't even get our official date for leaving until about 10 days before we left, so there really wasn't anything I could do about a lot of it until those last few days, like cancel our cable or book a hotel.
The last donation pile. Once I added the food I wouldn't be taking, this pile close to doubled.

So I started a to-do list. At first, I broke it down into categories; I had a call sheet and a list of things I could do online. Then, sitting in church that last Sunday, I started breaking it down by day, putting certain errands or activities together that made sense, making sure to write down appointments or other things scheduled events.

Now, I realize this is what a lot of people do. I frequently have some version of a to do list, but it's usually in my head. One does not run a library on their own without some sort of to do list. It's not uncommon for me to write it down, but it just depends on how much there is to do and how well I'm keeping up with things. I definitely keep a calendar of scheduled events, but it doesn't always include tasks. This is totally fine - you gotta do what works for you.

In fact, here are some funny webcomics about to do lists (Wondermark Part 1, Part 2, Part 3. Invisible Bread) and a great article from Art of Manliness about The Power of Checklists.

And this worked for me for that crazy week.

Most gratefully, Blake came home for that long weekend. We managed to find some time to just hang out, but I also put him to work and we accomplished a lot. In fact, I don't think I could have done it without him. I also had other friends help when I needed them, and even the missionaries came over for 30 minutes and helped me take things off my walls.

Sunday evening, we took some time to meet friends at a park near our home for a final sayonara! It was a bittersweet end to our chapter together in DC, but we are so glad to have found wonderful friends there and look forward to maintaining those relationships in other ways now.

Here is how the schedule broke down:
This day actually ended up look a bit different from this, like going to the vet twice and then going again on Thursday, but I tried.

At this point, I added things I probably would have remembered, but you can't be too sure, like eat breakfast.

Watching the movers pack all our things was strange. Malcolm was at day care, so I just sat and watched the movers. I ran around crazy before they arrived to get Malcolm squared away and get everything laundered, and then sat around for several hours. Then I ran around crazy picking Malcolm back up and hauling everything to a hotel - even had to borrow a friend's van large enough to carry Malcolm's travel crate. Malcolm got dropped off a minute after the day care center opened and picked up a minute before they would have charged me for overnight boarding. I hope he had a good time!

Thursday, I sold my car, which was a bit emotional. I had purchased it brand new eight years earlier and was parting with it much sooner than I anticipated. We had some good rides together, and I hope it's making someone else very happy soon.

I also dyed my hair brown, since dress code on our base requires natural hair colors. Maybe I'll get to go blue again one day.

Friday, I chilled as much as possible because everything else was done. My licensed massage therapist friend gave me a much needed massage as a farewell gift and I picked Blake up from the airport. Miraculously, we were both able to sleep that night, because this is the part of our story where we travel for 20 hours and start life in a new country! Stay tuned!


Heidi said...

I'm still impressed that you were able to do everything!

AmandaStretch said...

Me too!

Giggles said...

Those last minute lists tend to get a bit wonky. Glad it all worked out!