We have a month left before we leave Baku. A month seems like a long time until you start adding up the weeks. This week is Christmas, the week after that is New Year's, then a week with nothing (so far), then the movers come the week after... and then the next week we leave and we're done with Baku forever.
We were talking about leaving and the girls asked when we would come back. "Most likely never," I told them. "But why?" Kathleen wondered, "What if we want to come back and visit someone?"
"Who would we visit?" I pointed out. "All of our friends will leave within the next year or two, and I don't know anyone well enough here to come back and visit them. And as beautiful as Azerbaijan is, there's no compelling reason to return. So when we take off at five in the morning, wave goodbye because that's probably the last time you see Azerbaijan."
"Oh, okay," Kathleen shrugged her shoulders and moved onto more interesting topics. "I'm excited to see America. Aren't you?"
I confess that I'm not tearing up about leaving either. When you know the month of your departure before your plane even lands in a new place, it's not like leaving comes as a shock. And as that date comes closer things that normally get shrugged off and ignored start driving you crazy and that departure date can't come soon enough. Of course if the departure date was in another year, those things wouldn't be nearly so annoying.
Once when I was talking with a friend, they mentioned a study (survey?) on children raised in this lifestyle. The study said that those children had issues with working out long-term problems in their lives because they were so used to just pulling up stakes every few years and leaving all of their problems behind. So when marriages got rough they had a tendency to just quit. I can see where that comes from. We have developed an ant problem since the weather cooled down (all of the tile floors in the house have radiant heating. This is something I will have in my eventual house) and I've made some attempt to fight it, but really I'm just waiting until it's not my problem anymore. Various broken things in the house (doorbell, laundry room door, a few baseboards) at this point are just going to stay broken because I've given up on trying to get Brandon to put a work order in for them. I can see this being a problem when we eventually settle down and own our house and are responsible for maintenance.
There are some things, however, that I've been deferring for the past two years and am finally having to face. Various closets have been collecting junk that I haven't had the will to bother with since we moved in here and now it's time to attack the piles and sort through things. Although it can get pretty painful sorting through two years of accumulated detritus, I'm grateful that I'm forced to do this and it's only two years instead of twenty years of junk. It's amazing how much less attached you become to things when you're in the middle of a month-long purge and every ounce counts toward your shipping weight. I'm happy that hoarding is not one of my many personal difficulties.
I kept thinking that I had plenty of time to take care of all of this purging and sorting (some things go in suitcases, some things go to Virginia for nine months, and the rest go to storage) but now that we've got a month left suddenly the time has become very compressed. It's like those scenes in The Lord of the Rings when Frodo sees the Ringwraiths. After Christmas has passed I will most likely enter a state Brandon likes to call high dudgeon until we leave or everything is settled out, whichever comes first. Ideally I'd like to get everything settled out (various bills paid, friends visited, computer files organized, OB appointments scheduled, file boxes organized, stocking sewn for baby girl, various sewing projects finished off) and this time, like every other time we've prepared for a move, I swear that I've started early enough to do it all, but I probably won't. Regardless of whether or not that stocking is done, however, we'll be getting on that plane when it's leaving day.
That assumes, of course, that Brandon can get his PCS orders done before we leave. He managed to submit the "hey, I'm leaving and so could I set up all of those things like plane tickets, POV shipment, HHE and UAB allowances," form just in time for everyone to leave Baku and not come back until the first week of January. There is always something that comes down to the wire and this time I'm letting Brandon sweat it while I organize baby clothes.
By the time we're done with all of those things I think I'll be out of emotional energy to feel any sense of sadness or regret for the people and things we're leaving behind. It's kind of like having a baby - by the end of pregnancy you're so dang tired and uncomfortable and tired of waiting that you don't care what you have to do in order to just get that baby out.
So, wish me luck. Or rather, wish everyone around me luck as I neglect them for the next month.