Saturday, June 8, 2013

Counting Down

Two weeks from tomorrow, my husband leaves for Baghdad.

We've been talking about it, planning for it, waiting for it, for a long time now, and I think we're both ready to get started, if only so we can get it over with.

It's been an odd transition, for both of us.

Always before, we've left post at the same time. Which meant we got annoyed by the same things, stressed about the same to-do list, worried about the same nonsense.

This time, though, he's beyond annoyed by the traffic circles and the people who can't drive through them properly, whereas I still don't let it get to me. He's trying to shut down his office and pack up his things and finish the miles-long post check out list. Me? I've got meetings scheduled from now til August - I'm trying to keep up with my current job and my kids and my household, and I'm not checking out of anything anytime soon.

He is leaving, and I am staying, and that puts us in two different mindsets, psychologically speaking. I'm not ready to say goodbye, but he's already had countless goodbye dinners and lunches and other meetings. When I attend these going away functions, people who don't know me well ask if I'm excited to leave and I have to explain that no, I'm not going anywhere. Or people get teary-eyed at the thought of him leaving, and I'm in the peculiar position of consoling them. When I met the man who is replacing him, it hit me at last that he really must be leaving, if someone else is moving into his office and doing all of the RSO-stuff in his stead.

It's an odd feeling. Moving forward, holding back, waiting.

A colleague said to him "just think, the day you arrive, you'll already have less than a year to go." I hadn't thought of it that way, but its true, and I think at this point we're both ready to start counting down the days.

Two weeks.


Heather Dray said... [Reply]

Bittersweet, countdowns are. Excited and nervous to move on. Conflicting emotions. Ready to just get it over with. I'll be thinking about you guys and this transition. You KNOW you'll get through it - and with flying colors! But it's still hard.

Please. Write your own stuff.