Day Twenty-Three: The Beginning of Good-Bye

We had one of those marathon summer days.  Summer camp in the morning, visit with the in-laws for lunch, trip to do some of our favorite tourist activities one last time before we are actually tourists.*  Typically I do not enjoy tourist activities, but there are a few things the kids love to do, and watching them get really excited makes it impossible not to enjoy it.

So now I’m exhausted.  I should sort a few more boxes tonight, but I’m probably going to curl up and try to sleep early again.  We spent almost the entire day outside and were fairly active, so I have that wonderful tired feeling that’s so common in childhood, but somehow becomes difficult to attain as an adult.  It’s the most wonderful kind of exhaustion.

Today was a good day, a great day in fact, but it is also the beginning of the end.  Today was the first day we actively started saying good-bye to some of our favorite places.  Tomorrow we will spend time with yet another set of in-laws (my husband is Irish, what can I say?), which will be another sort of good-bye, and next week we will really start to wrap things up.

The timing is going to work out so that I’m saying my final good-byes to my twenties as I say good-bye to our current home and friends.  I’ve done this a lot.  Still, it feels somewhat different this time, and I think I know why.

Every other time I’ve moved, I’ve gone into full-blown just keep swimming mode.  I didn’t say “good-bye” to any of my favorite places, and I never even admitted to myself that I was going to a place for the last time.  I made it so that I spent the last few days doing nothing but frantically packing and organizing or doing whatever it is I did.  Even last year when we moved and I was pregnant, I couldn’t do much packing or lifting, but I found other projects to keep me busy.  I even started playing a sim-city like game on my phone to keep my mind off of things.

I must be growing up, or getting old, or changing in some way, because I don’t want to do that this time.  I want to let myself feel whatever I’m feeling an any given moment, which is usually a combination of home and excitement and fear and sadness.

Sometimes I think back on the places I’ve lived and think about what my life might be like if I had stayed there.  It’s not something I do very often, because I don’t have that much time, and I’m not sure it’s a very productive thought experiment, but every once in a while, I do.  This will be one more place I will always wonder about.  What would life have looked like here in ten years?  Where would my kids have gone to high school?  Would I have gone back to school?  Back to work?  Would we be in the same house?

It’s a lot to process.  So much to process, in fact, that this whole turning thirty thing has started to take a back seat in a big way.  But this blog isn’t “30daystomovesouth,” it’s “30daysto30,” so I will get back on task tomorrow.

*My husband says we will never be tourists, because once you live somewhere, and really live somewhere, it always belongs to you.  I’m not sure that’s right.  I think after a certain amount of time passes, a place becomes something different.

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