We are quickly coming to the end of our time in Virginia. Our house is sold, although not yet officially “closed”. My husband is coming from Illinois on Friday so we can get the last bit of stuff packed and loaded, as well as making sure our house is clean and ready for its new owners. We are trying to make the rounds to say good-bye to all the dear friends we have gathered here over the years. The “saying good-bye” part is proving particularly difficult for my daughter. She has many more friends than I do, and, of course, the move is going to be more difficult for her than for either my husband or me.
It’s weird, because I usually look forward to the end of school and the beginning of Summer vacation. I love spending time with my daughter. I love having her home and hanging out with her or just sitting quietly with her while we both read or write together. Summer’s arrival usually brings me a huge mental sigh of relief. But not this year.
This year, I approached the end of school and the beginning of break with butterflies in my stomach. Because, of course, this Summer is not like any Summer that has come our way in a long time, due to the move. For me, part of it is excitement. I am happy about the move and about a new adventure in our lives. I can’t wait to be in our new house. I’ve been thinking about all those rooms and all the decorating and painting and fun stuff I can do with them. I’m also looking forward to getting to know our new town. At the same time, I have to admit I have a fair amount of trepidation over the upcoming move. I’m nervous about my daughter switching schools. And I am a little bit afraid for her, just because this is such a big change. I have every confidence that she is going to handle it well, and that she will have new friends in no time. But there is that “mama bear” part of me that wants to make it all okay for her. Even though such a thing isn’t possible. In a few months, hopefully, I will be starting back to work. That is a source of nervousness, too. I’m excited about it, because it will be great to have income of my own again and to feel as if I contribute money to our family finances. But I haven’t worked in fifteen years! I would be lying if I tried to deny the edge of fear I feel when I think about it.
At any rate, all the big changes coming our way have me feeling overwhelmed and frazzled. It’s silly, because I have known about all of this for a long time. I have been anxiously waiting for all of it to happen and for time to pass just so I could stop marking time and move forward. Now, though … I don’t know how I feel. I have so many emotions whirling around inside me, and I don’t know which one to cling to or pull out of the stack from one moment to the next.
I still have quite a bit of work to do. We are not completely packed up yet, and I had planned to have as much of that done as I could before my husband arrived. I really should have been working away at it all along. I’ve had two months and a little bit more, after all. And yet, here I sit, with none of it done. Every day, I tell myself I need to do SOMETHING to move this goal along. And, at the end of every day, I find myself no closer. It’s like I have run out of energy after the frantic push to get the house ready and the continued stress of getting it sold. And, maybe, a bit of it is general sadness over leaving a place that has been home for almost two decades of my life. I may not love Northern Virginia. But I am familiar with it. I am used to it. And, while there are things I hate about it, there are also things I like very much.
Somehow, I have to give myself a kick in the pants and get moving. I went out and got packing tape and bubble wrap today. If it is the last thing I do, I WILL get something packed up today. And, perhaps, my freezer cleared out, too. Because the reality is that my long good-bye is almost done. And it will soon be time to say hello, instead, to a new home and new family adventures.