Friday, July 27, 2012

Crunch time!

Now that we're three days away from lift-off, I'm finally weighing in with my take on this whole process. It's hard to put into words the feelings we're experiencing right now. I imagine it's like sitting in the plane moments before you jump out for your first skydiving experience. We are eager to begin this new chapter in our lives, but we are also trying valiantly to stave off our anxiousness. Doing anything new is scary, and this journey we are about to embark on is equal parts exciting and terrifying. As I reflect back on the last three months, there are a few things I wish we'd done differently. I would have liked to spend more time with more friends, and that goes for family as well. I would have preferred to send some furniture and books instead of all of our dishes. All things considered though, I'm pretty happy with where we are now, and we did a good job preparing to leave without a how-to manual.

There have been hundreds of little details that needed to be dealt with, and about a hundred major ones, too. Transferring insurance, selling our cars (on that note, if anyone wants to buy a Kia Soul, email me!), and buying ridiculously warm jackets are just three of them. Even now there are a dozen things left to accomplish before Monday, not the least of which is mentally preparing to kiss our old lives goodbye, and all the comforts and people that have been a part of them for so long. The old adage is true: you don't realize how much you love something until you don't have it anymore.

I worked my last day on Wednesday, and it was really hard to say goodbye to my work family. We started out as strangers two years ago, and quickly became good friends. Looking forward to working and laughing with them each morning is just another aspect of my life that is over now, and it has been anything but easy adjusting to it. One of the things I'm looking forward to is having more time to re-connect with old friends and stay in touch more with current ones. I used to be a prolific letter-writer before the advent of email, and I loved receiving letters in the mail, as I'm sure most of you do. This blog is the technological equivalent I guess, and I'll be sure to get more use out of Facebook and Gmail than before.

Here's a quick breakdown of what we have left to do:
  1. Sort through our remaining belongings and decide what comes with us now, what needs to be shipped later, and what stays in storage. We are each allowed 2 bags at 44lbs each, and I know we have at least double that. All my books are staying here, which is hard for me, because I love to read, and I've always been surrounded by books, but they're heavy, so we will do without for now. 
  2. Sell my car. Seriously, if you know anyone looking for a used car, tell them to buy mine. It's still got 25k of warranty left. 
  3. Say goodbye to friends and family on Saturday. Our going-away party is at our favourite restaurant, the Purple Heather. The owners and rest of the staff are awesome, and we call their place our "Cheers" because we always feel so welcome when we go (the food being fantastic doesn't hurt!).  
  4. Plant some sod and get some polymeric sand on our walkway. Even though I won't be tending my garden and lawn for a while, I want it in the best possible shape before we leave so there's less work when we return, and it will make it easier for whoever maintains it in the meantime. (For those that don't know, polymeric sand is what you use to fill the cracks between patio stones. Once it becomes wet, it turns into concrete, and prevents weeds from growing.)  
As sad as we are to leave our friends, family, coworkers, and our home behind, we are excited to start our new lives up north. I've mentioned to many people that I will never complain about Ontario winters, mosquitoes, or food prices again, but we will also not miss 40* heat, McDonald's and traffic jams. Seriously, our commute to work just fell to four minutes on a bad day!

We can't wait until the winter so we can stargaze (24 hours of daylight now, remember?), and the Northern Lights are apparently breathtaking up there. The lake is so pristine I'm told you can drink from it, and I'm going to have to have a fishing rod shipped up because we can eat our fill of trout and Arctic Char if we can catch it. We may get to see (and eat) caribous, seals, whales (?) and we'll let everyone know if polar bears really do drink Coke. Though it sounds perverse, I want to experience -70* weather just to cross it off the bucket list. I've been in -35* weather before and it was brutal. I can't imagine what twice as cold as that will be like, but I'll be thankful Canada Goose will be protecting me when I do. The 120km/hr blizzards and 12 foot snowbanks will just be icing on the cake :-D

Lots to do still, running out of time, but a mixed bag of nervous, sad and excited rolled into one.

1 comment:

  1. My fave post so far! I smiled a couple of times reading it:)