Today on the playground, when talking about the transfer season and my impending pack-out, someone commented "well, you're a professional." She was referring to the fact that I've been doing this - moving - since I was a year old. And she was assuming that I was "good" at it by now.
This is my 18th move. If I were going to get "good" at it, I would have done it by now. And in some ways, maybe I have. I know that I want the house to be somewhat organized when the movers arrive. I know that I don't want them carefully wrapping empty CD cases in endless layers of packing paper - so I prepack the house, as much as I can, before packing day. And I know that I am not the type of person who can just blow through the house in 24 hours and take care of everything. So I start a month in advance, an hour or so a day. It's manageable.
When it comes to maintaining friendships, though, I have learned that it is not entirely under my control. I email. I call. I start out with five pen-pals. I end up, if I'm lucky, with one. I know that, in most cases, it is nothing personal. It's just how things are.
But it never gets easier. The week or two before a move, I find myself withdrawing. Even right now, on this gorgeous 75-degree day, I am holed up in my sewing room which, as you saw in the last post, is piled high with boxes. I think that's because it's easier to be here, among the things that I will have with me in the future, than outside with the things I am leaving behind. I know, it's really weird.
I've enjoyed my time here so much that it almost feels easier to say goodbye to Moscow and my friends now, before I've even left, so that the actual leaving is less difficult. Our nanny, who has become family, told me that she would come the morning of our flight to see us off. I am not going to tell her no, but I am honestly dreading this. Those types of goodbye are too stark, too final, too real. I prefer to just see you one day, and not see you the next. I don't want to cry on the plane. I want to look forward, not backward.
So, no, I'm not good at it. But I have built a coping mechanism.