My partner and I are both tense and strained-looking. We're still talking, but in short, monosyllabic sentences that seem as stripped down as our house, which is somehow devoid of stuff yet more cluttered than it has ever been. All routines have been turned on their end, and every day is full of a long list of tasks that never seems finished. ("Pots to Rachelle's house"; "Costco run"; "Notify bank so Mom can deposit my paycheque"; "Photos to SD card"; "Clean oven"; "Pick up malaria drugs" - you get the picture.)
Of course, my deadline personality hasn't helped. Why, for instance, did we wait until a few weeks before leaving for Honduras to decide to get our wills done? Why did I wait until Jan. 4 to make a video with a friend recovering from cancer, when we could have done it two or three months ago? Why am I only now lugging my sheet music into Staples to get it coiled? And why, why, did I think it would be a good idea to hold a Cuso/PEERS fundraiser as our farewell party just days before we leave?
I'm self-employed, so am also having to attend to things like paying my 2011 taxes and HST. The Canadian government doesn't care if you're off to live in a foreign land for a year or two and really, really busy - they want their money. And on top of everything, we are caught in a social whirl, as happens when all your friends and family want one last meal, glass of wine or coffee with you before you leave.
But so it goes. (I can see why Kurt Vonnegut liked that phrase so much - it works.) The one sure thing about a deadline as absolute as this one is that we're going to have to hit it. People are always asking me these days if I'm excited about what lies ahead, but all I can see at the moment is that day's to-do list.
Still, some prickles of excitement break through. Yesterday I pulled out my big ring of keys and thought: Five days from now, I won't need any of these.