Sunday, November 20, 2011

Winding Down

Our recent trip to Orlando, to see family and visit Hagrid, created a nice little breath before the final plunge here in Dominica (I'll leave the details of that trip to Denise, in the event that she posts something some day). Of the sixteen months we signed up for initially, we've made our way through fifteen. My calculator informs me that that is 93.7%. Seeing family is always a welcome break, and the trip also provides an excellent counter-point for the next month, a reminder that things are about to change.

Yes. This is the second time I've linked this in our blog. It is that good.

For me, I've decided to look at the next month as as much of a vacation as I can. Several spouses came down here with the mindset of "I'm here, I might as well enjoy myself", and went into semi-retirement for a year or two. Honestly, I'm pretty envious that they embraced that philosophy. I think if I had worked for a few years before flying down here, instead of being in school, I might have also welcomed this more as a break. As it stood, I filled my time with odd jobs and personal projects, so I feel pretty good about taking the next four weeks as leisurely as I can.

I've been slowly easing out of responsibilities for some time now. Island Thrift, which I brought to the 99th yard of legitimacy, has stalled because of a piece of paper (it has to do with pooing in a cup), but is now fully in the very competent hands of its new manager Nick. For all intents and purposes, I no longer work there; or, as I like to tell some people, I'm staying on largely in a 'consulting capacity'. I hope the store will be open before I leave, if only for my pride, though it looks doubtful. My other, more important job - aftercare - I have also been backing away from, as my good friend Ronen has taken the reigns. I have dwindled my hours so that I come in maybe two days a week instead of five now. That's a job that's hard to let go of, because I love it so much, but Ronen is awesomely competent, and it's time someone else took over. The last job I have is assisting the teacher in the Kindergarten class, another job I love, and I'll be going in only three or four days a week until I leave. It's weird for me, consciously working less, but I want to take advantage of this time.

In the coming weeks, I hope to do as much writing as I possibly can (shameless self-promotion: download an excerpt from my book!). When else will I have this much time to write? (Answer, very soon when we're in Michigan.) I'll be writing in the blog more, trying to reflect on the year we had, and talk a little about some of the projects I'm working on. I had originally hoped to do the Boiling Lake hike, but have since changed my mind after canyoning (pictures and videos coming in the eventual post by Denise). Going on the hikes has never had much appeal for me, and I've lost all interest in the gruel of the Boiling Lake trip. I'm certain it's amazing though - it's a mark of pride for those who have done it. I'm just quite content to avoid it now.

There's also quite a few logistical things to deal with in the coming month. I'll be going through the ritual of selling most of our stuff, bit by bit on facebook. I'm pretty late to the game - many of my friends have been selling their stuff for months - so here's hoping there's still some demand. We're selling everything because it just doesn't make sense to pay the money to transport most of the crap we have, and we'll just buy everything cheap again when we get to the US anyways. The other big logistical problem we're having is whether to get a barrel or not; we're pretty sure we can pare everything down to a couple of extra suitcases, and save the stress and money of sending our stuff on a boat. Really it comes down to a debate on the lesser of two evils: international shipping, or airline baggage handlers. Hmm...

You look like an honourable, trustworthy fellow...
The most interesting thing in this entire process is that Denise and I are definitely getting rose-tinted glasses, or whatever you call it. Everything that pissed us off is suddenly quaint. We'll see how long that lasts.

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