It seems that everywhere I go recently, the only question I am asked is, “Are you excited? Are you getting ready?” My standard answer is, “I think so! Every day I do at least one thing so that I feel like I am making progress.” The list making is easy, and I’m getting pretty good at checking things off of that list–buy Advil, gather school records, create a blog, call the dentist, teach Chris how to use the computer to pay the bills, etc. What I have yet to do is really think about what it means to be gone from my friends and family for a year. Until today. This morning I was in a cycling class at the gym. The music was loud, the room was dark, and I was focusing on the effort it took to make the pedals go around. I was lost in what I was doing, when out of nowhere, a thought entered my head. “I don’t know if I am going to get to spend more time with my mom before I leave.” And I felt, for the first time, what it will mean to be gone for a year.
I’m not naive, and I’ve had conversations with the kids about how hard it will be to leave and how we will shed many tears before we go. But until 6:10 this morning, I hadn’t felt the reality of that. I hope that over the next six weeks (six weeks from today, as a matter of fact) I can spend quality time with as many of you as I can. When we are away, I don’t doubt that we’ll be missed, but I know that we’ll miss all of you a lot more.