When you’re on countdown to flying out it’s hard not being acutely conscious of the last time.
The last everything.
”This is the last time I’ll be driving to this college,’ I said to myself as I drove to deliver Dark Princess on Friday.
‘This is the last time I’ll be going into London,’ I reminded myself (somewhat sadly) as we went into Heathrow yesterday to organise tickets.
‘This is the third to last night we will share, in this bed, in this bedroom, in this little house.’ I reminded myself at 3am. When I woke to frantically to do sums in my head….pet travel costs, and rental house deposits, and tickets and spending money….
Made all the more confusing by converting from $NZD into £GPB and back again.
And then the stress begins and I really try to tell myself.
‘Just F*ck It.’
But I care too much. I am way too conscientious to do that. I’ve read the book, I recommend the book, I just can’t really live by the book.
Though I seriously wish I could. Particularly at 3am when I know I should be sleeping.
Or should I be awake? After all, it is the middle of the afternoon in New Zealand and I need to start realigning my body clock. Am I doing it naturally, by stressing so much that I cannot sleep?
I’m in a lala twilight zone. Saying goodbye in my head and counting the ‘last time’ of everything, and yet it’s still surreal. Is this really it?
Or will it not sink in properly until I’m on the plane half way over the Indian continent in the dark of a 12 hour night and I feel a sudden nervous chill down my spine?
They always have the air-conditioning too cold on the plane, (and monsters lurk in the dark!)
Miss Fliss has said her goodbyes to her school pals. She managed quite admirably, not even a tear. Perhaps she is reassured that she’ll see them all on Facebook chat, anyway. Is this how the next generation deal with being expat kids? They’re reassured that they’re only as far away from their friends, as they are from their smartphones.
Dark Princess went into Basingstoke this afternoon to say goodbye to her friends, and though she bounced back, I assume it was a far more emotional affair. There will be tears before bedtime tonight, and somehow, whilst I hate seeing my girl cry, I know I need to prop her up and gently remind her that this is life. The ups and downs, the comings and goings.
Life is full of see you laters.
But thankfully, it’s also full of hellos.
I met some friends in the local pub this afternoon and had a farewell pint. It was sad, but I know that many of them are pleased for us. Pleased that we are heading back home. Even though I’m not too sure what to expect, for I know it will be different. I know Auckland won’t be the same place I left behind all those years ago, but I am so looking forward to smelling the sea air and temperatures in double figures.
On Tuesday morning there will be a tearful goodbye that I’m not looking forward to. The last time we said goodbye was when I flew out to Australia for my Dad’s heart operation last year. Then my Englishman quipped “Well here we are again, saying goodbye, We seem to be making a habit of it!”
I laughed then, but I’m not so keen on developing that particular habit.
Once again on Tuesday we’ll all stand in the departures hall and throw my arms around each other and say goodbye . The blokes are coming out at Christmas but I’m missing them already.
There is one thing though. God willing and the planets being in alignment, we won’t ever have to say goodbye at Heathrow ever again. That should be (cross fingers) the last, last time.
Oh and if you want to try your luck at the F*ck It guide to spiritual betterment just click the link. You might have more luck than I did!