From the moment we moved to this community six years ago and announced that we would be here for six years we've been asked "when are you leaving". Now that the time is rapidly approaching when we will actually be leaving, the frequency of these questions has picked up.
At first it was fun to share our news, again. But then it became a little tiresome. How many times do I have to tell the same people when we are leaving and where we are going? Aren't they listening? Are they secretly hoping that it would be sooner? Are they getting tired of us? Have they been waiting 6 years for us to get out of town? Maybe they didn't like us as much as we thought.
I tell myself they can't help it and they are excited for the next phase of our training to begin (and end). I tell myself to smile and respond as politely as I can. In truth, I felt myself checking out of our community months ago.
We had a new family move into the neighborhood with two small children and one on the way in December. We had them over for a play date in October. It is now February, she has had the baby and I haven't been over to say congratulations. In my defense it is the middle of a not-very typically winter, but winter still the same. I just can't muster up the energy to pursue a friendly relationship with a new person I will never see again. For one it would require getting dressed and leaving the house. Chances are good we are not going to become fast friends. And I feel like all my time and energy needs to be focused here at home. (I am dreading the day the For Sale sign goes up. How am I going to keep this place clean all the time just in case some one wants to come see it, and hopefully they will want to see it).
Even with some of my old friends, who I am going to miss terribly, I have found myself pulling away a little. As if I am trying to lessen the impact by gradually retreating so when the time comes we can just disappear without a trace. I don't want to think about leaving my friends, I don't want to think about trying to make new friends when we will only be there for a year. But, friends are important - they just take energy and I feel like mine is all spent.
I am so grateful to have found an online community of friends who are all in various stages of the same process. I have a feeling I will need those connections to get me through this next year when it hardly seems worth the effort to unpack boxes.