The most popular question I was asked in February was “Are you getting ready for Daniel to leave?”.
“Huh?” you say, “where exactly is he going?”
Let me fill you in on the employment happenings since my last post. We were extremely! fortunate that Daniel was offered some short term contracting work for a local company during part of January and February. Also, in late January, he was offered another short term contract by a company in Boston to begin in March, with the strong possibility of permanent placement at the end of that contract in May.
No, we are not moving; this would be another telecommute position. However both Daniel and I felt strongly that he needed to spend some time in Boston, getting to know the company before signing long term. So it was decided that Daniel would live in Boston with his brother, Eldon, from March 2-29.
Yup, that’s right… 27 days without my technological savior, house repairer and parenting-partner in crime.
At first, I sheepishly admit, I pretty much blew off the question of how I was preparing for our separation. How was I supposed to get ready? (The best suggestion I heard was to build an isolation chamber.)
At the beginning of February, I couldn’t think of one blessed thing I should be doing other than sucking up all the kids-less alone time I could possibly get my hands on before Daniel left, which I shamelessly did… and also worked on procuring additional babysitting for March for more much-needed alone time.
After becoming slightly annoyed with the are-you-getting-ready-question (mostly because I was feeling like a moron, not knowing what I should be doing), my response became a joking “Well, I’m stocking up on food, water, gasoline, and wood.” But I wanted to add, “No, seriously… is there something I should be doing? Fill me in here, people! I’ve never done this before.”
Two weeks later, it started to get a little more real.
Daniel was knee-deep in buying his almost-first-ever!! cell phone—he had a cell phone for one year in 1998-ish, but none since then. (Yes, I know it’s 2014. Yes, I understand the irony that a professional software developer was cellphone-less; but honestly, we’ve enjoyed our cellphone-less life without huge repercussions.) He and I talked (at length!) about future options for our phone/internet services; but still, it wasn’t something that I was doing.
And so I continued to be stumped by this mystery… what should I be doing?
The week before Daniel was scheduled to leave, I was terrorized by a stomach bug for four days, while frantically wondering what I should be doing to prepare… deep breathing, perhaps getting a massage, were freezer meals appropriate? (too late for that!)
Early that week, Daniel and I went on a date, which served to make me more sick; but it was while I was sitting on the couch trying to refrain from moving any abdominal muscles that I began to realize I hadn’t understood the gist of the oh-so-popular-question.
For those of you facing a temporary spousal departure in the near future, let me spell it out for you. The reality of it was not what should I have been doing, BUT what did I want/need him! to be doing?
Armed with my new understanding, we spent the last three days of his time at home in a frantic-haphazard-dance completing my new (and growing) honey-do list.
1. Put the bookcase back together, which of course included an unplanned run to Home Depot (nor is the bookcase completed yet because no home improvement project is ever that simple).
2. Get all the technological technicalities figured out.
Get my email accounts working on the main computer, which I typically do not use.
Tutorial on video chat and bluetooth keyboard.
Bring documents and music from the laptop over to the main computer.
Set up the hand-me-down IPod for me since Daniel finally has a phone.
3. Re-do the “last” date night, which went much better than the previous “last” date night.
4. Change the lightbulb that blew out at least two months ago because I definitely can’t go another month without a new bulb… that would never do. (And I’m obviously incapable of changing the bulb myself.)
6. Check the tire pressure and fluids in the car. (I’m sure I should have added that I should learn how to change a tire too… but that will have to wait until next time, when my stomach cooperates.)
We were literally finishing up my list at 10:30pm the night before he left.
For all our last minute flurry of activity, I hopped in the car on Sunday morning for my solo drive to church, and the dashboard told me there was a lightbulb failure… within less than 10 hours of Daniel inspecting the car…. so much for planning and preparing.
What more is there to say, except “May the force be with you.” (Is it just me or does anyone else ever want to say, “And also with you” after hearing that?)