Preface: This post was written a week ago, just as I was being cut off from the big wide world by 7 days of ''internetlessness'' in the ME. Nothing much has changed since then, yet nothing's quite the same.
I wouldn't change anything about the post except, perhaps, to acknowledge that sometimes it's the moments of insanity that lead to the greatest mental clarity. In other words, I'm quite happy I lost my mind ... but more about that in a future post.
I've come to realise I'm totally justified in questioning my sanity.
I'd expect no less were I a stranger looking in on my life right now.
I've grown unreasonably comfortable with considering myself 100% certifiable.
I'm completely at ease with referring to myself as madder than a hatter.
I'm cuckoo; no if's or but's about it.
My ''vida'' is ''loca'', with no one but me to blame.
Because I chose this move. I wanted it. I willed it to happen.
Yup, you read right. The Gypsy family are uprooting; collecting their belongings and daring to brave a brand new world.
''Now where could the Gypsy family be moving that it would cause such angst and turmoil that Gypsy herself is about ready to have herself voluntarily committed ?''
''Could it be Africa? The Far East? The Antibes? The Falklands?''
''Or could it be a mere two blocks down the road in Doha?''
Ahhhhh, yes! The latter would be one hundred percent, absolutely, undeniably correct.
As if expat life doesn't throw enough surprise punches, the Gypsy clan decided to concoct their own bit of upheaval by moving a 15-minute walk down the road.
''Why'' you ask? ... Well, I won't go into all the boring details here, but I'll officially cite ''lack of compound engagement, atmosphere and community spirit'' as the inciting factor. While we have a beautiful home decked out with marble floors, granite countertops, towering ceilings and stained glass windows, it's become nothing more than an elaborate box to house our furniture over the last couple of years.
The sense of community spirit we had so enjoyed in our previous rinky-dink compound has been virtually non-existent here. And while we're not the most social beasts on the block by any stretch of the imagination, we eventually started to really miss the occasional gathering of neighbours at the compound clubhouse, the ability to walk to the pool in our bathers without feeling grossly conspicuous, and the feeling that there were friends around who would have our back if something went drastically wrong.
So we applied for a move. (This is something you have to do, you see, when you’re an expat in company housing.) And three weeks ago, we were told a house had become available. We would have to move in within two months' time.
We started to plan. Hence the recent posts on sorting and purging through years of accumulated ''crap''. We decided to use this 2 km move as target practice for the eventual overseas one back home or elsewhere.
Then one week ago we were thrown a curve ball. We had to move within the next 7 days.
That's when I understood I must have well and truly lost my marbles. Who in the world would willingly put themselves through such a thing? Because make no mistake about it: there's no such thing as an ''easy'' move.
Packing up your life, even if it's just to move across the street, is much like taking a bath in bleach: you may come out squeaky clean in the end, but it's going to peel away a few layers of skin and hurt for a bit.
The last week has been a blur:
- Contact the movers, confirm their availability;
- Decide what stays and what goes;
- Arrange to sell, donate to charity or give away what we don't need;
- Contact the school bus to arrange for new pick-up and drop-off location;
- Cancel our newspaper subscription and delivery;
- Re-route water delivery to the new villa;
- Disconnect satellite service and re-connect at the new villa;
- Re-assure Kiddo;
- Visit new villa and make list of all maintenance requirements (holes in the wall, broken seals around the windows, grout missing, footprints on the walls, door that won't lock, yadayadayada'firstworldproblems'yada, etc.).
Moving day is here. There's one guy wrapping up the kitchen glassware and packing it into boxes downstairs. There are four guys dismantling our bedroom set. There's one poor dude who's been given the task of packing up our unmentionables. The cat is cowering in an upstairs bedroom.
Me, I'm hovering, flitting from room to room uselessly, eventually deciding to sit down at the dining room table for a final blog in this house that's been our home for the last four years. I'll never blog at this table again, because this table has been sold. Some random stranger is picking it up on Saturday. I won't miss the table. I never really liked it much anyhow.
But despite myself, I'll miss this place a bit. Even though I know souls don't permeate bricks and mortar. Even though I know material things don't matter at all in the end. That knowledge won't stop me from remembering this house as the place where I started this blog, from looking back fondly on the street out front where Kiddo learned to roller blade, from going back in my head and my heart to the Christmases we spent here.
Kiddo's in school today. She's pretty cool about the whole thing. She had about a 15-minute episode of angst when she realised she'd be leaving her pink and purple room. I told her we'd paint her new room any colour she liked. She snapped out of her funk that quick. I think she's most impressed by the fact that our new compound has a tiny grocery shop.
And Smilin' Vic? Well, he's off to visit the phone shop. Because believe it or not, the one thing we forgot to sort out 'til the last minute was our phone and internet connection. So we'll be disconnected in the ME for the next 7 to 10 days.
100%, absolutely, totally certifiable.