After many weeks of frenzied sorting, carting, and donating, I find myself reflecting: which comes first--the stress or the stuff?
Preparing for a mobile life requires brutal decision making. Do I really need all these shoes? (Yes!) But do I really want to ship them overseas? ... No. After sorting through our belongings for the four-part government shipment (permanent, long term, air, and car), I find myself feeling less stressed.
It's a bit like leaving home for college. You must learn to be flexible about your surroundings, share a bathroom (in this case with my husband in our temporary furnished housing), and shed your old expectations to make room for new experiences. And, like going to college, it's challenging, but also refreshing.
Yesterday was my last day at work, and although my hospice care agency was wonderful and my work meaningful, while cleaning out my office I found five years worth of various stress relief products.
So, what comes first, the stress or the stuff? Not that choosing a life in the foreign service is stress-free (far from it), but thus far it's a different kind of stress--the stress of dealing with change. Perhaps later I'll miss those shoes, and I know I will miss my co-workers, but for the moment, I am enjoying the feeling of shedding some unnecessary weight. After all, the FS only allows us to bring 8,000 pounds of baggage.