"Are you ready to go?"
This is a question I am frequently asked these days. It's kind of a difficult question to answer partly because we are about 4 months away from actually leaving and there is only so much that can be done and partly because there are several answers depending on what the meaning of 'ready' is. If I'm being asked if I'm prepared to go, the answer is yes and no. I am preparing as best I can. I'm learning Italian and although I feel like my progress is slow I do understand more than I speak at this point. I think once I'm in the country and being saturated with the language it will come more easily. I am also gradually buying things that we know or think we will need. Ice trays come to mind. From what we understand the refrigerators there don't come with ice makers and you can't find ice trays anywhere. It's just not that important to Italians to have ice. We're also stocking up on things like toiletries, medications and winter clothing. It's not that we can't buy those things there but there are certain brands I know I can buy here and things are definitely cheaper here. I'm getting in the habit of buying things in two's. One for us, one for the shipping box. We will be able to ship 3000 pounds and we're not taking a lot of furniture so hopefully we'll have everything we think we need.
Also in the 'prepared' category is all the paperwork involved. My wonderful husband is handling all of the documentation. Most of it is on him because he's the one who will be working over there and he's interacting with the people in charge of everything. I just sign things he tells me to sign. I'm very thankful for him because between the two of us he's the detail-oriented one who will see to it that everything is taken care of. So far all of the immigration paperwork is done and we're just waiting on confirmation of what needs to be done next. We will still need to have physicals and possibly some immunizations but that's still a few months away.
The other meaning of "are you ready?" is "are you excited?" Once again the answer is yes and no. Granted, there is plenty to get excited about. I am going to be living in one of the most beautiful places on earth. I'm going to meet new friends, travel, learn new customs and visit incredible museums and landmarks. All these things are wonderful and yes, I am excited. On the other side of the coin is home. My family. My friends. I am going to miss them more than I can say. I already miss my kids terribly and they're only 3 hours away. I cannot fathom not seeing them for months at a time. In that respect it is so hard to leave. A tiny part of me wants to say, "I've changed my mind." But I also know that 2 years will pass quickly. We've got a small window of opportunity here, before our kids marry and have kids of their own and before our parents get old enough to need our help. We'd be really foolish not to take it. I would much rather look back on my life and know I took a giant leap into a unique opportunity rather than taking the "safe" and "comfortable" road.
So I'm ready and I'm not ready. I've noticed that change is an interesting thing. For the most part, people say they hate change. What I've noticed is they only hate change they can't control. When you're the one who has decided to change it can be a good and exciting thing. I'm slightly apprehensive about this change but mostly it's on the good and exciting side. I've said before and here again, we are relying on God to guide us through this change. Yes, we are the ones who decided to do this but there is no way it would be happening if God had said no. I know He is with us and is going before us and if I can focus on that, then yes...I'm ready!