Wednesday, August 10, 2011

A Satisfying Little Check Mark

A day without a list is a day wasted.  At least, that's how I approach much of my life.  Like the smartphone that has replaced my pen and paper planner, I love a good checklist, but even more, I love that feeling of accomplishment I get when I can check the box (yes, sometimes I draw tiny little boxes next to each item), scratch off, or squiggle through the listed tasks for the day. Surprisingly, it took me a long time to actually draft a to do list for our move to Sweden.  While aware of most of the details, I have approached this move with a "big picture" mentality separating my tasks into the categories of Shipment, House, and Airplane. 

Since SAAB so generously offered to ship 660 pounds of household items to Sweden ahead of our departure, organizing our shipment was my first priority.  This meant finding, buying, and packing as many winter clothes, toys, and linens as possible into a 32 cubic foot crate.  It took about a month, but by the end of July I had inventoried our items and sent them to work with Matthew to make their long voyage to our new home.  (Nevermind that I found out this evening, that said voyage is not yet underway.  I'm not worried... oh no, not I!)

Somewhere between getting our shipment organized and tackling the household preparations, seeing and spending time with family became a huge priority for me.  Coming from a military background, I know that six months really isn't a very long time to be apart, and with SKYPE and cell phones and texting and emails and all the other technological wonders I didn't have as a kid living in Korea, I know it will be much easier to stay in touch now than it was years ago. But none of that technology can replace being able to hug and laugh with cousins and aunts and uncles and grandparents. I was very fortunate to spend a weekend with my extended family in Georgia and to spend the following weekend taking family pictures with my extremely talented brother.

For the past week or so, I've been steadily chipping away at our housing preparations.  With the power of the internet I was able to cancel the newspaper, forward our mail, cancel Netflix (probably would have done that anyway), suspend my cell phone contract and internet connection and check off another half dozen or so items from my list all before naptime was finished.  I am on a roll! In fact, there are only a few items left on my list that don't fall into the dreaded cleaning category.  (To clarify: I enjoy cleaning. I do not enjoy cleaning out cabinets, the garage, and under the refrigerator.)  Among them, calling the car insurance company, having my will notarized, printing my travel itinerary, and using up as much of our remaining food as possible.  Piece of cake!

Still to do: Get suitcase out of attic and Febreeze it. Figure out what to pack (and in which bags) for the airplane. Gather toys, snacks, and distractions for Gracie on the plane. Purchase remaining TSA approved tiny travel sized bottles of toiletries.

How I love the feeling of that satisfying little check mark, and I've been enjoying it an awful lot lately. It's funny how a simple check mark and a lot of prayer can help all my anxiety go away...

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