Family Magazine

Halfway Done

By Sherwoods
We have now been in Tashkent for eighteen months and have eighteen months left.  One one hand, this feels like a long time, and on the other it feels like we just moved here.  Eighteen months feels like no time at all, but I know that it's actually a very long time.
But psychologically something changes when you have less time in front of you than you have behind you.  It doesn't actually matter how much that time is in front or behind you, as long as one is less than the other.
I have spent a reasonable amount of time and money getting our house arranged the way I like it.  I've never, however, been able to get everything arranged exactly right.  Back when we had more time left, I would make plans to spend time and money rearranging and redecorating to make things more lovely.  But now I've given up.  Why bother when you have less than half a tour left?
I have a friend who has lots and lots of lovely houseplants.  Every time I go to her house, I make plans to go to the bazaar and spend more money on plants that I will have to ditch when we leave.  I look at her beautiful pots with envy and scheme how I can get some pretty pots of my own. 
But now when I look at my house with its lack of attractive plants in nice pots, I mentally shrug my shoulders and sigh.  Maybe I can do better with house plants at my next post.
When we moved here, the thought of how incredibly old my children would be when we left - Kathleen will be in high school!  William will be four and a half! - no longer seems that strange.  After all, high school begins next school year - which is only a few months away.  And William turned three a few weeks ago, which isn't that far from four.
I've also lost my urge to explore.  We don't stay home every weekend, but when we do I'm not going crazy because we've missed some great adventure.  Uzbekistan has some travel opportunities, but there aren't buckets of them and they are all less optimal for families with seven children.  And spending a second tour in the same region hasn't made this better; I think my children would be perfectly happy to never hike again.
There is a new crop of families moving in to the embassy community this summer, and while it's fun to meet new people, the thought of forming a friendship that will only last a year seems like too much energy.  I've got my friends and we're perfectly fine, thank you.  Even though a year is actually a reasonable amount of time to have a friend, it seems like it's not worth it.
I'm already thinking of our next assignment and scheming what places I'd like to live in next.  I don't even want to leave Tashkent - I'd be happy to spend several more years here - but the inevitability of leaving is so much more real that I can no longer pretend that we'll be here indefinitely.  Sometimes I wonder how I'll be able to handle my life when we stop moving every few years.
In reality, eighteen months is really a long time, so it's quite a while before we really get serious about leaving.  In a year's time I'll get truly serious about thinking about getting things ready for our departure.  Right now I'm just giving it a passing thought.  But still I'm not buying any more houseplants.  Really.  Right after I buy just one more.

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