This post starts with a deep breath.
We've got a plan.
I mean, we've always had a plan. But the closer we get to the actual day Paul leaves for deployment the closer the plan gets to being the Real Plan.
I don't want to get into the specifics of how our "plan" has changed in the past six months. Mostly because I hardly remember it all.
All that matters is that now we know this :
Paul is to report to Port Hueneme on July 11. He'll spend some time (a week? a week and a half? two weeks?) transitioning and then he'll take off from there (or LAX? or another random airport I don't know about?) to Afghanistan. He'll be in Afghanistan for about seven (or eight?) months. Until mid to late February (or early March? or late March?).
I'm feeling a lot of things right now, but I'm focusing on eliminating anxiety. Everything is going to be okay. I've got seven (or eight) months to be anxious and worried and lonely. (Not that I acutally plan on wallowing like that.) These next four (or five?) weeks are for anything but all of that.
Today starts Paul's final week as an medical intern. This weekend his college buddies are coming into town to see San Diego and celebrate. Then Monday, after his "graduation," we're driving over to Palm Springs to stay at the Ace Hotel for a night and then to spend a week in Palm Desert. Both of our families are going to come join us for the holiday weekend.
On July 4, we're going to drive up to Sacramento for a few days so Paul can say hi (and good-bye for now) to his Grandma and our families. Then we're driving back down to spend our last weekend in San Diego (because we'll be moving up to the Port Hueneme area as soon as he gets back) together.
On July 11, we'll be up by Ventura for as long as it takes to get Paul prepped and ready to roll out. We'll be crashing at some yet to be determined on base (or off base?) hotel.
I have no idea what my schedule (work or otherwise) is going to be like the next four weeks. But I do know that I am going to celebrate every moment that Paul and I get to spend together. This is our first real break that has lasted longer than two days in over a year. It will be followed by our longest and most difficult separation so far and I want to soak up all this extra time then store it in some sort of basket so I can pull it out when I need it most.
(They sell those sort of baskets on Amazon, right?)
I'm looking forward to the calm before the storm and the work slow-down before the "OMG it's the second half of the year and you have a long way to go to get to the dollar amount you wanted to hit by the end of 2011."
So...YES. Look for regular blog posts this week and most of next. And then look for random but heartfelt updates until I get my footing with this new adventure.
This post ends with a deep breath.