Yesterday I had asked Mary Ann Laudano for her advice on packing for an international assignment. And a lot of what she said was very very true. No one ever thinks that they have a lot of stuff until they have to pack it. What I have come to learn is that packing for an international assignment is unlike packing for any other move because since I can't bring everything, I had to make a judgement on what was essential to have with me in Sweden and the rest was destined for long-term storage. ANd even within long-term storage, the packing experience was my opportunity to evaluate everything that I was saving. I actually haven't packed anything yet, but I have removed bags and bags of trash from the apartment of things that I just don't need or were nice to have, but not necessary in my life. I often wonder if I'll miss the things that I threw away, but my rationale was that as I was digging through my boxes, it there was something that I was seeing for the first time in months or years, then I probably didn't have a need for it. Because of this experience, I have also resolved that I am going to buy a house when I get back to the United States. I think that having a house by the time that I am 30 is a good goal, and this assignment will give me the opportunity to contain some costs and build up savings...if I don't squander it all via jaunts around Europe and vacations. I have resolved that I will only take 4 trips around Europe a year (once a quarter) and that I would reduce that if necessary.
This is the last "relaxing weekend," meaning that I won't have anything to do other than to just relax and prepare for the a very busy 2 weeks. But this weekend it is also Jason's birthday on Saturday. Also Cara and Lynn are taking me to dinner and I need to do some family-related stuff. So it won't be that busy and care free after all.
Well, all the same, it has been good having this time off to get prepared.