Get Set

I’m so ready to move on from Indonesia.  I’m not sure exactly when I started feeling that way.  Before this, all I was doing was processing the idea that once the time comes for me to go, leaving won’t be as easy as I originally thought, though I still wouldn’t hesitate to leave.  But lately, I’ve found myself counting down the weeks and months until it’s time for me to go.

For the past few weeks, I’ve noticed myself doing little things in a really temporary way.  For example, I usually buy a 2- or 4-pack of toilet paper.  Now, I buy a single roll every time because I don’t want to buy stuff I won’t be here to use.  When the roll gets to halfway, I go buy another one, but never more than one.

Also, since I moved into the new room, I could unpack all my stuff and stop living out of my suitcase, but I haven’t.  Except for some clothes, I haven’t really unpacked and I’m still in my suitcase way too often for someone who really doesn’t have to live this way.  Honestly, if I had to, I could be packed and ready to leave here in 30 minutes or less.  This is unheard of for me because I’m usually a meticulous packer who re-packs a couple of times before I’m satisfied that I’m done.

I started doing this stuff without making a conscious decision about it.  The other day, I was walking back to the centre from my usual morning coffee run (I had bought my single roll of toilet paper during that run, which was why I was even thinking about this) when I thought, “You know, it’s like I’m at the starting line of a race and the starter has already said, ‘Get set!’ and all I’m waiting for now is the starting gun so I can take off.”

I wondered how I got here, why I feel this way.  I think it’s a combination of things.  First, I think I’m tired of my living conditions; putting up with it is draining my emotional energy.  I just want to live in an environment that I find acceptable and comfortable for a while, at least for longer than 4 days.  Second, I’m tired of this organisation and its ridiculous ways of operating.  Even with my years of experience that could help make things better here, I have no power or authority to effect change.  Plus, I’m dealing with more than anyone in my position should have to, in many different ways.  Also, common courtesy isn’t a part of the organisational culture and I find that truly annoying, which makes it more difficult to be motivated to stay even one day more than is absolutely necessary.  And on top of all that, I don’t like being where my work is not appreciated.

Third, I hear that the “boss” is coming here next month to stay for an indefinite length of time, and I find that supremely off-putting.  Truthfully, I think his impending arrival is at part of my reason for being ready to go a the drop of a hat.  My plan is to avoid him as much as possible but he tends to be so effortlessly offensive that I suspect I’m in my “get set” position just in case he passes his place with me and I decide that leaving is better than staying.  Yes, that’s exactly where my head is at.  That’s how low my tolerance for his foolishness is at this point.  I’m totally dependent on the grace of God to deal with this man.

Finally, I think a part of my readiness to go has something to do with feeling ready for my next new experience, my next country, my next assignment.  I like Indonesia but I don’t love it, so my heart isn’t really engaged here, which means that my attention span isn’t all that long.

The other day, I made a throwaway comment to a friend of mine about having only so many months left here.  She told me to stop my mental countdown because it’s a negative mindset to have.  She’s right, so I’m trying not to do it anymore but it’s hard.  Usually, when I’m done with something, I’m totally done with it and have no interest in it anymore.  But since I still have a little ways to go here, I’m trying to remember to enjoy and appreciate where I am for as long as I have left to be here.

At the bottom of it all, though, is the fact that my whining about being ready to go is an expression of ingratitude for all of the experiences that God has given me here, and is still giving me.  It’s an insult to Him to think that way.  So I have to buck up and stop whining about how I’m going to make it through the rest of my time here, because no matter how much I want to go, no matter how much I’m ready to go, God will only move me when it’s time for me to go, and not a minute before.

Be joyful always, pray at all times, be thankful in all circumstances. This is what God wants from you in your life in union with Christ Jesus. (GNT)

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