Following a weekend packed with social events and a Monday holiday of cleaning and packing, my last day at work today before leaving for a long anticipated Asia-expedition with my parents (whom I haven’t seen in over a year) has been no less hectic. Among getting vacation time approved for another hopeful trip (the one to India next month), disseminating info for upcoming disaster relief fundraisers, and burning 40 copies of a year’s worth of class photos for my favorite JTE and homeroom teacher as a favor (for starters)–I’m all but wiped out less than two hours from the end of the day.
Somehow, it’s not all these task-oriented responsibilities (including finishing this update) that I’m too worried about though. I know they’ll get done by the end of the day, and even if they don’t, that things will still turn out ok. What hit me more today as the hours progressed is that it’s the last time I’ll see a lot of my coworkers. In Japan, teachers are public servants, and are required to change schools about every five years. The Japanese school year begins in April and ends in March (longest academic calendar in the world, I believe), so the annual coming and going of teachers is shortly upon us. As I leave for mainland Japan and China tonight and will be gone on my trip for the next 10 days, I’ll miss the last day of school, closing ceremonies, and farewell teacher party. Hence, another important item on my checklist today: “say goodbye to coworkers who are leaving.”
Some of you might know this about me, and even if you don’t, I believe I’ve alluded to it in another entry… but I’m a total crier. Needless to say, amidst everything I need to get done today, I’ve basically been a mess.
Even though I didn’t remember to NOT wear mascara to work today, I’m glad I came to the realization that I’ll actually miss a lot of these people. We know all the cliches–don’t take life for granted–and you don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone. It’s an unfortunate part of being a human that we often wait until the last minute to really appreciate something or someone, but I suppose it’s (here’s yet another good one) better late than never at all.
When I return to work in a little less than two weeks from today, things will be different. On my last day before these changes, I can finally begin to see this clearly and accept it. That is all.
Ok, maybe just one more picture before I go on hiatus :)