It's been a year since my kids stopped living in my house full time, returning only part of the time by the terms of a custody agreement. Though they're never gone for more than 4 days at a time, their arrival continues to be a joy and their departure a sorrow. I estimate 25 Sunday drop-offs when the kids leave my car and go to their mother's home, a process that has become only less difficult over time. I am reminded that it will never be easy, but at least more accustomed.
Midway through my second semester teaching at a new school, things have finally started to feel routine. I remember the codes for the photocopier, though I rarely have a reason to use it. My small fridge and microwave are safely set up in my office, next to a coffee pot I have yet to use this year. Two boxes of slightly-aged computer books still sit on the floor of my office, waiting for me to clear out two bookshelves of much older books.
Realizing as I get older and more of life's adventures and conflicts have slipped into the past, a year can seem both an eternity and a moment, at the same time, and without contradiction. But with more tasks finally completed, and fewer remaining ahead, the time to start new projects is approaching after the old ones are finally put to rest. A year of reconnection with the past and the start of new experiences, new relationships, and new projects. This has been a long journey, and this leg of the trip is just about done.