Tonight is my last real shift on my unit. I'm pretty much in some kind of denial over it, since I've signed on to work there per diem (filling in for a minimum of a shift per month) so I keep telling myself that I'll be back, it won't be that different. But of course it will: I won't be spending around 40 hours per week there, with the same people, doing the same things, anymore. I will miss everyone but I'm hoping that the people I will truly miss are the people I see outside of work anyway, so we will just make more concerted efforts to make plans and see each other. I will miss our patients and their families, but I will meet new ones. Mostly I'm sure I will miss it the most once I start at the new place...I will miss the sense of familiarity with a place, the consistency, the comfort. But familiarity, consistency, and comfort are also words for complacency and boredom, so I still know that I am doing the right thing.
And I'm a bit distracted anyway....did I mention that I'm going to London on Sunday?! Yes, this Sunday!! I'm so so so so excited. I'm bursting. Simply bursting. I'm picturing myself on a big jumbo jet taking off over across the pond with my iPod (eek! Must update the iPod!) on and my knitting in my lap (eek! Which project shall I bring with me? Are knitting needles okay on the plane?! What IS okay to bring on the plane!?) and an Elizabeth George mystery, or perhaps a book on the War of the Roses, on my lap and my bucky pillow around my neck and I get all smily and fluttery and happy. My Must-See in London List keeps growing, but the Tate Modern, the V & A, the Tate Britain (and the Tate-toTate Ferry! Do you love that?!) top it, the Tower of London is of course a MUST, I'd like to get on the London Eye if I can, walk through Hampstead Heath and Hyde Park, down Oxford Street....oh! And there's an entire museum about Florence Nightingale!! Oh! And the National Gallery and National Portrait Gallery. And must consider if I can make it to Hampstead Court as well. Eek. After three days in London, I'll head up to York to see the fabulous E, where we'll rent some mini-micro-impossibly-wee car and toodle about the Yorkshire moors and hopefully even Northumberland, stopping only for sheep crossings and to eat cheese sarnies and drink tea and poke about in castles (Bolton Castle, Castle Howard, and Alnwick top that list) and ramble down narrow cobblestoned streets (Durham, Whitby and Richmond top that list) and take countless photos. However, lists aside, if nothing at all gets done off the lists but I simply spend six days sitting in pubs, drinking cider and sometimes a Guiness with black currant, eating pub food and reading the Guardian, it will all be okay. It will be wonderful. I only lived in England for six months (ten years ago!) and have only been back twice to visit since then, yet all this planning and anticipation still feels like a homecoming...instead of saying "I'm going to England," I keep feeling, "I'm going back to England."