I cook my last meals before departing in a few days for Cuba. I finish reading Our Man in Havana and return the book to the library. I wrap up an xBee-communication project. I cross items off lists and throw lists away.

I’m finishing my unexpected six-months away from work. For the first time, I’m somewhat bored in this holding pattern, awaiting my return to the office and a different life. There is not much more that needs to be done.

With the cleaning, stocking up, putting away, I feel like I’m preparing for a hurricane. I’m not dying, but change is coming. I try to tell myself that even with a job next year, I can still go out, I can still study subjects other than work, I can still have friends.