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Planning for the Future April 2, 2010

Posted by KG in FS Life, Running.

Yesterday I officially registered for the Army Ten-Miler, with a super-ambitious goal time of 1’36”. I haven’t run for longer than 20 minutes in two years. Now there are drums at my back, thumping away: 200 days. Get faster, get leaner, 200 days…

And those drummers aren’t alone. We’re in full-on countdown mode and I can’t believe it. Somewhere back there, being in India for the foreseeable future turned into leaving India pretty soon, and I missed the point of inflection. Somehow the reality is easy and difficult to digest, at the same time. Of course I’m running a footrace in DC in a few months. But leaving Mumbai in a few weeks? That’s not possible, is it?

Usually, the joke goes, outgoing officers get a sort of senioritis at the end of their tours. Sadly, that’s not a luxury I’ve had. The other members of the team have commented about it recently, about how I’m not exactly relaxing and enjoying my last month. Which is untrue — I’m absolutely enjoying my last month. At the same time I finally understand (I think) what my job means, the reasons behind what I’ve been doing so long. The last six months have brought unexpected clarity, and of course that means I can’t slack. Because right before I’m scheduled to leave, I finally get it.

Sigh. The Foreign Service. Heraclitus, manifest as bureaucratic institution. The only thing you can truly, ever get comfortable with is change. Come June I’ll be in a different office, trying to get it again, trying to understand a whole different set of equities, issues, personalities. Nothing endures but change.


There are a number of Foreign Service bloggers who I read regularly, and who have dropped some comments here. My blogroll, if it were a person, would be embarrassed by how out of touch it was. Luckily it’s just a series of code, and its owner owns his laziness as a badge of honor. I’ll be getting to updating that blogroll, one of these days. Probably when I don’t want to pack.



1. Digger - April 2, 2010

If you want to be really lazy, you can just send them to my page. I have more than 200 Foreign Service blogs on my blogroll now.

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