Recently, my husband and I discovered what it’s like to have an empty nest. My youngest is away at college, and my oldest is “adulting”. Our parents health has stabilized and life is good. It’s just me and the ‘ole Goat. (Said with love and affection, FYI – my hubs name is Todd.) We’ve recently celebrated our birthdays: Donna v5.2, and Todd v5.6. We enjoy being alone together more. It’s almost as if we’ve rediscovered each other. We text more often, plan supper for two, watch Jeopardy and an episode of Game of Thrones every night – because we love it.
I looked at him the other day and said, “Dude, where have we been the last 24 years?” It was so nice to just be in the moment, together. We had nowhere to be, no crisis, no drama, and the house was STAYING clean! Suddenly, the realization of infinite possibilities came upon us. Wintering in Tucson, traveling, and being more artsy came to mind.
Soon after, I found myself freely volunteering my time, working more, and playing more. It felt glorious to jump in my car and go anywhere I wanted, anytime I wanted, and not be responsible for anyone but me. As Annamarie wrote in her blog post, her dream was a real possibility. All I had to do was show up for mine.
Becoming reacquainted with change and chaos
A month later, my oldest called to tell me great news – she was transferring back to Mansfield with her company.
“That’s Great news, Honey!”, I said.
“But wait, there’s more!” She said.
I’m moving back home! “Sure, no problem!, I said.”
…and, my fiance is coming too! “Oh? Ok, that’s cool…”
…and our dog! “I’M ALLERGIC TO DOGS!”
…AND, you’re going to be a grandma!
And here is where I imagine a cloudy speech bubble above my head go :::: KA-BOOM! :::
The above may seem like no big deal to some, or that I’m whining or complaining – but really, I’m not. I was just startled my dream of infinite possibilities shifted in thirty seconds. I fully understand now how my own mother feels about her dreams of retirement and travel because her dream has shifted too.
Come to see how perfect your life is today, even if it doesn’t look or feel that way
So, now I’m posting nursery and mobility stuff on my Pinterest board. The mini-van has been well maintained for transporting parents and grand babies to doctor appointments. Carpet and flooring have been replaced for wheelchair access. I am grateful for flexibility and that I can care for aging parents, and new grandchildren.
Stepping back, I am so grateful for my life, health, and family. I now understand my gifts are to build on my strengths, which include loving and caring for people. And, now that I’ve spent time with my thoughts, perhaps my “me” time was in my twenties? My life’s time-line is flip-flopped… maybe? I didn’t have my first child until I was twenty-nine. I am grateful I survived my twenties.
Thank you for listening while I pondered this. Sometimes, writing your thoughts down evokes a new perspective. My life is happy. I want for nothing. I need nothing. I am able to love. I am able to serve with joyful abundance. The time is now, and the possibilities are still endless.