Wednesday, June 11, 2008

The empty nest is getting more comfortable...

So, it’s been a couple of weeks and guess what? I’ve survived! That first weekend was a killer but I’m getting used to the solitude and beginning to even enjoy it. Between the cell phone and the internet it’s almost like she’s still here, almost. There have been a couple of frantic “Mom what do I do now” phone calls but we are both surviving. She is making her way around the big city and having a grand time doing so.

I am learning to not cook such big meals, to shop smaller and to find ways to amuse myself on the bus. Knitting is coming in very handy as is my little iPod Shuffle. I’ve been on a dishcloth making kick and these are perfect projects to throw in my bag and take along. Yes, everyone will be getting fancy dishcloths for some holiday this year.

I am finding myself staring into the future. The whole “what’s next” thing is bombarding me from all sides. I don’t know what to make of it and I am having some trouble wrapping my brain around it. I haven’t lived looking into the future in a long time. I’ve been living in the “right in front of my face, keep my head down and get through it” for longer than I care to admit. I thought I had the answers but now I’m not so sure. Is this a mid-life crisis? If so, where is the sports car and the hot 20 year old boy?

All kidding aside, I am struggling with this new life but I am living it. I guess that’s all one can do is to take a new step each day and just keep going forward. Sometimes that new step is a doozy

Monday, June 02, 2008

So this is what an empty nest feels like...

Well, it’s been a week. A week since we drove out of that rainy city, leaving our daughter there all alone but happy as a clam. She’s got the cat to keep her company and her new life opening up before her.

For me, it’s been both better and worse than I thought it would be. The better things have been small and somewhat unexpected, more about choices I have that I didn’t before: What’s for dinner, what to watch on TV, and what to do on Saturday afternoons.

Worse? The house that once seemed too small now is huge, empty and hollow. Having no one to share The Daily Show, no one to share bus adventures, no one to commiserate with about how the day went.

The almost crippling loneliness that sometimes sneaks up on me is worse than I expected. Sound overdramatic? I would have said so too until I found myself on Sunday afternoon in a fetal position in tears with no clear reason why.

This must be the empty nest coupled with the reality of divorce. I’ve never lived alone, ever. I went from my parent’s house, to living with roommates to marriage. Now there are times when I feel utterly alone and without purpose.

I’ve been a hands-on Mom for so long I don’t know how to do anything else and this long distance Mom thing is… I don’t know what it is. I find myself on this new frontier with no map or guidebook. What am I supposed to do now?

I think I’m fooling everybody around here. Smile, make witty comments and keep being helpful to others. Do the daily paperwork, print the daily reports, keep the copying up to date, replace the toner in the printer…it’s all getting done and they think I’m remarkable.

But you know, there is always a silver lining to every cloud. Right now that lining is I’m here, my daughter is blossoming and what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger…