Life is funny isn’t it? Over the last few weeks my husband hasn’t been traveling as much with the holiday break, and has nudged me to go to the spa, or take a day trip with a friend. When the kids were little I would have been halfway out the door, with the mere thought or suggestion of time by myself. Just to escape the everyday chaos and routine of ‘momhood’ would had been at the top of my self-care list.
Today, I cherish the time when we are all under the same roof, when the ‘no vacancy’ sign hangs in the window. At one point for six days straight, we were back together. I think I may have followed them everywhere they went, not wanting to lose sight of them for even a minute….we were together. If I asked them to play a game, or help me with dinner one more time, they’d probably scream. To be honest, they were probably the ones wanting to escape. I cherished the time together, but I knew it was only temporary, as the usual routines of back to school, and back to work would set in. One would be back to work, one back at college, and the last of the tribe, sitting at the table with my husband and me, and every night asking him all about his day, it probably seems like groundhog day to him. I call this phase after the holiday togetherness, the back to ‘already scheduled programming’ phase.
I was thinking a lot about this lately, as I give my kids all I have. They have my love, my patience, and they are pretty well armed to take on their future. One of my favorite writers, Joyce Maynard says it best.
“It's not only children who grow. Parents do too.
As much as we watch to see what our children do with their lives,
they are watching us to see what we do with ours.
I can't tell my children to reach for the sun.”
All I can do is reach for it, myself.”
Now is the time to rediscover the things you might have set aside while you are busy raising your kids. Can you remember what they were?
If you remain open to change, it’s amazing what doors will open. and will propel you into a time of self discovery. Look at this time, when the house may be a bit quieter, even if you don’t have an empty nest, realize that your cadence may be changing. Don’t allow yourself to be thrown off balance, but use it as a stepping stone to a new, richer phase of life. Sometimes it’s hard to remember what life was like before we had kids. How did we fill our time? What brought us joy?
Don’t use this time in life as a time of ‘it’s too late,” but as a time of rediscovery. There are so many ways to look and live forward. You might have the time to take that trip, or take that cooking class. Maybe volunteer somewhere, or become a mentor. There are so many ways to utilize your gifts. Take that tech class, or a writing class. Turn your hobby into a business.
Makes your plans and find joy in every moment.