Tuesday, March 22, 2011
When I thought about how to sum up the first year’s experience of living in an empty nest in only one word, my initial response was EMPTY. Upon further reflection, however, I realized that the word ‘empty’ only relates to the girls not living at home not to the actual experience of living in this empty nest of ours. A better word to sum it up is ‘different.’
Obviously, our home is different with only two of us living here as opposed to six (then five, then four, etc). The bedrooms are different because the girls have taken almost all of their possessions with them and I have made some changes in those rooms. One bedroom has become a guest room and the other is now my study. Further changes are coming that will make them even more different-fresh coats of paint, new curtains and rugs- are all in the works. The noise level is certainly different. It’s quieter now. And we’ve really come to appreciate….enjoy….ok, we LOVE it. We really notice this when everyone comes home. Calling them LOUD would be an understatement. They have the television blaring so they can hear it over the conversations. The conversations get louder to be heard over the television and, well, it becomes a vicious cycle of constantly increasing volumes. Of course someone is going to grab the dobro and start playing it as well and it may be coupled with some singing so, at some point, there could, quite possibly, be tv, conversations, dobro playing and singing all going on at the same time. Oh, and then Breezy might decide to play with Tucker and start squeaking his favorite ball which makes him start barking… So, without using any powers of imagination at all, it’s easy to grasp an understanding as to why we don’t get teary eyed when they all leave anymore- which is also different. Oh, we’ll miss them, but we also miss the quiet when they are here.
Taking on a hobby is different because the amount of free time is different. Instead of having a daughter (or two or three or four) fill up our hours for us, Hubs and I can now fill the time as we please (which my selfish nature ADORES). My favorite new hobby is photography and I combine it with birding. Who would have ever thought this would be so satisfying?! Who had the time to make the discovery before empty nest? Hubs doesn't have any new hobbies yet. He's still busy with his all time favorite hobby of annoying me. We have filled our time with a garden- three raised beds and one fenced in area for the squash. Good thing we have all this time now though, because I have to spend many hours trying to figure out where I went wrong and got very little other than peppers and tomatoes. I’m spending this gardening season searching for that elusive green thumb. My flowers, however, were beautiful! I plan to apply the ‘square foot gardening theory’ to our raised beds this year. AND I won’t start from seeds anymore until we get the greenhouse up- also something different now that we have the time (of course, it will take Hubs several more years of talking about doing it before he actually put some action with those words). I’ve had the time to organize all sorts of things in the house that have been living in chaos for the 23 years we’ve been in this house (and by organized I mean that I moved the chaos around so that it doesn’t look quite so…chaotic). I had time to start a blog! I had time to hand-make everyone a gift for Christmas last year. I had time to learn
how to knit scarves, hats, fingerless gloves, baby blankets and sweaters and SOCKS! When it comes down to it, Hubs and I now do what we want, when we want, where we want. This freedom from time constraints and schedules is not only quite pleasing and easy to get accustomed to, it’s also liberating.
We are now in the second half of our second year of an empty nest and the word I would choose now could very well be: adjusted. Or, at least, almost adjusted. Hubs and I have worked hard to find ourselves in this empty nest called home. And we’re nearly there. I’m looking forward to more and more discoveries—all related to the positives of having an empty nest.
This is the 22nd day of NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month) for the month of March. The theme for this month is: in a word! My chosen word for today is: DIFFERENT.