Saturday, December 29, 2012

Solitary

When the lovelies were growing up, they were quite busy. Even though they were from the same two parents, all four of them were (and still are) completely different. Each a unique individual. And their individuality was completely encouraged by me.
  • Be yourself
  • Do you own thing
  • Find YOUR particular niche
Right. That bit me when I ended up having to drive the four of them to four different activities at four different places at the same time. That was fun.

When I look back, I realize that being able to stay home with the lovelies and drive them here, there and everywhere in between tended to lift my spirits.No matter what we did or where we went, we were together and how could that not lift a mother's spirits? 

But then, in the blink of an eye, they all grew up and went out into the world to begin their own lives. Which is not a bad thing. It's just a different thing.

And the question becomes, what lifts my spirits now?

Funny thing, it all still sort of revolves around those marvelous lovelies. But, instead of being surrounded by people, these spirit lifting times are more solitary in nature.

These are the times spent recalling precious memories of times that flew by much too quickly. And times spent anticipating the times that we can all get together now that the lovelies are all grown up. Then there are the times spent filling up any hours that were left empty with various solitary activities.

Please don't misunderstand! This is not a bad thing. I have discovered that I quite enjoy my time to myself. I can work out issues, write, read, watch television, knit, play with Tucker, organize, redecorate....the list is endless. And I'm pretty fun to hang with.

Plus, there's very little noise and chaos to escape from so I'm nearly always calm. I don't have to find a place to unwind or get away from it all for a minute or two.

And, when everyone comes in for a visit or a holiday or whatever, I'm completely rested and up for anything they throw my way!

Except this year, of course, from being exhausted from trying to hold it together those last few days of school before winter break because the students definitely went bat-crap-crazy.

But, other than that--I was good to go for our Christmas celebration!

During this holiday season, I realized that there are so many wonderful things to lift my spirits---just the fact that it was Christmas was enough to do it! But there were other things too---
  • the decorations
  • the songs
  • the movies
  • the good moods
  • the anticipation of the arrival of the lovelies
  • the preparation for the oyster roast
  • the last day of school for the semester
  • the cold weather
  • the wrapping of the presents I was extremely late in purchasing
  • the time spent together with my family and friends
There's just so much out there to lift the spirits DURING the season. But now the question becomes, will I be able to keep my spirits lifted AFTERWARDS?

The AFTER activities are not quite as fulfulling.
  • taking down all the decorations
  • taking a lovely to the airport so she can fly far away to rejoin her life
  • leaving a lovely's house to come back to the one I have to undecorate
  • facing the emptiness of the nest- time after time after time
Some of you know how it goes. And let me tell you- the times that you have to take them to the airport DOES NOT get easier each time. Just the opposite. 

Yes, the newest memories we made over the holiday were fantastic. But the time came and went in the wink of Santa's eye. Now I wait for the next time they come home. And I'm lucky- two of the lovelies live no more than 15 minutes away. Still, it's not the same.

Just when I think I've got the hang of this whole empty nest thing, a holiday comes along and leaves me with what my MIL called 'the sweet lonesomes.' I call it a roller coaster ride- ups and downs and ups and downs...

In a matter of time, I'll remember  that I quite enjoy my time to myself. That I can work out issues, write, read, watch television, knit, play with Tucker, organize, redecorate....and that the list is endless. And that I'm pretty fun to hang with.

Until then, it's just me and the sweet lonesomes.

What's keeps your spirits up AFTER the season ends?


15 comments:

  1. Aw, the sweet lonesomes are something I do not look forward to. And I hate undecorating!

    One of my lovelies is gone away for a week and I miss her already, just before she comes back, the other one goes and we're left with 1!
    Looking on the positive, it does allow time for activities that were put on hold, like knitting, reading.
    Oh, and school!

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  2. The post-holiday blues are rough. All the pretty decorations are gone and January storms seem to come every other day. All the holiday visitors are now at home tucked in, or shovelling the mounds of snow. This January I am going to try and purge junk from the house. Each week I hope to get one room sorted. And since there is a ton of stuff here it should distract me until thoughts of Spring intervene.

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  3. Mimi- No, they're not fun at all so I don't blame you one bit for not looking forward to them. It's just flat out tough when they leave the nest even with tons of things to do.

    Kim- They sure are. I've got tons on my list too. I want to purge and organize and get myself together. But I'll still be missing the lovelies being home...especially since they are of an age that they could really help out with all of this. LOL

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  4. I'll be leaning on your shoulder when my lovelies go away. I'm happy to still have a ten year old and a college kid only a driving distance away. But one day...

    In the mean time, because you are a special friend, I will be lugging this big hairy thing to the post office to send him your way. One Wendell- fist class. He will keep you busy and make you laugh. By the time you drive him to the airport, you will realize that he is neither lovely or small!

    He could have been sent anywhere yesterday. He wanted the feed that we give to the sow that just had babies. He went to the pen where Bertha lives with her five adorable piglets, leaned over the fence, and bit her on the back. When she ran to the other side of the pen, he ate her food! Somebody should have had extra coals and twigs in his stocking!We have to figure out how to handle this bullying situation.

    Isn't taking the tree down a BEAR? Up is happy. Down stinks!

    Give Tucker a hug for me. Take care of you. I have noticed that taking care of yourself and learning about health has been a big filler of time for you- and an AWESOME one.:)

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  5. So wonderful and you do such a good job of making great lists of things to think of when you are alone. You always inspire me.
    I think for the first time in a long time I am excited about the new year, but what keeps my spirits up? I think seeing that my worst fears didn't happen. Yep, it is a good reminder to me that I can't see the future and the things I worried about didn't happen.
    So I think I just need to go with the flow more.
    I hope you have a lovely weekend as the dust settles and I hope you get lots of time to rest. And yes, we need to get caught up. :)

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  6. As I sit here reading your amazing blog post, I am trying not to shout out amen...you see our youngest came home for the holidays...but is in her 'room' packing up right now for the long drive back to her 'residence'. We plan to meet again for New Years for an over night get away. (we are meeting half way for this occasion!) We have one daughter who only lives 15 min away and then of course the one in Austria who we skyped with on Christmas. The way you captured the poignant feelings of the rollercoaster was dead on. I love my quite time and my hubs and I have joined the gym and are reconnecting like never before so there are good things but, still the rollercoaster and the saying goodbye just about does me in, every time. I love that we are in the same 'stage' of life right now and I love that I have you in my life. Happy New Year!

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  7. Oh, those Holiday Blues, they can really be a bummer (:
    I just try to get back into the routine of things and usually I feel better with my 'day in and day out' stuff.

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  8. With my ex being snowed in for a few extra days and staying with me it didn't take me long to transition back to remembering and enjoying my solitude.

    Of course it's always hard to watch my son and his family leave each time.

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  9. Sweet lonesomes. I love that phrase!! It takes me a few weeks to settle back into the routine of 'lonesome' once theyre gone. I think thats why January is a St Johns Wart month!!

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  10. I have a ways to go before my house is empty, but I do enjoy the time with my little ones, Missing my oldest who moved away is my biggest challenge this Christmas. Time really does fly.

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  11. The Sweet Lonesomes-that's a great expression and something I feel often.

    I have my youngest home for another week so trying to soak it all in. I'm trying to set some goals and also looking into a volunteer opportunity that I saw mentioned in church. Doing something for someone else, getting outside of my own head!, is one thing that helps me beat the sweet lonesomes. Setting goals and having a date on the calendar where I know I'll see my girls also helps, no matter how far out it may be.

    Hope your New Year is filled with peace and joy and lots of days with your lovelies!

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  12. Hi Pam. Life can certainly be a rollercoaster when you have children, can't it? After such a full house, I am sure that you feel it once again when everyone packs to return to their own places. Sending hugs your way, and wishing you and yours a very happy, healthy, peaceful and joyful new year.

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  13. Patrice- Yeah, it’s that ‘one day’ that gets us. But I know that you are enjoying every minute now and that’s really all we can do. I mean, besides locking them in the cellar or something. I am awaiting the arrival of Wendell! How funny is that horse of yours?! He is always providing me with comic relief. Though I suppose his antics aren’t all that funny when you live with him, eh? LOL Taking the tree down certainly IS a bear. Birdie and DoodleBug are coming over after church today to help. It would be much worse if I had to do it alone. I have to put myself back on a front burner- I took a backseat to the holidays. Enough of that!

    Kim- I have to keep myself busy or else I’d go mad. I like that- seeing that your worst fears didn’t happen. That’s a good thing! And it does give hope for the coming year. Excellent idea! I’m afraid that, once the dust settles, it’ll be time to go back to school. Still not completely sure how I feel about that. Need to find my zen with it I guess.

    mm- You would think we’d get used to that roller coaster ride, wouldn’t you? But no. I’m so glad that you are doing things that are positive like reconnecting with your husband! That’s fantastic! Mostly, I’m glad I have wonderful friends like you to share this ride with. No one understands like a mom in the same situation.

    Debby- THANK YOU! Needed and appreciated!

    Lucy- Indeed they can. I think I’ll feel better once I get everything put away and get back into my daily routine as well.

    Living- Hahahahaha! You are too funny. Wait- your ex stayed with you? You’re a better woman than I. I’m not sure I could have done that. I hardly like letting him stay here while we’re still married. LOL

    Deb- I like it too. I think my MIL said she got it from her grandmother YEARS ago. Ah, so St Johns Wart is the key? LOL

    Stormy- That’s the thing- no matter how many we have, we always miss the one(s) that have grown up and moved on. But that’s what we’ve been preparing them for all these years. Shame we didn’t prepare ourselves. LOL

    Joyce- I know you do! I often think of you when I write a post like this. Lucky you having her home a bit longer! My DC lovely had to go back on Friday- after being her for 8 days. That was the fastest 8 days I’ve ever experienced. Setting goals and putting those dates on the calendar are great ideas! I’m going to do that today! The dates are going on the calendar at my desk at school too. Thank you for such wonderful New Year wishes! I send the same wishes up your way!

    Diane- It certainly can. Thank you so much for the hugs and the lovely New Year wishes! Sending them right back over the pond to you my friend!

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  14. I'm actually one of the ones that come home, only to leave again.. But my father has other children, so I suspect it's not the same for him.

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Thank you so much for taking the time to comment! It makes me feel connected to everyone even though we may live far apart! Have a wonderful day!

 
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