Empty Nest-Week 4

I am a day late, but better late than never! It was a week packed with ups and downs. In this post I want to focus on the up! I got to visit my dd (darling daughter)! It has been about a month since we dropped her off for her freshman year. It was the best a mom could hope for. I got to spend time with her, her roommate, and some of her new friends. It was incredible. She has already grown so much in such a short time. It was clear that she is happy and settling into her new home. She already has such a connection with her surroundings and new friends. Brunch with her sweet friends had the ease that comes with old friends. Part of my heart aches with not seeing her every day, while the other part bursts with joy at the beauty of her new life. Thank goodness for my beautiful BAMA welcoming me home. Without him the house would have been way to quiet with everyone away doing their thing. I am a lucky woman.

Empty Nest-Week 3

So this week has been a week of quotes:

  • Super Soul Sunday podcast-“We want life to be a train ride. We choose a destination and have a few stops along the way, but ultimately end up where we choose. But, life is more like a sailboat ride.” (I feel like this was directed right at me! The sooner I accept that the sooner I can sit back and enjoy the ride, the better the ride will be!)
  • Yoga teacher” Don’t fear change. Things only last as long as they should, or need to.” (Take the good and the bad, learn from it, and remember that nothing lasts forever. Enjoy the good, grow from the difficult and be grateful for everything in your life.)
  • Friend-“…this empty nest thing doesn’t have to be a bad thing…” ( After 20 years of being devoted to my children, it might be fun to go with the flow)

There is wisdom all around me. I just need to be open to it.

Empty Nest-Week 2

Week two is in the books! I made it through another one. I think the key is to have a focus each week. Last week I focused on getting back into a workout routine, 2 days of yoga and 2 of Pilates. Enough to make me feel like I am working, but not enough to overwhelm me. Just need to keep it going.

Not much to say, but I survived!!! On to next week. The goal is to clean, organize and multipurpose the kids empty rooms. Wahoo!

 

Empty Nest- Week 1, Crossing the Bridge

One week ago today my husband and I were making the cross-country trip home without our kids. Having deposited one in Tennessee and one in Alabama we were officially empty nesters. We had made this massive drive the year before when dropping off our oldest, but it felt different. Last year there were a lot of tears. If I am being honest, I think it was more about the end of something rather than a beginning. It was like our family was being downsized and my role was being phased out. This year there is still some sadness, but there is also hopefulness and excitement. I am excited for both of our kids and the year that is before them, I am also excited for my husband and I as a couple, and for me.

For the first time in 2 decades my daily life will not revolve around my children. Oh I am sure there are a fair number of people out there that would say it never should have revolved around them, but that is not the point. I am not here to debate if my parenting style was on point or not. I am here now to embrace this change with excitement and childish possibility.

I have known this was coming and really have spent time thinking about what I would do once it came; should I head back to the classroom, should I start a business, should I become a lady who lunches. Well the reality is that I have spent many hours pondering and pontificating about this transition, but nothing has really stuck. Case in point, I have had this blog for over a year and although there have been many content changes, it has remained mostly quiet. If you have ever seen the Reese Witherspoon movie, Home Again, there is a scene that sums up my last few years. Reese’s  character is discouraged and talking about all the hobbies she has tried to parlay into a career unsuccessfully.  The reality is that you can’t force it and I have spent way to much time trying to make it happen. So there is a new plan, no plan.

I am an empty nester. It is crazy what a mixed bag of emotions those words bring bubbling to the surface, as well as a surplus of opinions from people on how to manage it correctly. I will mind my own business and kindly ask that others do the same. Only positivity please.

From here on out, I have no plan. I am going to explore my interests, date my husband and take advantage of all that my life has to offer. As I focus on my blessings and gifts hopefully somewhere along the way a spark will ignite and I will find a new job/passion, if not, oh well, I will have had some fun and learned a few things.

Pumpkin Spice Practice

Today I tried a new pumpkin spice recipe from My Cake School. The recipe called for a reverse creaming method. A new one for me. You mix all the dry ingredients first and then slowly add in the liquids.

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The cake tasted great, but was a little denser than I expected. I am not sure if that was due to the creaming method or a mistake I made with a late addition of sugar. I am thinking I will use the traditional creaming method the next time I make it.

I frosted the cake with pumpkin spice cream cheese icing. I tried covering the cake with roses. Relish.com had great photos to follow. Not perfect, but happy with it as a first try.

 

All in all fun day in the kitchen and a keeper recipe.

 

Make A Plan Monday

Make A Plan Monday was a great success for me last week. I actually marked all but one thing off my master list and I got everything done that was on my starred list! That is a first for this girl. Seriously, I love a cool planner, but they usually don’t do much good. I write stuff down and then that is about the end of it. I was a bit skeptical about if making a list and putting it out there would really make a difference for me. As a former elementary teacher I am staunchly in the one size does not fit all camp. But, when you find something that works for one it can often be tweaked to help others. So that is what I did. I tweaked suggestiions from my many self improvement and organiztion books, and I think it might just be the trick for me. Last week I found myself “on task” much more than usual. I felt a little cheer inside every time I crossed something off. Now let’s see if I can keep it going!

We had a little trouble with alarms this morning, as in no one got up for one! So the day has gotten off to a chaotic start. This normally would be where it all falls apart for me. I would just tell myself I don’t have time and I will do it later and never get around to it. But today I decided this needs to be a ritual for me, something I look forward to and therefore I make the time for. So I have decided Monday’s will consist of a cup of tea in my favorite mug, a review of Brene Brown’s Guideposts for Whole Hearted Living, and a few moments get a handle on the week. Crazy chaotic or not.

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Obsessed with Flying Bird Botanicals tea!

I have my yummy tea, I reviewed the Guideposts and I have made my mega to do list. So this week I chose 4 projects/goals to put out into the universe.

  1. Calm- Read at least 50 pages
  2. Self- Make it to at least 1 yoga and 1 pilates reformer class
  3. Create- Blog at least 2 times this week
  4. Play, laugh and dance– Dance and have fun in the kitchen this week while I am working on my baking projects

On a side note, something came to mind while I was writing today. As much as I miss the days of running around with and after Hugh and Bella, sometimes so much that it makes me tear up. There was little to no time for rituals and quiet moments during that period of my life. When everyone overslept it was a mad dash to catch up all day. I am so grateful for all those mad dash days with my kids, but I am finding that I am also grateful for these days that I am now settling into. I can take a moment to make a cup of tea, read a book and think about what I would like to do next. I guess it is all about embracing where you are today.

Have a great day! I hope you have a moment for you!

Crafting a life after they have left the nest

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