A blog about the writing journey
The other day I was having a conversation with fellow author, Mart Ramirez, about children heading off to school next week. Which led us to discussing when they leave the house as adults. Mart’s afraid she’ll be sad when she gets to the point her child leaves home. I’m not. It may be callous, but I’m looking forward to it.
I love my kids, truly, wondrously, desperately love my kids, but at times I feel like a teenager waiting to get out of the house. I want to be me! I want to enjoy my spouse without being afraid a child will walk in. Drink a glass of wine without someone sniffing my breath (yes I have teenaged police at my house.) Travel without finding a sitter, or (even worse) leaving teenagers in charge of themselves and the house. What kind of vacation is it if you are constantly worried about what is going on at home?
I didn’t always feel like this. When the kids were younger, they were my life. I did everything with them and scheduled my life around theirs. Okay, I still have to schedule around them sometimes, but now I have a full life without the kids, and they are not even out of the house. Committing to writing has done more than fill my hours with satisfying work that I would do above just about anything. It has also filled my life with social obligations, travel opportunities, and real friends.
I will not be lonely when the kids go off to school, the husband is at work, and the house is empty. I’ll be on my computer discussing the best use of the word “t’will” and when did contractions come into common use. I’ll be at meetings, trying not to over-volunteer. I’ll be at writers retreats, conducting workshops on improv and taking workshops on NANORIMO prep.
In other words: Fill your life up and the empty nest won’t be empty, it will be full of you being you.
Oh, and the other thing I’ve done to prevent empty nest syndrome? I have a dog. She’s the baby now.
What have you done to fill your life up? Will it be you or your husband who misses the kids most? At my house, it’s bound to be my husband when I’m off at RWA and he’s home by himself. Maybe he needs a hobby, like hiking.
Do you have other hobbies besides writing? Will they fill up your life the way writing does, so much that you merely wave at the kids as they trundle off to school and hope you remembered to kiss them?