I was fairly appalled to see that I haven’t blogged since February, but that probably shouldn’t be much of a surprise, considering my aversion to winter and the fact that my job gets insane every year at that time.
I also needed to find some new inspiration for my awesomeness, and my friend Susie was kind enough to turn me on to a free iPhone app called Tonic’s DoGood, which offers a prompt every day. Although it took me about a month, today I found and installed it – and was amused by the prompt I was given: “Spend a day by yourself today.”
Well, that’s actually pretty funny since I am self-employed and probably spend more time alone than most folks do. However, the irony is that I’ve been fighting the feeling of being alone ever since Sunday when our son left for his summer job at college. This will be the first summer he isn’t at home. Also the first summer we do not take a family vacation. And with my daughter having moved out – gradually, tiptoeing, but inarguably not living here anymore – the empty nest thing has become a reality. And I’m not too sure I like it.
But then, I’m not too sure I don’t.
Slowly but surely, my husband and I are realizing that there are perks to having an empty nest. We can come and go as we please without having to rush home to cook dinner for anyone. Our house is relatively clean, except for the occasional dog fur, dog pee, dog poop, dog throw-up … OK, except for the dog. The TV is likely to stay tuned to the same channel we watched the night before – not ESPN or the America’s Next Top Model Network (I know that’s not a real network but it sure does seem to be). No one complains about what I cook for dinner, what time curfew is, the fact that I sing show tunes with the radio now and then … loudly. Requests for money tend to come in text form rather than accompanied by that hang-dog look and those big brown eyes and a deep mournful sigh.
But I miss the laughter.
I miss the silly jokes around the dinner table and making fun of the people on ESPN and America’s Next Top Model and the relief of hearing the front door open at 1 AM. I miss being ribbed about my belting out Broadway, I miss planning a special day for each family member during vacation, and yes … I miss handing over the cash to a grateful recipient. I miss the noise. And I miss the messiness.
So, OK, new iPhone app. I’m willing to spend the day by myself today. But maybe not tomorrow. And surely not the summer. And definitely not forever.
No, this empty nest stuff is definitely not for the faint of heart.