Mark Twain

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Wednesday, December 14, 2011

New Empty Nester Fills Her Day

So it occurred to me a few days ago that I finally reached the status of an "empty nester."

Although my "children" left home many years ago, I always seemed to have others residing with me ... either returning children for short periods or another relative. And I have always welcomed those new residents. But now my kids are independent and other possible residents have thinned out. It is just my husband and I.

I guess my husband and I will get a chance to see if we can still make it together! :-) Actually the stresses of the last year have tested this 42 year old marriage in ways I never imagined ... and we are still together. I doubt our lives now will result in anything different. A comfort!

Of course, mom is still very much a part of my day. I see her almost daily for about 2 hours. Some visits are difficult with moodiness and anger - emotions unusual for her. Some visits, like today, are pretty good. She seemed happy to see me, we had a chance to visit privately, and we joined other residents for a game later in the morning. She will be riding out to see Christmas Lights with others from Brooke Grove this evening. She probably is looking forward to that.

I am busy sorting through the "caves of possessions" in my home for both mom and myself in an effort to clean out and thin out "stuff". Mom has boxes in her closets that she never unpacked 5 years ago. The time is right to go through the boxes - get rid of stuff she can't use and probably doesn't remember - and bring items to her that she might enjoy. My own possessions continue to "reproduce" at an alarming rate. Sorting through our stuff has been an ongoing activity this year (especially when I was upset - which was often), and shedding stuff will continue. The Den in my basement is so full, it should be considered unsafe. Now mostly what is down there is yarn and fiber - so a falling injury is unlikely, but a smothering event is possible. :-)

And yesterday I got a piece of mail I have been expecting. My Medicare Card from the Department of Health and Human Services. Isn't it wonderful that the Federal Government thought to remind me of my advancing age!!! Oh well, 2012 is the year when I turn 65. I guess it is time.

I am behind on Christmas stuff, but in my new mode of simplifying and stepping out from under the weight of traditions, I am not stressed by the impending holiday. For Christmas this year, we will take mom out for lunch on Christmas Eve. Our "big", but small dinner on Christmas Eve will be our family celebration with gift giving after dinner. Maybe my kids will plan to spend the night like last year. That was great fun. Of course, my son and his fiancee must balance the needs of 2 families now. Christmas morning I will return to take mom to mass. Christmas Day dinner will be left overs. I think this Christmas will work out just fine.

And for a change, I am looking at things that I can add back into my life instead of what I did this year - dropping things. Knitting and blogging have returned. I think about my loom with a newly started project on it from last May. Weaving has passed my mind frequently. I am thinking about walking again and maybe returning to Tai Chi in the spring. And when I get up in the morning I am so very stiff. It reminds me that Yoga was a part of my life at one time and it made a huge difference in how I felt. Yes, I can see a number of things in my future. In fact, it amazes me how many things I stopped in 2011.

My personal sadness is lifting a bit as I see mom beginning to adjust to her new home. Today the nursing assistant said that mom is a very pleasant and a happy person. So despite the occasional sad face she shows me, I know she is putting down roots.

My empty nest is fairly quiet now, but my brain is buzzing with possibilities.


  1. Sounds like a good, healthy, positive reaction to change.
    It would appear we will both be officially senior citizens next year.

  2. Sounds like she wants you to feel guilty that she is there- but when you are gone - she is better. sandie

  3. Hi ELaine .. I'm glad things are settling down and sorting out .. that must make life easier all round - the more relaxed you are I'm sure your Mum will relax too .. Good luck and enjoy Christmas .. with thoughts - Hilary

  4. Sounds like things are much calmed down now and you have lots to look forward to.
    Glad your mom is settling down at her new home.
    We will have to get together for lunch again sometime in the new year.

  5. What a blessing you and your Mom are to each other. I am so happy to hear you are managing things is a wise and thoughtful way. Merry Christmas to you and yours.

  6. I get a little behind in our blogging world during the holidays. what you and your Mom need, slowly, life falls into place.

  7. sounds like you are both settling into your new ways of life. hope your christmas was great. :)

  8. I'm a new empty nester looking for advice. The honesty of your post touched me. My daughter is home for the holidays and I'm not looking forward to her leaving. The boys come and go.


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