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Saturday, September 27, 2008

Note to Self:
Always write your post on the day you think of it as the next day you may not be feeling it.

Luckily, the mind of an empty nester is similar to the boomerang; when trained well, will travel in a curved manner and land very close to the place where the original thought began. I am back to this feeling of unexplained euphoria and mixed-up day dreams that sometimes border on the ridiculous and yet keep me gloriously occupied.

The other day, (yes, two days ago) I attended a business meeting that lasted about an hour or so. Learned a few things, took a few notes and generally felt like it was a really worthwhile meeting. I shake hands with the attendees and say my goodbyes, get in my car and drive away, and then it happens. For no apparent reason, my heart is racing and every song that comes up on the radio is smoothing and sexy. There is a tingling in my toes (could it be my Jimmy Choo's begging to come off?). I am feeling so happy and loving life. You couldn't take the smile off my face if you tried. I am so sexually-charged I cannot believe it. I feel the need to rush home to relieve this pressure that's building up (yeah, I thought of that, too; but when I got home, my puppy needed to go out to 'get busy' and then he jumped in the I followed him and the coolness of the water cooled me down).

We all have triggers that can alter our moods and the emotions that follow. I am thinking that the triggers that usually set my temperament are are mixed-up now that the kids have all left the nest. I am no longer the responsible parent who's working, making meals, doing laundry, keeping everyone focused and building up their self-esteem. No one is saying, "Mom, you're not really going to wear that out to breakfast, are you?" No one is challenging me, "we just started the movie at Billy's house and I really want to see the end, so can I extend my curfew by 25 minutes?" The regular routines of everyday family life have gone away, leaving us to create new and improved routines. That's easier said then done.

Routines are so good to establish when you have little children. They seem to be more relaxed when you are the good parent and stick to the prescribed schedule. I have not followed this common sense advise since my daughter left for college, and the mood swings and thoughts in my head and all over the place. I do like the spontaneity of my life now, but giving myself a little direction might be good, too. Of course, I am not going to wrap this topic up in one post.

Step One: I recognize that my lack of routine and my new, empty nest life schedule is wrecking havoc with my moods and emotions.

Action Item: Hold on and enjoy the ride!

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Blogger Amy said...

I'm there with you, Beth. My whole schedule, as I've known it for years, has been knocked off kilter. A few nights ago I drove past my sons' high school, and I realized I was no longer attending a PTA meeting ... ever again. I used to be a PTA prez!

Anyway, I was on my way to the gym when I rode past the PTA open house event. It was sad, but I was kind of glad to be on my own schedule.

September 27, 2008 at 7:34 PM  
Blogger jenboglass said...

Oh the freedom you must be feeling now. Please tell me the Choos did not fall prey to the pool. That would be a tragic twist to this story that I'm just not willing to accept.

September 28, 2008 at 11:48 AM  
Anonymous Philip Cilliers said...

Oh boy! As a CPA and somone married to a CPA, our house runs on schedules and checklists. I know its is very sad, but our kids thrive on it - not sure where they could possibly get it from...

September 29, 2008 at 12:42 PM  
Blogger The Stiletto Mom said...

I can't even imagine that kind of freedom. I am a full 11 years away from it and while I think I can't wait for it, I know when it gets here I'll wish I was back to the managed chaos I operate within now. Of course, I will have lived through them being teenagers by then which I hear heightens the joy of their departure for college!

September 30, 2008 at 9:33 AM  
Blogger labrams said...

Since the kids have flown the nest, for the most part (although they do seem to come back to roost), I've found too much free, unscheduled and unstructured time on our hands, much of it we waste away watching mindless TV (the "TV Trap"). I'm far away from my teenage years and have not yet re-learned how to live life "spontaneously" or moment to moment. So I decided to add a little structure and try to schedule some "parent" activities one or two evenings a week and slowly learn how to ease into a new lifestyle, someday.

September 30, 2008 at 10:02 AM  
Anonymous Nancy said...

Oh my! My routine is now determined by my new Yorkshire Terror (Please note: not terrior)

October 1, 2008 at 12:02 PM  
Blogger June said...

I think your schedule starts to switch when your kids are getting ready to leave. Did you find this even the last year?

October 1, 2008 at 6:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm really enjoying the extra time to myself--however--lately I'm becoming a bit of a slug. I think I'm going to have to get back to making up lists again so I can at least get a few things done!

October 3, 2008 at 12:30 AM  
Blogger Christine said...

As you and I have discussed, the high school years prepare you for them being away at college. We find oursleves "alone" most weekends and enjoying the unstructure of it. Although I must admitt that I am a little concerned that your "charge" was cooled off in the pool!

October 4, 2008 at 2:53 PM  
Blogger Lisa Eshelman said...

I find that I am easily distracted by the internet. Never expected it to be my form of communication. I like to talk. The internet lets me express myself at four in the morning, when most people don't want me to talk, especially my husband. As far as structure goes, I have always been a work addict, so my family has learned to go with the flow.

October 29, 2008 at 2:14 PM  

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