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Saturday, June 13, 2009

The Joys of Working Full-Time Again

The funny thing about returning to a full-time position is that your whole life gets engrossed with whatever you are working on. For me, that's putting on a Twilight Farmers Market for a beautiful shopping center in Glendale, Arizona.

It's a really unique market, with the best local farmers bringing their produce, the local artisan bakers bringing their goodies, kids cooking classes, musical and dancing performances each week, a celebrity or interesting local person rings the market bell to open the market and cool tenant give-aways, too. I could on, but the list is too long.

Having an event every week is very exhausting. Your adrenaline shoots up the day before, the day of and all during the event. The following day you're wiped out and then you recover. I am just now getting used to this routine. But I have to say that I love it. For now.

My family sort of has to get involved to. Otherwise, we are not doing as much together. Time will fly by and all of a sudden, Laura is back to Dickinson for her sophomore year! I want some quality time with my baby girl. I still feel like I haven't given her all the knowledge a Mom should give to her children. (And maybe you never feel like you've given enough).

This morning, I woke up at 5 am worrying about which umbrellas and stands we should purchase for the market. I found some that might be perfect. But one shouldn't ever worry about umbrellas nor wake up so early thinking about a work issue. You should be sleeping soundly next to your partner. Someone should tell my system that!

I also need to learn how to turn on the on and off button. Work sometimes, play sometimes. It is all this empty nest Mom can handle, that's for sure.

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Monday, June 1, 2009

Back From the Empty Nest Depression

Hello out there. It's true, I am not dead. But it has been over a month or so since I've written on my site.

I started this blog the day my youngest daughter left for college, hence a diary of what it would be like to be an empty-nester, or Emtnester since the EmptyNester domain name was already taken. There were days that were hard and there were days that were wonderful in this new status for me and Bill. But life moved on. I got some writing paid jobs. Then I was asked to handle the marketing for a beautiful mixed-use center with a public relations friend of mine. My sister started selling Worth clothing and she asked to help her, too. So, I got busy. (I had to be dressed before 6 pm when Bill usually comes home). But none of this affected me quite like my middle son's graduation......

Jonathan attended Miami University in Ohio. The exact same day I stopped writing was the weekend of the graduation ceremonies. We all went up to Oxford and had a ball with the families that he shared a house with. The weather was perfect: not too hot, not too cold. My Mom and Ed even came up for the occasion, so it was really special. But Sunday arrived quickly and everyone was leaving. We were the last of the Stone-Southworth clan to leave , around 5 pm. I had attempted to start packing for JB since he had to be out of the house on Monday at noon. I managed to lose his card and check from my Mom while packing, so I was really a big help!

Well, it was 5 pm and we needed to go back to our busy little lives in Arizona. And my little boy was off to Columbus, Ohio to find an apartment and start his first job all by himself, with no help from anyone in his family. Why didn't I plan this better? Am I so busy or broke to go help him start his new life? What about his Dad or his brother? We said our teary goodbyes and drove off while he was sitting on the ledge of his front porch, dangling his feet just like a little boy would do on a beautiful spring day.

I don't remember the ride to the airport, checking in or going through security. I only remember the phone call from Jonathan asking where did I put the check from Gran. And why did I have to start packing; he had everything in control and now we will have to probably stop payment on the check and Gran won't like doing that, on and on. I was devastated. Of course, I know we were all very tired as you keep late hours on college campuses these days. But I felt miserable. And fell right into a month long depression of sorts.

I did not want to share all the great pictures of the weekend. I waited to hear how JB found a great, inexpensive apartment in a week. I waited to hear about his week of training at his new job. I waited to hear about how he and (his friend that's a girl) found a brown couch at a killer price to fill his new place. And I feel Columbus is as far as Sweden.

This is the empty-nester experience that I had so often read about. The queer sadness mixed with joy all rolled up with the overwhelming loneliness and loss of the company of your children. And I just could not think of a single word to write until 4 am this morning. Digging myself out of this dark hole I have been secretly living in all the while working and keeping busy to the outside world.

It's good to see you, too!

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