Wednesday, February 22, 2017
At ages 63 and 65 we are retired. Motherhood is no longer central to my life. I no longer run a Cafe or Bed and Breakfast. I have an over active critic in my mind that continually tells me, I am not being productive enough or that I am not very useful. I have time on my hands. I must find something to do that is useful. Making a home for my husband and myself has value in itself but it doesn't keep me busy all day. It is also useful to have a place that all our children feel comfortable coming home too...and where the grandchildren will want to come visit as well. However it doesn't feel like enough to leave it at that...what else should I be, could I ,be doing?
One of the reasons we moved back to the states was to re-develop our family relationships in all aspects. We started out helping Edmund's mom for a year and a half. It was nice reconnecting with her and helping her as she aged. It was great seeing friends and some of our family there in Bryn Athyn but we both felt time slipping away. We needed to find a place of our own to make a home where we could nurture our relationship with each other, our kids and our grandchildren. We were on the same page. Time to do something about it.
We both loved the wide open space of the west and Colorado was home to Edmund's great grandparents at one time so we moved our belongings and set up our home in Divide, Colorado.
Watching my busy husband building things around the property these days leaves me feeling as if I should be doing something as well or something more than I am doing...which begs the question, what am I doing?
It has been a few months since we moved into our new house. We have done a lot of personalizing our space in each room. We painted. Had new hickory flooring put in, hung curtains and pictures. Edmund built shelves for my plants, a special spice rack for the kitchen and numerous shelves and cupboards for our kitchen as well. I have re-organized our living room so finally it "feels" good to me...no matter where I look in the room. Success.
Someone recently wrote me and said, "you two are so industrious" this compliment gave me a warm feeling, but was accompanied by other feelings ...now that it is all done what else is there to do? What is it I am meant to be doing?
So I ask the question: what is it I love to do? Hmmm. Things for my husband, my family. cooking/baking, gardening, sewing, crafting, reading,writing. Writing. So here I am sharing my thoughts again.
It will be a couple of more months before the last frost up here in the mountains of Colorado so gardening in the yard is on the back burner other than planning for it and starting plants in the greenhouse.
Today I was talking with a friend about our upbringing and how we are kinda 'programmed' to think about two questions. What is the use? meaning, what is the value of what I am doing, of what use will it be to me or someone or society? That is the question.
Our kids are grown with lives of their own, jobs that keep them busy and a couple of them have young families of their own to care for themselves. Because some of them have young families traveling isn't as easy for them as it is for us. We are lucky that we can travel to see them all. We love our times with family, grandchildren and friends.
It is so much fun to watch our kids parent. Parenting styles have changed with the times . We are learning so much in the process too! It is exciting to be around the grandkids no matter their ages...getting to know them all is a gift.
As our kids grew and developed new relationships and married their needs have changed over the years. They moved from the east coast to the west coast and some back again to the east coast. Keeping up with everyone from a distance isn't always easy, but we keep at it. Thank goodness for technology which has allowed for an ease of communicating through Skype, texting and even Facebook.
From being somewhat central in their lives when they were younger...my importance in their lives is more peripheral now and actually probably has been for a long time. It is only now when I am not working any longer that I feel the distance more. Life for all of us has changed. So we have been figuring out how to strengthen relationship with our kids while at the same time giving them the space they want and creating a busier life for ourselves. The empty nest syndrome is tricky.
So refocusing is my focus! Looking for ways to expand my interests. Reinventing myself if you will, finding new ways to develop myself. I am hopeful to find some different things to be involved with in our area and in the process have more to share with everyone. I don't want to get a job because it would tie me down too much but I have thought of volunteering in some way in our community. We will see what presents itself. Eventually it would be fun to start a book club. And it is a good way to get to know others. And in the spring I will take up walking again.
Balance is as always the key.