It was quiet.
I couldn’t take it anymore!
Chris had been gone for a week and the loneliness sort of snuck up on me. I’d been putting in long hours on a writing project with a tight deadline. On Saturday evening, I rose to the surface, looked around, and realized I was alone. My social butterfly son Josh--who normally is happy to oblige me when I encourage him to invite friends over--just happened to have been gone two nights in a row. In general, I don’t mind alone time. I even enjoy it. But two full days was too much. I needed people!
People Who Need People
The following day was Superbowl Sunday. Josh was invited to a Superbowl Party and the hosting boy’s parents happened to be some of my favorite people. In a bold move I invited myself over. My darling friends not only gracefully agreed, but were kind enough to let me in the door after I admitted that I didn’t even know who was playing. (I know, I know--I’m un-American!) I do love the commercials, though. Here are two of my favorites!
"Space Babies" 2014 Kia Sorento Big Game Ad
Viva Young - 2013 Taco Bell Game Day Commercial
I ended up having a blast! As I drove home after the game, though, it occurred to me that this is my future. The loneliness I experienced while Chris was gone was a small taste of what I have to look forward to in a mere six months when our baby boy starts college in the fall. I’m dreading our upcoming status as full-fledged Empty Nesters (EN). Part of the problem is, as a freelance writer I work from my home. Alone. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE, LOVE my job, but it’s not like I can mosey down the hall for a chat with the person in the next office. When my hubby travels, will I turn into one of those people who leaves the TV on for company? Will my one-sided conversations with the dog become the norm?
Another thing is, I genuinely love the hubbub of having teens in the house. I adore when Josh’s friends are over talking, laughing, eating cookies, making noise and staying up too late. I’m going to have to make some serious adjustments. Push myself to reach out more--as I did on Superbowl Sunday. I’ve been assured by many ENs that there are benefits to the EN lifestyle. Like when I asked an EN couple at the Superbowl Party if they had any difficulty adjusting, they both shouted “NO!” at the same time. Hilarious!
Other people I’ve talked to acknowledge that while it’s hard at first--long weeknights with no games/concerts/conferences to attend--they swear that after that initial adjustment period there are loads of benefits, like: getting to know your spouse again, less laundry, cleaner house, and especially no more high-school-early alarm clocks. Plus, there will be time to pursue interests that were put on hold. Hmm…maybe I’ll join a book club, or learn to play an instrument. (Anybody have a nice, noisy drum set I can borrow?)
One EN friend pointed out that the bottom line is we’re sending our kids out into the world, and that’s what we raised them for. We’re doing our job, and that’s a good thing. But it’s still a little scary.
Any Empty Nesters out there with tips or advice for me?
Image by: Muffet