The Quiet Really Isn’t Eerie

More times than I can count this week, I have walked into a silent house. More times than I can count this week, I’ve been alone in this house that I’m deciding is too big for two people.

There hasn’t been a single noise, a single tv blaring in the background, a single footstep bounding up the stairs. But guess what? For the first time, it didn’t make me sad. Instead, there was a sense of peace. Moments where I’ve looked around and reflected. Looked around and thought what next? Looked around and smiled.

Sometimes the quiet can be eerie but lately, it sounds like success. No chaos, no drama, just peace. The dots are connecting; my path is falling into place. Career-focus; relationship-focus; future fun.

Do You Ever Sit Still?

When the kids are little you are either at home or en route. On the way to a friend’s house, a practice, an appointment, or a birthday party – nothing adult-related. As they are able to drive themselves, you stay home, not so patiently waiting, pacing the floors awaiting their safe return. Now that they’re grown, there’s no need to pace at home. You’ve done your job, you’ve done the best you could and now it’s time.

Time for what you ask? Time to explore, time to find and rediscover you. It’s not time to sit around the house and watch Pretty Woman or Sixteen Candles for the 100th time. How will you remember who you are by staring at those same four walls you’ve admired for 20 or so years?

So, to answer the question that I hear from my friends on a regular basis of “Do you ever sit still?”, the answer is, “No, I never sit still.” What’s the point of sitting around? I need to find me and she’s definitely not locked in this house.

Sunday Funday

What’s Sunday Funday you ask? Sunday Funday is whatever you make it! Sunday Fundays for us all started when both the kids started working and would be gone all day long on Sunday.  With one working at a grocery store and one working at a restaurant, there was no chance Sundays would be family days. Sundays used to be a day of sauces simmering or roasts cooking but as the kids got older and older, there were less “sit down” dinners and more thinking about getting out and grabbing a bite to eat.

My husband is a pizza fanatic but, not just any kind of pizza…bar pizza.  The kind of pizza that has very little crust and the cheese and sauce reach all the way to the edges of the pan.  Our first Sunday Funday found us checking out the little bar on the way home from my mother-in-law’s house. Since our first delicious bite, what I came to find out was that the best pizza always was at the biggest dive bars. Don’t ask me why, I don’t have a clue. What I do know is that for at least 6 months, I tried every bar pizza within a 50 mile radius. It became our adventure…watching Phantom Gourmet, scouring the internet, asking friends – where should we go?

Whatever your Sunday Funday includes remember, it’s all about the adventure. Getting to know one another again. Chatting over a cheap beer and a slice of pizza. Just like the good old days, long before kids and long before an acquired taste for fancy dinners and speciality cocktails.

Exercise…ewww!

Ok, we can’t just hang out with friends, go out to eat, go for drinks, and travel because our house is empty, we have to do something in our spare time to focus on our health. The point of this game of life is to live long and stay healthy enough to reap the benefits of this empty nest and enjoy grandchildren. No, no, not yet, but one day!

While the kids were growing up, I never had time to focus on a healthy, active me. Sure, I could steal away a few minutes here and there but never enough time to realize what I liked to do to stay active. So many people spent their free time in the gym but I knew that wasn’t for me. I had to do something. I got the fitness tracker, started tracking my steps and soon realized I lived a pretty sedentary life. There wasn’t a lot of steps between my office, the ladies room, and the kitchen.

Now I had the time. Nobody waiting on me to cook dinner, nobody needing me to get them on or off the bus, it was my turn. First it was a nice long walk then it was – I’ll trying jogging for a few minutes. Next thing I knew I was thinking about my first 5k.

All by myself. Didn’t tell a soul I was doing it (not even my husband). I showed up, signed up, and ran. Headphones in, lost in my thoughts, slowing and walking whenever I needed to.

I did it, I finished in 36 minutes. Not a world speed record but I actually finished – first step to last sprint…3.107 miles. Here I stand a couple of years later having completed 6 of them so far – I love it. It’s my time. Whether it’s a quick mile before work or a walk/run 5 miles around my town, I’ve got my headphones in, wind in my face and my head full of positive thoughts – I have found a big piece of me.

It All Started with a Beer

It’s quiet.  Really quiet.  The house is clean, the weekend chores have been done, there is nothing left to do…now what?  We were searching for something to do; anything to do. When there’s no soccer practice to race off to, no homework to fight about, no big dinner to cook, you become a little bored; a little “empty”.

“Let’s go grab a beer.”

Seems simple right? Pop in to a little bar and grab a drink. No way, that’s boring. Where’s the adventure in that?

Mooselick Brewing - New Hampshire

It seems that there is a new brewery popping up in every city and every town. Your mission is to find one. Which one is closest to your house? Which one is closest to your in-laws (because everyone needs a drink before family gatherings)? Which one is a little out of the way but worth the adventure?

Every city or town we visit, whenever we have time to spare, we search for breweries in the area (google maps rocks for this!). Do I love every one I’ve ever tried? Nope, not even close but, what I have loved is the experience. Talking to the brewers, chatting with other visitors, reading the stories about how each and every one of them came up with their name.

There are almost always games to play, tours to go on, music playing, and snacks that pair perfect with whatever you’re drinking.

Plus, the added bonus when you have no little ones around…there’s always a baby at the brewery.  Always…every time.  But, it makes sense.  It’s not all about the beer.  It’s about getting out, socializing, supporting a small business owner, and talking to people of all ages, genders, and backgrounds. It’s a welcoming place where parents even feel comfortable bringing their kids.

Do you need to be a beer lover to have fun and seek out these places? No, but it certainly doesn’t hurt. Cheers!

Date Night…What’s That?

Raise your hand if you needed to make sure you set a “date night” when the kids were little. A night to make sure you talked to one another about something other than schedules, grades, and tub times.  A night – once a week, once a month, or for some…once a year – when you would hire a sitter, put on clothes from the back of the closet, and sip on something that wasn’t coffee or a half drunk juice box left on the coffee table.  A night when you would go out and talk and make sure you actually still liked each other and, hopefully, you found out you still had things in common (other than those little creatures at home). I know, I know, a lot of you are still in this phase! Sorry to bring up a sore subject but, DON’T FORGET DATE NIGHT. Remember, you still need to know and like each other when this leg of the journey is over.

Once the page has turned and there is no one to worry about, every night can be date night. I’m glad we still like each other. I’m glad we still have things in common but, more importantly, I’m glad we know how to “do” date night. We never really lost touch with “us”.

Funny thing about date night though, no matter how old they are, there’s always at least one conversation that revolves around the kids and…I don’t think that’s a bad thing.

What? You have free time?

As a young Mom in her 20’s, I would tell you that I never had free time.  Time to reflect on what I liked to do, what I loved to be a part of, and what made me smile.  In hindsight, now that I have time to get lost in my thoughts, my like, love and smile all came out of raising my kids.  Everything about being a mother – from the mundane to the rip-your-hair out – was who I was and what I was all about. I loved being on the soccer field every weekend even when it was 40 degrees, I smiled from ear to ear while eating McDonald’s french fries at the Playplace, I liked working on school projects even though I always seemed to be racing to Walmart at closing time for one more piece of posterboard.  It was who I was and I embraced it.

Now, as a 40+ year old, professional woman, there was plenty of free time and I’m not one to sit still.  I had to figure out what to do with all this “extra” time.  I started asking myself – What do you like? What do you love? What makes you smile? I already knew that I loved to travel but what else? I love being outside no matter what the weather as you’ll find out in my other adventures.  I always smile when I’m with friends; they make me feel complete.  I like entertaining. Put those all together and our Brewhouse was born. A place right in our own backyard to enjoy time with our friends, a good drink, and a place that feels far away.

The root of my like, my love, and my smile will always be my boys but, there’s so much more. So much more that makes me who I am and the discovery of that person is half the fun.

 

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