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.

I’m Not From Around Here

Have you ever played I’m not from around here? My guess is you haven’t because I think I made it up. But now, it’s your turn to play!

Next time you’re up for an adventure or searching for something to do, pick any town or city close by, even your own, and pull out that phone that is probably already in your hand.

Search “best things to do in ________”.

Typically on the top of the search, Trip Advisor pops up. Of course, some of the things you already know will pop up if you are searching local but not all the time.

Search for whatever you’re into – show me the top five restaurants; show me the top ten historical sites; show me the best hiking trail. You get the picture…type in your want and presto – a new adventure, a new special spot, a hidden gem. We’ve been steered to some of the best places to hike or take a walk, to have lunch, or even just to explore.

Trust me, they’re all not gems but what do you have to lose? Life is about the adventure! Find it, run with it. You only go around once, make the most of this new found time. The life of the empty nester!

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.

Where’s My Christmas Spirit?

I have to admit, wholeheartedly, I am jealous of those of you with little ones. For the last few years, the month of December has felt like every other just colder than the one before and a bit more expensive. There is no excitement in the air, no Elf that we need to move all over the house in strange (but funny) positions, and no gifts that I need to wait in line for hours to get.

So, where’s my Christmas Spirit? I think it’s waiting patiently in the shadows, for a few years. Lingering all around us as we shuffle through the holidays. The spirit will emerge again when we are dubbed grandparents.

The magic that those little people create fill the whole house with something unmatched. Enjoy every moment. Love it, embrace it, smile about it. You, the people with little ones, are the lucky ones this month. Right now you’re probably not feeling so lucky as you race from store to store trying to fit it all in. You’re not feeling so lucky as you’re chasing away the sniffles and coughs to make sure everyone is healthy for the trip to Grandma’s. You’re definitely not feeling lucky because you are getting even less sleep than before because you have to move the Elf after everyone is sound asleep and, most likely, they are up even later than ever. Trust me, you are lucky and you’ll realize it in about 10 or 15 years.

Empty is a Strong Word

“Empty Nest” is a phrase most have heard but definitely not something everyone has had the pleasure (and often displeasure) of living and feeling.

The definition is simple – you’ve raised your kids and done the best you could. You’ve given them wings and they’ve flown away leaving the house feeling pretty empty. To have that empty nest feeling, the kids don’t need to be completely packed up and gone. The feeling starts to comes on when they begin driving and they take that first adult step to independence. Those days and late nights where they don’t rely on you for their every move. The table gets set for less people and every tv choice becomes your own.

Full disclosure, at my house, we really aren’t quite “empty”. We are more like a timeshare right now – one who uses his bedroom more like a hotel, dropping in some time between 10 and midnight and heading off to work at 5:30 am; the other spends his time in the basement using it like an apartment when he isn’t working one of his three jobs or at the gym.

This gradual transition has helped me to look forward to the true empty nest; the one where it’s just the two of you. You become more and more used to the idea, focusing on all you’ve accomplished bringing your babies to this point in their lives.

See…we’ve been molding and shaping our kid’s wings but we also needed the time to develop our wings.

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.

 

The Adventure Begins

Image result for dice
Follow where the dice lead

“Roll the dice.”

“What?”

“Roll the dice.  It’ll determine which way we head then, how many miles.”

“What? That’s crazy!”

“Come on…even number we go North; odd number we go South.”

“Fine.” One die spills on to the coffee table – 4.

“North it is.  Want to roll another?  Even we go West; odd we go East.”

I was intrigued and, to be honest, a little excited.  Second die rolled onto the table – 2.

“Northwest it is! Now, 2 more.  If we get less than fifty, we’ll add a 1 to beginning; more than fifty, it is what it is.”

Another 2…a final 1.  The adventure began – 121 miles northwest.  Just get in the car and go, maintaining NW as often as you could.

This was the day that our Roll the Dice Adventures began.

What I learned through this first exercise in self-discovery was that #1, I love to travel, it doesn’t matter where.  There is something exciting, interesting, and breath-taking at every turn – just look for it!

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Mount Kearsarge – New Hampshire

 

Who knew that this beautiful view was just a 2 hour drive from home?

Who am I? What next?

For years and years I always knew my purpose.  I was a Mom.  I was in charge of everything – laundry queen, scheduling genius, homework extraordinaire…you get the picture.  I’m not sure when it switched, frankly I think it was gradual but, I never saw it coming!  It was like I hit a brick wall.  One day I woke up and no one needed my help with school work, the only calendar I had to manage was my own, and the laundry piles got small.  Who was I?  What made me so important?  How was I going to fill my waking hours?  This is where my life adventures began and I hope you’ll join me for the fun (and sometimes, the not-so-fun).

This blog will explore the transformation from full-time Mom to discovering who I really am.  And…by the way, to the first person that says “But wait, you weren’t a full-time Mom, you’ve always worked” I say, “Motherhood is a full time job with or without another job…have you tried it?”

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