Empty Nests Are For The Birds

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We live in a society that relies heavily on titles. Back in the day (and without showing my true age), these titles were simple. Just to name a few: Working class, middle class, politicians, business men and women, and Jedi.

The Jedi Order mostly consists of polymaths: teachers, philosophers, scientists, engineers, physicians, diplomats and warriors… By serving others, the Jedi give of themselves through acts of charity, citizenship, and volunteerism. (Yes, I copied and pasted straight from Wikipedia) Don’t correct me if I’m wrong, but that sounds a lot like my job description back when I answered “Homemaker” for employment on a credit application.

I didn’t build houses, I made a house a home, but surely you can see how the two might get misunderstood. So, I was kind of grateful when “Stay-at-home Mom” became my title. Though not very glamourous, and bordering on sounding lazy, once again, this title didn’t quite fit either. I never just stayed at home. Enter the sub titles: Soccer Mom, Class Mom, PTA Mom, Volunteer Mom, Sit In The Pick-up Line An Hour Before The School Day Ends And Poke My Eyes Out Mom. The list goes on. Let’s just say I was a Jedi. And though it was, at times, chaotic, challenging, scary, and exhausting, I wouldn’t give one minute back.

Now, my children are teaching me what it is like to be a twenty-something in the year 2017. It’s a very different time and I have had to learn a new language. Apparently, “hook up with you later,” does not mean you will be meeting your friend at say, the gym, or the grocery store. Also, “Netflix and chill” is not something you do when no one else is home so you think it’s okay to take the whole pint of ice cream from the freezer and watch a movie that has the greatest title and strangest synopsis in the hopes that, in the end, you will find some sort of meaning in your life.

And that’s not all. When texting a member of the opposite sex that you may have a bit of a crush on, it is imperative that the correct emoji be used to alert this person to the fact that you are not flirting but merely blushing at his/her cuteness when, in fact, you are flirting! I will be honest here, if I had to dissect every text back when I was dating, I never would have found a mate. “Is he yelling at me? Or is he just excited that I want to hook-up at the gym later?”

And there is much more to learn. When my son needed to borrow a drill, it gave a whole new meaning to “school projects” when I found myself helping with the finishing touches on a kegerator.

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*melancholy music*

For the most part, my job is done, as I consider myself a Semi-Retired Stay-at-home Mom. Thankfully, my daughter has eased me into this new phase of my life by living at home while pursuing a degree in teaching. My son, however, did not. ($$$)

Did I do everything right? Probably not. Would I go back and change a few choices I made? Most definitely. But I did the best I could with the ever- changing world to keep my family happy, healthy, and safe.

Which brings me back around to the heart of this blog. (Bet you thought I forgot.) For the last time, my title is going to change, and “Empty Nester” is looming overhead like a giant storm cloud sagging beneath the weight of what the hell does that mean?

Empty

adjective

containing nothing; not filled or occupied:

synonyms: unfilled, bare, blank, vacant, hollow

 

Nest

Noun

structure or place made or chosen by a bird for laying eggs and sheltering its young

synonyms: shell, case, bubble, layer, coat

There are so many things wrong here, I don’t know where to begin. So, I will point out the obvious. I am not a bird and I do not live in a nest. I live in a house that I call home.IMG_1316 (2)

My children are not birds, and though their life began with an egg, I grew them inside of me. (I will not give you a lesson in reproduction) The day my children were born was their first step towards an independent life. As for me, I have been letting go ever since.

Today, I am a mother, a wife, a sister, a daughter, a friend, a writer, a crafter, a gardener, an exercise enthusiast (nah, just kidding), and a Jedi (not kidding). I will see to it my life is filled with laughter, love, and friendships that will take me to the bittersweet end. I will never have an empty nest, I leave that for the birds. Besides, if my kids don’t want me, I will sit on their front porch until they let me in!

Until next time, my friends, when I may have a completely different view of life, make the most of today.

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Junk Drawer

This may be surprising to a good many of you out there, but spring is upon us. It’s time to put away those winter clothes (or so I’ve been told), and plant and mulch and fertilize and…oh yes, organize. Now before you go into panic mode thinking that I’m going to inspire you to do some spring cleaning, or you begin to feel overly confident that you’ve been organized since the plastic bins went on sale five years ago, let me remind you of that dirty little secret we share.

The junk drawer in our kitchens!

You’re probably wondering how I know; you’ve kept it hidden for so long, but we are friends and friends stick together so chances are if I have one then you have one too. It’s okay to talk about it. In fact, I talk about it frequently with my husband.

“Did you see what I did in the kitchen today?” I anxiously ask after two hours of cleaning and straightening.

“Wow, honey, that looks great,” he says, opening the pantry door. “Where are my nuts?”

“On the shelf with the peanut butter and… pasta,” I say, wondering why peanuts together with pasta made sense before I said it aloud. Nonetheless, I’m feeling quite proud and accomplished.

He turns toward the cabinets. “What about the junk drawer?”

…And just like that, my bubble pops. “I’ll get it next time,” I say, but the truth is I won’t.I have always had a junk drawer and on a few occasions, I have had two.

When my husband was in the Air Force, we moved every three or so years. The nice perks were having a moving company pack and haul all our belongings to our new location—free for us. Of course, there were down sides to this as well, but that’s another blog post. Normally, before the packers came to wrap all our stuff in paper and shove, I mean place it in boxes, we organized. This prevented us from finding five paperclips and two pennies wrapped in about ten sheets of paper—three months later. Yes, that really happens. My friend’s cat survived seven days saran wrapped into the couch. Imagine her surprise! I digress. By the time we sorted through an entire house, we just didn’t have the energy to face the dreaded junk drawer so it was inventoried, packed in a box, and moved under the assumption that we would sort it all out later. At the new house, it was dumped into a whole new drawer where it continued to thrive.

Now, I have made peace with my junk drawer(s). It’s a love-hate relationship. It is the one place in our house that is “acceptable” to be in disarray. Our junk drawers are unique to who we are, where we are going, and where we have been. So I am going to share a little bit of me in the hopes that you will share a little bit of you and, together, maybe we can solve a few of life’s questions, like why does something you haven’t used in years suddenly becomes useful the day after you tossed it?

Fun Junk

Fun Junk

Let’s begin with the bare necessities every junk drawer requires, I think. We have a miniature sewing kit because the big one is just, well, too big for everyday repairs. The fast and convenient packets of barbecue sauce, ketchup, and Tabasco, though the latter might fall in the rather unusual category but I LOVE Tabasco drizzled on rice, and since we have such a strong Asian connection in our home, these nifty packets travel quite well. There’s a bleach pen for stains, scissors, fingernail file, and Wet Ones that belong in the car. A bag of tacks, a coaster, an assortment of silverware, reading glasses, a digital pedometer that I don’t know how to work, hand sanitizer, and those tiny little screwdrivers that fit those tiny little screws. There are screen protectors for cell phones we don’t have anymore and a bag of foreign coins because you never know when you might need a few Euro or Yen. I could go on but I don’t want to bore you with a coozy that declares your drink is a “suspicious package” or a “jet lag club” bottle opener which, by the way, is pretty darn cool, we have another drawer to explore.

Technical junk

Technical junk

If we didn’t find common ground in the fun drawer, maybe you are a little more technical. I have just the drawer. Tape measure, guitar strings, tuner, glue pen, a document that may be important, a water balloon nozzle, hooks, an assortment of scented oils, vinyl repair kit, wood putty, outlet plate, and a bag of Las Vegas casino chips. What?

Whew, that was a lot of stuff. We may not have solved any problems, or cleaned out any drawers, but now you just might have a better understanding of the world in which I live. So come on and fess up, what’s in your junk drawer?

 

Categories: Home and Garden | Tags: , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

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