Even as we progress forward through time, things go round and we end up back where we started, older and hopefully wiser for the distance and experience. Life and time are a spiral forward. Now and then we come to a patch of turbulence in the spiral’s winding, and we find ourselves a bit displaced from where we thought we’d end up. This summer I moved my older son cross country to start graduate school. This followed on the heels of my younger son moving into his own place in May, and my husband moving back home for good from his out of state job in March. Three moves in under six months, coming on six months of preparing to move myself and our whole house halfway across the country (which was thankfully cancelled) is more than enough.
I find myself now at loose ends, a true empty nester. My feeling today was that we need to keep the now-empty rooms full of light and life somehow, so that the shadows do not creep in — to maintain the love and energy that was here with the boys, so that we do’t descend into darkness and sadness. Some moments are on the verge of that, and I want to make sure that I don’t fall into the trap, but move on with what I want to do with my newfound life as an adult.
What is it that I want to do? Not that I ought to do — I have bins of yarn, fleeces, and plenty of projects already started or planned to occupy me past the end of my life, most likely. But what is it that I really want to do? I miss being an athlete, for one. I want to run a half marathon, I want to hike, I want to backpack parts of the AT. I have to find that competitive push again, that spark, and get back in shape, lose the weight, etc. I had a minor epiphany yesterday, that part of why I eat is to insulate myself from people. I need to find a better way to cope with that feeling, and figure out why I have it. I think it’s left over from when the boys were smaller. Today I was craving to buy something, anything, books, yarn, etc. I couldn’t pin down just what I wanted, but I needed something and had to resist as hard as I could. That urge was, I think, to fill the hole left by the boys’ absence, and thinking back on what the house had been like with them in it all the time, reminiscing about their school days.
I did manage a walk today, just to the end of the road and back. Everything feels stiff. I need to get out daily, or at least on the dreadmill. Otherwise I’m going to rust. I plan to cancel my gym membership and use the weights upstairs, Six months without gym fees and I can buy a new monitor for the rowing machine.
Samhain is approaching, and I seem to get this way at this time of year. It is fitting, I guess — things are winding down, preparing for winter and dormancy and hibernation. I’m trying meanwhile to look forward to the next turn of the cycle, to learn more and hopefully become a renewed, wiser woman.