The house is clean, I have done the yard work, and now I find myself wandering around the house, not quite knowing what to do. Not that there isn't anything to do- I have plenty of projects, organizing, and reading to do, but none of it is appealing at the moment. So, I have allowed myself this weekend to feel my feelings, not minimizing or denying them.
I will not get stuck here, but for now I am being mindful and acknowledging that this is a transition time, with all the emotions that come with it. Sadness and loneliness are part of being human. But so is joy, and I know that joy will be present again, and I will embrace it. Changes, even good ones, can produce anxiety, sadness, and excitement.
In order to move past the feelings, I believe you have to go through them. No avoiding, no self-medicating (although I admit I did have a bowl of ice-cream!), no pretending. Feelings give us a message, useful information about ourselves or the situations we are in. Right now the message, for me, is this- being a mother has been the most important thing to me since my first son was born thirty-three years ago. And it still is, but my role has changed. So now, it is time to broaden my definition of myself- to explore my likes, dislikes, interests- now that I have time to do so. I will have to be intentional about making opportunities to be with friends and family. I will have to be careful not to isolate, and will look for times to connect. I will need to look for ways to help others, to give back, and make this time in my life mean something.
I look forward to times when everyone is home to gather for holidays and bask in the laughter, lively discussions and sometimes heated debates. But for now, I can be sad.