Emptynesting…

February 28, 2013

I read an article on Boston.com this morning about women who find new paths in life after their children are grown and gone. Count me in…

I waited a long time (well, back then it was a long time) to have babies. I finished college, met the man of my destiny, moved with him across country (in the old Volkswagen bus with the dog and the cat and everything else we owned in boxes in the back) with nothing in our minds except someone’s statement that there was good community theater to be performed in New England. We moved and married and moved and moved…one day, we woke up and knew it was time for babies. We were 29 when the first was born and 32 when the second arrived. And then we moved and moved and moved and moved. We followed, as hus’ career dictated fairly frequent market shifts.

In amongst all that moving, I bore babies, nursed babies, raised babies and worked different jobs (weekend morning anchor on news station, secretary at construction company, commercials and voice work)…once the babes were old enough for daycare, my jobs became more “normal”. Somewhere along the line, I discovered that legal secretaries not only made more money than some other office workers, but “legal secretary” also carries with it a bit of cachet, an aura of intelligence and competence…a job that could also stimulate my mind. So, for the next million years, I worked outside home fulltime and parented fulltime. My life was their lives…I chose jobs that were more flexible, told employers up front that I was an active parent and accepted lower pay for quality attitudes towards me…I drove to away soccer and softball/baseball games and swim meets, injured my tailbone (seriously!) sitting on concrete bleacher seats and attended every concert and performance with bells on.

I loved almost every moment of that part of my life. It was really hard, often frustrating and I was not the perfect mother I wish I could have been. But we certainly did something right, launching two amazing, caring, loving, hardworking human beings who have each found and married another amazing human being. And so it goes…

But then my dad-in-law needed us…he was a great guy, I had known him for what seemed like forever (we met when I was about 21), he and my mom-in-law had been so gracious and loving towards me all my married life…and he needed us…which meant another move. The fates conspired to have us sell our house before it even went on the market, and my husband’s job mainly requires him to be near a major airport (oh, how we thank our lucky stars for his employers). All that was left was for me to quit my jobs…and therein lay the rub…

I had to quit a job that I loved for so many years, working with a solo practicing attorney who played the piano and sang and loved the arts and who appreciated me for what I had to offer…that was excruciating in so many ways. Plus, I had to quit another job I had held for years…I joined Washington Street Players when it was in its infancy, in March of its first season…as my children grew older and needed my constant presence less, my endeavors with WSP stepped up…acting, directing, producing, Board Secretary, moving sets and running lights and sound, Board President…after the kids were gone, WSP was there. And then, poof! In March 2011, it all came to a sudden end. And we moved again…

I haven’t found my latest empty nest path yet…photography has helped, bringing Boo the miniaussiedoodle into our lives was a life-changing experience, my work at the local library helps…but I am waiting for my next role to conk me in the head…waiting…

Bouncing Boo snow (21) Bouncing boo snow (6) Bouncing boo snow (2) Bouncing boo snow (5)

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7 Responses to “Emptynesting…”

  1. emily Says:

    my mom has decided to pack up all her stuff and move to orlando for a year to be with her new granddaughter. empty nest, indeed.


  2. I’m still in the mom portion of life and will be for quite some time. I love it and I’m not really looking forward to figuring out what I’m going to be for the rest of my life when my current gig ends.
    Happy searching.


  3. What a lovely walk through your life before empty nesting. In retrospect the years pass so quickly, don’t they?

  4. karen Says:

    Could be you need to go out and get the next step in your life, instead of waiting for it to conk you on the head. Serious soul searching to determine what you’d like to be/do, then go out and get it, or create it if it isn’t there!


  5. Dearest Lynna,

    I know this place, I’m finding myself in it right now too after a very intense time of caring for a loved one…and for me, I think it is an okay space, maybe even a blessed one. Perhaps it is easier to feel that “conk” when life is quieter and more receptive than the busy hurdy gurdy of a commitment filled life allows. It will come, you will recognize it and you will jump into whatever it is with ready joy ❤️


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