It finally happened, rather quickly too I might add. Both my girls are gone for Christmas. Jen is in New Zealand and Molly moved out of Idaho the early part of December. I knew for weeks that Jen would not be home for Christmas. Molly had been contemplating relocating for quite some time, and her decision to make the move came quickly.
On a percentage scale, I estimate 90 percent sheer joy as they each step out into their own lives in a new way. Each has seized the moment and opportunities, further detaching their anchors from mom and dad, and forging new paths. The 10 percent is denial on my part that they in fact left the dock and sailed out. Those little toads ventured out, and I miss them, yet am joyously delighted for them – complicated, these feelings!
Why not join them? I experienced a fantastic year of travel in 2013 as I visited Ireland, the mid-west and participated in a Habitat for Humanity Build in Kauai. I used most of my vacation time and finances and for now I am temporarily grounded in Idaho.
I also started a new job working with the BSU Research Team working on grants centered on high performance computing and cyberinfrastructure; a fantastic career opportunity. My daughters and I are deeply connected, as mothers and daughters are, and I find it interesting that we all three seized new adventures and opportunities at the same time.
In addition to the girls leaving, activities that our family traditionally engage in during the Holiday season changed due to other factors, such as illness, folks decided to attended other dinners, and several of us entered the season simply tired and in need of rest – that includes me.
Christmas Eve day I ventured into Fred Meyer for a few items and enjoyed my leisurely stroll through the frenzy of shoppers. People look stressed trying to get those last-minute food and gift purchases, and I considered that the chaotic quest has become part of the holiday tradition.
Past years, our family deliberately plunged into the mall crowd madness because it seemed the festive zero hour Christmas shopping thing to do. As I get older, an activity like that plummets me quickly into overstimulated, wide, crazy eyed confused behavior and is not a very attractive look on me.
Instead, it is a relaxing holiday as I am exempt from the riotous last-minute preparation for this year. Yet, I know that my turn will come around again, and I will host dinners and gatherings for friends, family and stray people during the Holidays.
Christmas morning I woke early to prepare delicious dark roast peaberry coffee from Kauai, and lounged in bed with fat cat Cleo, listening to music and blogging away. While my girls fashion new experiences and traditions in their lives, I paused to consider a new level of empty nest and forge an innovative vision for my life.
My plan is to spend 2014 preparing to downsize by 2015 to something small where time and money is spent on traveling, visiting with friends and most certainly going to where my lovely daughters reside. If all goes well, I hope to be working on a PhD in Public Policy on the topic of affordable housing issues. My chances will improve in this attempt if I get the application in on time for consideration. The deadline in February is fast approaching!
Yesterday, when I stepped outside, I spotted the powerful grace of a bald eagle lazily circling right above me; the first time I have observed an eagle flying in this neighborhood. Of course, I thought it a significant message, quickly utilized the power of Google, and found the following that seemed fitting:
Great power, spiritual self is soaring. Tremendous freedom to be used wisely, accepting responsibility, and taking care of own needs.
The vision they possess helps us learn to take a step back and view the bigger picture. We need to view the past and the present objectively, whilst looking towards the future.
We need to open our minds and hearts to see past old, restricting beliefs that are holding us back. Eagle teaches us to courageously face our fear of the unknown, so we are then able to fly as high as our heart’s joy can take us. Soar away girls!