Have you ever come home from work and as soon as you open your front door you're so happy to be home that you literally have tears in your eyes?
Its not because I hate my job - I love what I do, I like the people I work with - it's just that what I do deals with people a lot that it's just draining and when I reach home, I'm overwhelmed by the fact that I can finally be alone with my own self without the constant outside chatter. To me, home is a place I get to escape to from everything else that's happening, a safe place..leaving everything else at the front door. The overwhelming feeling is heightened by being greeted by that one human being that I am completely head over heels with - my son. There's no where else I would rather be. I enjoy being home, its my own little cave of solace where I can get away from it all. Being alone with that one favourite person - even if now he ignores me most of the time!
Being alone as single parent never really struck me until recently. When my son was much younger, we always had family around. Lately though, ever since my son has grown into a teenager and has gained his own group of friends and basically has a life apart from his mother, I find myself being more and more on my own - alone. After 14 years of having a strict mom life routine and having a work life at the same time, I'm starting to ease up a bit. I now have time to sit on the sofa having a cup of coffee without having to rush it. I have had more time to read, watch any movie I wanted to, my weekend mornings are calmer and so are my nights. There is a sense of freedom that I haven't felt in the longest time.
Our home routine has been evolving - some weekends, when he spends it over his friends place, I even have the freedom to wake up whatever time I wanted. I mean come on!! - that was something I could only dream of only a year ago!!
Lately though, the realisation that I will actually soon be physically alone has been slowly consuming me. Truth be told, I don't have any friends, I never kept in touch. I have a family that I'm very close to and we call each other every few days and that's it, I have nobody else. Not complaining but just stating a fact. Being completely alone is not a bad thing but something new - something that I am and have to, slowly learn to navigate through.
In a couple of years, I'll have an empty little nest and it scares me a little. Though currently I'm happy to have those moments alone to do whatever it is I want to do, I'm not sure if I'm prepared to be completely on my own. After all I have been with this boy for 15 years and then being suddenly alone is going to mess with my heart and my thoughts - coming home to an empty house, dinners alone, no one there to talk to, nobody to cook for other than yourself?
These new moments alone I've been able to have I have thoroughly enjoyed most times and I don't feel lonely because maybe I always find things to do to keep myself occupied until my son returns from wherever he was or if he's actually at home but cooped up in his room, those occasions that he comes out from his room to see how I'm doing (at least that's what I think he's doing - to check up on me). I do slip up sometimes and bouts of loneliness do creep up and try and take over my mind but I normally would snap out of it quite quickly. Loneliness can be depressing and it's just not a mental state that I would want to be in. And I hope that mentally I will be as strong for when my nest does get empty.
It's just that I feel I have to come up with a plan to occupy all the time that I'll have on my hands. I realise I'm getting ahead of myself here but I think having a plan would ease the shift. Maybe if I myself slowly start anticipating the transition from now on, it won't be so hard when the nest is empty in the literal sense. I honestly don't know what to expect but I do know myself - when he's gone for 2 days I do feel lost being home on my own and those are feelings that depresses me and I don't want that for myself.
Putting a plan into place, these are 4 things that I thought I could begin doing, slowly (except the dog part, of course!):-
A Yoga Instructor Course
I've been dabbling into at home yoga for the past couple of years. I have always followed Yoga with Adrienne's youtube channel and she's the only one I can actually follow because she takes her time and her instructions are very clear. It's a practice I truly enjoy doing and it's something I'd like to do consistently but sometimes finding time on a daily basis is a challenge. This is one that I would seriously be looking into. I'll join a class for a year then if I'm confident enough I'll take a yoga instructor course and who knows maybe I'll go on to teach yoga classes!
Learn A Language
You know how some people have the innate ability to pick up languages? Well I'm not one of those people but...I do have an interest in learning another language. Italian or maybe French. French is a bit difficult for me. I've tried it but my mouth just refuses to work with me where French is concerned.
Write A Book
I've always wanted to write a book but I'm not sure whether it should be short stories of my life or a fiction. I still have time to plan out the direction I'll go with this if this was truly going to happen.
Get a Dog
How cool would THAT be!! I live in a small apartment so getting any kind of pet would be unfair to it but maybe I'll buy a landed property and get a golden retriever! At least I won't be alone at home!
I still have a few years to go but for now I just want to enjoy every moment I have with him. We had planned a big trip for the both of us this year, but with the crisis the world is going through currently, we would have to delay our plans for a bit longer. Like all the trips that we've taken together, I'm sure that it's going to be one of the best trips of my life and I look forward to it.
I might need more help than I think on this empty nest thing, so if you have any tips, I'd love to hear from you!