Okay, so I’m being a total pessimist…maybe something does happen when you wish on a star. Maybe every magical unicorn dream you ever wished for comes true. But chances are, that’s not going to happen.
I’ve spent the last several weeks becoming that older person…the one you young ‘uns hear say, “Now that I’m older…”. Well, now that I’m older and the kids are getting older, I’m feeling like my footing is beginning to slip. I left the military 16 years ago to be a stay-at-home parent. Now, I’m the immensely proud mama of a soon-to-be Materials Engineer. A few years after Elder Nerd graduates, her sister will claim her own dream and become an FBI agent working in the Behavioral Analysis Unit catching really, really bad guys. Wow. The younger two are still growing and finding out about themselves. Truth be told, I relate to them more than I relate to my older two.
When I was younger, I would hear older women say that they didn’t know who they were or what they wanted to do when the kids left home. I remember thinking, “That’s the craziest thing I’ve ever heard! Didn’t you have time to think about it the last two decades?!?” Yet, even though I’m about a full decade away from a complete Empty Nest, I already find myself wondering now, “Who am I? What am I going to do with the next 3 or 4 decades of my life?”.
Although I may not have the answer of what I want to be when I grow up, I know that wishing for things to be different or easy just doesn’t cut it. It takes some kind of special Spiritual Elbow Grease to make things work out. As an analytical, emotional introvert, this means I think a lot about a situation from every angle trying to decide what to do. I’ll cry, pray, feel frustrated, then hopeful. I think I cycle through this the way one might cycle through the Stages of Grief.
When we need an answer (Who am I and what do I want to be when I grow up?), I think we have to meditate on it. It’s not an answer that’s going to come in one day. These last few weeks, I realized my life is in a holding pattern while I wait for 2nd Elder Nerd to graduate high school. But I’m thinking now about what is beyond her graduation. We intend to retire–possibly to a place we’ve never been–build a custom home with features we’ve always wanted, and we’re bringing my mother into our household. That is a lot of change in just a few short years. I’m still working out the details, but I’m actively thinking about it, not just wishing and hoping for the best. I don’t want to steal Jiminy Cricket’s thunder, BUT…I know I can’t just wish for things. I’m going to need an action plan to physically carry out how to get from Point A to Point Satisfied.
As I continue to work out this phase of my life, I’ll keep you posted. We can’t just wish, we have to do. That’s the part I’m working on.
CJ Heath is not ashamed to say that she’s still trying to figure things out. She knows she has to do things to make her dreams happen. If this is something you’ve accomplished, she’d love to hear from you.