Please let me introduce you to my friend Nadine Dozois and one of the strongest women I know!
MY BOOK OF LIFE, VOLUME 3
EMPTY NESTER……………..NOW WHAT?
It’s like the calm before the storm. Only the storm never comes.
My youngest kid headed off to University last September. All the craziness of getting her
ready to go…… Buying new clothes, new bedding, new kitchen stuff, new toiletries, groceries,
on and on. Plus making sure that my son also had all he needed for his second year at
University. Oh…… and let’s not forget the money because kids think our debit cards have
unlimited funds. You just stick your card in the slot at the Bank et voila……… money falls
off the tree.
After the goodbye hugs and the tears (mostly mine), I get in my car to head home. Only this
time it’s much different than when I dropped my son off the year before. I am completely alone
in my car and heading to an even bigger empty space. Home………… a nest that is now empty
after 20 years.
Who am I? I’m a single mom, business executive whose age starts with a 5*. But who am I
really? Do I even know anymore? More importantly, who do I want to be?
Not at any point in my life did I ever foresee myself having an *identity crisis*. Midlife
crisis yes. That comes with approaching our mature years and it’s socially expected. But who
has an identity crisis in their 50s?
Before the kids, I was a business executive, a fitness instructor/competitor, an avid skier, golfer
etc. After the kids were born, I morphed primarily into the role of mother (single for the most
part), while maintaining a high stress career.
Now the kids are gone (but still on the payroll), and I’m perched in my empty nest trying to
figure out who I want to be when I grow up. Because the single mother role is no longer my
It’s tough to focus because the silence in the house is deafening and I’ve always been a person who functions better in chaos.
But……what the silence has been screaming at me while I walk from room to room looking for stuff to keep me busy is ……… “This quiet time is a gift. Embrace it because it will lead you to the first chapter in Volume 3 of your life”.
Hhhmmmmm….. what will the first page of Chapter 1 say? Because in reality, I’m writing the book.
Then it hits me like a Mike Tyson punch....and it sounds like a cliché……before I can decide who I want to be, I’ll have to decide who I don’t want to be. All my senses are now on high alert because my toughest critic – me – is doing a deep dive into the past and let me tell you, some of it is not pretty. The unveiling has started.
What happened? I was young and often impulsive. I made choices without thinking them through. Who hasn’t right? Even more terrifying is the realization that many times my choices were in fact, not my own, but those of others disguised as my own. Why? Because I did not have the confidence to trust my instincts or to push back or question or simply say *no*.
Now the onion is peeling so fast I don’t have enough tissues to keep up with the tears. All those years I thought I was this confident, tough, smart person in total control of my choices. Many times I was…many other times I wasn’t. What am I trying to say? Got it……If I had had the confidence to Teach People How to Treat Me, I definitely would’ve averted some of those negative outcomes.
I’m starting the page on Chapter I, Volume 3 of my life. The opening sentence reads…
** Teach People How To Treat You **
Please feel free to join me as I continue to turn the pages……
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