My biggest problem with the empty nest is that I got too used to it.
We moved Lizzy into her new dorm on Saturday and the house is now empty of children - again. It's been about a month since Christmas break started and all the festivities of the season and Robert's wedding commenced. I think our first semester of the empty nest wiped out my memory banks of having a houseful of people, coming and going and eating and sleeping at all different hours. I used to be able to function with the different schedules and agendas and needs, while still maintaining what I needed to do. Carving out time for myself in the midst of chaos was a skill I pretty much perfected. Going with the flow and adapting to those around me was really part of my make-up.
But this past month, it all got to me. The mess of lots of people and lots of activities weighed on me. The calendar lunged from one event to the next and the days, or hours, in between were lost in the process. And, yes, it was a busy time - but I think there's more to it.
The seasons have changed. I've always known I'm a very seasonal person and if you've read this blog for long, you know that. Certain smells, colors and music designate the natural seasons for me. Now I'm thinking my internal passage of time goes even further than that.
It's a new season of just me and Mike, of my writing having a future, of doing things I like (i.e. my book clubs) and basically narrowing my focus. Multi-tasking seems to have belonged to a different season.
I feel a deep gratitude for this new season and for the acknowledgment of it. However, there is also a sadness at the passing of that season of full home, full calendar, and broad, scattered focus. But having a beginning and an end IS what makes something a season.
Could that be what leads to so much sadness in our lives - holding on to seasons which have passed?