I’m testing the waters to see if you’re out there, feeling adrift, as I often do: the empty nesters whose umbilical cords–although severed long ago–stretch to New York or Japan, or wherever their progeny may have landed; or, the divorced woman or man who knows he or she is happier alone than with the former mate, but whose loneliness begins a circle of floating in and out of, “Did I make the right decision?” This is for the happily married mother with healthy children, who feels so helpless as she wades through her days of feeding, changing, scolding, teaching and driving that she barely has a moment to shower, much less take the much touted “time for herself” that all the glossy magazine covers tell her SHE CAN’T BE HAPPY WITHOUT. She doesn’t even have to buy the magazines. They shout at her from the end table in the pediatrician’s office as she holds her screaming infant in one arm and mops her toddler’s hands with sanitary wipes after he touches every car on the model train that another coughing child has sucked on first.
But, there are bright sides for everyone. Empty nesters have more time to nurture their relationships–sans adolescent interrupt-us. The divorcee will eventually find that there is a serenity in being alone–which comes from a tidier kitchen and from not having to pick up dirty underwear off the bedroom floor. And, the young mother’s children WILL GROW UP, presenting teenage problems that will make her long for the simpler days of diapers. Her thoughts will turn from dread of having to drive her children to dread of having them drive!
Then there are people like ME–the woman who went so overboard trying to make a great life for her children and husband and was in such a fun whirlwind while doing it that time spun out of control and suddenly SPLAT! I was squashed helplessly against the side of the ship, deflated from buoying everyone else up for so many years. My dreams are like the floaters in the back of my eye–popping up and reminding me they are still there. They taunt me: “So, what are you going to do about it?”
If any of you out there in Cyberland are having similarly sinking feelings, maybe these words by Henry Ford will help drive you to higher ground: “When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it.”
I hope to hear from you!