Folks, I sit before you typing this out as a “childless” woman for the first time in 21+ years. My daughter moved back down to NC, after following us back up home to VT. My son has flown to NC to visit his girlfriend. My husband is at work. It’s just ME right now!
In a household that’s been plagued with disability and illness via the kids… This. Is. Awesome!
If my son manages to be successful at college, I’ll get a lot more of this and I’ll officially be an empty nester. I’m so looking forward to it! I plan to work! I know, that sounds odd, but in reality when I create I feel better about myself. I feel like I’m doing more than just existing for everyone else, that my purpose is more than everyone else, and that’s something I have barely felt in 21 years.
It’s been a week, with another week to go of my son’s vacation. So far, I have texted my husband excitedly from the grocery store that I was ONLY shopping for the two of us. I have done all – ALL – my laundry at once (I used to do this pre-kids, when I just wanted to feel like everything was clean, and you strip down and include the clothes you are wearing while loading up the washer, and then streak to the shower. But I sauntered. Because I live in the middle of nowhere and no one is here! HA! Also, it’s warm. This little gem is a bit more torturous to pull off in January in Vermont. I’m still going to do it, though. Because I CAN.) We have had multiple date nights and feel like we did when we first got married, and we’re so lucky that we’re still truly best friends after 25 years.
My husband and I are starting to do things that make us happy. Us, and only us. We haven’t been able to do this in so very long. Add to that a 2 1/2 year continuous crisis, and even breathing was for someone else. So, this is like being set free from a box we were held captive in for years. The sunshine is blinding, but it’s worth the pain to be out in it!
Actually, there’s not much pain. Really, I’ve been strangely sleepy. I thought I would have more energy without everything going to someone else, but instead while working on installing new gutters with my husband this weekend, I would have happily snoozed out just resting my head on my knees. I’m a night-owl, and I keep falling asleep at 9:30PM. I’m exhausted. I’m sure that’s part of the process too, the moment you get a chance to breath you suddenly run out of energy instead of being able to put it where you thought you would.
I have some deadlines coming up, so I’m hoping to get back to working successfully in the studio. I did manage to release some new coloring pages (made from my paintings):
These make me sleepy too, though. It turns out it is super relaxing to create these. I thought it would be annoying, but instead I turn on a show and go to work and just kind of zone out. Drawing-meditation, maybe? Yoga makes me furious (literally, it’s totally irrational, but it’s very real), meditation makes me resentful, so maybe this is my “yoga”? It’s too bad it doesn’t stretch me out.
I also had some good news come from the direction of my Vetrenarian. Cleo, my kitten, has been there so much and they discovered I was an artist and have been painting a lot of animals. I haven’t reached out to any local galleries or businesses yet because I just haven’t been producing enough consistently to feel solid in doing that. Well, they want to hang my work exclusively in their office. I don’t have a lot of big pieces, and they understand it’ll be a gradual build-up (and if I sell a piece the way I normally do, I’ll be coming and grabbing it) but they’re fine with all of that. So, an opportunity popped up out of nowhere.
Displaying in a business is not something I normally do, usually just selling directly or working with a gallery, but I did way back when I first started back in 2002. It kind of feels like going back to where I started. A re-do. A new place to start and move forward fresh, and it turns out after thinking about everything that I really need that.
So, hopefully I have caught my breath, can enjoy being an empty nester (in a couple weeks, when my son heads to college) and I can start working on moving forward and accomplishing something for myself! Clothing optional.