It started happening nearly six years ago… when my oldest started University… it increased greatly when my youngest started high school last year… i could feel my home nest emptying.
I don’t think it is an all at once thing… i think it comes more slowly than that. It came quietly at first, there was less for me to do because there was now only one child at home, and a boychild at that. At my nest at least, my son was much more independent at an earlier age than my daughter. Though this could be also because he was my second child 9 years after my first… I digress, my son is now very nearly 16. Soon he will be driving, and will not even need my taxi service.
This is Not to say i am only in service to my family, rather that my service takes up much of my time… nearly all of it when my kids were younger and both at home. I have loved being a mother! It is by far the Most rewarding and difficult job i have Ever had… again i digress… but it is important that you know i would not give up my time with my kids for anything— without a doubt i would do it all again without hesitation.
Anyway, there is more free time now, and it has grown exponentially in the last few years. So i suddenly realized i no longer really knew myself, and it was time to get to know me again. I took classes, i read books, i went on women’s retreats… i tried very hard to make new friends, find a Tribe, find myself. It was rather like being a teenager again.
I, much like my children have gone through phases and changes in the past 5 years… learning and taking with me the parts i like most, and leaving behind that which does not serve me. One of my greatest lessons has been that i have to really give things a chance and try, before deciding i don’t like them. Some of my favorite things now are things i never imagined, or really thought possible. Most anything is possible if we are willing to try and believe—- at least that has been my experience. Now notice please, i Never said it would be, or that it was easy.
So now i Know i am truly an aRtist, not just good at crafty stuff. It took a load of trying and work to get to a sure place about that. i had to believe in me, and learn to do things because i love it. But doing those things well takes a whole bunch of learning and Practice. Practice. Did i mention practice? Good thing that i have so much more time to practice. And art can be done any time of the day or night, almost anywhere! This is so very happymaking! i am quite the night owl, and take advantage of that often. Recently i have learned to love having an art journal and pens with me when i travel—- it is a great way to pass the time in airports. For many years i resisted this, and now i am not at all sure why…
I also am absolutely positive i Love to travel. And i really like traveling to other countries. I feel like European travel is my best match. I tried India and it was a wonderful adventure, but i have no desire to return. The art, lifestyle, food, and Humid Heat was so NOT my thing! There is much more of the World to see, but for now my first choice is European. I used to dream of traveling to the places i have now been, and never really imagined that i could return to them … yet now i do that with ease. Never did i ever dream that i would travel alone, i simply did not think i could do it by myself… language differences, being a Woman of a certain age (54)… and how could i possibly enjoy travel alone? Traveling alone can be very freeing, yours is the only schedule you have to keep. I have learned wonderful self reliance, and have become much stronger and more confident in my own abilities. Talk about Joymaking rewards and personal freedom! I have enjoyed these trips, but i very much enjoy having a partner in adventures sometimes as well. A person to share the wonderful moments with, and help with the many particulars of travel. The next best thing is sharing my adventures with All of you.
So as my family nest empties, i will continue to make new nests and push through the doubt and fear of what i am capable of… because i am doing so many wonderful things! Still i will be Momma, my favorite and best job—- i don’t believe it is one i would ever retire from. And always there will be a home nest for my children and their someday families to come to. My Soul has spoken and i am an aRtist forevermore and quite love it, this part of me will only deepen from here on out. Oh, i am becoming an adventurer of travel and i make no promises that there won’t be nests in wonderful artsy inspirational places.
Because after all Home Nest is where the heaRt is… with the people i Love most. So i am embracing this process with my heaRt and arms wide open!