There are two kinds of people in the world. (That isn’t true – there are many kinds of people in the world). But for the sake of blogging, let’s agree on just the two.
First, there are those folks who can walk into a room, see the pile of laundry on the couch and think, “Eh, I’ll get to it later.” Conversely, there are those who do not function well with anything around them in disarray. I have always been the second kind.
Having a college-aged daughter who christened me an empty nester in September 2012, I am experiencing a whole new way of accomplishing my daily tasks. Historically, upon entering my home, you could look around and search for something out of place. You would have found nothing, unless the mother-in-law personality in you were to open that one closet door which hides the few boxes I had stuffed way in the back that have yet to be unpacked. I didn’t need those things anyway.
Somehow, the shift from single motherhood to the life of a nearing-middle-age-no-kids-at-home woman has caused me to teeter between the first and second kind.
My office space looks like the path left by a cat-2 hurricane. Dinners are no longer served on a plate (too often, that meal is cold and eaten from a bowl with milk). And there is laundry on the couch sometimes for days. How did this happen? Everything that defined me for all these years is coming undone. I feel out of sorts.
Along with the reality that everything around me is disorganized, I miss my daughter. She has come into an age where she is, by law, an adult. Trying to embrace this new reality when she visits has been challenging. It has caused some confusion between us at times, but I am told by the more seasoned parents that this is normal. With the passing of time, there will be a new normal established.
The norm for most new college kids living the campus life was typical of her too. She worked harder than she ever has during Fall term. Despite the fact she was part of a group of kids on campus who held historic records of earning good grades, she had a difficult first term. She is feeling out of sorts too.
As time goes by, I will expect to get back into some sort of routine. It will be a new way of doing things, not like that of the past 18 years while she was at home. I will find a flow where we now live, and things will normalize again.
Until then, I should address the couch (at this point, it is breeding clean clothes). I will go to my office and get my files in order. And I will make a pact with myself to get back on some kind of healthy eating plan. My hope is that putting things back in their place will return the feeling that every single thing in my life is okay. It is….okay.