Lately it's been about coming to terms with a shift in my reality.
I realize that I've been feeling a lot like I felt 4 months before my 30th birthday.
At that point in my life it was all about doing "The Mom" thing, but the kids were 5 1/2, 4 1/2 and nearly 3: it was "NO! Let ME do it! I can do it myself!"
They needed me, but they didn't need me.
I looked at the horizon and thought- is this my life then? Wiping noses and bums, feeding them and cleaning and picking up after them?
And I was depressed.
Thankfully I got over it by the end of April when the Birthday rolled around. And I got on with life.
But this year, now. Ah, yes. This year.
In the 8 months that encompass the end of last October and the middle of June, I will have faced my mortality, undergone fairly serious surgery, prepared for and accomplished the marriage of a daughter, and watched my third child graduate from high school. Not to mention the little stresses involved in navigating #4 through grade 8 and preparing him for high school, and standing by as The Husband is put through the gears for the Seminary course he has nearly finished.
Which brings me to today.
This new season.
Of my life.
All of a sudden, we went from being a family of 5 this summer, to being, potentially, a family of 3 for most of it.
The reality of becoming "empty nesters" is dawning.
All of a sudden there will be one kid at home.
All of a sudden that one kid will be in high school and staying for lunch, and I will have an uninterrupted day.
And I've been looking at "my life" and wondering if this is it. And what exactly "it" is anymore.
And further down the road, when #4 jumps out of the tree, THEN what?
What does a "Stay-At-Home-Mom" become when there are no kids at home?
Do I become a "Stay-At-Home"?
But yesterday, there was a glimpse of hope on the horizon.
An innocent encounter that neither of us thought anything about, I suspect.
Because yesterday I went out for coffee with a friend.
We had a good visit, took a van for a test drive, and stopped at a few garage sales on the way home.
And as I was making supper, I thought- that's what it is.
You see, my friend recently retired. She's not old enough to "be retired"- only a few years older than me, but circumstances and a change in her husband's job made this a great career move for her.
And I realized that that is what I will be.
When Micah graduates and leaves home, I will be retired.
I will be a Retired-Stay-At-Home-Mom.
And there's no stigma attached to being "retired".
It will mean I've put in my time, my job is redundant and I'm moving on to pursue other interests.
Besides snagging the deal of a century I had an epiphany. (You know those $300 dressmaker's forms I've been coveting for a couple of years? I got one for 5 bucks. Sure it was a little rickety before He tightened the bolts, but it will certainly do the job!)
I think my discouragement lifted 100%.
And next year?
Will begin the process of becoming redundant. Of preparing for retirement. Of not feeling guilty for not wanting to go out and get a job to fill the hours in the day. Of rejoicing in my "career" choice, and knowing that I'm still doing the right thing for us.
Of being able to enjoy the flexibility of my "job" and many more coffee dates and pottery sessions and sewing projects and baking days.
By Jove, I think I really have got it.