Soooo..... it has been waaaayyyyy.... toooo..... long since my last blog! Sorry folks! I will try to bring you up to date without all the boring details. Question is, where do I begin?
It has been an insanely busy summer and as of today it has been exactly five weeks since we dropped our youngest off at college. Yep! I am now 36 years old with a "empty nest". Not exactly my life-long dream. And it has been tough, really tough. Because really, I have not only raised my two step-daughters since we got married 8 years ago, but Amanda has also been my friend and companion in a lot of ways. (I was pretty close to our oldest too until she left for college... a story that my regular readers know is long) We have done everything together! Late afternoon coffee runs on a bad day (or a good day or when PSL arrive at Starbucks or any other good excuse for coffee
), bike rides, runs, shopping trips, craft projects, parties, lunch out, just about everything. My life was constantly full with her and her friends too. And on top of missing her, I am now feeling old. So very old!
So here I sit: I have lost my constant friend and companion and I am also painfully aware that my original plan (dream?) of having a few more little kids by the time the older two were both at college has not happened at all. And it has been tough. Although I think I said that already. Anyway. I have felt like I am in a fog, drifting with no aim. I had a few thoughts before she left that perhaps my hubby and I would go back to the "honeymoon phase" a little with no kids to take care of (we had kids full time within 2 months of getting married, so some newlywed time could be nice....), but no I have been far too depressed to even be cheerful let alone romantic and quite frankly my husband is irritating me more than anything else right now. No energy for cooking nice dinners or cuddling while watching movies. I have just felt like crying. And all those projects that I thought I could get done once there were no kid responsibilities.... well, I just haven't had the energy or drive to get them done. I haven't even wanted to get together with friends because I was just flat too sad and didn't want to risk anyone asking me how I was doing because I would probably just burst into tears. And then there are those that think my sadness is ridiculous and judge me for it.
And because of all the issues with the oldest one that started about the time she left for college, I am extra heart-broken and fearful that I will lose Amanda altogether. She is a completely different child, but still there is that fear there. Our kids are my life and I don't know that I could survive completely losing them completely.
But there is light at the end of the tunnel so to speak. I have hated feeling so down and moody (I am usually very easy going and pretty happy-go-lucky) and wanted to start living again. Yes, I miss Amanda (and raising kids) like crazy, but there is nothing I can do to change the fact that she is now grown up. I know I have to embrace the good things that I do have right now. Life is far too precious to sit around and feel sorry for myself. I need to focus on myself, perhaps even spoil myself a little, or at the very least start feeling human again. Sooo... with all of this in mind, I thought about what I could do to get back on track mentally and I decided to start with exercising like a crazy person. If nothing else I would have one thing that I enjoyed, one thing that provided structure in my life. AND I think it is finally starting to work this week. I am finally starting to feel human again, to plan for the future and not dwell on the sadness. I have been meeting 2 different friends at the gym 2-3 times a week plus lots of exercise on my own and it does seem to be working. I can focus on finally losing the weight I have struggled with and spoiling myself a little. As of a few days ago I have lost about 8 lbs in the past month and 1 inch each off both my waist and hips. FINALLY!
SO, it is a very slow process, but things are starting to look up for me. I plan to continue my crazy exercise schedule and gradually add in a few more healthy foods, time with friends, a few house decorating projects, plan a few parties and anything else that comes up. I plan to continue being almost selfish as it were in my approach. I have never really done that and really don't want to make a habit of it, but feel that it will help me cope and give me something to focus on right now.
And I will work to adjust to the new normal for us. Weekend visits with Amanda (so thankful she is close enough for that), attending the games that she performs at and moving from a constant daily care role to a parent who texts, calls and makes sure there is a baked good or new quilt or something fun to take every time we go visit. I am becoming acquainted with her new friends and planning for her holiday visits home. And as a nice little side, one of these days when I visit she is going to notice all the weight and size I have been losing and be pleasantly surprised.
So that about sums up where I am at right now and gives you a glimpse into my journey.
Thanks for always being there my dear Spark friends!
And here are a few photos from the past few months:
Amanda in one of her new dance uniforms
Representing Amanda's new school - I own lots of navy now!
I have been reduced to taking the dog for car trips. She doesn't seem to mind.