It has been a little over a week since the Empty Next phase began. Nine days ago we dropped off my youngest at college to start on his new adventures and expand his independence (and hopefully his mind). I knew everything was changing but still didn’t (and don’t) know to what extent that change will impact me.
The first night wasn’t too bad. I had volleyball so playing and hanging out with the guys was a great distraction. Night 2 and 3 were spent with Zoom calls for our beach condo association and one for the college to review the steps they have taken and are taking to prepare the campus for the return to educating. I also dedicated time to my workouts and getting in those ever troublesome steps on my Apple Watch.
Thursday night was less filled with activity and things started to sink in a little bit. Each night we made dinner then sat down to eat, cleaned up dinner and went about the evening. But the energy level is low. There is no urgency to get things done because we have a High School volleyball game to get to or one of the boys needs to meet up with friends. The pace is slow and after dinner we could basically call it a night (if it wasn’t for the workouts).
Friday night was beers with the guys and then a FaceTime session with Josh (the youngest) to see how class registration went. He miraculously got into all the classes he wanted (two were full when he started to register but a spot opened up in one and a whole class was added in the other to give him opportunities to fulfill his wish list). He was very excited and did a great job giving us the full play-by-play of the registration process.
The weekend I tackled a few projects, mainly cleaning up after the boys from their rapid departure and making sure all the laundry was at level zero (which is never possible because I always find things stashed in bags and other places that need to be cleaned). It would be very easy to go overboard with the organizing of their rooms and their stuff but then it might look like we didn’t really plan for them to return!
Through the first week the one thing that is most prominent is how the dinner routine makes me feel old. I feel like coming home, preparing and eating dinner and then having nothing to do next is an old person’s routine. I need to do stuff. I need to keep busy and produce or participate or have some reason for some urgency. I can extend my work day more into the evening and exercising will also keep the time filled but I miss the urgency and the rushed feeling (I know, that probably sounds really odd). I need to incorporate that into the nights a little more.