People talk about the terrible twos. Those were a long time ago for me, and they really weren’t that bad!

I’m in the midst now of the “terrible twenties”.

To be sure, I don’t like calling anything terrible, especially anything relating to my kids. But, I’m struggling with my kids being in their twenties and living on their own now.

I don’t have an outlet for my nurturing, and I miss the mundane day-to-day interactions we had.

I loved making meals for them. Heck, I didn’t even mind doing their laundry.

I went to every soccer game, every track meet and tennis match.

I did all those things while running a full time business as a single mom. While I loved it all, it was incredibly difficult.

At times I thought the grind would never end. I won’t pretend otherwise, I often dreamed of the day they would head off to college.

Now those days are all in the memory book.

My oldest son is independent with a great job and a new apartment. My younger son is at University.

And those are wonderful things! My heart is full of gratitude for their opportunities and their accomplishments.

They’re out there navigating the world, and they must have learned some of that from me!

It’s just hard to get used to not having someone to take care of.

Making food, being places, doing parenting things were more than chores, they were expressions of love.

“Doing” love was at just as important to me as saying “I love you” and giving hugs.

I think that’s what I’m missing the most. The “doing” part of loving.

We’ve passed through a door that can’t be re-entered. Every once in a while I get to slip through it again with a meal, but it’s just a glimpse of what it used to be.

For the first time in my life, I’m struggling with change. 

I was never the type to dream wistfully about the earlier days. I always adored each new stage as it approached.

Longing  for one more baby or wishing I could turn back the clock weren’t part of me.

Until now. For the first time in my life I find a part of me wishing I could go back in time.

But that’s a state of mind that robs me of my current happiness. Happiness can only exist in the here and now.

I don’t let myself stay in that state very long. I can reflect for a short time, give thanks, and then get myself back to today.

Heck, there are a lot of perks to having an empty nest.

I make freer choices now, and most of the time I can do whatever I want!

Time. I have so much time!

I’ve done cool things like writing here and elsewhere, and I created a new coaching business.  I learned photography, woodcarving, and German. I’m formulating a plan to build a spiritual retreat center.

I’m able to think about what I want now.

It’s hard to type this next line because it’s so foreign for mothers…

I get to be first.

This is a healing process.

I’m careful to acknowledging my feelings about this phase of life so they don’t sabotage my physical health. That’s what emotions tend to do to me if I’m not careful.

There’s grieving, and at times it’s just too damn quiet around here.

It’s so different.

Different isn’t good or bad, it’s just different.

My happiness, joy, and fulfillment are mine to create. They exist at all stages of my life.

I miss my kids. And I’m happy, joyful and fulfilled. I can be all those things at the same time.

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