Easing up, pulling back and relaxing to enjoy life is easier with an empty nest when you are a full time single parent.
When your life was overbooked with kids, jobs, new relationships, it is very simple to miss cues. It is not as easy as it looks on television, in romance novels. Life is a non-fiction exercise right up to “The End” and the fade to black.
Getting too busy or comfortable can be dangerous too.
If all seems well and good at the moment. Brace yourself. Life’s rollercoaster challenges will test you with its twisting, turning, climbing, plunging ride. It all happens right on schedule in your life. Consider your role in the events too.
Don’t rely just on fleeting feelings or at the moment expectations seemingly being met in relationships either. It takes time, road miles and the stresses of real life struggles to see a person’s true colors. Including your own colors.
The right person will make you always happy thinking is unfair to that other person.
Life is not story book, living happily ever after without major effort from within, on your knees. They just signed on to a full time job on top of other irons needing tending in their fire. And will wear out, get exhausted and then retreat as you point out they are slacking, not meeting your needs.
This scolding will cause insecurity, resentment, lower self esteem and then communication to cease and bitterness to bloom adding to the confusion. There is another way.
Some of our needs are meant to be met by ourselves.
Many can only be met by God, not another human being no matter how well intentioned. At each stage of the rollercoaster life ride, you go through tunnels of joys like having children to raise and nurture. Other milestones like weddings, graduations, your first home, job promotions, service in church and your community to give something back.
But along with successes, death, sickness, setbacks happen to prove what you are made of, how strong your faith is. Diversions to hard places that test you to see if you were raised for unknown territories could mean no prior expectations thought out, no blueprint planning sessions or counseling leaves you in the dark worried, scared and quicker to lash out and turn to look for who to blame. Look within yourself.
Losing your parents is something all of us do.
Some don’t know who their real parents are. Or lost them when very young or have them but with weak or cut off connections which is a sad situation. But if your parents spent time with the kids visiting grave sites and sharing found memories of the departed you are related to while they added flowers, tidying up the stones, everything about death becomes accepted.
Death. It’s part of life, the final season for the short time on earth. Death helps us appreciate life when it is a loved one you saw faithful to the end. My parents were and the way they passed on helps me, my kids to realize be faithful, on your knees but never scared of death. And to get busy living not busy dying talks they have with you kick in.
At the Maine farm house with many a baked bean supper by the Jotul wood cook stove, my parents, kids were together. Learning, sharing, spending time together. Talking, discussing everything including death and how important it is to live in the day. To make today count by not lamenting something that happened yesterday.
You miss today stuck in yesterday.
And if you blame others for a poor past, make sure you don’t make the same mistakes again that contributed to it. You don’t look up and trust God that better days are in your future if you stay stuck in yesterday.
Move on, get grateful, full of hope and trust that through out your life you have been way way more fortunate than you deserve. And things can get even better if you dig in, get on your knees, die to self and think of being a better shaped servant for others.
Family is everything and older members have so much wisdom for the younger ones.
And out of the mouths of babes, you learn so greatly from your kids. And their full of goodness, unique keep it simple perspective. All adding up making you become a better person showing kids the right from wrong and it rubbing off as a reminder for yourself in the process.
Strong connections, life lessons and family talks, sharing that help your day to day. It is not just an event that now only happens on The Waltons or Little House On The Prairie reruns.
Those out on the porch with a coffee, kool-aid, iced tea and a fresh cookie talks are the meat of life’s lessons to glean, save steps and learn from. The rocking chair talks in the kitchen at coffee or tea time were better than any 55 minute total stranger paid professional therapy time. Enjoy, embrace, utilize your family and be glad you have them. See the joy the connection can create from within for all of you.
I miss my parents but know they are in a better place, not suffering. We all enjoyed them up in to their eighties with very active lives, a sixty year marriage. My kids benefited greatly from our day to day involvement whether it was Pizza Hut on Thursday night, picnics and camp fire cooking at a myriad of spots Maine is dotted with.
And unlike my three brothers who had families that did not live 1.5 miles away and see them daily, I think my kids got so much extra education far beyond what I, the local schools, church provided due to active, involved loving grandparents.
Older family members can prepare you for upcoming set backs and the education does not stop at eighteen or when they graduate from college four years later. The parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins too can help you see the cues you need to be aware of in any life situation. One of the best lessons I learned growing up on the farm with lots of weather, market set backs is be resourceful.
Be hopeful and see something good in the chain of events.
And to attack the problem, not the person if individuals were involved. Or take ownership if it was me, don’t keep making the same mistake. In a relationship, you need cues from the other person and if they stop caring, stop communicating, it is like a heart monitor that the sound and scope are turned off. Hard to know what is needed for treatment.
So can your church family if you are willing to open up, share and just listen. Nothing you go through is unique to you. We all need each other and grow up together to give our life more rich, fulfilling meaning.
Try to focus on your entire life, give attention to more than just a few areas of it.
Keep the balance, look and listen for the cues that present themselves if you are not too hurry scurry, preoccupied to see and hear them. Provide needed recreational pauses in your life to get rich enjoyment out of it. It is not just work, work, work, nursing home, funeral home. Can be so much more if you turn your hearts, eyes and ears skyward to ask God to show you your purpose. Where you may have missed a slew of cues needed to connect your life “dots”.