J and I were both feeling the emptiness of our household this weekend. We have been looking forward to a nice quiet weekend, no travel, no visitors, no big events. Funny, though --- once we got there we were kind of lost, like Kate when she can't find a stick. "Well. What do you want to do?" The question hung there both spoken and unspoken several times.
We were kind of like those toys that trudge automatically forward until they bump into some obstacle, turn, and shuffle on again.
Read a magazine, look at the piano, contemplate a project, turn on the TV? nothing on. Check the old email again. The phone rings - "I'LL GET IT!" we both cry.
I don't know if either of us realized quite how thoroughly directed our "free" time has been for the last 23 years. There are always kids around, kids at home, their schedules to mold to, or if they're around, there are jobs to do, examples to set, conversations to initiate.
On Friday night we dragged ourselves out of the house to attend a high school football game. It was fun, even without being a relevant parent. Yesterday after a slow start, we actually got around to doing some outdoor projects. It's a question of re-identifying the motivation for doing everything we do. In the past, it has always been somehow connected to creating a life to inspire, educate, and support the fertile, growing minds and bodies of our progeny and all of their young friends.
Now, when it is only for us, it takes a whole new mind set to kindle the motivation.
One thing is for sure. It is a lot easier to be sharing the challenge than to be facing it alone.
The sky today reminded me of some paintings of the Maine coast that I saw years ago. The variable color in the dawn sky would best be described as smears of light in the clouds.
Here is a typical downward view, during the morning walk. At least the dogs continue to give our lives one framework of definitive duties. Not to mention a lot of affection and laughter.