It’s the middle of the afternoon. I’ve done my exercising and some housework. I’ve checked my email and social sites, and responded to a few items. The bustle of the morning is over, and it’s quiet. Really quiet. Except for the low hum of the heater, I don’t hear anything.
I’m alone in my empty nest. Unless I have a surprise visitor, which is highly unlikely. I won’t see another person for several more hours. And I’m perfectly all right with that.
Don’t get me wrong. I’d love to see my kids walk through the door. I love weekday lunches out with friends. I’m not entirely anti-social. But I really do enjoy the quiet solitude I have on a regular basis. I like having time to think, to write, to not hurry. It’s not the same quiet as being alone in the woods or the stillness of a fresh snow. I can see the busy street, squirrels and birds outside the windows, but still, there’s a sense of peacefulness around me.
People are sometimes surprised that I don’t have the television on. Or the stereo. Something in the background at least. Nope. What I don’t need is noise in the background. I like the silence. I missed out on a weekend home alone this year. For the past few years my husband has been a chaperone on a ski trip for our church’s youth. And both kids have been on the trip. Now that the youngest kid is in college, that didn’t happen. It was something that I looked forward to almost as much as they did. It’s funny, my husband will avoid coming home to an empty house. If I’m not going to be home, he’ll dream up errands, or go get a haircut to keep from coming home. Have to say, I really don’t get that.
After years of working and raising kids, keeping my eyes on the calendar, and rushing from one activity to another, it’s nice to slow down a little. It’s kind of amazing how few things I actually have to do. I’ve given up all of the school volunteer activities. Been there. Done that. And done it some more!
My calendar isn’t entirely empty, but as I look at the boxes for the rest of the month, I see a lot of blank space. The squares that are filled in? With the exception of a couple of doctor’s appointments, the things written on my calendar are things I want to do. A wine-tasting event, lunch with a friend, an interview with a librarian, a writer’s group meeting. Fun stuff!
There are, of course, things I miss about former years, and the busy-ness of raising kids. but for the most part, I think I’ve adjusted to the change in my life this year. I’m okay with quiet. I don’t mind a little time alone. It’s kind of nice to hear nothing but my own thoughts!