Now I have been an empty nester in a way, already. My oldest is done with college and out on his own. And recently got engaged. Engaged!!! I am going to be a grandma!!!! Ok, not yet, but soon. Like maybe a few years soon but sooner than before soon. A grandma! Like, how awesome is that!
And my middle child has been out of the house for quite a few years, too. Finishing her senior year of college. She comes home for vacations and the summers but is truly a separate and strong and capable adult.
And my youngest actually went away to boarding school. And has been independent in that deep, responsible, non-age related way that some people are able to grasp way ahead of their time. So for the last two years I have really not had kids at home. You see, this empty nest thing… I’ve got this covered. I have been doing this already. I have my mojo on.
But my youngest actually going to college… leaving this past fall to drive to college. TO COLLEGE. This feels big. This is big. I am in this place now of truly redefining myself. And I don't have a plan.
And it feels great. Like truly outstanding. Like fucking incredible.
I wake up each day and it is just that day that I think about. I am healthy. Incredibly so. Strong. Vibrant. Capable of leaping tall buildings in a single bound. There is the lilt of possibility in my choices and a grounding in the truism that I really have nothing that I have to do.
But something is trying to join me here. An unsettling. A wondering, imbalancing, questioning. A dis-ease.
A disease of well-being. An imbalance of heart. A questioning of mirth (Yes, I meant to use that word). A looking within and a wondering. And try as I might to find some deep hidden meaning to it all that is complex and unique and will make me special it really all comes down to the fact that my youngest has left for college.
And though I think (want, wish, pretend) that I am above this, that I will not fall for the everyday trappings of stereotype and cliché, this is exactly where I am at.
So I look up dis-ease on the Internet. Do a bit of Googling. Think a concrete definition will give me some stability. A solid place to ground. A point of landing. Or of launching from.
Disease comes up first: a particular abnormal, pathological condition with specific symptoms or signs (that would be this unsettling, imbalancing, questioning) that affects part or all of an organism (that would be me). It may be caused by factors originally from an external source (that would be my youngest going to college, my closing my law practice probably has something to do with this, too). Diseases usually affect people not only physically, but also emotionally, as contracting and living with many diseases can alter one's perspective on life (that would be how I have been feeling… like what the fuck, with a pinch of tears)
Then I scroll down a bit in my Google search and get to dis-ease: a hyphenated variation of the word "disease." The term dis-ease is used by individuals (that's me) and healing communities who are aligned with wellness, choosing not to empower health issues by focusing on a particular ailment (that would be this unsettling, imbalancing, questioning). The intent is to place emphasis on the natural state of "ease" being imbalanced or disrupted (um….?).
I like this second explanation much better. I am very grounded in this more alternative mindset (as you can tell from my mindful choice of the word grounded… and my mindful choice of the word mindful) and usually stay far the hell away from conventional medicine. But a “natural state of ease?” (like who really knows what this is).
So I sit in this a bit, twirl these definitions around in my mind but soon realize that what I am reading are not catch-alls and be-alls and I am really over all of this.
Because it is ok to feel unsettled and imbalanced. What I am feeling is what a gazillion other moms have felt since like caveman times when their little caveboys and cavegirls went out to either kill the wild bore with the cavemen or pick herbs and plants and berries while the cavemom (that's me) stayed home and tended the cave floor and mourned the loss of her law practice.
It is ok to feel that things are different, because they are. Like a new haircut or washed pair of jeans, where I am right now will take some getting used to because things don’t quite fit yet.
But they will.
My nest, worn lovely and smooth from many years of nurturing and joy, is perhaps no longer filled with my baby birds, but their spirit lingers here with me, embracing and supporting me as I journey into new space that I am discovering. A space of deep reflection and abundant possibility.