I've learned some things in the last four or five months. Things that are life changing and damn important.
The biggest one was that I learned it's okay to be more than Mom. Don't miss understand: Mom is still my favorite job and best title. I like being the mom so much, I've chosen to stay involved with a youth organization my daughter was part of just to be available for some of the young ladies who need a mom-figure. (A good friend of mine who is also involved with the group says I'm the "misfit mom" -- caring for the girls who don't fit the mold and making them feel appreciated and special. I can live with that!)
Now that my baby is on her own, however, I don't find myself being the Mom 24-7. Our oldest has never been a "check in often" kinda kid with us (she does the check-in with her mom more than her dad, so we occasionally check the hair salon where she's the "bulldog" just to tell her we love her). The youngest, though is more...I dunno, connected. And she remains that way. I find that she connects a few times a week--a phone call one day, a facebook message another.
But that doesn't fill the mom role all the time. That hole has caused me to re-evaluate myself and my goals and my life. And that's been a wild ride, let me tell ya.
First, I've embraced my hobbies even more. More knitting. More painting. More sewing. More writing.
And I've added a few new interests. I've taken up archery. I have every intention of starting the "Couch to 5K" program on Monday. In fact, I'm going to use the weekend to buy a sports bra (I don't relish the idea of "The Girls" being unsupported!) and even try the first few days of the program just to see what it's like before starting for real. I also have every intention of riding my bike the 4.88 mile "circuit" near my house before the end of the summer. Not a small feat considering the size of the hills.
I'm being more social, less "in my head" as another friend often put it. I've made a point of lunching with friends. I've had long, detailed conversations with hubby. If it stops raining this weekend, I plan to go geocaching and take my camera along for some awesome pictures of the Black Hills.
Change is hard. Changing because you want to can sometimes be damn near impossible. Being forced to change sucks rocks. However, sometimes its the best thing for everyone. I'm glad I've had the chance to be the full-time, stay-at-home, home educating mom I was. And now I'm learning to be glad for the chance to explore other Shades of Me.
Here's the journey.....