Although my first post on this blog showed up on January 16, 2011, my real blogging journey began one year ago today with this post about reverse childbirth. I didn’t know if anyone would read it. I said a prayer and pressed “publish.” And then, I waited. I wasn’t sure what I was waiting for, but I knew it as soon as I saw it; a page view statistic. Somebody had clicked on my page and read my blog and it was duly recorded as “1 Page View.” I don’t know who it was, they didn’t leave a comment. But somebody read my page. Actually, 8 somebodys did that day. I suspect one of them was my Sister Ya-ya and another was my Kansas Ya-ya. That left 6 (potential) strangers reading my words, which was enough to make me feel like a writer. And, so my writing journey began.
I started this blog to help me transition with ease into my empty nest years, and I’ve learned so much more than tidbits that will help me downsize the meals I prepare or redecorate my children’s bedrooms, or release them into adulthood. As with any new venture, we gain new insights into ourselves and the world around us–if we are willing to look, listen and feel. Some insights we welcome, others may bring discomfort. I’ve experienced both in this journey and both have been valuable.
Parenting is often survived with your head down, moving from one task to the next, one day to the next, falling into bed, exhausted, and praying coffee will be enough to jump-start you in the morning. Over the last (almost) 18 years, I’ve come to know that cycle well. Though homeschooling affords us more face-time than many get with their kids, it doesn’t guarantee that time is used for authentic connections. Laundry, bills, phone calls, vacuuming, etc. can be more demanding that an over-tired toddler. And, dare I say it, there are days when this mama is just plain tired and can’t listen or talk or mediate or counsel or even be touched anymore by the end of the day. As much as I love being a mother, there are days I want to unplug from the job, but the “days off” in motherhood are rare, and batteries run low, and days slip away with our heads down, going through the motions.
The biggest insight I’ve gleaned from this blog is not a new pearl of wisdom, but rather a powerful reminder. We’ve all been told, “Don’t blink, they’ll be grown and gone before you know it,” but that’s easy to lose sight of when your head is down. Until you’re here, on the cusp of the empty nest years. Though tempting, I have no time to mourn the days passed, or the “would have, should have, could have’s.” There is only today; one more chance to “get it right and be the parent I dreamed I would be.” And, for this renewed awareness, I am so very grateful.
Here are a few of the other “pearls of wisdom” I have gleaned over the last year as a Transitioning Mom:
- This transition period is a time of change for the entire family, and it needs to be handled as such. We are 4 people, bonded as 1 family. In the last several weeks, my older teen and I have often discussed the parallel journeys we are on. I see the same in my younger teen and my husband, and still the process is very individual. I am so very grateful to my family for taking this ride with me so that we may continue our journeys of growth together.
- There is an abundance of great writers out there that offer support and share fabulous wisdom. I’ll admit, I wasn’t an avid blog reader before starting this one. If there’s been no other benefit (which obviously there has been), discovering and reading, and in some cases “cyber meeting” other bloggers has blessed me beyond my wildest expectations. I cannot thank you enough for welcoming me into your fold.
- Additionally, I have been blessed by “visitors” from all over the world. Some remain anonymous and some leave comments. All inspire me to see the world through fresh eyes when I sit down to write. And for all of you, I am grateful.
- It’s never too late to start living the life you dreamed of. I was in middle-school when I first dreamed about becoming a writer. That dream was dashed with a couple of well-placed, albeit unintentional, dream crushing comments by people I trusted. Sound familiar? However, as an adult, I replaced those comments with this one that I have posted in my kitchen: “Cherish your dreams for they are the children of your soul.” And, as a mama, I’ve learned my children need heartfelt nurturing, and my dreams deserve no less.
- My mama taught me, “Patience is a virtue,” and in the last year my family and closest friends have shown me saintly amounts of patience. (“Can you read/listen/proof/edit this?” Not to mention the number of blogging milestone celebrations they have shared with me.) They have shown me the same patience my mom showed me through my tumultuous teen years. Thanks, Mom. Your patience with me was immeasurable and reminds me daily the teen years are only a chapter in this journey. You are loved and you are missed. ♥
- A year of writing has helped me see my father’s wisdom as he was the one who really taught me how to write. I will never again joke about his demands to see my school essays or ask for “his red pen” when he knew I had a paper due. Thanks, Dad. You and that red pen taught me how to write and actually made me want to write some more. My children know your words well. You are loved and you are missed, too. ♥
- Above all, this blog has reminded me that life’s transitions are best handled with a lot of patience and a heaping sense of humor.
What a difference a year makes. Again, I thank you all for joining me in this journey through the transition years.