By the time you read this blog post, my family will have gone away and left me home alone for the weekend, then returned -- presumably with tales to tell. Borrowing two expressions frequently heard from the teenagers who visit my house on a regular basis: It feels totally weird and makes me want to LOL. And by that I mean: I have no idea what I'm going to do first, because I am somewhere between giddy and uh-oh.
It's been said that one of the hardest things for someone with unstructured time to do is to manage how they spend it. As a freelance writer with two children, I figured out early on that in order to be productive and to meet everyone's needs, I'd have to develop a routine and stick to it. When my oldest son left for college, my routine was adjusted -- I subtracted a few responsibilities that he soon acquired himself. This weekend, with my husband and youngest son out of town, I will get a glimpse of what life will look like come next fall when both my sons are away at school. Clearly, I'm going to have some time to fill... or to readjust... or both.
So, I listed several ways I might spend my precious two days and nights alone:
I could tap into my domestic diva persona and organize overflowing kitchen cabinets and drawers and photos that nobody looks at anymore.
I could dust all the blinds and ceiling fans.
I could paint the trim in my laundry room.
I could surprise my son and clean his room for him.
I could explore my inner girlie-girl and go window shopping, or try on clothes and shoes for two days straight. Or until I'm hungry. Especially since I know I will get hungry long before the two days are up.
I could have a party. I think we still have our very old, very large, wooden Bose speakers. They use those at parties, don't they?
I could eat out when I want, where I want, any time of the day I want.
I could forgo meals and just eat snacks and drink milkshakes and nobody would be able to hear me slurp those last delicious molecules.
I could give myself a pedicure.
I could spend the weekend at the library reading and not say a word to anyone.
I could pretend I'm in Hawaii at a writer's conference where it's warm and there's a breeze and just write, write, write.
I could take up painting.
Or maybe I could stay in my bathrobe all weekend.
And talk on the phone.
And watch all "The Big Bang Theory" episodes I missed over the last two years.
I could do a little bit of everything, and a big bit of nothing.
I could stop saying I could.
And start saying I will.
From this day forward I will remember to give myself permission to do things that have nothing to do with being a mom and everything to do with me re-discovering how to be me.
And I will learn to be OK with that even if it makes me feel totally weird and want to LOL.
Join me next Monday for another installment of The Pre-Empt Chronicles, as I transition from full house to empty nest.