Sep 6, 2007

Empty Next


Probably, nothing will change.

A year from now I might look the same as I do now, I might be forced to wear the same soft clothes, my brain might be wired the same way as it is today.

But maybe, jusssssssst maybe, I'll have completely transformed.

Maybe people will ask me what my 'aha' moment was and I'll look back on the time the regular sized towel the masseusse laid out for me (on my first real massage in over a year) didn't quite cover my whole body. Or the time the pants bought in haste at a Wal-mart (yes, a Wal-mart) that were meant to be a bit on the big side (so I didn't even try them
on--too big? who cares!) turned out to not even be able to creep up past my thighs.

All year I've been doing the countdown. This is my last October 18th home with my youngest...my last November 11th, March 31st, you get the point. In a matter of weeks (don't even get me started on the two weeks of phasing in: two hours today, two tomorrow, two hours and oop! fifteen minutes today, three hours tomorrow...)I'll be an empty nester. And not a pregnant one like the last time. A true, omigod, what am I going to do with myself empty nester.

Amos will be in 4th grade, Etta in second--both in the bigtime (and maybe even on the schoolbus to boot), and Piper, dear Piper, will be in a special long day--5 hours a day/five days a week--reserved for older threes at our local little preschool--the handful of January and February children who missed the cutoff by mere weeks, and who have to wait until the next year to join the masses in real school.

Like the Monday morning diet, the preparation for which involves all sorts of binge-eating on Saturday and Sunday, I have been completely indulgent in all ways but the healthy ones all summer long--hell, all YEAR long. Why start an exercise program now, when I'm home with the little one? Why start trying to eat healthy with all these carb-swilling kids swirling about? Why even get any momentum going? Why not just eat another brownie from the bakery on the corner and muse about how toned I'll be a year from now? When everything just snaps into place.

When I might find out I have reserves of energy I never knew I had.

When I might find out I'm really good at long-distance running?

When I might discover how good it feels to NOT have a heavy full feeling in my tummy after every meal?

When I might discover that days are lovely and endless when NOT measured out in television increments of hours and half hours.

When I might unleash the joys of routinely walking over the Brooklyn Bridge to a yoga class five miles away, or maybe I'll be the lady who bikes everywhere! They'll interview me on NPR. "When did you make the commitment to begin biking all over Brooklyn and Manhattan?" "When did you discover you really liked biking?" "When did the seat stop hurting?"

When I might build a little art studio in a corner of the kitchen and churn out amazing artwork?

So much might happen!

Maybe, just maybe, Regis and Kelly won't have any interesting people on their show; Whoopi Goldberg might suck on the View and my interest in the Hot Topics portion will disappear. Maybe I won't peek in at Days of our Lives just for a minute one afternoon and recognize enough of the characters or their names at least, to get hooked on it all over again. Maybe Oprah will bum me out because all I'll do when I look at her is remind myself that 'she' has a personal trainer AND a personal chef and wouldn't we all be fit and healthy if we had those things.

Maybe I'll do all of the grocery shopping and odds-and-ends-errands and our weekends will be totally free...

Maybe I'll discover how satisfying it is to have a really clean kitchen sink, to fold laundry and lay it lovingly in my children's
drawers...to roll back all the rugs and mop, to throw away piles of mildly interesting completely unfile-away-able things.

Maybe I'll read all those novels I ordered on Amazon just to tack on enough money to qualify for super saver shipping!

Or maybe I'll turn back into who I was before any of this domestic/kid stuff happened...

The fun thing is no one knows.

No one can tell me I won't drop four sizes in clothing, and get a jazzy new haircut to show off my newly uncovered cheekbones. If such a thing *could* be, then surely it would be?

Of course I might have to celebrate my first few days of empty-nest-hood by actually lolling lazily about the empty-nest. We
wouldn't want me to NOT come face to face with its true emptiness, would we? Probably I should be forced to wander from room to room, talking on the phone about my feelings, thumbing through magazines, trying out different beds like Goldilocks. Just to get a sense of it all. Like viewing the body at the funeral--we wouldn't want me to be in denial, out there in a downward-facing dog in Chelsea--would we?

And then it might be silly to get all ambitious before the holidays.

I've always heard it's easier to lose the first twenty or thirty pounds than the last five. Why not give myself a few more of those delicious gravy-smothered easy-to-lose pounds?

Why not see what little murmurs happen in my head in the emptiness of my house, on those soft pillows, near those
glossy magazines. Maybe there's a little bit of genius there I wouldn't get to hear if I'm out biking all over the borough.

Maybe I should just take it easy a bit longer.

I wouldn't want to set the bar too high, come out of the starting gates too fast.

Come to think of it, January might be a better time to start.

1 comment:

fuzzywhitedogs said...

Wow, this is all too familiar!

Maybe we will BOTH be doing all those amazingly fit & healthy things in a year... (she said as she sat in the recliner with the laptop, eating a creme horn & watching Oprah). Than again, maybe not. ;-)