Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Everything Is Different Now

Nathan is finishing up his second week of eighth grade; Casey started his joint enrollment classes on Monday. Here is Casey on his first day of school.

Both boys are busy and happy. Me, too.

But being in an empty house, after sharing it with six other people for so many months, and home schooling all those years, is strange. Not in a bad way. It's just taking some getting used to.

Casey has been heading out before dawn, and Nathan catches the bus at 8:30. My piano students start arriving between 11:45 and 2, depending on the day. So I'm really only talking about three or four hours here. Still, it's a whole different life.

Monday was easy. I had to run to Nathan's school to let them know he would miss class today through Friday due to his participation in USACK Nationals, and then I needed to go to the UPS store to send a fax. And there was lots to do to make sure my studio was ready for my students' return. Busy, busy.

Tuesday, though, I felt a little lost. It helped that I had made myself a to-do list for weekday mornings.

1. Journal (30 minutes).
2. Walk (45 minutes).
3. Tidy the house and make my bed (15 minutes).
4. Check e-mail and Facebook (could take all day!--but I'm allowing 30 minutes).
5. Practice piano (one hour).
6. Write (two hours).
7. Shower and dress (30 minutes).

If I get up at 6--just a few minutes before the high school bus stops in front of my house, and wakes me up, anyway--I can accomplish those first three or four items before Nathan is ready for breakfast. The rest can be done between the time he walks out the front door and my first student walks in.

I didn't do so well yesterday. I stayed in bed until 7, so I was left with only had about an hour to spend on writing. And the rest of this week is a wash; I have to get Nathan back and forth to the lake for Nationals, and make sure Casey has transportation to and from classes when he needs it.

But I know I can be successful. I have history to prove it. My first couple of years post-divorce, I got up promptly at 6AM and walked, journalled, checked e-mail, and got myself ready for the day before waking the boys up. But after that, mornings were devoted schoolwork and/or running to and from activities, appointments, etc. Now I can use that time to focus on personal goals. And Fridays are all mine--for housework and laundry and lunch with friends and hobbies. Ahh.

I saw my doctor on Friday; he wanted to follow up with me on some routine blood work I had done a couple of weeks ago. The bad news was I have an under-active thyroid, which explains the weight gain and other symptoms I have been experiencing the past few months. But that is easily treated. The good news was that my HDL cholesterol is the third highest he has seen in his entire career, and if I can mange to avoid cancer or being run over by a train, he sees no reason why I can't live to be 100. Saturday was my 50th birthday, so that means if I'm lucky I have half my life left to do all those things I might be running out of time to do.

But there's no time to waste. I'm going to keep myself too busy to think about Empty Nest Syndrome!

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