Thursday, August 20, 2009

Back to Basics

It's official. Summer is over. Well, maybe not according to Mother Nature and the calandar, but as far as the grumbling masses who must head back to school this week are concerned, it's a sad 'so-long' to Summer '09.

Sad, indeed.

This past Saturday I moved my boy into his off-campus apartment. The house will grow incrementally quieter over the next week or so as one daughter prepares to head back to college as well and the other daughter picks up more hours at work and begins her college commute once again.

Sunday I alternated between mopping tears and mopping floors in an depressingly empty house. I figured I might as well get a clean house out of the ordeal.

Yesterday I drove the two girls up to see their brother's new digs and to deliver items we'd missed the first time around (including a rather important parking permit decal) and I had to deal with yet another tear-jerker of a goodbye. This one for a more extended period of time. So last night I began a paper shredding-frenzy. You can't believe how much PAPER four individuals are capable of accumulating. By bedtime I had two large bags of shredded material to my credit.

I'm not coping well with these changes.

Today I'm painting the garage.

I clearly have a problem.

I think my son is also concerned. He texts, calls, and emails frequently to 'check in'. Could be he's just worried about what I'll do with his bedroom in my present frame of mind. Could be he has reason to be uneasy.

My daughters and I discussed this on the drive home.

"Do you think he's homesick?" I asked.

"I think he's terrified," one daughter said.

I stared at her.

"What do you mean? He's afraid to be on his own?"

She gave me one of her 'you are so clueless, Mother' looks and shook her head.

"He's afraid of you being on your own," she responded.


"You do have a habit of going a little nuts at times, Mom," my other daughter chimed in. "You know. A little OCD about certain things."

I frowned.

"OCD? How so?"

"Your HIPs!" the girls chorused.

"I beg your pardon!" I fumed, wondering how I could be blamed for what genetics (and birthing four children) had bestowed on me. "My hips!"

"Your home-improvement projects," the girls clarified. "You were going psycho with them before you were on your own. Who knows what it will lead to when there's no one around to monitor you."

"Monitor me?"

"She means 'assist' you," daughter two added, an attempt at damage control.

"I see."

Over the last year or so they'd seen their mother paint every room in the house, stain, finish, and install chair rail, tear up tile and put down laminate, paint cabinets, paint houses, tear up flower beds, plant flower beds and veggie plots, gut the basement post flood, demolish garage cabinetry, and fill a gi-normous dumpster. Yeah. I guess they have a point.

"We'd just like to be sure when we're not around that you're not...overdoing it," the daughters assured me. "Besides, this is finally YOUR time! It's time for you to have some fun for a change!"

"Fun?" I said. "Fun?"

"Fun." The girls repeated and smiled at me.

"Like what, for example?" I asked.

"Well, one of your friends wanted you to take a belly dancing class with her, didn't she?" Daughter # 1 suggested.

I gave her my version of a 'get real' look.

"Okay, not a good example," she continued, "but you really need to stop and smell the roses, Mom."

"Really," Daughter #2 agreed.

It finally hit me. I didn't need new tile in the bathroom. I didn't need the ceiling in the living room painted. What I needed was to get back to my writing. Not just hit and miss, but full-time, butt-in-the-chair, marathon midnight chips and salsa sessions.

HIPS be damned!

I needed to lose myself in a book.

So, as children everywhere prepare to head back to school in a big way, I, too, will be 'hitting the books'.

Back to the basics.

It's time. Past time.

It finally feels right.

So, I've whittled down my 'to-do' list to the bare bones. Once I finish painting the garage and the remainder of the house trim, it's 'Kathy time'.

And Kathy time is truly the 'write time'!

What are your thoughts about this time of year? Are you a parent who shoves the kidlets out the door to the bus or are teary-eyed or depressed when fall shoves summer clean off the calendar? How do you (did you) deal with empty-nest syndrome?

Now I need to finish that *@!# garage so I can do the 'write' thing!

Catch you later!

~Bullet Hole Bacus~


TerriOsburn said...

I can only hope when the day comes I own my own home, I'm as resourceful as you are.

I have an empty nest every summer. Kidlet is gone for 10 of her 11 weeks off. Every year I say I'm going to do some decorating in the apartment, make things look nice. Every year I eat my way through the summer. *sigh*

Yay you for getting back to the writing. WIPs instead of HIPs. I believe they will be just as, if not more rewarding. And easier on the back.

PS: I'm starting belly dance classes next Monday. Heaven help me.

DebraLSchubert said...

I'm looking forward to empty nesting. Love my kids, but love the quiet time to write as well. Good for you for realizing writing beats out HIPs anytime!

Terry S said...

It took a while but I'm really enjoying my empty nest now. I started out with the hip projects but, unlike you, I kind of lost momentum in the middle. I'm in the midst of trying to get back to baby steps this time. Of course, I still miss my daughter and thank goodness for Skype!!!!!!!! Of course, she did leave her pets at home to keep me company so it isn't completely empty around here.

Great news about back to your writing. Congratulations!

Kathy Bacus said...

Oh, you're so much braver than I am, Terri. You must report back on how the belly dancing classes are going!


Kathy Bacus said...

Yep, Debra. It's that 'squeeze the heck out of those lemons and make lemonade' time for sure. I'm really looking forward to immersing myself in my writing after time away finishing college courses and home projects.


Kathy Bacus said...

I hear you on the Skyping, Terry S. It's great to 'see' those dear faces regularly.

And I now find that I can assure myself that the projects will still be there next week...month...etc. and I can live with that knowledge!


Gemma Halliday said...

Yay! So glad to hear you're on the 'write' path again! I can't wait to read what comes next from you.


Christie Craig said...

Ahh Kathy, you have my heart tugging. My son is leaving in four months. Part of me say...YEAH! (Hey, he's a slob) another part is sobbing. (Hey, he's my baby.)

Great post girl. Finish the paint job and relax a little. You have some time on your hands.