Category: Single Mom Syndrome

Ride the Elephant

I’m officially an empty nester. I’ve known since May my daughter was going to be living on her own, but it was daunting when she came to pick up some of her things to take to her new home. The next morning, I walked through the house and could see and feel the empty spaces.

One of my books for morning reading is Simple Abundance by Sarah Ban Breathnach. Recently, she wrote about her family vacationing years ago at a beach resort and one afternoon there was a surprise activity for the children: a ride on an elephant around the hotel parking lot. Her little girl was delirious with excitement and that night as she tucked her daughter in bed she said, “Some mornings you wake up not knowing what will happen during the day and you get to ride an elephant!”

Delirious with excitement. We were designed to be that way, but life can bury the child in all of us over years of trying to make it through the day. I don’t wish to simply make it through the day, but instead see what the day has to offer. The weekend is here and I purposefully didn’t make any plans. I want to leave plenty of space for these two days to unfold on their own. If I was sitting on a beach near a hotel with activities for a child, you know me well enough to know…I’d have to ride the elephant.

Photo by Geran de Klerk on Unsplash

These Two Chairs

We have thought about buying a couch for as long as we’ve lived here.

I spent time cleaning over the weekend, and then did some rearranging of the den. As I was moving furniture around, I remembered the couch sitting here the first time we saw this house. It sat right underneath the window sill, and ran the length of the wall. Three years later, we still haven’t bought a couch. 😂

Sitting at the coffee table this morning, I looked across the table at her chair. It was empty. She is out, living her life, which I want her to do. She called and was excited about new tires for her Jeep. Her father took her tire shopping, and I sat and listened as she described every detail. That’s my girl excited about tires!

The main reason we haven’t bought a couch is these two chairs. They were designed and made around 15 years ago, for a formal living room which you can read about here. They are extra wide and the cushions are stuffed with down, so you can curl up and never leave. If we get a couch, they will have to go into storage, because neither of us can part with them.

These two chairs have held us up during every ‘love of my life’ breakup. They are wide enough to hold a box of tissues and a blanket. The fabric is formal, so I looked into having them recovered, and because they are so well made, the estimate started at $800 per chair. New fabric is not in their future.

Nowadays, her chair is empty more often than not, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. Through the years, the one place we always go to be seen and supported is these two chairs.

On My Own

My daughter is out of town this week.

I’m trying to take care of myself without her. She’s in charge of protein shakes, and I’m coffee. This morning I had to make the protein shake by using the Ninja, on my own.

The Ninja blender is the best blender I’ve ever used. You could drop in an iceberg, and it would emulsify it. I nearly sliced my finger off the first time I cleaned it, so it’s had my respect ever since!

But, I did it. I began my day with protein, and then moved onto Chemex. She’ll be proud.

My daughter reads instructions. I’m a dedicated instruction reader when it comes to putting things together, and how to properly use machinery, but somewhere along life’s journey I stopped.

When my daughter is here she makes the shake, and I clean the blender, but I know better than to get anywhere near it’s blades.

I thought I was so smart squirting dish-washing liquid in, filling it with warm water, and turning it back on, like making a shake, but with bubbles.

After it runs for a while, simply rinse it, take it apart, and let it dry.

Ninjaclean

My daughter said, “Yes ma’am. That’s how you’re supposed to clean it. I read it in the instructions.”

I need to go back to reading the instructions. 😀

How You Leave

When you leave a relationship/marriage, it’s important how you leave. When the day came for me to leave, I was thoughtful. We had spent half our lives together and I didn’t want it to look like a wreckage. He already felt like his world was ripped apart.

We have to show life how we want to be treated, so life knows how to treat us in return. Do the next right thing.

It was my choice to leave. He was in denial, and it took time for him to be okay with how things landed. The amount of time is per person.

change

My daughter and I discussed what to take with us. We didn’t need a lot to make a new life. We chose a few furniture pieces we loved, and wanted to live with. We still have those foundational pieces, but we didn’t take much, so those pieces weren’t missed.

The cabinets held the most difficult choices.

We had collected a lot of beautiful things in our time together, but I wanted to leave some beauty. We collected pottery by Bill Campbell, and had full place settings by him. I left them in the cabinet. We had professional grade cookware, but I only took half.

We had two of a lot of things, so I left the one he liked best, all the way down to the measuring cups.

I couldn’t bring myself to pack up in front of him, so I waited until a few days before the move was scheduled, and packed. He stayed away during the move, but he hired movers to get us moved safely.

The moving truck arrived at our new home before my daughter and I did. They were on a schedule, so they unloaded the truck without us being there.

My daughter still talks about that day, and laughs about what we walked in on. Everything that was on the truck, was sitting in the middle of the house!

It looked like a big ball of furniture and boxes!

The movers looked at us and said, “We didn’t know where you wanted everything.” We didn’t know either, but in time we unraveled that big ball and created a world we wanted to live in, and we do!

Recently, I was at my ex husbands home, and he was at the kitchen sink washing some of those pieces that were left. He thanked me for leaving them, and especially his favorite measuring cup.

Time does heal. They just don’t tell you how long.

Be mindful of how you leave.

Puzzles and Life

When my daughter was learning to manage depression/anxiety, I was pondering what to do to help. My Mama worked a puzzle on the kitchen table at least once a month. I don’t know her exact philosophy behind this, but it brought us together as a family. You couldn’t walk by without stopping to help, and visit with Mama.

My daughter and I have a ginormous coffee table, so I went and bought a puzzle. One I could leave laying out for days while we worked on it. We would spend hours sitting there together with 1,000 pieces scattered across the table. We talked about anything and everything.

To make something beautiful out of the chaos. This is how life can feel at times.

We had a love/hate thing going on with the puzzle. You couldn’t sit in front of it without trying to get a piece to fit, but our favorite pieces were the last few. We felt accomplished when those final pieces would snap into place!

puzzle2

Life is much like a puzzle. We get to take the pieces and fit them together into something beautiful.

Take Every Test

My daughter is sitting in a college classroom, preparing for a test. She is young, and hasn’t been through many tests.

She has been home-schooled since 4th grade, and we have used life’s classroom. Of course, we used curriculum, but life is a fabulous teacher! Have we passed every test? Of course not, but every test failed, prepares us to succeed.

fail

My daughter had to learn to fail, and not let that stop her. When she takes a test for school, it’s okay to fail. Homeschooling allows you the freedom to retake the test. If she wasn’t happy with her grade, and knew she could do better, I would let her take the test again. Just like in life.

Learning from mistakes equals knowledge. I don’t believe ‘knowledge is power.’ The power comes from what we do with the knowledge. Anyone can sit full of knowledge.

My daughter had no pressure from me to go to college.

She is wicked smart, and her grades qualify for college, but she has seen many friends flounder in college for years, and leave with no usable degree. She is starting with community college, and I’m so happy for her! She will take some classes and discern her path, or just blaze a trail, but either way, it will be affordable, and not consume our lives.

She has learned through life, more than any curriculum. At her young age, she knows there will be many tests, and it’s okay not to pass it each time. The more tests you take, the more experience gained, and knowledge received.

Let go of the outcome, and be willing to take every test.

Welcome to Chillville

I’m not used to feeling this relaxed in the middle of the day!

My daughter just looked at me feeling all chill. My limbs are still feeling the stretches done on the mat this morning. My posture is on point, and I’m cradled in contentment.

yoga1

I fell in love with the practice of Yoga a few years ago.

It was not something I would have done if my daughter was little, but the first time we went to a Yoga class, she was a teenager. Being a single Mom, sometimes the only way to do something you want to do, is to take that child with you!

It’s good for them, and you. They get to see what makes your heart happy, even if it bores them to tears. They should want a Mom that takes care of herself, so she can take better care of them. At this moment, my daughter could ask for anything, and within reason, she would probably get it. (Except a puppy) I’m that freakin’ chill!

yoga

This class is only available Sunday mornings, and the Yoga studio is right down the street. I’ve tried doing online Yoga, but I’m sorry, it doesn’t compare to an actual class. The vibe from being in the studio, with an instructor, and the other participants is rejuvenating, and healing within itself.

The class is called Chillville for a reason. It’s an hour and a half long, and you hold a pose for several minutes, sinking into the mat, watching your thoughts float by, until you’re completely present.  The first time I took this class, I was so fidgety, I was ready to leave about halfway through!

My body couldn’t be still because my mind was racing.

It was the most challenging Yoga class I’ve ever taken.

To stretch and hold the pose. Today, my mind eventually slowed down, and became in sync with my body! It took time, but I could feel myself becoming one with the mat. It was a magical moment, and I’m hooked on this class.

It’s was the best money I’ve spent in a very long time.

If you’re a single Mom, you look at every dollar before spending it. This class is the longest, and most expensive class the studio offers. It’s $13.00. The other classes during the week, are half that much. Do you invest in yourself?

My daughter was home this weekend, and not at her Dad’s. I invited her to come to the class with me, but she said, “Mom, that’s your thing, and you should go.” She chose to sleep in, and then planned to go to her fave coffee shop with her new book. We both did something good for ourselves, but the day is half over, and I’m still in Chillville.