Friday, September 22, 2017

When The Kids Move Out

... sloth moves in.

Pondering my own significant decrease in willpower over the past couple of years, it dawned on me that when our kids became self-sufficient, I lost my primary motivation for self-denial. When your life is dedicated to someone else, when their success hinges on your support, there's a reason to forgo the vacations, toys, parties and what-have-you. When all you have to worry about is yourself, you can relax.

And relax I have. My MGB project has taken years longer than it should have. My self-paced learning has almost ground to a halt. I've tried a number of times to become a better photographer, but I always had this voice in the back of my head asking why I was bothering. The list goes on and on.

There are many rites of passage in life: going to school for the first time, learning to drive, kissing a girl, moving out, getting your first, self-supporting job. One that gets much less attention is that moment when the last of your children no longer needs you for survival. It's a glorious day, to be sure, but on the other side of it lies ... what?

It snuck up on me. Slowly, stealthily and without warning, it struck. I was helpless.


tim eisele said...

Well, obviously you now need to take an obsessive interest in your kid's lives! [1] Calling daily, leaving comments on everything they (or their friends!) post to their social media accounts, regularly inviting yourself over or dropping in unexpectedly, offering unsolicited advice, being all hurt if they hide things from you or get testy with you for not letting them have time to themselves . . . you know. The usual. You should be able to burn a few hours a day on that, right?

[1] At least, that's what you do if you want to live like a sitcom. Maybe not so much in real life.

K T Cat said...

LOL. I hadn't thought of that.

ligneus said...

Next comes.................grandkids!

Mostly Nothing said...

I've found the same thing. When both boys were away at college, I thought I'd do a lot more projects. But the MG doesn't get more time.

I did get my desk built last winter. And I continue to volunteer for the varsity basketball and baseball teams.

But all the free time I thought I'd have doesn't exist. Well, I guess it's just wasted.