Life of an Empty Nester

09/21/2020

Another month is almost over and the end of 2020 is near.

The last few weeks have been eye opening about a lot of different things within in my life.

In a previous writings I spoke of relationships then of marriage.  It’s been another 12 days and I’m still talking to the person I met on the dating app.  I’m actually surprised by it.

I didn’t think it would continue on much longer but I get a text every morning wishing me a good day, sometimes a random text in the middle of the day to see how I am doing and then always a text telling me to sleep well or have a good night. Then on the weekends we discuss movies, books or whatever sports are currently going on if he isn’t busy working on his house projects or with his daughters.

It’s been nice to have someone to talk to who is consistent and honest about things.

It was after our first meeting that didn’t go well that I realized that this first year of being an empty nester hasn’t exactly gone the way I thought it would.

The first was being in a relationship and being swept off my feet in this fairytale romance didn’t happen. I am okay with it though. I realized that I would much rather be with someone who is honest, caring, and consistent in both their actions and words.  That is what matters to me the most.

The next thing, I was supposed to start working out and moving my way up to becoming a consistent runner.  Something I’ve always believed that I could be. I had thoughts of eventually running a 5k then possibly moving up to a marathon. The only way you get there though is being consistent and dedicated to a runner’s lifestyle. That part never materialized this past year.  A lot of excuses as well as an injury hindered things. 

I started walking every other day 15 days ago. Tomorrow is day 9 of my walking.  I initially set a goal of making it to a minimum of 4 miles for each walk.  I hit that goal this past Sunday and feeling pretty good about that. It’s a start towards those goals and that’s really all you can do, take that step and start. The new person, online friends and my kids have been encouraging this new progress.

The other thing that I thought I was going to complete was my pursuit of a bachelor’s degree in business.  I am currently 12 hours away from completing it.  My oldest two thought it was a good idea for me to go back to school this fall and complete at least one class. I am enrolled in a business calculus class at our local community college.

I had our first test last week and I did not do very well but with the instructor’s cheering us on he stated that the first one is always the hardest but not to give up.  I believe him because he is a good instructor and he is walking us through this step by step. So I am not giving up on that despite having really bad study and homework habits. I need to focus on it and set up a study schedule which I have been working on. There is always hope if you believe in yourself.

The one thing that was not expected this year was having surgery, another pending surgery and being out of work.  It has been so frustrating but I took a step back and remembered that last year at this time this is exactly what I asked for but didn’t realize it until now.

A year ago I had to quit a job that I really liked. It was working with homeless veterans to find employment and sustainable housing. 

I was working with other veterans in this non-profit utilizing the skills that I had developed over time of building programs or processes that worked and were also within government regulations or guidelines. This is something that I have always been good at and that job was part of being a valuable resource to the community. It was helping others. 

It also had the perk of traveling all over the US to conferences and meetings.  I thought it was perfect until the curtain fell on the façade it was covering.  I was so disappointed by the real faces behind the people I was working with and could not stay. My conscience would not let me be okay working there.

Losing that job started this cascade of many jobs to follow. I was unhappy every morning I had to get up and go to work at the retail, call center, and fast food jobs.  The depression and anxiety was starting to hang over me again and I felt out of control.

Having unstable work also cost me my housing. I went through 3 different living situations as well as bouncing between my mothers’ home while I was homeless.  I remember waking up one morning when I called into work again and thinking that I can’t keep going this way. I wanted the universe or God to give me an answer, to help me find a different path that I need to take.

A few months later the MRI results finally came back from the pain I had been having for months in my shoulder. A complete full thickness tear of one of the muscles of the rotator cuff. I was then waiting for an orthopedic consult to determine what the next step should be.

I finally got that answer in April of 2020; I was now at my 6th job since I left the one at the end of August 2019.  I told the manager what was going on, they set a date for my shifts to end then ended them early. A week later I had my shoulder surgery.

I am now unemployed pending a disability claim because the outcome of when my arm will be restored to full use is now up in the air.  The physical therapy has been temporarily halted because of paperwork issues and my children have been helping me financially which causes this pit in my stomach every time I have to ask for money.

The one good thing that happened is that I got accepted into this new technical program to develop software engineers after a lengthy application process. I was supposed to start this month but because of the physical therapy it has been pushed back to January.  It is something that to look forward to.

After all of this life that happened I realized that despite the job losses, housing losses, losing people that I thought were friends, and the myriad of health related issues that I am still here.

This first year as a new empty nester wasn’t perfect and things didn’t go the way I expected but neither did the marriage or the life I had up until this point.  Yet, I keep pushing on.

I am still moving forward with a new attitude that it is just another day and tomorrow will be better.

I never lost hope.

I never lost faith.

I never stopped believing.

I am stronger than I give myself credit for and know my value.

I know my strengths and weaknesses.

I know who I am, what I have been through.

I will accomplish whatever I set my mind to.

Thank you so much for stopping by.

Have a great week ahead!

Stay motivated, positive, and keep moving forward.

Peace, love, happiness, and good vibes, always!

Suzanne

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