Ob-la-di, Ob-la-da, Life Goes On…

We’re just about ten days into our new Empty Nester status and I can report that things are going very well. Life goes on, you know? Just as I thought, the transition itself and the actual act of dropping J off at college were the toughest parts. The adjusting to his daily absence in the house has been easier.

I mean, I have done only four loads of laundry in ten days, and I probably could’ve gotten away with doing only three loads if Jim and I weren’t exercisers, needing our workout clothes laundered so we could throw them back in the rotation.

Also, a couple of days ago I pulled out a partial bag of chicken tenders to defrost, so I could cook them up later and put them in our salads for dinner. When I looked in the bag to see how many tenders were in there, I counted three and thought, “Oh no, only three. That’s not enough.” Then I realized, IT WAS ENOUGH. The cooking-for-two has been one of the more interesting adjustments in these last ten days. Jim accidentally made an entire box of spaghetti the other night and threw in some turkey Italian sausage and yummy vegetables and then served it up in the largest bowl we own. I just laughed. We are still working on those leftovers.

But I’m getting it. Yesterday I bought a two-pound package of ground beef and when I returned home I divided the meat and froze it in two bags.

In the evenings we watch television streamed through our Roku (currently, we’re watching “Scrubs” from the very beginning) and mess around on our laptops, and then when we go upstairs to bed we spend a few minutes reading on our respective tablets while watching the news. It’s quiet and lovely at the same time.

Weekends feel odd. The two days seem like such a long stretch of time without a teenager coming and going. Last weekend–among other things–we weeded the garden in front of the house and trimmed some tree branches, two activities I despise. Then we had a fire in the fire pit as the sun went down, an activity I very much enjoy. This weekend we’re re-roofing our storage shed in the backyard. We made the silly decision to paint it–everything, including the trim–a very horrendous beige color when we built it ten years ago. I think perhaps this weekend, in addition to a new roof, it’s going to get a forest green-with-white-trim makeover. Once we get that done we might do something crazy, like go out to dinner or head to downtown Naperville for a stroll on the Riverwalk. Maybe both.

By the way, it’s not lost on me that my last four Instagrams have been pictures of Roxie. I need to mix it up a little bit because I refuse to turn into the Dog Lady. It’s just that she’s the only one around, so by default she gets a little extra Instagram love.

Let's walk!

As for J, he’s doing very well. At first he was in contact all the time but as it happens, we’re hearing from him a little less now. It’s another bittersweet element of this new era: we hear from him less but it’s because he’s busy and making lots of friends. It’s what every parent wants, for their kid to go to college and NOT experience a lot of homesickness because they are having fun and forming new relationships. Still, we miss him.

But it’s FINE.

I was on the phone with a friend yesterday and she said something that really stuck with me:

“It’s funny how ‘fine’ it can all be when you have no choice.”

So true, my friend.

That’s life though; we roll with the changes*, constantly readjusting to new people, new routines, new environments. It’s what makes the whole journey so interesting, am I right?

*Great, now I have given myself an earworm. And maybe you, too. You’re welcome.


  • Kari

    What you NEED to do now that you have no kids in the house is have me in for that Portillos Chopped Salad.
    Yes, I know I will pass four Portillo’s on the way.
    But yours will just taste better.
    I just know it.

  • HouseofJules

    I REALLY love Connie’s commentary on “fine”. So true.
    Glad you guys are adjusting! I’m going to call and ask about stopping over for my mail & record albumins at some point this weekend, so YAY YOU GET TO SEE ME! WOOOOOOOOOOOO!

  • Sylvia Joy

    I don’t think helping you with the shed will work. Doesn’t that count as working in the yard?
    Glad things are getting better. I love to see pictures of Roxie any time.
    Grandma W