Do you remember stepping on that random Lego or small plastic toy in the middle of the night? In the dark? I do. I also remember stepping on random teenagers who, unbeknownst to me, crashed in the family room for an overnight visit! Did you use your formal dining room table as a catch-all for school projects and other projects? I can remember many a night sitting at the dining room table working on everything from sewing Halloween costumes to window treatments. I remember when the kids slaved over presentations for classes and as they fell asleep at the table, I would pitch in, like a fairy godmother the true helicopter mom that I have always aspired to be, to tie any loose ends for them.
Did you find yourself repeating “Clean your room. Please” or “I don’t care. If it’s on the floor—it’s garbage. I’m cleaning!”
Was your pantry filled with Little Debbie snacks, Duncan Hines Brownie mix and boxes of Kraft Macaroni and Cheese? Did your freezer store Totino’s Pizza Rolls and Bagel Bites?
Did you ever have that moment when an unexpected guest stopped by and everything that was laying around had to be shoved in the nearest closet or just thrown into the garage?
Did you never realize just how much stuff was accumulated over the years? A TV in every bedroom. “Filler” furniture in every hallway. Desks in every bedroom. In every drawer, and nook, and cranny—more stuff!
One day you turn around and realize there is no longer a house full of noisy children and teens and you don’t need all that “stuff”. You are now an “Empty Nester”. The kids have grown and are on their own but you still have that “stuff”. Whether you stay put in the home the kids grew up in or whether you decide to downsize and move—it’s time to get rid of the stuff!
*Shhhh* Can I tell you something? Sometimes I have these moments of feeling as though I have no purpose in life anymore and I get all weepy. I long for those days when the kids were so young and dependent on me for everything. Then I’ll be out and about and I’ll spot a young harried mother whose kids are whinging and whining and having meltdowns and I start to smile and say to myself “Oh. I’m glad those days are over”! What can I say—I’m never satisfied!
Last May we bought a townhouse. So much “stuff” was purged and boy, did it feel great! A good amount of furniture was sold before the move. A good amount was donated and a good amount of pedigreed junk was placed in the trash. In any case we STILL have stuff and it’s in the garage! Look at this some of this stuff!
Oona’s Communion Dress–18 years later and stained!
Irish Dance Dress from 2007–with random competition number!
Jake’s favorite baseball glove.
Baseballs and other random balls
Cleveland Brown’s autographed and deflated. circa 1993?
Tub containing notebooks from the kid’s school days.
Football magazine for 1947. UT was Texas University.
Nun doll. Don’t ask. Don’t even go there.
Random lamps in the garage. To be trashed!
This empty nest is our Chateau! We’ve carefully made some changes
like replacing the carpeting in the dining room with hardwood flooring and adding crown molding to the upstairs bedrooms. The walls need to be painted, but I kind of like them white. It’s more airy! We have a room downstairs that’s fitted for plumbing—and eventually it’ll be turned into a bathroom.
For now we have boxes of books and more “stuff” stored in that little future bathroom. Besides, the two and one half bathrooms we have are sufficient for the two of us!
Honestly, I was going to dedicate today’s post about decorating the empty nest–but I got on this rant about “stuff”. I even went to Ikea earlier today to take pics and do some shopping (even though I was told by a certain someone not to make any purchases–I did anyway). How could I not? This twin duvet cover set and pillowcase were $9.99. The two pillow shams were $2.99 AND the black square pillow covers were $4.00 each. I ended up buying four of the pillow covers.
I WILL “cover” (yes. pun intended) decorating for empty nesters next week. I’ve got lots of ideas and pics!
My favorite wall decoration is this picture of the kids. It was a Christmas gift from them and it hangs in the room where I put my make up on. Every morning I say “Hi” to them and give them a kiss. (A true empty-nester helicopter mom!)
The great thing about empty-nesting is that we all have plenty of time to do what we want. Yeah..get rid of the stuff but you can still manage to hold on to sentimental souvenirs at the same time! Whether it’s decorating our downsized abode or traveling, taking a trip to a museum or movie or concert, nothing can stop us! We are in a great place and we are blessed with time!
Here’s a sweet song I found for today’s posting. The song is aptly titled “Empty Nest Syndrome” by Ed Crowley. It’s absolutely beautiful and if it doesn’t bring a tear to your eyes, I will be shocked!
Enjoy your Friday evening! It’s the weekend..and remember–when you wake up on Sunday, February 1st, you can say “Next month is Spring”!!!! Isn’t that great?
I may not surprise you to know we had the same nun doll. I love your blog and miss you come back for a visit, this empty nest has a guestroom now.
Dorothy, I’m not surprised that another St. Pat’s alum would have the same nun doll! I’m so glad you love the blog. Nothing is off limits to me–I think you will like what I have to say about this weekend! XOXOXOXOXO!
Cathy you make this cousin laugh. After a tough few days and many tears saying goodbye to our beloved “Gracie” I need theses laughs. Right in the middle of putting makeup on (I don’t know why I bother since I cry all day) I said “I have to read Cathy’s blog now”. Thank you! Oh, the nun doll……I thought that was for Sisters Josephine and Eleanour! LOL