Mine, All Mine

On Monday night, I sat on my sofa and watched the season premiere of Downton Abbey, which led to much contemplation about whether Bates – such a temper! – actually is a murderer, or what the heck is wrong with far-too-noble Matthew Crawley (take the money, you fool!). It was two hours long, and I watched it from 5 until 7 pm.  My husband was at a friend’s house watching the BCS championship game, so I was home alone. My dog Lambeau kept me company, like he always does, though I know that he’s really just waiting for Peter to walk in the door – the best moment of his day, by far  – Lambeau’s day, that is (well, maybe Peter’s, too).

Lambeau, dog, my pet dog, I love my dog, Empty nest, baby boomer, midlife

Adam was gone, back to school. He left the day before, his truck packed with box upon box of clothes, an XBox and not much more. We said a tearful goodbye and watched him drive away, heading back to the future he had put on hold for a little while. Raising children is heartbreaking, sometimes – but this was a good kind of heartbreaking, sending him off to where he belongs. Peter and I went for some retail therapy that day and dipped our toes into the water of no kids at home again.

So there I was, with no one walking in the door, no one asking “What are you watching?” which is code for “I want to watch something else,” no one wondering what we were going to do for dinner (I had two handfuls of almonds), no one at all. Just the Crawleys, Lambeau and me.

It was really nice. No, not nice. It was heavenly. It was quiet and clean, and for the first time since we bought it in October, the new ginormous flatscreen was not tuned to football, Duck Dynasty, or the Food Network.


There’s something so wonderful about waking up in the morning and knowing that the entire day is mine, all mine – the house is mine, my time is mine, my thoughts are mine…

Do I sound selfish? I’m not, really. What I am is focused on my world, my life, and my future. Just as Adam is ready to be focused on his. Peter is playing his guitar and I’m reading magazines. This is how it should be, now. This is what feels right, for all of us.

My nest is empty once again.

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14 Responses to Mine, All Mine
  1. Geek Girl
    January 10, 2013 | 8:33 am

    I understand that feeling. It’s not selfish. It just is. Everyone doing what they should be where they should be. All is right with the world. :)
    Geek Girl recently posted..And The Gender Is…?My Profile

  2. Jo Heroux
    January 10, 2013 | 8:34 am

    I so get this Sharon! I love my empty nest except for the my time is my time thing. I don’t quite have that now. Momma is on my schedule and though she is NOT demanding, she does like routine and changing ANYTHING is upsetting so I try not to do that.
    Jo Heroux recently posted..Oh NO, Not AgainMy Profile

  3. sue
    January 10, 2013 | 8:51 am

    I have been hearing about Downtown Abbey and have not seen it yet, maybe I can find it OnDemand, as it seems to be a hit. Watching the tele with Lambeau and no one to say that “what are you watching” line is just so reflective of what sometimes happens in my house too. Have a happy day, I always enjoy reading your posts.
    sue recently posted..Mediterranean-Style Home Exterior – English Style InteriorMy Profile

  4. Haralee
    January 10, 2013 | 8:55 am

    I totally understand, the peace the quiet the cleanliness the control of the TV and the remote and Downton Abbey with just a fur face smiling, a nice mini vacation. Lambeau is adorable!
    Haralee recently posted..WelcomeMy Profile

    • Sharon Greenthal
      January 10, 2013 | 9:10 am

      He is adorable isn’t he! And the sweetest dog ever.

  5. Nancy Wurtzel
    January 10, 2013 | 9:27 am

    Love this post, Sharon. I can certainly relate. And, your puppy is adorable!! Enjoy these California winter days….
    Nancy Wurtzel recently posted..My Name Is…Pick a Name, Any NicknameMy Profile

  6. Helene Bludman
    January 10, 2013 | 9:31 am

    I absolutely treasure my alone time. Alone, that is, except for my precious pooch who never leaves my side. And I agree with your Downton Abbey observations. Matthew needs to get a reality check.
    Helene Bludman recently posted..Crowning Glory? More Like Crown of ThornsMy Profile

  7. Ellen Dolgen
    January 10, 2013 | 10:06 am

    I was totally dedicated to my children’s needs when they were living in the house. When our youngest was a senior in high school, I was beside myself with worry about how sad it was going to be when we became empty nesters. I spent his whole last semester and that summer worrying about how I was going to cope with the kid-less house. We took our son to NYU (our daughter had gone there two years earlier)…I cried and cried when we left him. We got back to Phoenix and I fell in bed. The next morning, David and I woke up and realized that we didn’t need to plan our day around our children anymore. We could eat dinner at any time we wanted or skip it all together and just have popcorn. We could make love without the TV on loud and run around the house naked if we wanted! It was liberating and fun! We felt like kids again! Trying not to smother him, I waited to call and check on him. He ended up calling to check on us! I think he was surprised that I wasn’t still a blubbering mess. I told him how much fun we were having. At first, I could tell he was somewhat shocked….then I heard his smile through the phone…. he thanked us for being so dedicated to him and said that he was thrilled that we were having a great time together! I think HE was comforted that his parents were going to be fine without him, too. Sharon, enjoy this chapter in your life. You deserve it!
    Ellen Dolgen recently posted..Menopause News Flash: Research, News and InformationMy Profile

  8. Caryn/The Mid Life Guru
    January 10, 2013 | 11:00 am

    I can totally relate to how you are feeling. While it is fun to have everyone around for a piece, I so enjoy being able to settle back in to our predictable (and clean)empty nest life. What I don’t like is dealing with the emotion swings that occur with the comings and going. Excited to see everyone; exhausted having everyone around. Sad to see them go; lonesome for the company. Moving on…

  9. Erin
    January 10, 2013 | 11:14 am


  10. Ruth Nemzoff
    January 10, 2013 | 1:35 pm

    There are indeed joyous freedoms as our children grow-up. We have the chance to enjoy the fruits of our parenting labors as we morph our relationship with dependent child to one with two independent adults. Ruth Nemzoff, author, Don’t Roll Your Eyes: Making In-Laws Into Family

  11. Tracey Barnes Priestley
    January 11, 2013 | 6:47 am

    Enjoying my empty nest was the last thing I ever expected, as parenting was the most satisfying experience of my lifetime. But my husband and I have found the freedom this phase offers to be such fun – it’s like our years pre-parenting but with experience and resources to make it so much better.

  12. Carpool Goddess
    January 11, 2013 | 3:51 pm

    My time will be my own next week. I will miss the noise and the kids, but I could use a little uninterrupted Me time. My blog could too!
    Carpool Goddess recently posted..Fifty Shades Of Grey, And Not The Good KindMy Profile

  13. Sarah@afterhood
    January 13, 2013 | 1:41 pm

    I did enjoy this piece, and I sometimes manage to enjoy my time alone-again as much as you do. I adore to be along in my house for a day or two. It’s shocking how much you can get done (or not) when there is nothing to distract. I loved your insight the ‘What are you watching?’ really means “Can I change the channel?” SO true. That said, I MISS the kids when they’ve been home and then go off again. I even miss their enormous shoes all over the front hall. And each time they go away agin, it seems it is a little further… BTW I share your Downton Abbey addiction. Tonight! Who needs The Golden Globes?!
    Sarah@afterhood recently posted..The Light In My ClosetMy Profile

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