So as part of my ongoing struggle to make the transition into the next phase of my life, the “empty nest” chapter as it were, I am trying to find some new and meaningful challenges.
At first I tried to find the kind of challenge that would yield concrete and measurable results. You know, like learning to play the violin or mastering the art of cake decorating. I thought that I should find some new skill at which I could one day excel (or at least improve). Something that might get me some accolades and some cheers. To make the people who love me say, “Good girl!”
But you know what? Now I am beginning to wonder why I am so desperate to be praised. Why do I still need people to cheer for me? I’m fifty five years old. I did a good job with my kids (I did a GREAT job with my kids!!). I have a Master’s Degree. I’m a really good teacher, and a good friend. I’ve been married to my first boyfriend for almost 33 years. What else do I need to achieve to make myself feel good enough? And good enough for what?
Maybe its time to challenge myself in a whole new way. I am beginning to think that for me the real challenge will be to find a way to please myself; to set a goal of making myself feel satisfied and fulfilled, in a way that I have never done before.
With that goal in mind, I will embark on some simple and small adventures, just for me. I am going to go for a ride, to nowhere in particular, and I am going to stop when I want to stop, and come back when I am all done driving.
I am going to go to the beach, early early in the morning, and just sit and stare at the ocean for a full day. I will eat fried clams until my stomach aches.
I am going to buy something completely frivolous and throw away the bill.
And the next time that I opt to roll back over and sleep for another hour, I am going to say, out loud, “Good for you! You need the rest.”