I want out of my life. This must be how my mom felt when she left our family 40 years ago. Work that once felt exciting and challenging now feels disappointing and frustrating. A social life that was once filled with close friends, people who shared similar values, and a sense of community, has been whittled away by distance, the realities of work life, and the constraints of child rearing. A home that was once filled with loving family time has become a place where four people live together with family time directed at coordinating schedules and household chores.
My life is not bad. In fact, I know that I am incredibly lucky. My kids are healthy, well-adjusted, and happy. We are reasonably comfortable financially. But there is an emptiness in my life. I am in the time in-between; a time of losses and endings. Children, who consumed my life for the last 20 years, are leaving. Family time, as we have known it, is disappearing. I am in the void; still tied to an old life that is dying but not quite ready for the new life that will follow.
Family and friends who have beaten the path before me assure me that there is life after children; that there is freedom from schedules; time for exercising, holidays and friends; time for one’s self. Things I have been longing for, and fantasizing about, for 20 years.
But, some days, all I can see is the void.