This morning my dear friend and mentor, Fr. Bob asked me why I haven’t written in my blog for some time. He was curious as to whether the evil one has sabotaged my writing.
While the latter is not the case, at least overtly, I think that perhaps the evil one has influenced my desire to chronicle my life under several pretexts. Primarily, I have been going through a rather melancholic time in my life. Days ensconced in cooking, cleaning, laundry, Barbies, swings, and a plethora of dishes for my son who was home on college break and our 5 year old granddaughter who has gone back to school have ended as abruptly as they began last May. And while I have my loving husband by my side, it just isn’t as fun to cook for two, and it isn’t as necessary to maintain the same cleaning regimen with two as it was with four.
The silence is once again deafening, and it has occasionally occurred to me as the mother of five children and grandmother to eight, that I was not designed to live in solitude. My purpose has always revolved around caring for others and ensuring that their lives run smoothly. My needs were always on the back burner, as it was supposed to be for all good mothers. Am I correct?
Perhaps not. Quite possibly, I am overtime for something new.
In these couple of weeks of the annual pondering of my purpose, the excuses for why I had no time for various things has evaporated. I do have time and it’s necessary to focus a bit more on doing things for myself rather than ignoring the fact that I am a human being who also needs a bit of nurturing now and then.
My first foray into this began last June when I traveled to Georgia with a couple of writer friends, and truly, it was liberating and so unlike anything I have done before. Two weeks later, I traveled to New York to help my daughter and son-in-law as they had our newest granddaughter. More recent indulgences have included afternoons of reading, golfing, and becoming a Marriage Ministry Leader with my husband, and a troop leader for American Heritage Girls. Interspersed with my job as a freelance writer, I have been taking self defense courses, and not only learning about my second amendment rights, but successfully passing a couple of firearms training courses and getting my concealed carry licenses to carry a concealed firearm in 36 states.
Now that I have raised a few eyebrows among those who consider me to be a petite, placid, ill-equipped 50 something woman–the desire to expand my knowledge in self defense and the use of firearms has been a burning ember deep within my soul since I was a young girl. I recall watching longingly as my dad and three brothers would be the ones to go to the shooting range. I, on the other hand, was forced to remain home as good little girls should and do ‘womanly’ things. I never understood why girls couldn’t shoot, and this summer, I realized that not only could we shoot, we could do it well.
I think my dad would be proud too. The irony was not lost on me the other day when my husband and I were out shopping. I wandered off while he was looking at movies, and instead of finding me by the clothing or makeup, I was in the sporting goods department, pricing ammo.
So, while the transition to empty nest has happened once again, the sadness that accompanied it has lessened a bit because I have learned that while my life has revolved around children, I am still a person of value and the desire to continue growing and educating myself is ever present.
Now, if you need me, I’ll probably be at the range.