A beloved friend of mine was poking fun at me the other day because I had responded to a text message he had sent to me after 11:30 pm…which he knew to be long after my bed time. He laughed that because of my newly ’emptied nest,’ I was probably “sleeping with my phone nestled at my cheek,” in hopes of receiving calls from my children.
Far from it! I launched at the same time that my children did. In essence, we three ‘bugged out,’ simultaneously. My children are in their mid-twenties and I am 60; it was time!
But in many other respects, as well, this is not an empty nest. My home has one bedroom and one bed…Mine. There is just enough room for me, Stella (elderly dog), and Tubbs (black cat) and I like it that way. In fact, living in a home as small as mine is like living on a boat; if one thing is out of place, that leads to two things being out of place and when two things are out of place, it is a disaster. Right now, I have about 12,002 things out of place. I still am navigating through narrow pathways, but that is improving daily.
Right now, I am unable to locate the portable disk drive to my computer which, in turn, is preventing me from making any progress on 4 projects that require image manipulation; I need the disk drive to reinstall some software through which I scan and clean up old photographs. So, I shall do the next best thing…take a nap. (I love being retired. My physical therapist asked, yesterday, if I intend to get another job. Is she insane?)
Speaking further of ’empty nests,’ there was one on the engine of my vintage sports car. I had to uncover the blue thing to drive it because my daughter’s little red one is threatening to catch on fire. After I peeled off two layers of tarp and dust cover, I then had to find the keys. (Remember the 12,002 things that are out-of-place?) An hour later, I unlocked the car and maneuvered myself into the seat. (The little blue car is compact and low to the ground.) I inserted the key and turned it. There were a few lights lit, a few clicks heard, but none of the usual growl and roar. The battery was dead. When I lifted the bonnet (okay, ‘hood’), there on the engine was a nest made of what looks like brown insulation stuff with a perfectly rounded-out center. An empty nest. It had to have been built a while back because it has been a month or more since that engine was warm enough to be an enticing home. I carefully removed the nest to keep it intact…why, I don’t know…and laid it on the deck beside the car. Who knows, maybe someone will want to reclaim it.
Oh, yes. I was going to take a nap.
This same beloved friend feared that I would be lonely here without my two children. Ha! Stella talks to me constantly (when she is not asleep) and Tubbs checks on me 3 or 4 times throughout the night, making sure I am able to wake up, and that I remember that he requires regular strokes and rubs. I have made new friends and even adopted a few young people my children’s age. I form friendships everywhere from waiting rooms, fast food restaurants, to auto dealerships. David, Dell, Pat, Brooke, Darryll, Sylvia, Nancy, Karen, …these are tech support people that I have spent many minutes, if not hours, with on the phone resolving phone problems, computer problems, and world problems. We swap contact info and they read my writings online.
One final reason why this nest is not empty….and then I really will go take a nap, is that God lives here. My dearest friend, Jesus, is just a thought away. He goes out with me and Stella to fill the bird feeders and sits with me here to write. He gives me most of my ideas and reminds me to let things happen, to not try to control situations, and to trust.
My nest is not empty. My nest, my heart, and my future are all full to overflowing and I am happy. I am blessed to have beloved friends who are concerned about me but I am doing fine. The future is bright even as my home is still cramped with clutter in places. This is not heaven, He reminds me…this is the life before the afterlife. Enjoy it for what it is.
In all fairness to my beloved friend: my children do not call me. Instead, I regularly call them…just in case they are suffering from an ’empty nest.’