I felt it yesterday morning, like a palpable echo. When I awoke and remembered my college kids were back at school, I could feel the emptiness of their bedrooms. I didn't have to worry about being too loud and waking them...didn't have to remember to leave a little coffee for the girl...didn't need to think of chores for Daniel (he asked for a list every day he was home - what a sweet kid!)
On the way to work I listened to KGSR on the radio again, not that hip-hop/rap stuff she likes. I didn't offer to share my food with anyone during the day, worried that they didn't bring enough to eat.
At home Tom and I fell back into our empty-nest rhythm...he started the grill, I made the guacamole and finished up the laundry. He cut up the grilled chicken, I cut up the veggies and we took turns decorating the tortillas heating on the griddle. Quesadillas for two. Tons of leftover grilled chicken in the fridge.
It's not that the house is quieter - the kids spent a lot of time in their respective rooms, reading or on their computers. Last night Tom was busy working on the walls in the laundry room, making a lot of noise, plus he had the downstairs television turned on and up loud so he could hear it while he worked...so it was actually less quiet than normal.
Still, there's that echo...a sense that there is just a little more empty space in the house now...a little more empty time.
But I'm not sad about it - just reflective. It's an opportunity to focus on other things...my writing, my drums, Tom and my other relationships. I started back on the book last night and even spent a few minutes on my drums this morning. I enjoy having my kids home, but I enjoy having the house to myself again, too. I'm trying to be organized...to make good use of my time and "get things done"... but I'm trying to be flexible and look for God's direction in my life. I don't want to waste my time, but I don't want to be a slave to my to-do list or even my "dreams" ...in such a frenzy that I forget to appreciate each minute he gives me.
Instead, I want to focus...be in the moment, whether I'm playing my drums or tossing dirty laundry in the washing machine. Too often my brain is running miles ahead of myself, in a hurry to be in the next place, scratching the next thing off of my list. It's time to harness my thoughts, pin them down and just be... here...now.