Tuesday, August 11, 2009

TIME

This little feather has been blowing around my patio for the last couple of days. This morning I went outside with the dogs and it was still there, wedged in a corner. I picked it up and placed it on the table, hoping to get a picture of it, but it kept blowing away. I tried holding it, but couldn't get the right angle holding the camera with one hand. Finally I gave up and walked away. A bit later I came back and noticed the feather was still on the table. I held my breath, picked up my camera, and got this shot.

Lately I have been thinking increasingly more about time. The past, present and future. There are so many changes going on in my life, but so often I feel like I am stagnant. Immobile. All the while, time is blowing away much as this feather did. I have so many things I want to do, want to achieve, want to accomplish, but something inside of me has changed and I don't know how or why. Things I wanted before, I don't any longer. And things I never wished for in the past, I long for now. And as I struggle with these thoughts, time just passes by, and I know with all of my heart that time is precious.



I have lived a very wonderful life. I have been gifted with so much that I really have nothing to yearn for. I can look back at my younger years and then those years newly married, having children, making a home and though I have many regrets, they all came with huge lessons learned. And as glorious and perfect as one's life can appear on the outside, there are stories that can be told that are far from all appearances.

I have heard that the reason elderly people talk so much about the past is because that is where they want to be. Their glory days. The days of love and sun and sand. This is not to say that we can't grow old happily, we just tend to forget the bad and languish in the good. And lately I have been doing a lot of that because I just don't know what the next chapter of my life will be like. I am not afraid to turn that proverbial page, it just feels as if I have only so many more pages to fill in and I don't know what to write. I don't know where to start.




I have lived such a great life. I have had so many passions. For family and friends. For cooking and gardening and reading and writing. The love I have for my four children is almost too much to hold in my heart! I am filled with gratitude. Those years raising them and being a wife, yes, there are some pages I would definitely erase if I could. But mostly I think I did a pretty good job and jumped over many more cracks than the ones I could have fallen in to.

However something had changed inside of me and it has been gradual. It has just reached the point where I seem to be doing more self~examination than I do taking action. Of course, most of you know I am facing the empty nest as I droned on about in a post a few months ago. Bu this is bigger than that. And yes, it involves what I want to do with my life now, but foremost, what happened to the old me?

I came to the lake for these two weeks with a long mental list of all the things I wanted to do and take care of. I wanted to spend a lot of time outdoors, something I don't do much of at home. The Husband asks if I want to take a boat ride and I usually have an excuse like the weather is crappy or that I'd rather just chill on the patio. I have yet to go on the wave runners, just a little bit of intimidation by these huge powerful machines and the fact that The Husband rides pretty fast and I waver between keeping up with him or losing him. (Losing him where??). Cooking. I was going to try some great new recipes for healthy meals and salads and bake some not so healthy desserts. I have a new kitchen after all. And I was going to spend some time organizing this new kitchen. Do you remember moving in to a new house and being so excited to arrange and decorate a room just how you imagined or planned? And I was going to work in that big old English garden of mine, weeding, trimming and planting more perennials. Put trellis's up and start to train my wisteria to climb. And with paint and supplies already bought, start on several make~over projects. And I was going to READ! And I did not set my sights too high, I only brought along two books.
I have less than a week left of my vacation and I have not done one of these things.



A friend of mine that lives up the road, someone I have known for eighteen years, came by the other day. She said, "Blondie, what has happened to you?". She wasn't being rude, she is very straightforward and that is what I love about her. And I wanted to cry. She said, "Before, when I would come down here, I would find you working in your garden or painting the bathroom. Just look at you!" And I did. Same old T shirt and shorts, no make up and hair in a ponytail. The good old five minute get~up~and~go mode. And I had been sitting in a rocker near the window, just staring out, drinking coffee most of the morning. I confessed to her that I didn't know where the old Blondie had gone. It seems she has faded away. I make all my plans, but do I really care enough to complete them? Is it possible that all the things I used to love to do no longer matter to me anymore? Have I lost interest? If so, what will replace these passions? What will fill my days? What will fill my time now that I have less years ahead of me than behind?





Another friend of mine stopped by last night and we talked for quite awhile. I asked her if this might be a phase. She said, "Blondie, this is now...you are being still. You want to be still. Accept it and move on when you are ready."
I think that was good advice. It doesn't completely ease my mind or answer the relentless questions. But the fact that I am asking the questions is putting it out there. I do have pages and pages more to write. But right now, maybe I am like that beautiful swan feather, just blowing gently in the wind. Waiting for a safe place to land.
I took all of these pictures of our beautiful swans and their babies this morning near my beach. They bless us every summer with their wonderful presence.
xoxo
Jane





73 comments:

Jenny said...

I just read your post and then saw Laurie Colwin in your favorite things on your sidebar. OMG--I discovered her books when I was still in college and I love her-very sad that she died so young! Probably premature to say this, but you must be a kindred spirit :) My bold guess is that the old you is still in there, just like the little girl you once were is in there, too. These parts of us just shift around a bit over time. But now you have a little time to reflect on what's been happening all along.

Joanne said...

You have some amazing friends. Just one word of caution about sitting too long it might get too comfortable. I was just discussing this earlier with someone about stepping out of comfort zones - I have done that a lot in the last eight years. Its difficult but as your one friend said its not so bad to just sit and "be" - don't let it last too long though.

Kathleen Grace said...

I have felt the same thing since my girls went off to college. Our whole life and focus does change when we aren't "needed" the same way we were. Maybe it is time for us to rediscover ourselves? Mom's live for their families and when things change we are free to change too. As for time passing...none of us know how long we have. People die in their teens. Just live one day at a time, that is all any of us have anyway. Contemplation is fine, but sometimes we have to make ourselves do something fun too:>) I'll be praying for you.

Joyce said...

I can identify with how you are feeling. I think that I am shedding myself and ready to reinvent myself and start life anew at the young age of 60. Problem is I am not sure who I am going to be these days but I wish my biological clock was now running in the opposite direction:)
Joyce

Wsprsweetly Of Cottages said...

This...was a wonderful, open and honest post. I loved it.
It sounds like you are in another faze of maturing. Transition? Whatever the case, where you are right now, is where you are supposed to be my sweet friend.

I noted something. I don't believe there is any meaning to it..just a way of speaking but, I noticed you said "the husband" when you referred to the love in your life. You referred to the beach as "my beach." It would usually be the other way around...and I just found it interesting.
I believe I have been where you are now. Another door, another chapter is about to open. Enjoy!
Blondie, do you miss the "wanting?"
Passionately wanting something is such a natural high...
I was there once, but it passed and now I am once again enjoying that passion...though it may be short lived..who knows. :) For all I have endured and lost...I am doing wonderfully..and that pleases me. Now to just get well..:)

~smiles and hugs!~
Mona

Stacey said...

Jane, you have described a stage I've gone in and out of for the past year. My sons are 17 and 20. They don't need me quite the way they used to and that is something I have to accept. It's a weird stage for a mom! I've thought about the things I used to "want to be" and they aren't the same. So, now what?

June said...

A wonderfully written post. I know that I have gone through similar times in my life and I'm not sure there are answers. I'm not sure there are supposed to be answers. Pondering on who we are and who we want to be is always good therapy.
I never went through 'empty nest' because we have our son who will always be with us. Caring for our children is such a part of who we are as women that it is hard to find our own identities. My guess is that that's what you are doing right now.
Hugs,
June

Domestic Designer said...

What a wonderful post. I think we all go through these stages in life. My youngest child went to college last year. I remember feeling just like you do but the feeling did pass. Now I have tons of projects going at the same time. I have reinvented myself in a way. Take your time...each day will get a little easier and pretty soon a new you will emerge. I will be thinking about you! Take care.

Knitty said...

Your post brought tears to my eyes. Without the empty nest part and omitting gardening references, you could be describing the last 9 months or so of my life.

I waver between enjoying the freedom of not having the deadlines and some of the responsibilities I had a decade ago and feeling panic over not knowing how many decades I have left.

You know what? We have never known how much time we had left. We just assumed at 30 that we had many more years ahead, but in reality, I almost died at the age of 30. Why am I dwelling on things now? I think we get reflective for many reasons, and they aren't all bad.

A few decades ago you may not have stopped to photograph the feather and I may not have paused to marvel at your photo. All your photos are lovely, but the feather really touches me. You should mat and frame that one.

Thanks for visiting my blog. I updated my sister-in-law's condition today and added a new piece of advice, this time about garbage disposals. What I really should have said is that we should eat out all the time. :)

Cindy said...

Hi Janie,
You left me such sweet comments and I so appreciate that. I am so feeling what you are. My nest has been empty just one year and its been hard. You do feel like you need a new direction and sometimes just finding it is so hard. I cried a lot at first but now I am just adjusting. I am also hoping for grandchildren when before I wasn't. My husband Dan is my best friend and confidant and I think that helps a lot. He doesn't always understand, but he sure tries to. I want you to know you can talk to me anytime- e-mail me if you want. Hugs and just know I am thinking of you, Cindy

xinex said...

Your swan pictures are so beautiful, Janie. The setting is so peaceful and serene. That might be why you do not want to do anything, why you are at a stand still. Perhaps the relaxation is making you settle and that's not a bad thing.

I hope you are not getting depressed about Abby leaving soon. Don't be, because she will be back and you will have a new place to visit. It will be exciting.

Thank you for all your advice about our garden. You know I welcome them very much. You are welcome to decorate it anytime. I wish you were here, I need a lot of help, LOL! I am so tired! I laid some sod today and I am not done yet. A chimenea would be perfect at the bottom pit. I have been looking but I just have not found what I like....Christine

mbkatc230 said...

Janie, this is such a wonderful, heartfelt post. You have described so well what I think so many of us go through as our children mature and leave the nest. Our identities are so tied up in our family that it's hard to separate mom/wife/sister/daughter from you by yourself. But these things are what shape the person we are to become. I have a very hard time with change personally, but I'm trying to "go with the flow". And now, I relish those quiet times when I can sit and do nothing if that's what I choose to do. Sometimes it takes these times of stillness to hear the voice telling us what we need/want to do next. On a totally different note, while squirrels technically can carry rabies (they are mammals), it is extremely rare. However, there have been a few very isolated reported cases, so your Dr. was correct to take the precaution. Our State Health Dept. will only test rodents if they have in fact bitten someone. Hope that clears that up. Hugs, Kat

April said...

What a poignant post, Janie! Truly touched my heart! I, too, often wonder what my life will be like once my girls are off on their own. Will I chase the dreams I've sort of put on the backburner to be a stay at home mom for all these years? I just don't know and it is a little daunting. I think you just need to take time to regroup, but don't be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and take some chances, whatever that might entail. Praying for you!♥

Lynne (lynnesgiftsfromtheheart) said...

Blondie, while reading your post I felt many of the same things you are feeling. The feelings get so strong at times you almost feel over whelmed. I think you have some wonderful friends that speak boldyl but truthfully to you. Those my friend are priceless to have. I hope this finds you able to find the "new"- "old" you. But which ever one you find know we love you for who you are now. Thanks for sharing so openly what some of others seem to keep hidden. many many hugs ~lynne~

C'est Moi, Julie Marie said...

I just turned sixty in May and find I am at the best time in my life...I treasure my childhood memories and those more recent...please don't look at life like your glass is "half~empty" remember, it is "half full"...If you think you are old, then you will become old... I try to think young, (young at heart, that is)...I recently put some beautiful little quail I photographed on my sidebar of my blog, walking down a pretty little path with a favorite quote of mine... "Follow your heart... it knows the way"... Julie Marie

Maryrose said...

Hi Janie,

I think this wonderful post hit home for alot of us going through this stage in our lives. My children are grown, my last just graduated college. I felt the same way you did but recently I have had a new vigor, new energy and a renewed love of life.

Enjoy your quiet time now, the new and improved Blondie will emerge quite soon. There is always next time at the lake house to attack those projects.

Precious time does pass too quickly, we are so caught up with raising the family and tending their needs that we don't realize it is passing. It's your turn now to tend your own needs (imagine that), and enjoy your time with your husband.

I loved your post, enjoy your day.

Maryrose

PS - your pictures were amazing

linda said...

This post really touched my heart, maybe because I've had some of these exact same feelings over the past few years myself. We are now empty nesters and I do attribute alot of these feelings to that. The days now are bittersweet for sure. I find myself wishing I could go back and experience raising my kids all over again. Like you, there are certain things I would change, but for the most part, I'd just love to have the chance to do it again...I loved it that much.

I found myself just sitting on the computer alot, putting on weight, and not enjoying life as usual... and that wasn't me. Plus, menopause didn't help either. I finally just took hold and started getting back to the "old" me. It's an effort Blondie, believe me, but I refuse to let this part of my life pass me by. Taking this time to reflect is maybe just what you need to be doing. You'll know when it's time to rediscover the old you...and I'm sure it's just around the corner!

The Quintessential Magpie said...

This is an incredibly beautiful post, Janie. I am feeling some of that myself. I want to put it into words, but I think you just did it for me. I wish you could see the light through the window right now... it looks just like light does when fall is only heartbeats away. It's hot as blazes today, but you'd never know that from the light.

I'm getting ready to go on break and wanted you to know where I'd be. I will come see you when I get back if not before. Love to you, my sweet friend.

XO,

Sheila :-)

Cindy said...

I know exactely where you are. There is a medical term for it but we won't go into that. I've been through it. It's not easy, it's the hardest place I've every been. I hurt when my babies didn't need me anymore. I still do! BUT

I realize that the Lord has been very good to me, he's shared with me his most precious gifts. I still have them, I can still use them. I know that there will be more gifts to explore.

There's a whole new world out there Blondie. It's your childrens world, just try and keep up with it. You'll be so busy you won't have time to enjoy the rest of your world.


cindy-stitches-n-things.blogspot.com

Joan@anythinggoeshere said...

A very reflective and honest post. The fall always makes me re-evaluate things..something about the coming of winter. I wanted you to know, too, that you won one of my backup giveaway prizes of a vintage tea towel. Congrats. Email me with your address, The post about it should be up by the time you read this. xo Joan

Janie's World said...

You are such an honest and open person. I know you will find your way. Sometimes, we just have to learn to be still and not let society pressure us into having a focus. Soon you will find the things that you want to do. Don't give up, have lunch and outings with your husband and friends and the rhythm of your new life will begin to move you.

Mary said...

Dear Blondie, this introspective post shows how kind and gentle you are. As your wise friend said, "this is your still time", use it wisely and make it your winding row of stepping stones across the stream into the future. Soul-searching can be very positive.

We all go through periods like this. My days are usually busy but, every now and then, I feel frozen in time and cannot function normally for 24 hours. You are still young and have plenty of time to plan ahead, whereas I realize perhaps my years may be short and I must not waste any days. And, dear friend....that's really all of us have, today, this day, which can never be regained so we try hard to make the most of it.

Enjoy your vacation time without feeling guilty. You DON'T have to do all those things on your list, just pick a few and use the extra time to enjoy staring out the window at Nature..........after all it brings you happiness and that's good medicine for both heart and soul.

Love the photos by the way -
Hugs, Mary.

P.S. I wish I had your hair!!

Rebecca said...

Hello
Your post was very honest and I appreciate that, I do not know you so I feel maybe I am over stepping boundaries here but... it is that time in a womans life where all kinds of changes happen. I raised 6 children from the time I was 18 and always had a ton of stuff going on from the kids to the grand kids to the shop to my art to my spiritual walk and 2 years ago it felt like things were coming to a screeching halt. I gained weight - didn't have the energy I usually do and the thing that bothered me the most was I didn't have the passion I once had about the things I always loved, my art, collecting, decorating etc. A lot of it was hormones and I found I had a thyroid problem or I hate to say it - getting older or my age which I refuse to give into. Anyway I guess I am just saying this too will pass.
Take care
Blessings
Rebecca

Melissa Miller said...

Jane you are amazing! What a truly talented and gifted writer you are. You captured my attention from the first sentence to the very last word.

I really think you are just fine. You sound like you are being a little bit hard on yourself. You can't do everything in one summer.

I always see your warm and sunny personality showing through in every comment you have ever left me my friend. Thank you for being so sweet and such a good friend to all of us in Blogland.

~Blessings, ~Melissa :)

PS My hubby relocated the spider to another part of our yard.
He then made a new web. Then he dissapeared. We did try.

Melissa Miller said...

The swans are sooo beautiful! :)

Libby Murphy said...

Blondie
Honey child, when you're rested get up and dance. Life changes, we change, surprises happen, love conqueors, dream on, reach for the moon and you might catch a star. It' like Mame said,"Life's a banquet." The swans and the feather are lovely.
Happy Twirls

prof en retraite said...

Hi Jane...What a touching and honest post! I am very blessed because my daughter is not far away and has continued to need me, as she had her first child very young. But I have learned to find pleasure in the little things. I love the smell of coffee and the sound of my kitties purring. I have reached a peaceful place in my life and I don't seem to need all of the activity to feel fulfilled. I hope you will find a place that feel comfotable for you, Jane. It will happen. Just give it time....hugs...Debbie

Laura said...

What an amazing post. We are going through the same things and as much as I love the writing- I have wondered of late if blogging daily and reading blogs, and sitting with my laptop in my lap is sucking the life's energy out of me??? It certainly makes me less active.

I know I sometimes analyze things too much- maybe this is like waiting for an elevator?

A door is going to open.

You are not alone-

Laura

PS- I am going to make a list of what I want to do and start with one thing.

I wish I had a friend who would say what your friends said-

Karin said...

You are so good at putting your feelings into words. I've been feeling the same things you've described but couldn't find the words ~ just kind of feeling like life is passing me by ~ fast ~ and not having any control ~ just drifting along aimlessly, unable to focus. My husband and I are going through an uncertain, stressful time regarding job situations, which is a big part of it. I know things will work out for the best. I can't thank you enough for your heartfelt insight ~ that alone has helped. And yes, you are undoubtedly where you are supposed to be.

Thanks,
Karin/Michigan

Deb said...

Beautiful, heartfelt post Janie! Loved reading through the comments ...nice to know other's feel the same way :-) I always think of feathers as "messages"...

Rebecca said...

This is such a lovely post my friend. I have NO IDEA even how I found you...I just did! Must be a God-thing!

I can sooo relate to where you are and the journey you are on. I'm on the same path of change...acceptance...growth.

Thank you for sharing your most innermost self.

Love, Rebecca

Leigh of Bloggeritaville said...

Jane,

I cannot tell you how much I relate to that post at this very moment in my life. I too have been reflecting alot these days. I have one going away to college tomorrow so maybe that has spurred it. But right now, I seem to be a lot of oxymorons. I feel confident, though I am not sure of myself. See what I mean? I just dont....know. And what I dont know, what I am looking for, I dont know. How can one determine the answer if they dont know the question. Am I making sense?
Thanks for this post. I think that of late I feel to hurried, so in the whirlwind, like your feather, that when I sit and be still, I am a bit lost. The other day as I sat in my group of friends, who I adore, I sat and quietly reflected in the people we are and who we are perceived to be and then I wondered about me. Am I fun? AM I this, am I that. Am I the person I want to be? AM I a good mom? AM I this or that.....Am I who GOD wants me to be.
And I too reflect and wait....for ???
I feel you my friend. And I appreciate your post. I always look forward to your visits, friend! Thanks!!

Joan@anythinggoeshere said...

I know that you know you won one of my backup giveaway prizes of linens, but you didn't email me your address so i can send it to you. Just a reminder!

Dawn said...

My feathered friends post on Wed. touched on motherhood and giving our children wings. Mine are not quite there yet, and won't be for quite some time as they both have developmental disabilities. I often wonder if they will always be at home.

I think we all go through phases or cycles, but if you feel the sadness just won't lift please talk to your doctor. Our hormones do so much for us but also to us!

In the meantime you have a wonderful group of friends in the real world and here in cyperspace!Trust in your friends and your insticts. Maybe you just need some time to regroup.

Dawn

Martha said...

Life does change and sometimes we have to figure out where we want our next step to go --

Loved the swans . . .

Neabear said...

This post is beautiful! You have hit the nail on the head about what I have been feeling lately but not able to put into words. I have fluctuated between being depressed and being okay. Like one commenter said, I also feel like my life is passing me by and I am missing out on the good things in life. I get emotional at times. I am sure menopause is causing a lot of the crazy feelings. I sometimes feel trapped and that we can never have the good things. My kids live too far away to see often. I am a grandma but don't feel like one, because I am not a part of her life on a daily basis. I do what I can from afar, but it is not the same as being able to see, hold and laugh with my granddaughter. I have only seen her once and she is now 3 years old. If all goes well, we will be visiting my kids in the fall. I hope it goes well, or I will probably really get into a slump. I keep hoping my energy level will pick up and I will do more. I am starting to do more now. Working on my projects. Taking delight in the flowers. Like this morning when I saw my first sunflower had bloomed. I squealed with delight when I saw that this morning. The guy walking outside looked over our way, probably wondering if I was okay. The window was open, so he must have heard me. Anyway, that was a little piece of happiness for me, seeing the sunflower in bloom. I just hope for more of those to occur each day. Thank you for your wonderful post and I love the pictures too.

Barb~Bella Vista said...

Jane, dear sweet lady, where you are now is where you are supposed to be. I believe we all enter a period of reflection when we get a little older. We shed the excesses of the past and re-examine what is important and NOT important to us anymore. Change is good. Some people never change and I believe that is so sad.

You need this time just 'to be.' Be grateful for it. Before you know it....you will rise like a Phoenix from the ashes and look out!

Sending love,
Barb

Neabear said...

I saw your commment over at Smiling Sally's place. I didn't know you are hearing impaired! I am too. Wear two hearing aids. Can't anything without them. I mentioned to Sally that I also need to wait for that movie to come out on DVD so I can see it captioned. Nice to know I am not the only one in blogland.

SmilingSally said...

You've written a beautiful, reflective piece. In it, you included a list of "things to do." Apparently, you are not interested in doing those things at this moment in time; that's okay.

The time of empty nest is a time of reflection. The Bible says "Be still and know that I am God." Perhaps you need to talk/think about God.

I wish you peace and happiness.

Laura Ingalls Gunn said...

We truly are kindred spirits. I too am going through a sort of metamorphasis and it is indeed hard to explain. I think I am just wore out to a frazzle and as you friend said "Just needing to be still." I think you are regrouping before setting out in possibly a new direction. As you are also who has lost loved ones who were gone to soon you of course have a healthy respect for time. Self reflection is never easy and I applaud you for doing so.

Rue said...

Hi Jane :)

I think your friend is very wise. I would guess that you are just needing to "be" right now. When you have kids, it's go time all the time and now you don't need to do that, so maybe it's just time to reflect on your life and move on when you're ready.

I think you'll be just fine :)

xo,
rue

Brenda said...

You're definitely in "reflective" mode. And that's okay. In fact, that's often very good. I loved your words here. They have a beauty much as that feather does. Maybe blowing in the wind in some ways, yet sitting very still and taking stock. I don't know your age, but I'm 52. My daughters I had at 17 & 21, so they're long out of the nest. I've been an empty-nester since I was 40. I didn't join the summer book challenge because I too, set books on the nightstand and they seem to gather dust. What are we, dear new blogging friend, if we can't sit still and enjoy and look back? All we have is time, really, and it is fleeting, like that feather with its delicate wispy charm. Why not sit awhile and relive and think back? Because sometimes not doing anything at all is actually everything. It is much harder to sit still than to keep moving blindly and with no thought where we're going next. Don't worry: weeds won't grow around you while you pause.
Brenda

Lori E said...

Well look at how many women feel what you are feeling. Wow.
I can only speak for myself but when I have felt this way I have found the best way out of my funk is to talk about my funk.
When I started to say that I felt depressed or angry or stressed it started to lift and lose it's grasp on me. I am still working on it but knowing I can acknowledge the feelings and carry on it good.

The Summer Kitchen Girls said...

Beautiful post. Hopefully this will become a beautiful stage of life, also.
Karla & Karrie

Teresa @ Grammy Girlfriend said...

Amazing pictures..What a great post....so glad that I stopped tonight.

This summer has been so crazy that I have not visited some of my favorite blogs often. I always enjoy stopping by yours. Have a Happy Sunday! I have a giveaway going through Monday morning.

Chatelaine said...

It's always good to take the time to reassess and see which direction you want to take.

We are always evolving and of course priorities change. It's nice you have a peaceful place to reflect on your life.

We get so caught up in to do lists and accomplishing things that we lose track of time. Take this time for yourself and you'll figure out what to do next.

CurtissAnn said...

Been there. Am there a little. God is working even when we cannot see it; this I know from vast experience now. There are winters in our lives, when all that is growing is deep underground.

I also think of a scene in the novel'Fried Green Tomatoes'. The elderly character tells the younger one: "Honey, you just get you some of those hormones." LOL! Change is a little scary, but goes on just the same.

Thanks for your dear post.
Hugs,
CurtissAnn

Shelia said...

Oh, Jane! I think your friend gave you some good advice! We do go through different stages in our lives and sometimes it is a good thing to reflect and get our heads on straight and don't pressure yourself with projects and all. Just live each day.
Be a sweetie,
Shelia ;)

Dana and Daisy said...

well, I can relate. my only advice, if the doorbell rings and you are still in your jammies or ragged shorts and tee, just don't answer the door! that's what I do on days when I feel like "being still" all day.

Kathy said...

Hey Janie! I think I'm back to blogging - come on over for a visit! I enjoyed this post and the beautiful pictures - so serene. Have a great new week...Kathy

Aunt Amelia's Attic said...

"Blondie, this is now...you are being still. You want to be still. Accept it and move on when you are ready."

Oh I'm so glad that this friend stopped by! She said what I wanted to. You want/need to be still, right now. You want/need to ponder. You don't _have_ to _do_ anything, right now. Look inside. Find the 'you of now.'

We change, and that's wonderful, to me. Being set in amber isn't too thrilling, even if it be our most perfect-looking self that's been set in amber. That's still too _set_. ,-)

Perhaps you could spend your remaining lake time - Really looking within yourself... Not looking for that which used to fill you. Looking for what will fill you, _now_. Looking for what feels like 'your bliss' now.

And even if you come to some conclusions, please approach them with an open mind. Some may work and some may not. But that's cool, too. :-) What's that saying; "It's the journey, not the destination"...

But please, don't spend too much time on looking for the "old Blondie." She's not who you want to find, anyway. "She" was then. Find the "Blondie who is now." :-)

Love your feather photo, and the thoughts/feelings you took from seeing it.

'Aunt Amelia'

Terrie's Lil' Piece of Serenity said...

Jane, I loved this post so much. I think all of are thinking about what is really important to us now. I think what our country is going through has a lot to do with it. I am not interested in buying any material things right now. That is so different for me. I think it's just one day at a time for me right now. Remembering to count my blessings. I am so grateful for friends like you!
Hugs, Terrie

Florida Sue said...

Oh Janie, I am sorry that I did not get by sooner. You are just feeling some aging melancholy.
Life is at that stage where things are changing,physically as well as introspectively. You are somewhat younger than me, but I know that we have walked the same path in terms of emotional issues and some regret. Life is changing for me everyday. I am okay with realizing that I can ever go back to what I once was. But then, I wouldn't want to because this is a retrospective and sweet time for me. I am never going to set the world on fire, but I have a family who loves me and honors me. It is enough for me now to be pain free and happy because I made it through another day in comfort. My husband never seemed to go through this introspection, and probably yours is not either. Some men just don't. Are you feeling a little alone in his busyness? Don't push it. Just be still. You will figure it out. There is a new start for you coming Janie, I am sure of it. This is the transition. Just listen to it in your stillness. you will know. Keep blogging. It's all good.

Love,
Sue

and email me anytime!

Joan@anythinsggoeshere said...

I am just checking to see if your red/white towel has arrived from my giveaway!

Ticklish Mermaids said...

Beautiful pictures and Blog...well Done!

KarenHarveyCox said...

Such a beautiful post. The emotions that you feel right now are a perfect description of a chapter that I believe we all go through when we face empty nest. Or is it the chapter that we must face before we reinvent ourselves. Reflection, I believe is necessary to punctuate the ending of some chapter in our lives, to make way for the new.

Two years ago, I couldn't even imagine that I would be excited once again about something I was doing. I couldn't imagine that I would ever find anything to bring me as much joy as the chapters that had come before.

I promise you, when you sit for a while and get every bit of grief for the chapter that is over out of your system, you will wake up one day and pull out that list of things that you had put aside for another day while you were raising your children.

You will greet the new chapter with as much enthusiasm. You are a "Creative", and creatives never never stop creating. It's just that you are just memorizing these beautiful moments.

You write so beautifully. Perhaps your next chapter will be about writing.

Blessings,

Karen

KarenHarveyCox said...

P.S. Hmmmmmmmmm, have you ever seen so many long comments before? Maybe this should be the topic of that book you might write.

Lynn@ The Vintage Nest said...

My goodness....lots of wonderful advice from all those wonderful bloggers. You have said what I cannot so well and so thoughtfully. As one blogger said, our children have flown the nest and now we have time for ourselves and don't know what to do with it. I am working on it though. :) xo

Brenda said...

Couldn't find an email address for you. Robert and his brother work for me. My husband is a psychiatrist and always at work!
Brenda

Elise said...

Hi, just wanted to leave a comment to say how much I've enjoyed reading your posts today. You have a great blog, and I love your pictures. Thank you so much for sharing them !

Cindy (Applestone Cottage) said...

Good Morning Janie,
Are you still up on the lake? Isn't Lake Michigan just awesome. I love all the Great Lakes that I have visited Superior is so deep and blue, Huron is like an aqua marine color, Ontario is lovely and then of course Fabulous Lake Michigan. I think they are every bit as pretty as the Ocean! I am so going to get to Chicago before the end of the year and maybe we can do lunch. I have thought about your post a lot, very reflective and so true for so many of us middle age women. Take care of yourself, hugs, Cindy

Anne Marie said...

Being that I am the 61th person to comment, I will keep it brief ;)

I thought of telling you that I loved your writing....I thought of telling you how poetic and full of promise your words rang....but I also thought of expressing the same yearning....I think all of us can relate..........but know this Blondie...you will never be completely at peace on this earth, that Our Lord is calling deep within you.........and you are listening.....being that August is the month of the most holy and immaculate heart of Mary, there could be some yearing in your heart to be comforted by Our Lady.

Your joy of spirit, and reflective heart, is wonderfully refreshing....and may I just add, your photographs were gorgeous, and your honesty is inspiring.

Maryrose said...

Hi Jane,
Just checking back to say hi. I always love when you visit and wanted you to know. Hope to hear again from you soon.

Again this was a great post and I hope you are finding your happy place. :)
Maryrose

C'est Moi, Julie Marie said...

Hello Jane, I am back for a second visit... the first photo of the white feather is so beautiful, and your post tying it all in is just lovely...

Florida Sue said...

Checking in..saying hi! Thinking about ya.

Rhondi said...

Hi Jane
You are feeling the same things that most mothers feel at some time in their lives. We give our all for our families and one day we realize there is nothing left of us and that's when it can get interesting because you all of a sudden have choices, a foreign concept for a mom. Life is full of transitions and it sounds like you are in one right now. You have a gift with words, maybe do some writing?
((hugs)) Rhondi

food with style said...

what a beautiful, honest, candid post... i can so relate to what you are saying and doing, i just didn't articulate it as well as you. i too sit and ponder, this must just be a natural progression in life, on to a new chapter day by day...

French Cupboard said...

I heard something recently that has helped me... "Be Present". I turned 40 recently and did quite a lot of reflecting. I've decided that it's time to be who I want to be when I grow up. NO major changes but letting inhibiitions stop me from trying new and beautiful things.

God is with you and He alone is what brings joy to life, no matter if it's the old us or the new us. =) Talk to Him. And keep talking here. Blogging has an odd therapetic effect.

Blessings... Polly

Debbie Pearson said...

I don't know that I can add anything to what all the other wonderful ladies have already said. For me I found it was a time of rediscovering who I was after all those years. I trust you will do the same, in time, because it does take time. Hugs, Debbie

Olive Rue said...

Hey Jane. Haven't been over in a while. Just wanted to say hello. Love the swan photos. I hope you have a good weekend!

Sincerely Yours said...

Hi again Janie! When I read this post I was compelled to find and read your Path to Empty Nest post! Dear you have described me to a tea in both posts!!! My only child/daughter left the nest 8months ago and I know that is part of what triggered my exact feelings you describe in this post! I'm searching for answers as you are and I think your friend's advise is totally appropriate! It is our time to be "still"! To top it off she left a half hour ago after dropping off her "dirty laundry" at the door on her way to a get together at a friends! I almost got a hug but her friend was watching!!!lol Thank you Thank you for so eloquently putting my thoughts to words! Best Wishes to us as we find our place now! Sincerely, Jeannette

Laura @ the shorehouse. said...

Aww, Ms. Blondie. I hope you're feeling better since this post. Even I find myself talking about "remember when..." so I can totally understand why elderly people are prone to...it's like, with each passing year you realize how treasured what's in the past is. And it's sad to know that the past can never be recreated. We've had a tough summer, so it's sort of been hard for me to focus on the good, and the future...which I know in my heart (and my head, when I stop to remember how lucky I am!) still holds wonderful things for all of us.
With love from the shorehouse,
Laura

Kasey said...

Jane...thank you for visiting me...
what a lovely post you wrote...
and yes...what's with this rain??
I guess i'll just be a couch potato instead...all the while looking at the dreary rain.
xo