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The forties have been a mystery to me. Never have I felt so many emotions all at once. I quit a good job for God's sake. I had a set schedule and I had structure and I picked it up and threw it out the window. I just knew I had to escape. I had to shake things up for myself in order to find out who I am now and who I want to become.

I have a favorite place that I love to sit as I ponder my journey. It is my front patio. A few years back my husband built this patio and fire pit brick by brick all for me. Okay, I guess it was for everyone I just like to think of him out there sweating in his manly man way just to please me. Once again, isn't it all about me?

God I love my kids. In all their teenage blunders. I love my kids and their leaving me. Slowly but surely. Why does this hurt so bad? They leave to find themselves. Their happy. They are excitedly and happily poised on their futures. What will I do without them? What will I focus on then? I think I am getting to some core issues here. In amongst my ramblings a bud forms. What it will turn into I don't know. I just know that I am torn up. I can't decide if I am happy for the time to come or terrified. I worry incessantly for them. Will they make the right decisions, will they find a career they will love, will they remember their religion? Will they still call me? Will they come back? Such loss of control it eats me alive. Thus my journey. Thus my restlessness. Thus the need for a quest. A quest to find who I am now and who I want to be. Its there. I know it is.

I remember when I was their age. All I could think of was escaping so I could find my own way. Have my own family and develop the ideals I wanted to share with them. Now they like I was, are poised for their grand escape. I don't mean to be a big ball of mush but its how I feel about it.

I can hear my mother's voice. "Its what they do honey. They grow up and they move away like you did." That's was terrifies me most. I think I escaped my teenage years on a string and a prayer. Will they escape unscathed?

So with this great journey I am on I came to the realization that the empty nest is a key part of this whole journey I am on. As you may have noted from my above ramblings, I am not taking this leavin' the nest thing real well. Thus the need for the journey part. I have been going through what feels like anticipatory grief. Anticipatory grief is the minds preparation for impending loss. Loss I say. This is a term used for people who are grieving a death or who are grieving in anticipation of a death. Not for a potential empty nester! But, its how I feel. So maybe I need to give it a new name. How about anticipatory empty nest anxiety/terror?

When my kids were little I used to revel in the idea of playing with my flowers, riding horses with friends and having all this glorious time to do whatever I darn well pleased. It sounds fabulous doesn't it? But the cruel joke in that idea is that when I finally do get the opportunity to do those things I am too tired to mess with it and I find myself sitting on my patio instead of "playing" with my stuff. So in all of this anticipatory loss I find myself questioning how is this going to work? How am I going to feel? So, in my "deal with what you can actually do something about" brain, I decided I will work to make every minute count with my kids. Embrace them in their teenage stage. Love them, let them know I am here and will always be here all the while clinging to the moments because I know our time is short.

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