Saturday, September 14, 2013

Empty nest struggles

I feel like I've been craving this solitude and freedom-to-work and focus for so long, and now it's finally here, and I'm freaking out.  I don't know what to do with myself.

Most of the time, I am hovering around the Cirque site, just close enough to be here if Isa needs anything.  A couple of days into school, I realized that she really doesn't need anything.  And so began the first of my new stages of panic.

In the first week, I tried to keep myself really damn busy.
I took classes at the fitness center, and went out for long bike rides alone.
I read a couple of books.
Studied Russian nearly every day.
Started a new knitting project.
Taught English lessons.
Wrote blog profiles.
Managed the circus school's bookkeeping.
Conference-called with colleagues in other countries.
Worked on the kids' scrapbooks and photo albums.
Caught up with friends at the site.

Around the beginning of Week 2, the Wall of Depression hit.  I know the signs - depression and I are old frenemies.  But in those early-warning signs, nowadays, I'm a fighter.  I don't succumb easily.  My strategies usually start off super-healthy - pushing harder at the gym, treating myself to giant salads - and if that doesn't work, I might shift to sappy-movie-watching and chocolate.  The end of the road for me is when I don't want to get out of bed.  And fortunately, in this round, we have not gotten there yet.

So, a couple of days into the effortful pick-me-ups, I hit another couple of stumbling blocks.  A long-planned coffee date with a friend fell through, leaving me feeling despairing about the social universe of the tour, and my inability to find truly compatible friends.  (Women who are hard-driving, and ambitious, and adventurous, and down-to-earth.  Women who get up early to hit the gym, who take classes for personal challenge, who love their families but need breaks from them, who read, who don't care about fashion and manicures, who have fears and anxieties and like to talk about them....)

Then I had an unpleasant interaction with someone at site, who gently reminded me that I don't have a  role here .... I am not a company member, only a wife, and I need to remember my place.  This wasn't what my ego needed this week.

I'm now entering a new phase, let's call it Lethargy-Apathy.  I'll save the full exploration of this phase for another day.

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