How I am going to help myself with Empty Nest Syndrome

I have been teaching art workshops for the past 15 years, and during my art workshops, we sometimes talk about things going on in our lives.  Missing our children is a common topic.  I really don’t want to be one of these mothers that whine that her children never visit or spend time with her, so I am trying to continue my life, even though, I really, really, really miss my role as a mom.

My husband and I recently tried downsizing and now we have a really small place and I think that has added to my feeling that my world is changing.  So, what can I do to help myself over this funk?  Certainly there are a lot worse problems than missing your kids.  So here is what I have decided I need to do for myself.  Let me know if you have suggestions.

1.  My job is flexible, so while my kids were in school, I used my free time to go to booster clubs, cook, clean, you know the mom stuff.  I have to give myself permission to exercise now, go to the gym, walk, ride my bike.  I should not feel guilty for this extra time.

2. Stop talking about missing my kids, and the fact my 88 year old mother now lives with me.  Nobody wants to hear me whine about this, so I need to just stop.

3.  I need to paint, paint, paint.  This is my passion and I have turned it into a job, so I need to get busy and make a schedule.

4.  I also have been  selling real estate since 1978, and need to schedule some classes to be more professional in this profession.

5.  Quit comparing myself to younger mothers.  I am not interested in going back in time, and I need to stay positive and be an uplifting person to younger people.

6.  Relax, enjoy, stop and smell and then paint the roses.

Life on the Water

Just got back from Nassau

It is warm down south!!

 

I just got back from a cruise to the Caribbean!!  Now I want to live there.  Everywhere I visit on the water, I want to live there…I love, love, love being on the water.  Why???  I don’t really like to swim, or scuba….I just LOVE painting pics of the water….check out my fabric painting…most of the background is water.  Yes, I am Pisces…my bday is Feb. 23…coming up soon……maybe there is something to that H thing….who knows???

 

I just went tag surfing for the first time…wow, there are some weird blogs out there….people are just putting whatever pops in their head.  So I am going to be less critical.  I just wrote my first E-book on fabric painting.  Now, to figure out how to put a cart on my site so people can buy it.  Gotta go and fix some dinner…always something getting in the way of my blogging and painting!!

The Universe Smiling Back [12/2/13]

My son, Ben Jammin, is traveling the world and the seven seas with the USMMA. Love this post…

Wind & Waves


    Out in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by nothingness, there was something very meaningful to me about connecting with people far away. It’s hard to explain, but there’s something about the written word through letters that really enables you to communicate with others. It might be the extra effort, but I like to think of it more as delayed telepathy. When you hold the other person’s handwriting, looking down and grazing over the calligraphy, their voice enters your mind and you can really feel what they are saying. It’s nothing short of magical.

Out in the middle of nowhere now, surrounded by a different flavor of nothingness, I had a moment. One of those experiences where you feel the whole universe smiling down on you… You see, back in that endless expanse of sand, I’d often stamp my letters with this stamp above, not really thinking much of it until…

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Happiness Experiment. It Worked!! I am happy. Now on to new research:)

My happiness experiment lasted two weeks. I discovered that to be happy, I needed to make time to do my art, which is what I Never MAKE TIME FOR:0 It seems there is always kid stuff to do, house to clean, errands to run, etc. but for the past month, I have made art FIRST, then other stuff second. My kids are grown, and you would think I wouldn’t have guilt putting them first, but oh no….still mother GUILT….but this time, I gave myself an hour to paint, post my stuff at etsy.com/shop/JIllyWillyArt and voila, I sold paintings, and my beach stuff, and still had time to do stuff for my kids, husband, and even clean the house.

I LOVE being over 50….I just heard it is the first day of school in Gwinnett County near me in Atlanta. Poor folks, there is the bus to get up for, kids to dress, etc. etc. Instead, my husband and I will eat cereal in bed (we take turns bringing breakfast to each other:) HIs turn tomorrow:o….then, I will paint an hour, then clean house, run errands, etc. But First, PAINT:) Love the results of my happiness experiment.

It might be different results for you. Do your own experiment. What makes you happy??? Are you making time for it??? If not,what are you waiting for??? There is time for sleeping in the grave (Ralph Waldo Emerson). I would love to hear your comments:) xxoo

Week One: My Happiness Experiment

Week One: I am conducting an experiment to see what makes me happy. Week one for me is to research happiness. I just wrote about 5 pages, and then lost it into cyberspace! AHHH, NOT happy! On that note, I am going to bed and will finish tomorrow after I go to court to try and get my rental house back from some dead beat renters. NOT Happy! Teaching art is what makes me happy so I am going to be doing research on art/happiness and how it is connected.

The Beginning of my Happiness Experiments

On July 5, 2012, we took our son to the US Merchant Marine Academy.  This is my baby, and he left home 4 years ago for college, so I should have been used to the empty nest syndrome, but it hit me again when saying goodbye to him in NY.  There he was, my 2nd child, age 22, going off for a new adventure and I wouldn’t be there to help him anymore.  Don’t get me wrong, I have plenty to do.  My daughter, age 26 is engaged, my mom, age 86, is coming to visit this week, and I have a husband who likes homecooking, cleaning, laundry done, and in addition, I teach art on a houseboat on Lake Lanier.  I have lots of friends too, but I must admit, this empty nest thing is REAL….

So in the airport, I buy a book that might help me out of my funk…called, The Happiness Project, by Gretchen Rubin.  My daughter squealed when she saw it. “I was going to buy that in the grocery store,  but didn’t.  Now I can just read your copy when you are finished.”  

 

After reading this self help book for a while, I decided to start my own happiness experiements.  After all, I had a degree in biology and had never really used it, although I always loved experiments.  So today, I decided that I first needed to do some research on exactly how I would define happiness.  Is happiness a laid back feeling?  Being really busy so that you don’t worry?  A state of bliss where you just float on a cloud?  What exactly did I want to feel?  What outcome did I want to have?  So before I start my experiment, I need to define what happiness is for ME.  Then I need to define my desired outcome, and the steps it will take to accomplish the desired outcome.  Image