I remember sitting and staring at the computer screen, feeling adrift and empty. The last child had left and all I had to show for twenty years of raising kids were walls covered in smiling faces. Then it hit me, I could do anything I wanted to now!
Feeling like a kid in a candy store, I didn't know what to do first. Recalling dreams from younger years, I decided to look into the long denied passion of writing.
I took courses, I studied, I went on a hunt for all those scribbled notes on envelopes, napkins, grocery lists, and paper. I went back to studying the Viking age that had so fascinated me and given me my first story idea. My kids called and never found me home. They began to worry about my sudden lack of care, maybe even feeling neglected for the first time in their lives.
I think they thought I'd lost it. One commented I was going through a second childhood. To me it was the beginning of my Renaissance of Creative Talent. They looked askance at my reading material littering the table. I remember fondly the phone call I got one night from my youngest daughter.
"Hello Mom? Where are you?"
"I'm out having drinks with my friends."
"But Mom! You don't drink! You're suppose to be home!"
"I have friends now, and we are having drinks before dinner if you must know. I will call you when I get home."
When they did find me home I was staring at a computer screen and typing away. When they asked, and I told them I was writing a book, they shook their heads.
Even though the first book I wrote was not about the Vikings, I wrote about what I knew best, the contemporary West and love. My second book was about a character of a horse I own. Now... I am finally writing the book of my dreams, a historical Viking love story.
So I''ve learn to ride horses, show horses, play the piano, run a convention, crochet, travel and this is only the beginning of my "Empty Nest Bucket List." Meanwhile the kids are shaking their heads wondering where the responsible mother they had for twenty years has disappeared to!