Sunday, January 8, 2012


I dropped Daughter2 at the airport today. Okay, I didn't drop her, but rather I escorted her to the check in counter where we discovered they'd changed the terminal for her flight. I then insisted on accompanying her on the tram all the way around the airport to the correct terminal where I stood and watched and waved and smiled as she inched her way thru security all the way up until she was out of sight. Oh I am too much for my girls sometimes.

Sometimes I'm even too much for me.

My kids grew up navigating airports without a parent in sight in countries where they didn't speak a word of the language. Obviously my 21 year old is quite capable of handling all this on her own and even though she
would prefer it wouldn't mind if I dropped her off at the curb she humors me and allows me to walk her
as far as the law allows to security.

Tonite my two children are in their own apartments in two different states, my husband's in a country halfway around the world (all the way? around the world) and I'm here at home. Welcome to mid-life. I don't know what I imagined life would be like when I got to be the age that I am, but I do know this isn't it. I guess I never thought much past 30 but here I am, way past 30 and still with a lot of stuff to figure out.

My husband says I think too much. He's partly right but some of who I am has been there since birth and isn't going to change now. I'm a thinker and I always have been. Hubs can set a goal, figure out steps 1-10 needed to reach that goal and BAM, done. I quite often can't get past setting the goal. I want that end product but something gets lost in the all important middle. I start thinking and then I think some more and then I set ridiculous parameters and say things to myself like -after x is over I'll do y... week...this summer...soon. Before I know it its 2012 and what in the world did I actually do in the past year towards making my heart's desires a reality?

Am I lazy? A procrastinator? Afraid? Incapable? Not sure what the right answer is but I do know I want to follow the advice I give my own children and not let life sail by without having some say so in how the boat is sailed.

Last year was hard. It was too busy and we were on the go non-stop, and of course we were all dealing with my niece's very serious health crisis, but even on top of all that it was hard. For the first time in my life I felt unproductive. There's no doubt that plenty happened around here in 2011, but I couldn't shake the feeling I was swimming beside the boat just trying to get a hand on the stern so I could climb aboard. In 2011 life pushed me along in a very swift current as opposed to me setting the pace.

Maybe we don't get to choose the pace.

And maybe there are too many metaphors in this post but I think you know what I mean. At least some of you do. Some of you reading here are at a stage in life where your days are ordered by the needs and demands of the under ten set and your only option is full steam ahead. But some of you are like me, in the middle of your life but not sure what to do now that you're here.

I'm going to write more.
Maybe not more on my blog but definitely more the old fashioned way.

On paper.
With a pen.
The way I used to write.
Back when the words spilled out of me and I couldn't catch them fast enough.

I'm still going to blog because I love it but I'd like to try my hand at other kinds of writing too. I told my husband I'd like to try writing 1000 words a day and he said get busy. See what I mean? He hears a goal and he's already on step one. His first thought is DO. I'm still thinking about it. He also said if I'd started writing 1000 words a day back when I first said I wanted to write more I'd have ten books written by now. That is a sad but possibly true statement.

I've never had an anthem before but I'm embracing this one in 2012-

How about you? Are your arms wide open this new year?


  1. Joyce, sometimes I think when the house is the most quietest is when us Mom's think way too much! We are always so busy, busy and on the go we don't think about the tough stuff. Then all of a sudden… WHAM! It's there! Good luck with your writing! I think you are a wonderful writing and thoroughly enjoy your blog. Please,please don't go away! =)

  2. Absolutely! I used to write, by hand, as well. Until arthritis set in and now I can barely hold a pen. So, thankfully, there is a computer and I can do that with no pain.
    My husband traveled all the time before he retired. I spent a lot of time alone. I'm glad he is home now. I'm glad that those lonely days are past me, for now. You see, he is 20 years older and I know, one day I will say good-bye to him. But I hope for a long, happy life with him in retirement.

  3. This is really bizarre, but before I looked at your post (while I was trying to change the picture in my header), I had that song bouncing around in my head.
    I think too much, too, so I know exactly what you're talking about. I need to get off my duff and be more of a doer.

  4. Amen Sister! I have so many things I want to do, but when I get home from work I'm tired and just want to rest. Resting is fine, until I do too much of it and never accomplish any of those things I want.

    I think too, I spend to much time thinking about what I want to do, instead of doing it, like you said.

    So here's to 2012 being more of a doing year!

  5. Oh how I hear you! First of all... I too walk the kids as far as security will let me go and often don't get a backward glance as they (X) navigate security. {sigh}
    Yep... what to do... what to do.
    I think most men are this way. Set a goal and do it kind of mind set. At least my Hubs is that way too.
    Well, that's easy for him to say ~ his 'career' didn't grow up and leave home. Ha.

  6. I think that "Do - Not Think" should be my moto fo 2012. I work part time, when I get home I need to get moving to get something done but instead I sit and talk to my husband since he is now home. I love him being home but it has changed what I do after work now. This too will pass. Write and get it done.

  7. I could have written this post! My girls sometimes think I am too much also. Lindsey was about 1/2 hour late from getting home from work last night at 10pm. I was ready to send out the police instead I sent Kevin to make sure she was still at work! (she was). If you ever want to meet at the mall or something - it can be last minute - I am usually here with Tucker like you with your dog!

  8. I can relate to the overthinking/underdoing syndrome. I, too, feel the tug of the current, and wonder why I am not at the helm more. I do know my life has a purpose, and that I haven't quite reached it yet somehow. You and I are similar in age, but I had my children later. So I still have work to complete there (and do not want to rush it either!). Yet my biological clock is set to midlife - chronologically I am ready for the empty nest, but the timing is off! Still, I think the idea "to write more" is a great one, that I plan (!) to follow. As always, thank you for being so spot on with your musings. It is often amazing to me how much you write about what I have been pondering in myself!

  9. ditto...ditto...this is a weird time of life

  10. Love this post. The metaphor of the boat is so right for many of us at times. And I know I've heard those same words, 'You think too much.' :-) Personally, I think it's a good thing to think. I'd rather be accused of thinking too much than being careless. I think we like having that grip on things so that we can know we've made a difference. A friend of mine is trying to help me learn that productivity doesn't just relate to projects but to relationships. Results aren't always tangible. Thanks for this thought-provoking post, Joyce.

  11. I feel like I don't have time to think. ;) There is so much I want to do, but not enough hours in a day. I read somewhere that you get out what you put into something-which is a pretty obvious statement, but it clicked with me. I am trying to focus my energy on a few, specific things so I can do well, instead of spreading myself thin over many areas and "barely" getting by.

  12. So much to say in response this post, Joyce. In many ways I can relate. I was nodding along and saying "yep, yep, and amen, sister!" as I read this ,especially about swimming beside the boat in 2011. I will probably post myself soon about my feelings. I feel a weighty post coming on (a result of much thinking, of course!) My husband appreciates when I write because it's the way I use up my words instead of spilling them all on him. He says talk is cheap. Do more, talk less, is his motto!

  13. Wow. So many of us in the same age bracket can relate! I don't worry about not doing, but instead worry that my time is limited and I can't make the difference I want to make.
    This is my first year of truly feeling like an "empty nester." I have discovered it's not when the kids go off to college that it happens, but instead when they get "real" jobs and apts in other cities. I still keep their bedrooms here at home tho. ( : So, I too understand this transition time. I have started a small charitable activity of providing layette baskets to needy moms at our local hospital. It has become a mission for me anad I like using my extra time, and my energies towards it. I think we all need to have something to work at, to feel good about, and to make a difference. Good luck with your writing, or whatever you choose to DO!

  14. are not alone in how you feel. I'm just a few steps behind you. Brittany is off at college and Abby has only 3 years left here at home before she flies the next. I'm beginning to wonder what I will do when that happens...and I don't have the answer yet. I'm thinking about doing some subbing for the local elementary and middle schools in the near future. Maybe that will help me find some direction...I'm sure you will find yours, too!

  15. Yep, yes, yeah and amen. I haven't felt so uncomfortable in my own skin since puberty. Let us know what you figure out!

  16. Well, well, well...........this was one of my favorite posts ever! I likely do not think enough, but rather jump in and hope for the best. :o) Our children are 32 and 35 so we've been at this stage for long enough to somewhat have it figured out. Now, not sure I'm using this time as wisely as I should and I've thought a lot about that lately. And, the fact that I'm about to turn 60 has really caused me to think. If I want to do it, have hopes of doing it, then I'd better get busy. I just hope and pray that I have and will continue to make a positive difference in the lives of people I come in contact with.

    I'm thinking it was easier when our days were ordered for us and we didn't have all this time to ponder how to spend our time. ~just a thought~

    Have a wonderful new week and get that pen and paper out girl!

  17. I hear ya friend. I feel like I have no idea of what's next. My nest is very empty. The youngest has been married for 1.5 years. Maybe the fact that we moved right after that to a very less than desirable place is what makes me feel like I'm in limbo. I never thought we'd be here even this long. I keep waiting for the next thing. Seeing from all the comments so far, does it make you feel any better that there are a bunch of us swimming alongside the boat with you?

  18. I just watched Jane Fonda on the Own channel. Oprah Presents Master Class. I thought it was very good. Anyway we come to a point in our life where we are not sure where we should be and where did it all go. I feel that I am lazy but I am also very tired of the same routine as in: cooking, cleaning, etc. I feel I want more from life. How you keep sane with all your busyness amazes me. You had a very full year in 2011. I also learned a lot from Oprah's Lifeclass that was on. It was excellent. They will be starting up again. I got so much inspiration from them.

  19. I'm feeling your angst. Seems as if we're hitting the point in our lives where things are changing, and we're back to figuring out who we are. Kudos to you for going back to the good old standby...pen and paper. I specifically like computers BECAUSE my fingers can finally keep up with my brain.

  20. oh, joyce. womanhood & motherhood are always evolving, right? combined, they leave me with quite the list... and i, too, find myself getting lost in the middle. swimming. (((hugehugs)))

  21. I think every woman in my immediate circle of friends (all post-40) has voiced much these same sentiments. I know that I have. For those of us who've raised our kids, the world opens up again and seems to say, "What now?"

    It took me a few years to get my footing, but I now have a vision of the next chapter and am enjoying helping it along. Life is good.

  22. I know exactly what you mean I am here with you. I think I am starting on my masters degree this year. Don't know what will happen after that.

  23. Yep. I know just what you mean. I've gone through the house. I've organized the 25 years of photos. I've worked in the yard to the point that what's left is stuff Hubs has to do. All of that stuff is great. But, once it's done, what's left? I am writing. More and more every day. It's so different from raising the lovelies. There are no schedules to keep me focused and in line. And this just might be my biggest challenge for getting it done.

  24. I know exactly how you're feeling....I've had that feeling: "What do I have to show for my life?". I had dreams and ambitions but I let my role of wife and Mother become my life. Then I stopped myself and told myself: I have made a difference in the lives of, not only my children, but others as well. Yesterday, I spent a while on the phone (rare for me) talking to my foster daughter for the first time in 3 years. Its hard to describe my feelings for her. She left us at about age 4. She was our child for almost 4 years. We didn't see or hear from her for about 20 years but there is a connection there that fills my heart with a need to be part of her life. God puts people in our lives for a reason and a season. Being a Mother is 24/7 for so many years and you're right, we are still Mothers all their lives. We have to be there for them but also step back and let them live their own lives. The balance is hard sometimes.
    Enough said,
    Mama Bear