Waking the Walker

A mother's quest to survive her son's "zombie" years – aka his teens.

Tag: Empty Nester

Waking the Woman


To all my regular “Waking the Walker” readers I have officially taken the leap from Single Parenting blogging to Self-Discovery blogging.

In January of 2019 I launched “Waking the Woman – a Mother’s quest to rediscover herself after her Son leaves for college”

https://wakingthewoman.com/

Goddess Masthead

This new blog is very much in it’s infancy (pun intended), but if you enjoyed reading my adventures while parenting my Son, I would hope you’d find my journey to rediscover the woman that got lost during those parenting years just as interesting and entertaining. And maybe even inspirational.

To date this sojourn has already hit roadblocks, but unearthing the woman that got lost while focusing on raising my Son is going to take a lot more work than I ever thought.

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As I noted in this months post “Out of Sorts” I have just had the epiphany that I am stuck in the limbo between two worlds: that of Full-Time Mom and Empty Nester. Thus making the road to rediscovery even more challenging.

In many ways I am now the “Walker” meandering the earth being swayed by whatever way the horde may go.

© Mariann E. Danko and Waking the Walker, 2019. All rights reserved.

 

 

 

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“Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.” – Seneca


As one year draws to a close and a new one beckons on the horizon, thinking about wiping the slate clean and starting fresh is an invigorating thing, regardless of what you experienced the previous year.

For my Son and I, 2018 was a year full of a flurry of activity and major change. My Son graduated from high school and headed off to college, leaving me an empty nester.

College

Needless to say this has been a huge adjustment for both us. BUT, now that we are 4 months into it, I can say we are both holding our own.

It was a bit shaky for me the first month or two. Coming home to an empty house, and eating dinner alone being the most difficult adjustments. With time however, it became the new norm, which makes both my Son and I truly appreciate meals together when he’s home on breaks.

So, as a new year approaches, and our new status established, my Son a college student, and me an empty nester, I can officially sign off on “surviving my Son’s zombie years, AKA his teens.”  

With that said, the time has come to bid farewell to my dear friend “Waking the Walker”

https://wakingthewalker.wordpress.com/twd-apocalyptic-parenting-tactics/

WTW-twitter

My first blog post was January 29, 2014 and since then, this blog has not just documented the highs and lows of the past four years, but become the anchor that kept me grounded, and helped bring my Son and I closer.

In addition, it aided me in navigating some very challenging times. By writing about whatever was testing me, I was able to find a way to resolve the issue.

It will not be easy to let go of “Waking the Walker” just as it was not easy to see my Son head off to college, but it is the healthy thing to do. I know it is time for me to focus on rediscovering who I am beyond being a Mom.

In meditating on all this, a line from the song “Closing Time” by Semisonic came to mind: “Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.” – Seneca

Perseverence

This song came out in the late nineties, during the time when I had left my husband and was on a quest to rediscover myself post a suffocating marriage. It was also during this time I met my Son’s father, which in turn lead to me becoming a Mom.

Is it irony or coincidence that this song came to mind as I meditate on once again forging off on a new journey of rediscovery?

Or is it just the universe reminding me that the last time I stepped into this zone the most amazing and wonderful thing occurred. I met the love of my life and became a Mom.

Being a Mom was something I had all but given up on at that time, so it goes without saying that I threw myself in 200%. The center of my universe was and always will be my Son, but I do know he needs to forge his own path, without Mom right by his side. As do I.

Where this new adventure will take me is yet to be seen. Who I am now is very different from who I was back in the nineties before I became a Mom, so this quest of rediscovery will most certainly be different.

Not to say that I’m older and wiser, but I have experienced a lot these past twenty-some years since then, and it is those experiences that will shape and mold my new journey of rediscovery.

Flying Solo

If there is one thing though that I can take from my previous sojourn, it is to “let go and let God.” By allowing things to transpire in God’s time, not our time, we allow the universe to step in and work it’s magic.

So, as my Son and I bid adieu to 2018, and usher in 2019, we will look to the New Year with wide-eyed optimism. Acknowledging that although we are now both on our own adventure, we are still partners in the great adventure called life.

I do hope that some of you who have been regular “Waking the Walker” readers will continue to follow me into my next sojourn. I will post one final post in January of 2019 with the official link to my new blog “Waking the Woman” – a mother’s quest to rediscover herself after her Son leaves for college.

Until then, I wish you all a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year. 

Sunrise

© Mariann E. Danko and Waking the Walker, 2018. All rights reserved.

Adjusting To My NEW Norm


Now that my Son is officially at college, my nest is very empty. With it just me at home, it’s really sinking in that I’m by myself.

This is a norm I have never experienced. I have been single most of my life, but I have always had a “roommate” whether it is family, partner or actual roommate.

This is a norm that will take more time to adjust to than I ever imagined. 

95529519 - the girl is holding a nest of branches in her hands,

For 18 years and 8 months, my daily routine revolved around my work schedule and my Son’s schedules; whether it be daycare, school, extra-curricular or work over the Summer.

Only having to deal with my schedule feels very strange.

This time of year was always our craziest too because of marching band/football season. Not having that is like putting salt into a gaping wound.

I have helped out at the football games as a means to get out of the house, but it’s just not the same without my Son in the band.

Again, it’s the gaping wound.

Read the rest of this entry »

But Really, What ARE You Feeling?


Over the course of the past couple months I’ve spent a lot time expressing the emotional roller coaster I’m feeling in regards to my Son heading off to college this month.

roller coaster

This is an extremely challenging time because I’m excited for my Son to step into his own, but at the same time fearful because it’s all new for him.

Plus, facing the reality of an empty house can be a bit much to bear some days.

In order to ease this transition, I have been doing my best to process my emotions as they roll over me, and been open and forthcoming about all of them, knowing that keeping them bottled up will make dropping my Son off at college even harder.

My Son on the other hand has been very closed mouth. I figured by early August he’d be expressing some emotions regarding his new adventure, but I only recently found out from a friend that he is indeed anxious, especially about meeting his roommate, and believe it not, worried about me being alone.

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Finding out he’s anxious didn’t surprise me. Who wouldn’t be, it’s all new. Everything about his life will change.

But finding out he’s concerned about leaving me alone surprised me. I was touched, but it made me realize I need to make an effort to get him to express these emotions to me so I can assure him Mom will be fine, and so will he.

At about the two weeks out mark, I commented, “You do realize there’s only two weeks till we move you to college, right?”

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SEASON OF TRANSITION


With high school graduation now behind us, my Son and I took some time to relax and reflect on “Days Gone Bye” and roads yet to travel.

The best place for that in my book is the beach. Breathing in the sea air with sand between my toes is the best decompression therapy out there.

Our beach of choice for this trip was Ocean City, Maryland. The town where I met my Son’s Father and the place of my Son’s birth.

When my Son was little we would come back every year, but over time we migrated further north to Bethany Beach. And some years we didn’t even make it to the beach, choosing other locations for a Summer vacation, like Georgia for our TWD Roadtrips.

https://wakingthewalker.wordpress.com/2014/07/31/our-twd-summer-road-trip/

https://wakingthewalker.wordpress.com/2017/07/30/our-twd-summer-road-trip-2017-edition/

This year, considering where we have come from and where we are headed, I felt it was extremely fitting we go back to OCMD. Having lived and work there for three years, I have many fond memories beyond the obvious romance with my Son’s father and subsequent birth of our amazing Son.

This place will always hold a special place in my heart. How could it not?

When I moved to OCMD, I was single and starting over after a divorce. I knew no one, but I knew OCMD was where I was meant to be. My move was most definitely divinely guided.

Of course at the time I had no idea why. Now it’s quite obvious.

When my Son was born, he became the center of my universe, especially after we lost his Father when my Son was only 3 years old. My wants and needs became secondary. All that mattered was my Son’s health, welfare and happiness.

Over the years we’ve certainly seen our share of ups and downs, as documented in this blog, but it’s those challenges and rewards that made our bond stronger.

As with all children, as they grow into their own, and make friends, their parents start to take a backseat, so having a week with my Son all to myself was something I was very much looking forward to.

As they say in the Visa commercial, it was priceless.

By August he will be headed off to college and I will be flying solo, again.

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In between now and then, he will be working his Summer job at an amusement park, and based on the shifts he’s been getting thus far, will more than likely be working a lot of nights, which means we won’t see much of each other. So it just makes the week at the beach, just the two of us, even more special.

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