A few years back I had all my old VHS tapes converted to digital and placed in a cloud account for which I pay an annual fee to have access to anytime I want. It was a great idea and it was and is money well spent. My third and youngest child, a daughter, was finally able to see herself on video as a baby and child and she screamed with glee, “I’ve been waiting for this my whole life!”.
A couple of years ago I did a ridiculously over the top Easter egg hunt for my now adult children and once again, my youngest, with the joy of a five year old (she was 20), ran around in circles apoplectically yelling, “I’ve waited my whole life for this (which I have captured on video, to come full circle). You’d think that the poor third child never had a childhood and didn’t even exist in her mind until these events.
How often do we say, “I’ve been waiting my whole life for this?” I find myself, at age 60, saying it almost daily. “I’m living the big life now baby!”. “I’m having the time of my life!”. “I’ve been waiting for this my whole life!”.
But it’s actually true. It’s a real thing! It’s an authentic emotion and I’m very present for it. I’m basking in it. Everything up to this point has been geared towards getting to this place.
So where am I? What’s so great about my life now? What was lacking before? What was I waiting for? And what do I have left to look forward to now? Lots of heady questions, I know, but I have all the answers.
I am happy. I am (still) in love with my husband of 29 years. I have three grown children and not a dud among them. I have modest financial security barring the unforeseen. I have good health, physical and mental. I am retired after 45+ years of working to live, in a miserable career, not working for a living. We recently moved to what I call my bucket list dream house which is a darling tiny little house in a charming little town where I can walk everywhere and I am much closer geographically to my kids. We left a big beautiful house that we built, lived in, and raised our children in for 29 years but it was time to move on-be closer to where the kids had moved to, downsize and purge, go from an empty nest to a love nest. We’ve found a perfect church, made new friends, decorated our little nest just so and visit with the kids often. We had the most wonderful first Christmas here a few months ago and there was no sadness or remorse over the “old” days of yore. We are making new memories. We spent the night before Christmas Eve walking down to the local pub and eating fried pub food and taking shots all night. There won’t be an Easter egg hunt for the first time in their lives-we don’t have the space. But that’s ok. We’ve moved on from that. We’ll hopefully convince the kids to come to church then go out to a nice brunch, who knows? If they don’t, that’s ok.
I travel a lot, wherever I want, whenever I want. I see old friends I haven’t seen in years who are also now retired and have grown kids out of the house. It’s so much fun, this life! I read all the time; I write when the mood strikes me; I walk my dog and learn about my new neighborhood. I host charcuterie lunches on my big front porch. My husband and I went out for a fancy Valentine’s Day dinner like when we were just starting to date. I take a nap with my loving dog every single day. We eat whatever we feel like whenever we feel like it. My husband is also retired but like most men, he still works doing contract jobs and couldn’t be more fulfilled. He’s had more fun fixing up his office/man-cave than he ever had mowing the three acres of land we once had.
All three of our children graduated college and have good jobs in their field, and my youngest, who still calls me first thing every single day, is getting ready to start grad school. They all live in close proximity to each other and hang out together and genuinely enjoy each other’s company. They take care of each other and they take care of us. I’m learning how to work within their boundaries a bit slower than they’d like; at least I didn’t move to their city, just close enough to visit for a day. They invite us over and their friends like us. They think we are the fun, cool parents. Because we are. We are having a lot of fun. More than I ever expected. I’ve been waiting for this my whole life. Honestly, I couldn’t be happier. What comes next? More of the same! I plan on living out my remaining days, my many fewer tomorrows than yesterdays, just as I am right now. I see no problem accomplishing that. I pray for continued good health for all of us, and I pray, every single day, for another day just like yesterday.
One thought on “I’ve Been Waiting For This My Whole Life”
Excellent! I especially liked the comparison of moving from an “empty nest” to a “love nest.” Love, Bill www.billworthbooks.com