Since August of last year, it has been just my hubby, dog and me at home now that both sons are away at college. Eight months have gone by and I really have come quite far in making empty-nesting a motivator for positive change in my life. I am more focused on me and my relationship with my husband and friends. It is all working out.
However, it wasn’t that long ago when my mind-set at the start of this life change was anything but positive. It was the end of the world as I knew it… I was the epitome of Eeyore.
Here’s a peek into my early days of pity-partying.
Hubby: “You seem depressed. What will make you happy?”
Me: “Being with my kids.”
Hubby: “What do you want to eat tonight for dinner?”
Me: “Let’s get sushi from the kids’ favorite restaurant.”
Hubby: “Want to go out to see that latest fun movie?”
Me: “I think we should wait and watch that one with the kids when they are home from school.”
Don’t you feel bad for my husband? I really was a bit of a wet blanket at first. I admit I even kind of reveled in my misery a bit. I used the fact that the kids were gone as an excuse to mope about and not care about the usual day-to-day stuff at home.
Meal preparation was dull.
“I didn’t feel like cooking” I would say to hubby as he noted the withered pre-frozen pizza sitting in the toaster oven and the bag of sad salad plopped down on the counter.
House cleaning went by the wayside.
As I listlessly lay on the couch, I would lamely exclaim to my husband “I like to sweep the room with a glance” as he stood in a smattering of crumbs, grey dust bunnies and tumbleweed dog fur scattered about the floor.
My appearance was, shall we say, lacking.
I would vow “ I will try to shower today” as my hubby observed my worn out droopy pajamas, wool socks and scraggly crazy lady hair pulled up onto the top of my head en masse, a beacon for vagrant and homeless birds.
But once the wallowing was done, I did turn it around, started living life again and figuring out new past-times to enjoy. The main one was reconnecting with my hubby and doing fun stuff together: road trips, hikes, trying out new restaurants, wines and lately cognac tasting on colder rainy nights.
But the most amazing thing I have discovered that I really enjoy doing with my husband is to watch college men’s basketball. I never gave it a second thought, but this year I have become an avid fan.
I have become a college basketball reveller and have succumbed to the buzz of March Madness. What can I say? These games are so much fun to watch. College kids are so pure in how they play and interact with each other and are such less drama queens compared to some NBA stars. I like that when a referee makes a call, they don’t have a hissy fit and mostly just keep on keepin’ on… I love the back stories of the players and the schools and the coaches. Of course my husband is more than happy to give me the details of all the teams, especially his favorites from the Big Ten. As a born and raised Hoosier, basketball is in his DNA.
Although I think he may have created a monster.
“Since when are you so interested in college hoops?” my hubby asks as I am slowly becoming one with the couch – going on hour 4 of watching the Elite 8 NCAA basketball games.
“I am now.”
“It’s nice and sunny outside, wanna go for a walk?”
“Not now. The next game starts soon. Bring me a brewski will ya?”
And so it goes, we have become a fiercely devoted college basketball viewing duo. Mostly I cheer for the teams that are underdogs, those with the best uniforms, cutest coach or mascot… But I am happy to say this weekend I have some skin in the game as one of the final four teams in the tournament is my oldest son’s school, Loyola University Chicago.
It will be a tale of David versus Goliath as they will face a bigger school with big talent during the semi-final game. I can’t wait to watch.
Hubby: “You seem to be in a great mood. What’s up?”
Me: “There are two great basketball games on today.”
Hubby: “What do you want to eat during the games?”
Me: “Let’s make some gourmet burgers with spicy aioli sauce and sautéed mushrooms. And why don’t we top it off with cognac and dessert!”
Hubby: “Want to go out later to see a movie?”
Me: “Sure, how about the Spielberg block buster about virtual reality video games?