It’s been a full week as so many of them are and it’s often the case that full does not equal bad but just equals full, no more and no less, and there are things that need doing, both good and less-good, but this week it’s been mostly good although I’m missing my son terribly (who’s gone off to college) but there have been walks and a bike ride with my daughter (who, thankfully, is still at home) and we had cinnamon rolls for breakfast the other day and last night there were chicken enchiladas and tonight there will be freshly baked sourdough bread and lasagna (I swear I’m not self-medicating with food) which will be especially comforting and delicious after the prep work I’ve been doing for my teen journaling class which is exciting and terrifying at the same time because I’ve grown quite comfortable with running online classes and it’s a whole new arena to show up face-to-face, not to mention to work with teens instead of adults, and that fact is a big one except that I remind myself it’s people, it doesn’t matter if I’m working with adults or teens because, at the end of the day, I’m guiding people and I love guiding people (I love people), not telling them what to do but suggesting ways of being and things to try, things to think about, and maybe shining a little light so that none of us (myself included) forgets to pay attention, so that we remember (myself included) to act with intention whether it’s a good week or a bad week or somewhere in between because I am very much thinking about the in-between, the everything and nothing, the intersection of All and, as I bring this run-on sentence to a close, I hope you feel the fullness and the energy of my words (remembering that full doesn’t necessarily mean too much, it is simply full, no more and no less), and I invite you to embrace whatever fullness you feel in your life right now, may you rest in it, may you attend to what needs doing but also step back from what might wait a little while so that you can breathe deeply and evenly and, in that deep and even breathing, know that I’m shining a little light for you as you live your everything and nothing, as you live your All, as you step into the fullness that is yours.
sending a little love your way, m
P.S. This is an example of some of the writing I do in my journaling practice. If you’d like to play with exercises like this, come join kindreds in my special online journaling class, Get It Down, which begins September 30. You can read full details right here (And psst! Early bird discount ends Sunday, September 8!!)
9 thoughts on “The Fullness of Everything and Nothing”
I’ve been following you for years both here and instagram (I think you might follow me too @tattered.rose, not sure and on a train so can’t check). I was just moved by your post as an older mother of four boys who has said a lot of goodbyes and welcome homes in the past twelve years. I truly feel like there can never be enough written about this letting go that you’re in the midst of. This person who you have cared for, worried about, taught, cleaned up after, laughed with, cried with, had tea late at night with is now off. Once every detail of their life mattered deeply to you and now you are expected/required to abandon your detailed interest.
It is hard. It is ok to go to his room and smell his pillow and have a little cry. Every day. It is also ok when you feel the same wrenching sadness after he leaves for school again, post Thanksgiving. This practice, this goodbying takes years to perfect. The caring deeply while not caring moment to moment is hard work. As mother’s our hearts and minds are set on full throttle finding a reduced intensity takes much practice. I am 56, my youngest just left for his first year of boarding school as a junior. I have seen three older ones off and through college and gap years and distant travel and jobs across the country. After 27 straight years of parenting, we now have an empty house. I know from where you speak.
Rest assured, it gets better, you get better at it, they get better at it but it is not quick. The adventures, their adventures are exciting to hear about and we all know we wouldn’t want it any other way. But also, and I know you know this you are so wise, it is ok to be deeply sad.
This process is heartbreaking.
Here’s the silver lining – there is simply nothing as wonderful as when they all roll in for a vacation or holiday fresh from their own lives and filled with the energy, excitement, and enthusiasm of being young and engaged with the world.
My thoughts are with you this fall.
Sent from my iPhone
Leslie, I’m teary-eyed. Thank you (so very much) for sharing these tender thoughts and experiences. It means more to me than I can tell you. I’m going to print your words and tuck them into my journal for safe keeping and am sure I’ll turn back to them. Thank you, thank you. xxx
…also, that was a lot to type on a phone! So extra thanks for that effort ;)
I missed my kids when they went to school, luckily I kept myself very very busy with ‘stuff’.My sister did the same with her only son. It’s hard to adjust to an empty nest but I didn’t mind at all having more free time for me. You know me, ordinary days where nothing happens makes my soul sing!
Fortunately, I’ve been busy too…you’re right, it does help :)
And I’m with you on those ordinary days…love them.
This is simply beautiful Michelle. Thank you.
Thank YOU, Janet. xo
Those teens are so lucky! What exciting times for you and them, have fun!
Aw, thank you, you’re sweet to say that! I hope we’ll have lots of fun :)