One of the changes I’ve tried to make since moving back to Florida is to get a life. A social life, actually. I have struggled with “empty nest syndrome” for the past year, which is seriously ridiculous, since my child was still in high school last year. But I could feel it coming. She was going to high school, taking college classes, and working. And she is a social butterfly, so even in her “spare” time, I didn’t see much of her.
I tried to conveniently sidestep the entire issue by moving with my child when she went up to New York for college. I marveled at how much happier I was back in my home town. I was going places, doing things, and spending inordinate amounts of time with my kid.
Then I came back to Florida, and on the long drive back, I had time to look at my life and my current situation. The truth of the matter is, I am a people person. Although I’m actually quiet when I first meet people, I love being with others most of the time. Being alone in my apartment is soothing for short periods, but I quickly begin to feel isolated. I knew I would need to make some changes if I hoped to at least resemble a well-adjusted human being.
Towards that end, I now have a weekly Thursday dinner date with one of my oldest Florida friends. She and I talk about school (we’re both teachers), our kids, and how we would fix the world if someone would only ask our opinion. I look forward to it each week. I also have been adopted into my daughter’s “teacher friend” circle for Wednesday afternoon Happy Hours – our next coming up soon. And tomorrow is a friend’s Happy Birthday Happy Hour after work. I will so be there!
Lest you think all I do is eat and drink, you should know that my older daughter and I are contemplating a “culture night” for this winter. I told her to check the schedule for Sarasota’s performing arts center and find something that looks good for January or February when we’re at the point in the school year when we think it will never end. I don’t care if it’s the Toronto Symphony or Johnny Mathis or Crosby, Stills, and Nash as long as it’s a chance to dress up and go out on the town!
People. I like them. I teach them. I learn from them. They feed my soul.