I Don't Live Here Anymore: Updates from The Empty Nest

Just an off handed comment, a throw away really, yet it had so much impact on the recipient. Words are funny like that, aren't they?

"I don't live here anymore."

"Wait, what?" I thought, "Yes you do!"


No, she doesn't.


I am doing my best to navigate year one of the Empty Nest, but to be honest it's hit or miss. My husband travels for work and inexplicably the travel follows an unfortunate pattern. My daughter comes home for a month or a week or a weekend, she returns to school, and then he leaves for a few days or a week or a month. Then the new reality hits me like a ton of bricks.

She doesn't live here anymore.

This is followed by the admission that I don't want to live here. Here is a way station, temporary housing, and it is simultaneously isolated and exposed. I waver between digging into the tiny Fortress of Solitude and making escape plans. I miss my friends. I miss my family. I miss being the me I used to be before I transitioned into The Empty Nester Farm Lady. To be quite frank, I'm not enjoying the current location or situation.

I miss her. I miss him. I miss me.

I don't miss 'the three dog-migos' though. They're ever present, as is the proliferation of hair that has coated nearly everything in this tiny apartment. How do three small dogs create this much hair? It would be impressive if it weren't so disgusting. Also, the barking is incessant, because the barn apartment is above a barn, which is a hubbub of barn-like activity. The barn noises activate the barking. We have at least five ear splitting barking shows a day. Ain't we got fun?

No, we ain't...but we retain hope.

At least we have warm puppy snuggles. These mostly make up for copious amounts of hair and  barking, if I take off my glasses and wear ear plugs. Ah, much better.

I don't want to be isolated. I don't want to be The Empty Nester Farm Lady. I want to be around the people who like me and get me. Oddly enough, they aren't hiding here in the middle of nowhere. I don't like the scenery or the weather or the allergies. I was clear about that long before we relocated.

We can't always get what we want.

I'm not sure I have what I need, but sometimes you have to take one for the team.

This is a temporary location. I tell myself this every day. I tell myself this when she says she doesn't live here anymore. I think maybe if I lived somewhere more compelling, she'd want to stay. I dream of ocean breezes and warm days filled with sunshine in a cottage with big windows flooded with light just a walk away from a charming cafe where I might sit and sip on a glass of champagne and work on my novel. I imagine fabulous, fascinating friends meeting me for fabulous, fascinating conversations on my fabulous, fascinating patio watching a fabulous, fascinating sunset.

I imagine her coming to visit, turning to me with a huge smile and saying,

"I wish I lived here!"

My dear child, so do I.



  1. You have me tearing up over here. I hope your living situation won't be lasting too long! I cannot imagine how hard that is. I do understand the Empy Nest syndrome. One of mine now lives out of state and the other is about to graduate from (an out of state) college. Ouch. It still feels like they should be coming in the door any moment. We spend our/their lives preparing them to be independent, to go out in the world, to be good people and then we wish that we could have them back. Please remember dear Momma that you have prepared her well. She knows that home is where you are and that you are always there for her. Big, big hugs to you!

    1. Thank you, dear friend! I know it will get easier and there are lots of good things in my life. Here is closer to her while she's in school and closer to work for my husband and it saves us money we need to save at the moment. I'll get through it and in the meantime, I'll keep writing. xoxo, Madge

  2. Yes, just a snapshot in your life. Deep down she needs you more than you know! My son graduated from PSU and lived here 7 years as he needed to find a job that suited him, which he just did. That was harder on me as he became my lean on person. Happy for him and his new life and adventures!

    1. That's the wonderful upside to this equation. We are so excited for their adventures and their successes and to see them open their arms wide to life! It's bittersweet, but mostly sweet, and just a little bitter. xoxo, Madge

  3. Oh darling Madge, Yes the tears. I only knew being a single Mom for so long that when both girls left within a few months of each other and my Mom passed away. I was alone and my identity gone. Who was I and where was I to be? I so know, is hard. It was a rough three years in my case but looking back, no wouldn't want to live it again :) but I lived it, it is part of who I am, gave me greater understanding and compassion, strength. Their independence comes when we are not ready or maybe never ready but it comes. Down the road for most a family of their own and when they become a Mom then we are back in business big time, grandmom status and going to grandmom's place is home and special and everything wonderful. Formerly a single Mom now a happily married Mimi to 11 grandlittles. The journey somedays we just got to hang on to the roller coaster. Love you, love your honesty, love your heart xoxo Debra

    1. I can't imagine. That had to feel insurmountable. Yet, here you are on the other side of that abyss. That gives me
      hope. I love you, dear friend. Your joy is palpable and contagious. xoxo, Margot

  4. Oh sister friend. I feel every word of this.
    Funny' I'm becoming the farm lady, teaching art & writing and loving it. But it took nearly 2 years to get here. Patirnce my darlimg. Patience.

  5. Patience is not my strong suit, alas. But I know that this too shall pass. Until then, I will just keep marching bravely forward. xoxo


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