Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Smiling at 50: Empty-nesters

Christmas Trail Run - Arkansas - 2013
There are bushels of blogs, devotions and books dedicated to the seasons that women experience in their adult lives. College grad running toward the career of her dreams. Newly married. Mom. Empty-nester. The autumn and subsequent twilight winter years. 

I find myself in the empty-nester season when our only son recently married and our new puppy, Zuzu, has become our fuzzy, new child. Yes, we talk in high-pitched tones and pamper her with treats and sweaters and permit extended time stretched out at the foot of the bed, where she keeps my feet warm.

Facetime from India
It is that time in life when my hubby and I rediscover who we were pre-parenthood. What did we ever talk about before our "favorite son" (and only son) was born? Are we different? Have we met any of those newly-married goals we talked about deep into the night? I hope we are the favorite grandparents! What will that first grandchild call me? Where do we see ourselves in the not-so-distant future when it's finally time to retire? Am I going to be one of those pink-haired little old ladies with too much "rouge" coloring the apples of her wrinkled cheeks and stockings sagging around her ankles?

Seasons. Struggles. Transitions. Blessings.

I am a blessed woman. I love and am loved by my high school sweetheart. He is a hard
Mile 1 - post heart attack, 2013
worker and loves the God he preaches about at every opportunity. I get to accompany him on speaking engagements. And, sometimes, I get to sing or play the piano...like we did early on! When he's on fire in the pulpit and the words are flowing, I am certain my eyes sparkle and a little smile tugs at the corners of my lips, because I still find him attractive.

The weird and wondrous qualities of this stage are slowly emerging much like watching the image appear from a block of marble under the careful tooling of the craftsman. I love sleeping late or getting up early during the week however the schedule falls. We aren't tied to three meals a day. Sometimes, a a box of fudge brownie mix is as much a symbol of affection as a bouquet of roses. 

Running and fitness have become our new hobbies. He supports my training for the
Training Week 3, 2014
10K in April and says, "You've got this! You run faster than me." And, pushes when I experience the I-don't-wannas. "The sun's shining, today. How about we grab something to eat in Murfreesboro and do one of the routes on The Coffee Marathon?" Instead, we check-off two routes!

I'm a better me because of him. This empty-nesting season doesn't seem to bother him. Turning 50 doesn't rattle him or if it does, he covers it well. It's just another year. In celebration he wants to jump out of a plane with me and I want to hike a section of the Appalachian Trail with him!

I try not to fret about the color of my hair and the new "crows feet" to the side of my eyes. I have my honey, who compliments me and complements me no matter which season we walk through!

Smiling at 50 Training Week 3 Update: This week's bipolar southern winter runs me inside for cardio, one day, and outside on the next day for my training runs.

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