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Going from super-busy to not-so-super-busy


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Over the past four years my life has changed dramatically.  My six kids are leaving my nest.  I went from homeschooling six kids and being so busy that I had literally no time to do much of anything to... well...

 

Nowadays my life is much quieter.  I'm not completely done raising kids.  I have one more leaving for college this fall and two more still at home for several more years.  But my, oh, my, what a difference between juggling six versus juggling two.

 

AND we moved from an urban community where opportunities abounded to where we live now.  When we lived in the city, we took advantage of activities and kept a fairly full calendar.  (Not overwhelmingly so.)  Now, however, I live very remotely where the only things we do are church on Sundays, a trip into the 6000-population "nearby city" on Fridays to buy groceries, and... and... not much else.

 

And now my husband is gone for several months so even my evenings are now wide open.  I should also mention that we don't get cable television or radio signals where we live.  I do have the internet and can stream some shows, but it seems like a bother.  We get two DVD's from Netflix.

 

I'm going down a rabbit trail...

 

Anyway, I'm finding that life is so, so very quiet right now.  I'm sitting in my living room typing this, and all I hear is the wind blowing through my window and a lone hawk crying outside.  Every once in a while I'll hear the kids squeal from wherever it is that they are playing outside right now.  They have free roam of the neighborhood.  There's only about 100 of us who live out here in the boonies.  It's a tight community, but without much going on.

 

So what's my point?  I dunno.  Just, it's quiet.  And slow.  It's like I'm in a time warp living here.  The 1980's haven't hit here yet.

 

So I need a hobby, I suppose.   Maybe I can dust off the Rubbermaid bin that has all my old cross-stitch stuff in it and make something.  I have two nieces expecting babies this year.  Maybe something for them.

 

What the heck am I gonna do with myself for the next several months???

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Get a puppy. ;)

 

I'd like to, but this is a really harsh place to try to have a dog.  Our dog didn't survive here and we had to have her put down a year ago.  She was only 6 years old.  Something got her though.

Edited by Kinsa
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I was going to suggest a hobby.  Cross stitch, or quilting or embroidery are all fun.  Listen to some audiobooks while you work.  TV is over-rated.  Start a social group in your neighborhood, a bunco group or some other game that people can meet for in the evenings.  I have lived on a military base for most of my life, some rather remote, though not as remote as you are.  We always had a lot of evening social groups. Bunco, book club etc.

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  • Read all the classics you never had time for.
  • Take walks through the park - would that be safe?
  • Get a puppy and train him/her 
  • Buy some Great Courses and study something you have always been interested in
  • Cross-stitch :)

 

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Love the idea to start a book club or bunco group. Or some other card/board game you like. I bet you're not the only one feeling the way you do, and others would probably enjoy something fun and regular to look forward to.

 

And the reading - what a great time to get through the great books, as well as the not so great but fun ones!

 

And...you could write a book. A novel. Enter a contest so you will have a goal.

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:lol: you sound like my future self. When I'm alone in my ob appointments (the only time I am without the kids) I feel like a nervous wreck just sitting there with no one to keep an eye on. I can't imagine not having a house full of people needing...something ALL THE TIME.

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Remember all those things you said you would do if you had the time?  

 

Yeah.  Me either.  

 

I've been making the transition, myself, and I'm finding that a hobby wasn't enough.  I needed a little more to structure my time...so I've found a couple of little side-hustles I can do on the side AND on my schedule, at least for the most part.   

 

Church structures a lot of my life--it is the scaffolding for me, really.  I know that is not for everyone...I'm just talking about myself here...because that is what everyone wants to hear about -- mememememe.  

 

I will say that it took some time to make the transition and a few things that I tried were complete busts.  But I'm not sorry I tried them.  

 

 

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How's the weather? I'd be out hiking the park every day ;)

 

 

I thought of this too but it may not be safe to go alone in her area. Perhaps I am thinking more of myself here - I am an evening walker, love to watch the sun set while I am walking. Perhaps morning or high noon walks are better in this case.

 

Kinsa, you have to clear this up for us.

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The weather is really nice right now, but I will NOT go hiking by myself.  Nope.  No way.  Not gonna do it.  Not here.

 

 

Ah, here is the answer.

Can you get a group of like-minded women to go with you? A hiking club?

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Remember all those things you said you would do if you had the time?  

 

Yeah.  Me either.  

 

I've been making the transition, myself, and I'm finding that a hobby wasn't enough.  I needed a little more to structure my time...so I've found a couple of little side-hustles I can do on the side AND on my schedule, at least for the most part.   

 

Church structures a lot of my life--it is the scaffolding for me, really.  I know that is not for everyone...I'm just talking about myself here...because that is what everyone wants to hear about -- mememememe.  

 

I will say that it took some time to make the transition and a few things that I tried were complete busts.  But I'm not sorry I tried them.  

 

 

You crack me up, as always. 

Of course, we want to hear about you! You know the most about yourself and only you are qualified to talk about you!

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The weather is really nice right now, but I will NOT go hiking by myself.  Nope.  No way.  Not gonna do it.  Not here.

 

Why? What's your main concern? Animals?

 

Friend of mine did a solo backpack at the park and loved it, despite bad weather. It looks stunning in the pics.

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Okay, y'all are assuming I want to be sociable. Lol

 

I actually just thought of something. I think I might invest in sprucing up the back yard. I've had some gardening ideas in my head for a while and might actually follow through on them.

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Why? What's your main concern? Animals?

 

Friend of mine did a solo backpack at the park and loved it, despite bad weather. It looks stunning in the pics.

Yes, animals, and the fact that at least once a month we have solo hikers who need to be rescued... several have even died on trails. I do like hiking, but I won't do it alone. Not here.

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How about a pet llama or alpaca to share the beautiful scenery?  I've heard some scary stories about how tough these animals are. I'm sure it would protect you from other beasties. Or you might need protection from your pet beastie.  :laugh:

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How about a pet llama or alpaca to share the beautiful scenery? I've heard some scary stories about how tough these animals are. I'm sure it would protect you from other beasties. Or you might need protection from your pet beastie. :laugh:

Ummmm... lemme thiiiink...

 

Lol

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Or a horse... I guess people talk to horses, so they would be company too. And instead of hiking you could ride.

 

Do you paint?  Painting would be good there. It seems very scenic. 

 

Can you move? It seems a little dull for you new place in life. You could retire to somewhere with more options. Will your ds want a home or placement in a few years? You could research toward that end, liking moving somewhere that gives you more recreation and him a good placement.

Edited by PeterPan
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We have laws that prohibit that kind of thing on federal property.

 

 

We're trying to start one at the moment and our first exhibition is running next month at one of the neighbourhood houses. We have a ceramicist, two photographers, an oil pastel artist and a jeweller on board so far, with interest from a glass painter, a water colourist and a woodworker.

 

 

Is there a library or diner or something outside the park boundaries that might host it for a small commission?

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Or a horse... I guess people talk to horses, so they would be company too. And instead of hiking you could ride.

 

 

 

 

Why, of course, we talk to horses...and llamas, alpacas, dogs, cats, squirrels, rabbits, coyotes even. ;)

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I’m almost an empty nester. There, I said it. My youngest is going to college 9 hours away in the fall. Breaks my heart but it’s one of the best schools in the country for what he’s pursuing. He is already so independent and goes full time to the community college and works a lot. So I’ve been here for about a year and half. I’m finding belonging to the nearby gym is wonderful for me. I participate in approx 5 hours of yoga per week and a friend and I weight train and do cardio about 3 hours per week (you’d think I’d be thin but no - sigh). It’s wonderful. I see people regularly and it gets me out of my comfort zone. It’s a win/win. I also am starting my stained glass art up again. I cook a lot because we’re doing Dave Ramsey because we were eating out a lot. So our new hobby together is saving money.

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Or a horse... I guess people talk to horses, so they would be company too. And instead of hiking you could ride.

 

Do you paint? Painting would be good there. It seems very scenic.

 

Can you move? It seems a little dull for you new place in life. You could retire to somewhere with more options. Will your ds want a home or placement in a few years? You could research toward that end, liking moving somewhere that gives you more recreation and him a good placement.

We are actually contending for a move this summer. That's why dh is gone right now. He's temporarily trying out the new job. We'll see what comes of it. And yes, a major component in the decision is a home/placement for our sn son.

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Even if you didn't live so remotely, you still might be be experiencing these feelings of...what should I do.  I completely understand going from lots of youngsters, involved in lots of activities, and being involved in the community to not. It can be jarring to hear silence, lol. Waiting for your spouse to figure out a life change can be so hard, particularly if it takes longer than originally planned. Good for you for looking for ideas--I think you're onto something with the yardwork. Fresh air is always a good idea.

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We are actually contending for a move this summer. That's why dh is gone right now. He's temporarily trying out the new job. We'll see what comes of it. And yes, a major component in the decision is a home/placement for our sn son.

In that case I’d go hard-core decluttering.

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What the heck am I gonna do with myself for the next several months???

 

Hobbies did not do the trick for me. I ended up going back to work. I started part-time working from home in the last year before my son graduated, then added other little gigs here and there until I finally worked my way into a full-time position.

 

I miss my dog while I'm away from home, but I am a much happier, healthier more sane person feeling like I have a clearly defined schedule and purpose every day.

Edited by Jenny in Florida
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With a mostly empty nest, I took up skiing. Which looks like it might not be an option for you based on that lovely picture.

 

But I didn’t just take up skiing, I took up coaching skiing for little kids. It gets me out skiing a minimum of 3-4 days a week, I meet new people and have made some friends.

 

Maybe there is something similar you would enjoy?

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It was a weird transition for me. Once I had a lot of time it took me a while to remember what it was I wanted to do all those years when I had no time.

 

Thankfully I have a 135 year old house to renovate. I finally had time to quilt. But I also started listening to podcasts- some for entertainment and some to stretch my mind. And with internet access there are all kinds of things I can learn or relearn.

 

Always wanted to garden and take up cycling so I did. And I have time to make my bullet journal all artsy and pretty.

 

I hope you find things that fulfill you, but it might take a while. Took me about three years to find my groove, and it’s sill very much a work in progress. There were a lot of things I tried that I didn’t enjoy!

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Get a really big telescope. A really big awesome one.

 

My mom has an empty nest. She does a million things.

 

She an my dad travel a lot. A few times a year. Sometimes it’s a far away week and a half long vacay, sometimes it’s a couple of days to visit my sister who lives in Denver.

She does 5k walks. My kids and I, my sister and her son, and my mom and my aunt are all doing the Indy mini marathon 5k in May. A few weeks ago she and my aunt flew down to do one in Florida.

Going along with that, we all have fit bits so we challenge each other to virtual races and stuff. Mom often goes to do her walking at the mall but I am guessing you don’t have that option.

She gardens in the summer. Then she cans and freezes in the fall.

 

Also we often drive around the Midwest and go fruit picking. Cherries, peaches, etc. Then we can or freeze those.

 

Also, we take yard sale field trips. There are a couple of long multi state yard sales here in the Midwest so we take a few days, get some hotels and drive for miles and miles down the highway stopping at any random sale that meets our eye.

 

For years, she co owned the cake shop with my other sister.

 

She will drive all over to meet her children and grandchildren for whatever random thing. She will drive 40 minutes north to meet my DD22 just for lunch, (and DD22 drives 40 minutes south...there’s a particular restaurant at about that halfway point )

 

She has recently taken up painting. She drove out here last Wednesday to spend the day teaching my kids how to do a painting.

 

She also sews sometimes. She just got a new machine for Christmas but I don’t know if she took it out of the box yet though.

 

And, she watched Bonanza over and over and over lol. She got the dvds a few years ago and I think she has them all memorized at that point. But she loves watching them over and over lol.

 

 

My dad is not retired so she’s not there all by herself. But he also works afternoons/second shif, plus usually picks up an extra shift or extra or hours when he feels like it so she does most of these things on her own.

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I’ve been dealing with this. I still have one in fourth grade, but my older two boys are graduating in our current country and no one is homeschooling for the first time since oldest ds turned five. I’m not allowed to work here, I can’t drive and my other transportation options are very limited, and it’s too hot to walk anywhere half the year. It’s been a major change. Yes, I read and blog and there are hobbies I can work on, but I need to feel like I’m getting something done. I started volunteering online with an advocacy group and now spend about 20 hours/week on that. People are counting on me, I care about the issues we’re working on, but it’s also flexible since it’s online and volunteer and we’re mostly all a bunch of moms. I’ll have more options after I move this summer, but that online “job†has saved me here.

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One of the hardest things for me, when I went from homeschooling the kids to not homeschooling, was turning my brain off.  I was always in planning and/or prepping mode, even if I wasn't sitting with a pen and paper in my hand.  I was always thinking ahead to what was coming next, and what supplies I wouldn't need, field trips etc. 

 

It took a very long time to learn how to turn all of that off in my brain.  I think if I lived in a place with very little to do, I would go back to school.  There are lots of online schools and I am sure there are programs that could work in an area with limited internet. 

 

I have always worked, even when homeschooling, so I would likely pick a career that I would like to do in the future and start whittling away at it. 

Edited by Tap
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Okay, y'all are assuming I want to be sociable. Lol

 

 

 

Socializing in a remote area with a population of 100 sounds like a nightmare to me. All I would be able to think about is not being able to avoid people I don't like, lol.  How does one "hide" in such a tiny group?!?!

 

With the limited possibilities, I think I'd gravitate toward writing. For fun, for sale, for whatever.  Maybe work on an Etsy store.  Spend lots of time on message boards!  Take some online classes. Learn some new cooking skills.  Figure out how to work all of my phone's features. Work on my house. Find out whether or not I'm a bubble bath kind of person. Perfect a pedicure.

 

As far as companion animals go, I *might* consider an itty bitty dog that could be paper trained to avoid the outside dangers.  I have a 4lb dog that I WISH we had trained for that.  It sounded stupid to me at the time, but it's such a project taking him out in the winter, and his "output" is so little that it'd be even easier to deal with than our 14lb cat's litter box!  A few laps around the living room and he's content to spend the rest of his day cuddling.

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Hobbies did not do the trick for me. I ended up going back to work. I started part-time working from home in the last year before my son graduated, then added other little gigs here and there until I finally worked my way into a full-time position.

I will also say, know yourself.

 

I am in a very similar position.  My youngest graduates on June 2.  I am currently very active in teaching him still and very active in running/ being the webmaster for three homeschool group websites but all that ends in June.  I have had a few days recently where I was alone all day and I have found that for me my hobbies aren't going to cut it.  I love to read and sew/embroider/quilt but after about two hours of each the dust on the baseboards starts making me feel guilty and I realize that I do not like cleaning enough to deal with it.  I NEED an excuse not to clean.

 

I also started my family on the younger side, I just turned 46 and I realized that I could work a full career (20 years) and still retire at "traditional" retirement age (65/66).  None of my friends are graduating their youngest and so in many ways I am losing my community too.  They all still like me but they are busy homeschooling. And I am the oldest of my siblings and the others all had kids later in life so I am very much in the same category as my mother, and yet I am not.  I am full of energy and ambition, I am not ready to putter.

 

All this to say that I have decided to go back to work.  My background is in engineering, but lets be serious, I have been training as a teacher for the last 18 years, and I have built a reputation locally as a teacher of STEM classes.  So I am applying to teach at two of our local homeschool enrichment programs and in the local Catholic schools (they hire without a teaching certificate).

 

I didn't bring it up because I know that you are in a very rural location without many options, but I do "get" the problem.

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You have internet - genealogy? Ancestry.com a good start. I also make a lot of photobooks at Shutterfly - I write up pithy paragraphs for each page and add photos, even pertinent images swiped off the internet. Each book covers a fraction of what I have dug up on various ancestors.

 

I have a SIL who is a collage artist in Santa Fe. She snips up all the magazines she can get her hands on (tell the neighbors you want them) and uses as many WORDS as images in her work http://www.deco-collage.com/gallery.html I always thought that might be a fun hobby to get into.

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:lurk5:

I'm heading down this path, as Final Child is in 10th grade.

 

I've been de-cluttering & sorting through the closets & attic.

See https://www.home-storage-solutions-101.com/organized-home.html

 

I will likely begin working part-time, but dh would love for it to be a portable home-based side gig.

I would love to add to our retirement funds.

 

Also, I'm hoping to get our finances better organized.

 

I've been exercising every day, trying to pay more attention to eating healthy & wisely.

I hope to do Meal Planning better in the future!

 

I love having more time to read.

Yesterday, I babysat 3 kids so their parents could have a date.  They did the drop-off/pick-up.  :)

Even sending encouraging cards to people who are lonely or sick, etc.

 

This is a wonderful "problem" to find solutions for.

Remember your responses over the years to the kids' whining, "I'm bored!"  :) :) :)

 

Edited by Beth S
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