My nest is empty.

Here’s the thing.

I wish I had a file cabinet where I’d kept the years memorialized in flat-manilla folders. After the documented year, each tab would have a clever label for quick reference and future nostalgia. 1982-The Nanny Diaries. 1997-Thirty-six hours of labor. 2005 Teen-Sport Hell.

This year would read: 2018 Empty Nest, Empty F’n Nest

In this order, I became single (again), both kids left for college, my dad (as you all know) died, and my mother moved to hospice. I have an empty f’n nest. Peanut, my small, furry just gave me the side-eye. Peanut is here warming my side. Empty nest my ass he says.

So all you people who are into The Secret. Did I call this to me? Did I bring this on myself? Is it a coincidence that I wrote a book called I Like You Just Fine When You’re Not Around?

In my defense, I just thought the title was funny.

Be honest. It is a little funny because the title reminds you of someone. You read the title of the book and laugh a little and then a face materializes in your mind.

You think of the time you went on a road trip with your sister. The one that makes you giggle but also drinks too much at night and starts telling strangers your secrets.

Or,

It’s your husband that comes to mind. The one you promised to cherish and honor all those years ago. The father of your children. The one who hovers over your shoulder when you pay the bills and asks,

“What was that one for? “

Maybe he’s retired and can’t quite figure out what to do with himself and you just want to be in the alone in the house.

It could be your friend who can’t stop talking about how brilliant her kids are. How good they are at soccer, math, or college applications. She’s your best friend and you want her to stop talking.

We love our people. We love our family but sometimes, just sometimes we’d like them to go away.

But, then what happens when they do go away, those people that we love? What happens if they decide to leave us, or lose their memory of us, or they escape out of stress or frustration? What happens when we say,

“Just kidding! I love you. Please stay!”  But, they can’t hear you.

That’s when we start to learn things.

That’s when we return to ourselves and begin to figure out how to love. Really love.  Love our people enough to recognize their flaws. Love our family even when we wish they’d just shut the hell up and let you watch Netflix in peace. Love ourselves enough to recognize that space can feel like a new beginning in all things.

That’s what I Like You Just Fine When You’re Not Around is about. It’s about how one woman tries to figure out what’s fair in relationships. It’s when she decides that she’s not going to passively accept everything just because. It’s when she starts to be more active in her life and sometimes she get’s it right and sometimes not.

Just like me.

Just like you.

Empty nests are a thing. Yours is either here or on the way but don’t panic it doesn’t have to stay empty. It’s a chance to see yourself after spending so many years of only seeing others. I’m taking applications for new eggs for my nest because like Peanut said, “Empty nest my ass.”

I’m taking applications for new eggs for my nest because like Peanut I said, “Empty nest my ass.”

xo

PS. You might like this if you haven’t read it before. Life Isn’t Fair

Thank you Debby Hudson Beautiful Photo