The timing is perfect. Our only child has left the nest in the last two years. We had the few expected tumbles upon launch and maybe her wings weren’t quite strong enough to totally get where she was going, but Margot (our Moo) now has a job that makes her smile more than stress, and is feathering her own little nest in New York.
In what was a very fast process, in the last year we decided to sell our too big family house and move into something much smaller and much, much, much, much more convenient. We now live in two bedroom apartment on the 19th floor. And just 19 floors away is a fantastic gym, cleaners, grocery store, restaurants, and the best pub to watch our Capitals. Our commutes were both sane, for the first time in our 26 years of marriage. It all had come together.
And then I got laid off. So, now I get to decide what I want to do when I grow up. Emphasis on “decide.” It’s truly a luxury and a blessing to have the resources (including a very supportive husband, Scott) to spend a few months settling into what my new version will be. What will Janet@51 actually do? I’m not quite a month into defining the new moi. I’ve experienced elation, exhaustion, huge bouts of grief, peace I don’t think I’ve ever known, insecurities with seemingly no limits, dreams, plans, memories of both past failures and accomplishments.
I reorganized my music playlist the other day. I had one massive list I used for when I jog (it’s actually slog – a slow jog) down at the gym. It had become a dumping ground of all songs I like, so a mess of not all motivating, get-your-slog-on types of songs. Such as More Than A Woman by the Bee Gees. So I sorted through to make a new upbeat mix – my Janet Slog playlist. Two of my favorite songs right now really sum up where I am.
The first is I Wanna Get Better by Bleachers. Because I do. I want to get in better health. I want to be a better wife to a man who deserve the best I can give. I want to be the best mother for where my daughter is right now in her life. I want to be a better daughter and sister and friend. I want to give my best in whatever comes next in my work life. I just want to get better.
The second is Shut Up and Dance With Me by Walk on the Moon. I just want to dance. No more wallowing in doubt, or self-hurt, or worry, or past failures, or guilt. I want to dance with hope, and ideas, and possibilities, and knowing my talents are real and unique and dance-worthy.
But ignore the “Shut Up” part of that song…that’s just rude. Please just Come On and Dance With Me. Through this blog, I invite you to this dance party that is the next half of my life. No holding back. No wallowing. Just dancing.