Ever notice how “the hurrieder I go, the behinder I get”?
The other day my 20-something son and his girlfriend decided to cook a spaghetti dinner for themselves. Sort of.
“Spaghetti has to have meatballs,” my son insisted. “It’s not spaghetti without meatballs.”
“We also need good pasta and a really good, rich sauce” his girlfriend opined. “Good meatballs need a good sauce.”
I was tempted to offer my help. Pull out my mom’s recipe for the most fabulous homemade spaghetti sauce you ever ate. Show then how to test pasta for doneness. How to roll meatballs the right size and shape.
No, I thought. This is their idea. Their plan. I’ll help if they ask for it. Otherwise I best just step aside.
“Just make sure you wash all the dishes and clean up after yourselves,” I said, and then padded back to my study. I mean, sheesh. How can anyone go wrong with something as simple as spaghetti and meatballs?”
Just shows you what I know.
Their entire meal came out of a box and a bag of frozen meatballs.
“It’s quick and it’s good,” my son proclaimed. Yeah, buddy. As long as you don’t mind the taste.
Then I realized one of the blessings of mid-life: Time. I have a little more of it than when I had four growing sons in the house. Ferrying them to Little League, soccer, baseball and basketball practices. Rehearsals. Watching track meets and cross-country meets. Remembering due dates, deadlines, and semester projects.
I home schooled all four kids until they were in high school. For a total of 20 years.
With my youngest now in his second year of college, I’m finding the house a little less hectic. A little more quiet. The pace a bit slower. Older friends keep admonishing me about how “empty nest” emotions and how lonely I’ll feel.
Well. I still have two at home. The others live a few minutes away. But I’m actually enjoying this transition into a new season of life. Sure, I miss the kids. But it’s not like they moved to Bora Bora. We see them often. I’m just enjoying some peace and quiet.
Wait. Maybe that’s not quite it.
I’ve always enjoyed solitude. Besides that, however, I think what I like best about this season of life may be the fact that I get to choose my own schedule and what I do with it instead of having it dictated to me by outside forces – school, sports teams, an academic calendar set by someone else, etc. And not having to rush from one event or commitment to the next like a freight train on steroids.
More often that not these days, if I’m in a hurry, it’s my choice. I can usually unmake that choice, too.
Quick isn’t always good. There’s a lot to be said for slowing down. Stopping to smell the roses. Having the time to stir up my mom’s homemade spaghetti sauce. From scratch.
I could get used to this. Know what I mean?
What do you like best about mid life?