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Playgrounds and Empty Nests

In preparation of settling into the unplugged world of Myfi in two weeks, I’ve been spending the past several months establishing an online network through LinkedIn. During my years of helping college students create profiles and encouraging them to join this platform when it was first available, I created my own yet didn’t use it much beyond learning the basics to assist them in reaching out to find internship leads and mentors. So when I jumped on in February as way to connect with likeminded mental and emotional health practitioners, Reiki Masters and holistic-minded folks, I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it is to find others with similar values, and I am happy. It is here that I am building my joyful, loving, compassionate kindness network. Wow is there ever a lot of good going on in this world that shows up in my feed and message box every day. In two weeks I will bid farewell to Internet in The Sanctuary, relying instead on local libraries and cafes to provide limited access for free. My attention span and budget are grateful and looking forward to the respite.

Speaking of farewell, I made the appointment to file retirement papers for my separation from the University at Buffalo.   How do you say Goodbye to a place that has been your second home, housing your work family for 35 years? I do it by thanking the Universe for a rewarding career, offering gratitude for a generous pension. It will be awesome to get paid a salary with benefits for not working while  “refiring” into a venture manifested by a lifetime of passions and dreams. Magical. Watch out world, here we come in the form of Capture Life Writing.

Shout out and raising a glass to fellow Linkie Rick-Michael from Australia whose video coincided with my own plans for a weekend filled with play. It featured him narrating a reminder message of play from his gleeful room complete with craft supplies, stuffed animals and even a Tickle-Me-Elmo and made me laugh out loud.  Note:  he’s an “adult” who has thankfully not lost his childlike qualities. That synced with my own “abandon all chores” schedule for a Saturday spent with Godson Jimmy stuffing ourselves at a Chinese buffet for lunch, followed by a picnic in a quaint village with new nature friends and a perfect backyard gathering with friends old and new in a setting under a full moon with lanterns and soft LED lights that resembled a fairy garden. I suppose it was magnified by the presence and hug from someone special to me. Although tables were set up, we arranged our chairs in a circle for group conversation and laughed into the late summer night surrounded by a soft breeze and the sounds of distant barking dogs and katydids.

Sunday brought resting, reading and sending book revisions to my publisher. In the late afternoon Son and family arrived for a barbecue and bonfire. Those are all my ideas of playtime. When the interruption of Monday morning and work arrived, I looked at my kitchen counter, every inch covered with dishes, empty bottles and litter and smiled about the joy those two days had inspired. I cleaned up when I came home, smile still sustained by the memory.

Reflecting on empty nesting lately. It’s been nearly nine months now. My kid peeps are thriving and keep in close touch. Daughter is patiently helping me with social media and technical needs. She recently had a new tattoo with one simple word etched in her skin, “Excelsior.” When I asked her what that meant to her she texted something like, “onward and upward, keep moving forever forward” etc. So proud of this girl!   Because he knows my love for nature, Son sent me photo of four baby robins in a nest atop a fence from his playground (a remote country garage where he tinkers with mechanics). One week later he sent me a photo of the same nest empty with a single leaf settled in it (today’s blog photo). I told him it was too bad he didn’t get the chance to see the babies learn to fly, yet nature takes care of things in her own time, just as my babies knew how and when to fly.  Now they are soaring.

Overheard: My co-worker’s statement on coping with negative comments on Facebook, “I’m embellishing the snarky.”

Son’s girlfriend describing her hair, “My hair looks like 50 shades of I don’t know what.”

Keep smiling and playing, whatever that means to you.  And if you don’t know your playground, find or create it!

Love, Mary

capture life writing


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