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29 June 2017 @ 01:28 pm
And a week later...  
Our daughter flew off to DC on a plane a week ago, which immediately left both of us feeling depressed. She's been at school the whole year, so a week of time with her wasn't enough. She'll be back for about another 2 weeks in August before returning to school, but that won't be enough either. Our son will be leaving for college then too, so... *ulp* Having the kids leave the nest really mirrors the seven stages of grief, at least for us.

Last Thursday was EVIL, temperature-wise, and it has been better since then. I had 1 1/2 weeks off, which I spend transporting our child and her stuff, spending time with her, staying inside the house because of the horrific heat, and then during the Saturday/Sunday reprieve, I spent almost all my time writing this week's Idol entry. It's a "Choose-your-own-adventure" story, which I initially tried to avoid because of the amount of work involved, but it happened anyway-- and was every bit as much work as I feared! Possibly more. I think I succeeded in keeping all of the segments fun and short, so readers could do ALL of the paths if they wanted to. When I read that type of story, I always want to do all of the permutations because I'm curious like that. Also kind of compulsive. :O

Speaking of the former and not the latter, thoughts about various vacations we did and didn't take over the years made me remember how much our kids' personalities influenced that. Mainly our daughter. She is the only one of the four of us who does not seem to have this burning curiosity to Know All The Things, so she often did not want to go to museums when the rest of the family was itching to do that. She spent the trip to the Seattle Air and Space museum sitting in the car studying for the SATs, while the rest of us tried to see as much as we could in the agreed-upon three hours. We barely made it out of the space part, because there was so much to see! A few years before that, she passed up a trip to the revamped Exploratorium in San Francisco. HalfshellHusband's hip hurt too much for him to go, so it was just my son and me... again, rushing to get through everything before we were gone too long. It was FABULOUS.

Her un-love of nature as a child is why we never went to the Grand Canyon or Yellowstone, and in general she preferred to people-watch than look at places or animals or what-not. This isn't bad, just different from the rest of us, and it's unfortunate that there was that separation. She's gotten past a lot of that now, but also isn't living at home anymore. :(

In other news, I was able to bicycle outside instead of in the garage all of this past week. \o/ I did not get around to vacuuming around my garage biking area, due to the heat, and I need to. The heat is causing the spiders to make more web, and last night I went out and the black widow I've seen now and then was in that space. And bigger than ever! But zipped away under the workbench again before I could get the flea spray to kill it, which is what happened last time. :(

And then? I had dreams all last night about going to college in a region that had spiders nearly the size of tarantulas. Often inside the house or apartment! Ugh, make it stop. /o\

Looking forward to what will be a 4-day weekend for us. How about you?

bleodswean: crafty mommableodswean on June 29th, 2017 08:47 pm (UTC)
So so so relieved that the heat wave broke. WTH?? That was seriously bad.

Empty Nest is way more real than I was ever led to believe. And it HURTS and can be truly existentially debilitating. It's good for your marriage, though, and for taking the deliberate step into the next part of your life and your lives. I think going into it knowing that there is a grieving process is wise. Just don't make it a time of mourning because it is more hopeful than that. Think of it as a rebirthing.


And your Idol piece was crazy insane! So impressed with that. Ha! Yes, one wants to take all the adventures!
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Beelzebothalfshellvenus on June 29th, 2017 09:14 pm (UTC)
So so so relieved that the heat wave broke. WTH?? That was seriously bad.
The first summer I was here, there was a 10-day stretch that was over 107 every single day, and I remember thinking, "I MUST BE INSANE TO HAVE MOVED HERE!" It's just awful-- you get trapped inside your house, because it's too hot to go out.

Empty Nest is way more real than I was ever led to believe.
I always thought it happened more to homemakers, not to people who had jobs outside the home and a regular non-home routine. But it seems to be mostly about emotions and the depth of the attachment, all of which were ALSO far stronger than I'd ever expected. So, the result is so much more painful. :(

For "Choose your own" stories, I always wonder when people DON'T want to try all the options (unless they're just not enjoying the story). But given what I know about my own areas of compulsivity, I have no idea whether "That was fun, but I'm done now" is the more normal reaction.

Very little frame of reference. I think my youngest sister has virtually no areas of compulsion. My next-oldest sister and I are both prey to "burst compulsion," where you start in on a tiny, necessary piece of something that has been nagging you for months and suddenly find yourself knee-deep in doing it ALL because, "Now that I've started..."

By my brother and oldest sister will try to clean up the dishes that you're still using, and you could eat off of my brother's garage floor. So, compared to THAT... I hardly feel compulsive at all. :O

Edited at 2017-06-29 09:15 pm (UTC)
favoritebeanfavoritebean on June 29th, 2017 09:58 pm (UTC)
The weather has been utterly ridiculous.

By the way, I know it consumed a lot of time, but your story for Idol was so much fun. It was also my husband's favorite of the entries for this week.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on June 29th, 2017 10:22 pm (UTC)
I keep forgetting where you live. Is it in California? The whole central valley and up toward Redding has been awful. On that worst day last week, I really wanted to go to the Bay Area to avoid the temperatures, but my husband had a doctor's appt, so after getting up early to bike in the garage, I mostly just sweated all day. :O

That entry literally ate my weekend, but if it was fun for readers then it was worth it! I always enjoy reading that type of entry, and before Idol I would never have thought of doing one online. But for readers, I think that's easier than flipping around through a book. I'm glad your husband had fun with it too. Beware the creatures of mass transit! :D
favoritebeanfavoritebean on June 29th, 2017 10:34 pm (UTC)
I'm in LA County, but even friends and family in San Francisco were complaining about how hot it was.

Funny what you say about mass transit. He actually hates buses and flying. Perhaps that is why it resonated with him so well. I thought it funny, because we both selected the exact same turn of events the first time through, which probably means we should play more RPGs together.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on June 29th, 2017 10:57 pm (UTC)
Perhaps that is why it resonated with him so well.
It probably substantiates everything he's ever thought about mass transit-- even if the people only SEEM like trolls, they might as well be, if he hates taking the bus or subway.

My husband and I have a tendency to pick the same answers in a lot of surveys, so when our daughter tries one of those out on us, that usually irks her: "No! You can't just answer the same way!" But what if that's the right answer? Why would you pick the wrong one?
Murielle: Scrunchedmurielle on June 30th, 2017 12:36 am (UTC)
I can't imagine the work you must have put into your entry this week. All I know is I enjoyed it so much I tried all the links, and that's my first time doing that--ever! It was a lot of fun. And I'm all about the fun...and the creepy. Now if only someone would write something creepy and fun. ;-D
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Halloweenhalfshellvenus on June 30th, 2017 01:04 am (UTC)
Fun and creepy are two of my favorite things as well! Though it's tricky getting them into the same entry. That's definitely hwango's specialty, but it is a worthy goal! :D
cindy: da - alec's thinky facetsuki_no_bara on June 30th, 2017 04:04 am (UTC)
i read all the paths! i needed to know all the options. :D and all the endings. choose-your-own adventures are so impressive and they look like so much work, but they're so much fun to read.

you had dreams with spiders? how did you even sleep??
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Yikeshalfshellvenus on June 30th, 2017 05:04 am (UTC)
The dreams were more like this morning, and I don't know. That's the case where you would rather NOT be sleeping, because ewww!

After I posted this entry, I wound up googling black widows and their kin, and ooking myself out even more. Ugh. I knew that Australian red-backed spider had to be a black-widow relative. Same shiny black 3D shape. Yick!
adoptedwriteradoptedwriter on June 30th, 2017 05:11 am (UTC)
I bought a new bike last weekend. I'm in love with it!
Yeah, empty nesting sucks.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on June 30th, 2017 06:34 am (UTC)
Have you had a chance to ride the bike much yet? Sounds like you'll have some great opportunity over the summer, so long as the weather behaves itself. :D

We've had the half-empty nest for two years, and it's been pretty hard. Not looking forward to that next step!
adoptedwriter: Swallowtail Butterflyadoptedwriter on July 1st, 2017 11:20 pm (UTC)
Been out nearly every day!🌞
Ariss Tenohariss_tenoh on July 1st, 2017 06:43 am (UTC)
Speaking of the former and not the latter, thoughts about various vacations we did and didn't take over the years made me remember how much our kids' personalities influenced that. She is the only one of the four of us who does not seem to have this burning curiosity to Know All The Things, so she often did not want to go to museums

I had to smile when I read this. It's the opposite with me. When I was growing up, I was the only one in my family with KAT syndrome! *laughs* so I ended up doing all those things alone. Bit lonely but better than having bored and unwilling people with you.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on July 1st, 2017 07:55 am (UTC)
:D I see you know what I mean by that, though!

The Exploratorium is great-- mainly geared toward children with hands-on exhibits that help you enact aspects of science. How can you not want to DO All The Things? And good grief, the Air and Space museum had Russian as well as U.S. Space Race artifacts and exhibits, a simple but really well-laid-out exhibit showing a rocket launch, fly, land arc and what parts peel off when, and a moon rover, cosmonaut suit, Russian space-meal samples vs. U.S., and a shuttle you could get inside of and touch stuff in. Seriously, it was hard to get through all the space stuff in those three hours, though we made it out and started a whole series of exhibits on air mail delivery and drone systems.

I'm just glad my husband likes those things too, or we would really be irritating each other when those options come up. :D
riverotter1951riverotter1951 on July 2nd, 2017 02:29 pm (UTC)
I remember when the second kid moved out. The first joined the Coast Guard just before her brother started his senior year of high school. It was an adjustment but he went to college an hour away so we saw him often.

It took a while to adjust to the two of us. One of the best decisions we made was marriage counseling. Since our lives had revolved around the kids, we needed to learn to focus on ourselves and our needs. It helped us learn how to relate to each other along with what our own needs were.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on July 18th, 2017 06:15 pm (UTC)
I'm hoping we'll adjust-- we had 8 years as a couple before starting a family, so that might help.

But the sadness of having them gone... it'll take a while before we move onto the "acceptance" phase for that. :)
riverotter1951riverotter1951 on July 19th, 2017 01:16 am (UTC)
We had 5 years as a couple before the first kid.

Elizabeth Kubler-Ross wrote the first book on death/dying with the 5 stages of grief. I think kids moving out is a kind of death in the sense of life is never the same.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on July 19th, 2017 02:55 am (UTC)
I agree. When our daughter went off to college, my husband kept saying, "I feel like someone has died." It really is a grieving process.

And it's not like returning to before there were kids, because then you had no idea of who you'd be missing so much!