Sunday, August 22, 2010

In Praise of an Empty House

Strange time, this. The house is empty now – well, not exactly. Spooky and I are still firmly in residence, but FryDaddy has gone away to get some schoolin’. This is a good thing, don’t misunderstand me, but it makes for some melancholy in the air. While it’s nice to be able to straighten a pile of clutter and have it stay straightened until I decide otherwise, I miss his clutter.


To combat this tendency towards sighing, I’m trying to flip my thinking around. Rather than being sad and various shades of blue (I was up to 26 at the last count), I’m trying to focus on why this is a good thing. Three things come to mind:

1. FryDaddy is one smart cookie. School’s a good place for him to be. He’ll sharpen his thinking, have some ideas challenged and hopefully, come out on the other side of this a thoughtful, compassionate, hard-working so-and-so. (Sure, he already has those qualities, but maybe this will make it even more so.)

2. School matters. Yes, you can make it in the cold, hard world without a degree – I know plenty of people who have done just that; some of them quite successfully – but that precious piece of paper does carry some cachet. Not to mention, it shows in a very tangible way that a person can set himself a task and stick to it until the goal line is crossed.

3. This separation is temporary and really, not that big a deal. People run on opposing schedules all the time – especially in a family that has to deal with shiftwork. My sister and brother-in-law once had to spend several years separated by three states due to a job transfer. And all of this is flat-out nothing compared to military families who have to deal with deployment, perhaps even into a combat zone. Compared to that, two hours on the interstate isn’t much.

Still, this is going to take a little while to adjust. Thanks to technology, we’re talking often (Skype is coming soon!) and we’re going to try to meet mid-week for dinner. We’re also taking the suggestion of several good friends – we got two copies of the TV show Supernatural and we’re going to watch that episode-by-episode before we meet for our weekly (?) dinners so we can talk about something other than work and school.

What about you, Gentle Readers? Any suggestions on dealing with life changes and distance? The lines are open and operators are standing by to take your calls . . .

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