I hope all of you had a wonderful week!  We had a lovely Thanksgiving weekend with most of our families. A few missing kids & grandkids that had other obligations that we should be seeing for Christmas though. I got some quality time with my son while he was home. There are plans in the works for after his graduation that could take him far, far away for a couple of years so I am trying to squeeze in as much time as possible with him.

The impending graduation and possible time abroad for my son set off a new wave of empty nest issues for me last week. Coupled with the onset of winter, the past week or so has been an emotional roller coaster.  I suffer each winter from a medium to serious degree of Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD.  In other words, I endure winter and not happily. Those who live with me, endure me and probably not happily.

During my recent wanderings on Pinterest I ran across this… hygge

It seems that this is how the Danish people get through their long winters without succumbing to cabin fever. You can do your own research on the subject (and there are a few naysayers online), but I like the idea of sanctuary, community, coziness, WARMTH, celebrating and well-being (without resorting to pills).

Since I very recently had a weeping spell over my lost honeybees, I also need to work on letting go of the whole mothering thing now.  Not that I will stop being Mom to my kids, but let go of the need to mother everybody and everything that breathes.  The bees are capable of working out their survival with minimal help from me the same way my kids are now too.  It’s time I look after myself for a change and of course my husband (who does a good job of looking after me when I don’t look after myself very well).

So, I am lighting candles, putting warm, fluffy blankets everywhere, trying to get back to a regular yoga practice, dragging out the long thermal underwear to use for walks in the woods and stocking up on good novels for the winter.  About February, when the worst of the SAD sets in, I will try to remember to give you an update.

**As I am writing this, I just had a text conversation with my son, who suffers from insomnia like I have all my life.  Of course I am giving him suggestions and trying to fix it for him.  Twenty-two years of mothering is a hard habit to break.  Are there 12 step programs for empty nesters???


Photo credits:  Hygge photo credit unknown.  Pug photo by Matthew Henry.





Back to college8:00 am EST… Surfboards packed and back to school he goes.  I’m having one of those Empty Nest Mother moments.  It truly is bittersweet when they do this.  On the one hand, I will miss him.  I have enjoyed his company this summer and I have loved having his friends hanging out here again.  It keeps me informed on what is going on in the world or at least their world.  There is a good chance that this was his last summer at home and I’ve hung on to that knowledge since May, soaking in every moment just like I soak in every moment I get to spend with my daughter, knowing she will be moving away come next Spring. 

On the other hand…he was barely out of the parking lot before I started cleaning up his room, reorganizing it and reclaiming my office space.  This time I have also moved my easel in, stashed most of his stuff in the closet and girliefied the room to more of my taste and less teenage boy.  The process of letting go is one tiny step at a time.

Now that I have my work space back I can think clearer.  I truly cannot function well surrounded by clutter.  Not that I’m a Martha Stewart homemaker, but I just need things neat to focus.  And focus I need to do.  My project list is getting longer by the moment. 

I am trying to get my shop ready for the holiday season on Etsy. I need to add some new items, update info, get more prints made and have my shipping supplies ready.  Along with that I need to work on both my websites, arrange some social media posts and finish a piece for a contest.  This is a detail from the contest piece.Detail 

After it is all said and done I will post the finished project.  It is very involved and I’m trying to do some new things with it.  Right now I’m overwhelmed and winging where it’s going.  As often happens, I start out with a plan and then the plan goes out the window and something else takes over.  I’m pretty curious to see what it ends up looking like. 

It has been many years since I entered any contests.  Hopefully I have given myself enough time to finish this.  The deadline is September 30th.  The contest has been open since April, but I didn’t find it until last month.  If nothing else, having plenty to do will keep me distracted from missing my little birds that have flown the nest.