Coping with one’s empty nest effectively, and now, hobbies fill up the busyness of her days, translated…
Last August, my junior in college was accepted as a foreign exchange student to the Netherlands; in September, my son left Taipei, went to Chiayi for college. My husband left early and came home late for work, and I’d become, seemingly “unemployed” as a housewife!
Every morning when I woke, I’d not wondered about what I’ll be cooking for supper, but instead, wheeling that dehumidifier to my son and daughter’s rooms. How, do I pass this sparing time of my day?
My friends told me to get a dog, but without knowing, that I was, afraid of dogs, when I saw strays or someone walking their dogs, I’d stepped off to the sides, until they passed. So, keeping a dog is not the way to make my life busy at all.
I’d gotten too bored, as I wandered into my daughter’s room, saw how her electric piano was sitting there, by the corner, so lonely, I’d allowed my fingers to glide across the keyboard, and I’d recalled my childhood too………
It was, about 1966, when my father went to the American consulting group and bought a pre-owned bicycle, gave it to my seven-year-old older brother as a present. I saw a big black box, asked my father what it was? Dad told me, “It’s an accordion that someone didn’t want anymore.” Opened up the box, I’d touched the keyboard, and I’d played a familiar tune, “Funeral March”. Later I’d found out that it was the theme song from Waterloo Bridge, that was often used, in times of goodbye.
The piano from my childhood days, in order to play, I’d have to step on the pedals. I’d slanted my body, with my hands and my legs too, with the memories I’d carried, of the tunes I’d heard before, played the songs with one hand, one right after the last.
Since my son went to college, my husband became passionate about the saxophone, and I’d used my daughter’s electronic piano, to recall back the days of my childhood years, and I’d signed up for class.
The courses, from beginning to Christmas lasted ten sessions, and so, the instructor taught me “Silent Night”. And, as she’d taught me, she’d commented, “You’re a quick study, other people had to practice the melodies, then the harmonies, and you can play both together!” I’d smiled, and I owed my abilities to the funeral marchers who’d passed by my house, who became a sort of an introductory teacher.
During the time that my kids weren’t around, I’d changed the dishes that my kids enjoyed into the songs. This accidental talent had, enriched my life, and, I was able to, change my sentiments of missing my kids into melodies, and I no longer felt sad anymore.
So, finding a hobby is still the BEST way to help one passes one’s empty nest, isn’t it? And, this woman made the adjustments of roles from focusing on her family, to shifting the focus, BACK to herself, and now that her kids are all grown up, she can have the time, to pick up whatever hobbies she’s interested in but never had the time to pursue when her kids were still quite young.