Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Stepping into Uncertainty

When I was in 5th grade I was invited to a horseback riding party by a friend from school.  What I remember most about it was the drive there.  We drove down a road I had passed all my life, but never knew where it led. As we pulled into the parking lot of the horse sable, my brain quickly drew a new line and destination onto my mental map.  Before that day, it showed a dead end on that street, just blank space. There was actually something spectacular just beyond what I had been able to comprehend before.

This upcoming fall feels to me like that road I would pass all the time.  I just simply have no concept of what might be there for me to discover.

Once school starts, I'm not sure who I'm going to be.  I have been at home with an infant, baby, toddler, or preschooler for the last 13 years.  I am anticipating something completely foreign to me: an empty house for many hours each weekday.

I don't know what this will be like.  I'm not sure what I want to do.  I'm just not sure what the near future holds for me.

Three of my four kids will be starting new schools in the fall.  Joe will be going into junior high, Natalie will start at the middle school, and Ben will begin his elementary school years in kindergarten.  I won't be the only one stepping into something completely new.

I have always been a planner, and have spent a lot of time trying to imagine what will fill my days.  I am not really interested in getting a job right now (and am fortunate enough to have the choice), but that doesn't mean I never will.  I know I want to take this first year to try to figure out my role, both here at home, and in our community, church, and the kids' schools.  Maybe I will spend some time renewing my teaching certificate.  Maybe I will join the group of Deacons at church who host funeral luncheons and after-church coffee hours.  Maybe I will spend time painting room after room in our house.  Maybe I'll volunteer at my kids' schools.

Uncertainty makes me nervous. But I can also feel an excitement building that there will be so many possibilities.

I have to keep myself from trying to fill it up with something familiar before I even get there.  Often I think something like "I'll go back to school in the fall!  That's perfect!".  But when I step back and really consider it, I realize that I am just wanting to go to school because I already know what that is like. Having no real plan scares me.

I was supposed to be celebrating my empty house by visiting with Sue.  We had plans to meet for lunches, shop for kids' clothes together, do whatever we felt like doing.  When it became apparent that she was getting very sick, I had planned to help take care of her while my kids were all in school.  I could bring her lunch and we could still spend time together.  Now all of my plans involving her are gone. Navigating this change alone was not what I wanted.

I am working on surrendering to the unknown.

The fall is a blank slate for me, I'm nervous.  But I can also see that there just may be a hidden treasure at the end of this uncharted road.

I have linked this post to Heather at The Extraordinary Ordinary (a blog I love!) who has a weekly segment on her blog called, "Just Write", in which she encourages other bloggers to sit down and write about what is on their mind right that minute, without over-thinking or editing.  I'm happy to join in!


  1. I am excited to hear what unfolds and what you choose.

  2. "Andi the-mom-with-four-kids-and-never-a-minute-to-herself" has filled the last 13 years with interesting exploits and thrilling adventures.

    I am eager to see just what "Andi the-mom-with-four-kids-and-a-few-hours-each-day-to-herself" gets up to. What will she do? How will she amaze us? A story yet to be written, and you get to write it however you want.