Chris and I recently met with a new financial advisor and one of his “get to know you” questions was, how do we see ourselves spending our weekends in 20 years. That questions stopped me in my tracks then and I have thought about it often since. He had us answer it about each other which made it easier to answer in the moment (I said Chris would be in his wood shop and Chris said I would be writing and taking pictures.) but it hasn’t stopped me from thinking about it.
I often think about the future, about when all my kids are in school all day, or that Eli will go to high school this year and on a mission in less than 5 years. Most of my future thoughts are between tomorrow and 5 years from now but since being asked about myself in 20 years I’ve spent some time thinking more long term.
It’s kind of amazing to realize that eventually, my kids will all move out. I won’t have a minimum of 10 loads of laundry per week or have to figure out what to feed 6 people 3 times a day every day. There won’t be sports games and practices and cub scouts and band concerts.
Of course, I’ve always known this was going to happen. That’s what we’re all striving for as parents isn’t it? To raise children into full grown, live on their own, take care of themselves humans. I even remember thinking in my younger, pre-children years that I wanted to be done having babies by the time I was 30 so that I would have an empty nest by the time I was 50. (I didn’t make it but I was close. I was 32 when Brie was born.) It’s funny to me now to think that before I had kids I was already making plans for when they would leave and now that I’m fully immersed in children I can’t imagine what life will be like without them.
But, the truth is, eventually (hopefully) my kids will leave and I will have a lot more time on my hands. It has already started in small ways. I have more time to myself, now that Brie is in preschool than I have for the last 13 years and it’s only going to increase from here.
After having time to think about what I see myself doing on the weekends in 20 years my answer would be spending time with my grandkids and traveling. But that isn’t all that I have learned from being asked that question. More importantly, I’ve learned that I need to start finding myself outside of my role as a mother. I have not been good at self-care over the years and have felt for a long time that I lost myself to motherhood. Now that my kids are getting older it is time to start finding me again.
The best way that I know to do that is to write. Writing helps me to frame my thoughts and to learn about myself. So, I’m planning on writing more in many capacities and the thought excites me. Some of what I write I will share here, some I won’t but I know that if I write I will start to find myself again.
How about you? How do you plan to spend your time in 20 years? Do you think about this often or are your thoughts stuck in your current situation?