Nope. I don’t mean you’ve picked up a pair of cheaters from Walgreens. And I certainly don’t want to talk about hormones….lord knows there’s more than enough written about that! I’m talking about how your responsibilities are seeing a redefinition.
The kids – if you had them – have moved out.
Whether attending college, starting a career, moving out to swim in the pool of dumbass (that’s the pool before they get their proverbial shit together), they’re gone. As you wipe a crocodile tear while waving good-bye to the last one, you turn on your heel, shut the door and high five your partner. You’ve made it and now have time for yourselves. You don’t HAVE to cook dinner….you can go to the little restaurant you’ve wanted to…without having to pay a bill for 6 people.
You’ve become comfortable in your own skin.
Yep, you may have a few extra pounds, but so what? You finally realize all the time and energy and spent trying to be a size or two smaller was stupid and pointless. You also realize how much of your life you’ve wasted loathing yourself because you just couldn’t seem to lose those 10-20 pounds. You now know being FIT and eating healthy is about self-love – with or without those few extra pounds.
There has been a shift. You are no longer trying to exert your independence, you are, in some respects, realizing you may have to limit theirs. Whether worrying about your parents driving (and being concerned that your parent(s) are on a first name basis with the sheriff due to accidents) and knowing that they can’t get behind the wheel for much longer, or wondering if broaching the subject of your parents moving to a condo will start WWIII, you find yourself in a different sort of parental role. You worry because you love. Don’t ever forget that.
You (usually) think before you speak during a heated discussion.
You are finally learning that you need to hear everything somebody is saying instead of crafting a retort, rebuttal or smack-down in your head while they are speaking. You usually don’t fly off the handle like you may have been inclined in the past, since there seem to be fewer things that are worth getting that pissed off about.
Oh oh. It’s either on you or your spouse/partner. And….oh good LORD….it’s somewhere in the vicinity of….the naughty bits. Pulse rate raises, panic sets in, you can’t BELIEVE what’s happened….!!!!! You’ve only heard about this. In birthday cards you’ve given to other people. In jokes. You quickly grab the phone and dial….. Somebody’s getting a Brazilian wax this afternoon!