If you were to ask me where I want to go, I would answer; “Everywhere”, what would I like to do, the answer would be; “Everything”, and obviously, who would I like to meet; “Everyone”. Of course the real answers would vary in degrees of priority and interest – but honestly I have always had this overwhelming desire to experience life, to take it all in….
Like everyone, I have been blessed with many obstacles and interruptions in my quest to consume life. Yet, I now find myself on the cusp of a life shift – in which I plan to take full advantage. Just over nineteen years ago; my life shifted when my son was born and I took on the immense responsibility to become a parent. I have never taken this role lightly – and some may say I’ve even been obsessive – I cannot disagree. I’ve completely thrown myself into being a parent, and loved every minute of it.
I have sewn dinosaur costumes and princess dresses, braved hours as a driving instructor in a 1972 VW bug, met with unreasonable Algebra teachers, created doll beds from shoe boxes, sewn on scout patches, made birthday cakes in the form of treasure chests and dolphins, ‘doctored-up’ cuts and scraps, read “Chicka-Chicka-Boom-Boom” so many times I could recite it in my sleep, cheered at high school football games, repaired Hercules’ cape, stuffed stockings and Easter eggs, baked countless cupcakes for troop meetings, baseball teams, volleyball teams and just for fun. I’ve done it all –I fully embrace being a mom – and the knowledge that my kids are destined to become adults, to move on and create lives of their own. In fact, that’s the goal. One which is fast approaching.
This year, my son took his big step out into the world – joining the Air Force and my daughter has just finished her first year in high school. That puts the countdown to my next life shift at just over three years – not long really.
By now you’ve probably already surmised the events that will prompt my life to shift – my children moving out and moving on and my responsibilities to supervise and guide minor children on a daily basis will be over. I will have to shift into more of an advice giving peer and friend to my children – I cannot wait! My mom and I have a wonderful relationship, which started when I was little and today she is my best friend. I fully expect my relationship with my children to continue the tradition of being great friends and supporters of each other.
I know I’ve done my job, raised responsible, mature and thoughtful individuals, but naturally as this shift takes place, I expect that I will feel some loss, of not having my kids around every day and some apprehension, of not being involved in the daily details of their lives. So several years ago, I decided that when they move out, so will I. I initially had planned to simply relocate, move to Manhattan and make my adjustments to my new independent, kid-free life in the Big Apple. But recently I began to feel that relocating and rebuilding my life in a new location was not quite enough of a change for me. I want a new career, a new lifestyle and an adventure. Thus the One Year, One World idea was born.
Traveling for a year will allow me to address several things. 1) I will no longer be in the same home or city where I raised my children, helping me let go and minimize my feelings of loss. 2) I can take a big break from my job, I desperately need a career change, but in the midst of my daily life and muddling through my work I have not been able to find my next path – hopefully the travel and the time away will give me the space to see what I need and want. And 3), I get a great adventure. I want to see the world, to meet the people and experience life in a different way; a year around the world is one way to do it.
So, hang with me as I plan, plot and shift my life – all the while having “cakes and ale”!