OverShare about growing and changing
It's October 9, 2021. I am in Portland, in our house in the SE, off of Hawthorne Ave. My daughter Ruby currently rents from us, her best friend and longtime roommate moved to her own apartment yesterday.
We were lucky enough to buy this house, a neglected fixer upper in November of 2019 at a great price even pre-pandemic. It made sense for our daughter and her roommate to pay the same rent for a big roomy house with a yard, big old (really old) front porch and driveway instead of a two bedroom apartment. My husband and I want to move to the Portland area when our youngest child graduates from high school, June of 2022.
The girls were safely tucked in the house and thinking about their garden by the time the pandemic hit. Emma, Ruby's roommate works for Doc Martens and was able to work from home. Ruby got laid off from her job at Nordstrom and started building the original website for Remedy Botanicals.
The pandemic hit everyone really hard, but honestly, not us, in the way most people see on the news. I run this little business from a office space up the street from my house, no exposure to the public. My other business, taking care of retired show horses, is another solo job, on our land. My husband works from home, running construction jobs in the SF Bay area from his office in Ashland. Everything is online. My son's life was changed the most, he was doing online school for his junior year, and he hated it. The lucky thing for him, his hobby and passion is skateboarding, a naturally easily distanced sport. He and my husband built a half pipe in our garage and he was able to keep his sanity.
The pressure and uncertainty and drama of the year caught up with all of us. Of the 4 of us, 3 are now in therapy and the 4th enjoys zoom meetings 7 days a week with his 12 step community.
I haven't been in therapy in about 15 years until now. The push for me and eventually my husband with me, was looking for tools to deal with the overwhelming family issues we had raising a blended and complicated family back then. I married a man with three kids and two ex wives, and then we had two more kids together. The stress and uncertainty of being a young mother, with teenage step kids, babies, a huge cast of characters in my family, his family and his ex wives families! was too much for me to sort out on my own. Therapy became a highlight for me back then! And it is again now, even though I have never seen my therapist face to face.
My challenges 15 years later are much different. We have just one teenager at home, who is a delight. The adult kids are grown and gone, with kids of their own. I am blessed with a close relationship with my own kids and never take that for granted. I will have to learn how to have an empty nest soon, after what will be 28 years of raising kids by the time my son graduates. I was dreading this for a long time, but now as the time approaches and my life has changed little by little, I am feeling almost ready for it. At least I know I will be ok. I hear a lot from other women whose nests are empty that they love the freedom their lives now. It's a freedom I don't want! but since I'm getting it, I know I will learn to embrace it and look forward to that challenge. Sort of.
My husband and I will remodel this beautiful old house and make a new community in Portland. I might open a store here, I will definitely keep the websites. I am researching a subscription box idea. My kids will both be in school here (at least that is the current plan).