CONVERSATION WITH…LITTLE BO PEEP…A BITTER EMPTY NESTER

Over the Hill on the Yellow Brick Road, I noticed a woman with a sheep. Was it possible she was the famous Bo Peep who lost her sheep (from the Nursery Rhyme)?   Had one of her sheep come back? If she was Bo Peep, we had a lot in common! I’m an empty nester, too. I had to check it out…

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Hey there, by any chance, are you Bo Peep? You know, from the rhyme that goes, “Little Bo Peep, lost her sheep, and didn’t know where to find them.  Leave them alone and they’ll come home, wagging their tails behind them?”

BO PEEP: That’s me.  One sheep came back for a quick visit.  I’m smiling on the outside but crying on the inside.

Why?

BO PEEP: Here’s the part they never tell you about when you‘re an empty nester. When your kids come back to visit, you notice they’ve changed. And it hurts.

I get that. My daughter moved far away and when she comes back to visit, I see she’s adapted to her new environment.  She’s not exactly the same person she was when she left. It hurts to see that.  Selfishly, I miss who she used to be.

BO PEEP: Right!  And why do they have to go so far in the first place?  I mean, I raised my two sheep in a beautiful meadow with a sturdy fence so they’d always be safe.  I made sure they had organic grass to eat.  We settled in an area where the weather was perfect—not too hot and not too cold.  There were lots of nice sheep to hang out with. What more could sheep want?

Don’t ask me.

BO PEEP: Obviously it wasn’t good enough for my son sheep.  He whined it was too confining and homogeneous growing up in our meadow. He never wants to live here again.

So where did he move to?

BO PEEP: The African plains. He’s exceptionally fuzzy, so I worry he’ll pass out if he gets too hot. He’s not fenced in, so he wanders around wherever he wants to go—which makes me crazy.  And he’s seriously dating an elephant.

It’s a changing world.

BO PEEP: But it really hurts my feelings. I tried so hard to make a nice home for him.

All this hurts my feelings, too.  On the other hand, I remember when I was in my twenties and moved out of my parents’ house, I was sooo happy!  It was so freeing! I went out and did whatever I wanted whenever I felt like it! And I told my parents I hated where I grew up!  I said it was boring and superficial and I’d never come back.  I must have hurt THEIR feelings.

BO PEEP: Yeah.  Same here.  Before I was Bo Peep with Sheep, I was “Bo Peep with a Jeep.”  I drove that thing all over the world any time of day or night.  My parents never knew where I was. I was a wild woman.

I guess back in those days, we weren’t ready to be the women we are today.  We were…different. 

BO PEEP: And… now that my sheep are living away, I’ve become less active.  I’m quieter and take life a little slower.

Me too.  Maybe when our kids come home to visit, they also notice…we’ve changed.

BO PEEP: And it hurts them.

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­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­Hey there dear blogger friends, I’m still struggling with this.  If you’re an empty nester, how do you feel when your kids come back and you notice they’ve changed?  Or if you’re a younger person and have left the home where you grew up, how do you experience your parents when you return for a visit?

 

 

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CONVERSATION WITH…The Cow Who Jumped over the Moon…Dreaming of Overcoming Her Overactive Bladder

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Recently, I met up with a highly successful athlete and super mom, The Cow Who Jumped over the Moon.   She was coming in for a landing on the Yellow Brick Road and was kind enough to chat.

Cow, it’s a real privilege meeting you.

COW:  Oh thank you.

So, you’ve definitely made your mark.  I mean, every night, jumping from your barn all the way over the moon and back to your barn has inspired cows throughout the world. What does it take to keep this up every night?

COW:  An overly ridiculous amount of drive.

I hear ya. But I have to admit,  I’ve heard rumors that after a very long career, you have an age- related issue that might bring your moon jumping days to an end. What’s going on?

COW:  Can I be frank?

Of course.

COW:  After giving birth and years of wear and tear, I find I need to pee all the time. Holding it in during my jump around the moon and back has become unbearable.

You’re not alone with that problem. But if you stop jumping over the moon, it will be the end of an era!

COW:  I know! And I don’t want to stop!  My work defines me.

I feel your pain. My work defines me, too.  But in your case, do you think this might be an opportunity to reflect on where you’ve been in your life and where you’re going? 

COW:  OMG. That sounds so depressing.

I’m just saying, you seem to be pretty intense and focused. Maybe let the lighter side of yourself come out and see where it takes you?

COW:  You mean, redirect my Type A personality toward something that makes me less crazy?

Something like that.

COW:  Hmmm…Well…I suppose at this point in my life, when I jump over the moon, I don’t have to land directly in my barn right away.  I mean, what’s my rush? My calf is a teen and doesn’t want me around all the time.  If I have to pee, I can crash land someplace else on the way home.

You mean, like, randomly crash land in Italy?

Why not?  I could find a Ladies Room there. Have a nice pasta dinner.  And if I’ve had too much wine to jump back the rest of the way to my barn, I’ll take a train or a bus home.

Awesome idea!  Every night you could crash land in a different city.  

COW:  I’ve always wanted to see Pittsburgh.

And any time you need to make an emergency landing, you can always stop at my house.

COW:  Really?  You would do that for me??

Of course!  Your  passion to see the world will inspire me to move my rear out the door.  I think you should go for it!

COW: Easy for you to say.

I know.  I won’t even get on a plane.

COW: But I think I will try the crash landing gig.   I just hope all those landings don’t mess up my knees.

The world will be watching.

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As the cow considers crash landing near restrooms around the world, please share your travel tips or recommended destinations.

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CONVERSATION WITH…a dandelion freaking out about turning gray (Part 1)

 

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Traveling beside a flower garden on the Yellow Brick Road, I noticed a dandelion in emotional pain.

Excuse me, Dandelion… I know we’ve never met and this might be none of my business, but…. can I help you?

DANDELION:  I don’t know what to do with myself!  The best days of my life are over!

Why do you say that?

DANDELION: Look at me.  I’m gray. I look like a walking rat’s nest.  And look at the rest of the flowers around me.  Pink, orange, purple, blue, and they all have their petals. Why is this happening to ME? Why am I the one who has to go through this?  I feel so alone.

I’m not an expert, but there might be a bigger picture that you can’t see.

DANDELION:  I doubt it.  It feels like everything’s against me. Even the freakin’ wind.   It keeps blowing my gray strands all over the lawn.

Maybe you just have to ride with the universe and see what happens. Maybe you have a different rhythm than the other flowers.

DANDELION:  You’re not helping.

Seriously, I understand your thing about being gray.  I color my hair.  But I believe there are periods of darkness we have to plow through, and eventually there’s an end to them. It seems like it’s part of some kind of balance in the universe.

DANDELION:  I’ll say one thing. If there’s some kind of end to my despair and loneliness, it will be a miracle.

Do you mind if I come back in a while and see how you’re doing?

DANDELION:  Your choice.

CONVERSATION WITH…a Dandelion turning gray     Part 2

 

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I’m back with the Dandelion who’s gray.

DANDELION: Now I’m bald.  But I have to admit, my loneliness ended.  I never thought it would happen.

Awesome!!!  What’s been going on??

DANDELION: This is gonna sound completely weird. But…when the wind blew my gray strands all over the lawn, they settled under the ground. Then they grew and came up.  So now I have children. Look at all my beautiful kids!

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DANDELION: It’s a miracle.

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CONVERSATION WITH… a squirrel struggling with her “new normal.”

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Traveling past a park on the Yellow Brick Road, I saw a squirrel scampering around who looked completely confused.  I rushed over.

Hey Squirrel,  are you lost?  Do you need directions?

SQUIRREL: No.  I need food. I’m so hungry.

So why not get something to eat?

SQUIRREL: I can’t. I buried my acorns under the ground, and I can’t remember where I put them.

Ooooh.  In a weird way, I can relate. When I park my car at the mall, when I come out, sometimes I can’t remember where I left it.

SQUIRREL: So?

So every time I park, I have to make a mental note of where I am.  And if I’m somewhere new, I actually write down the name of the street and cross street.

SQUIRREL: No offense, but I don’t think that’s a fair comparison.  I mean, you just have to find your car.  I can starve to death.  I’m really scared.

Can you make a trail of footprints or pebbles that lead to where you buried your acorns?

SQUIRREL:  That makes me nervous. What if I forget where I made the trail?

How about if you ask someone to remind you where you buried the acorns?

SQUIRREL: Then I’d have to ask for help!  My kids have their own lives!  I don’t want to bother them with this!  It’s humiliating.   I can’t face it! I’m an independent squirrel.  Always have been.

I guess you don’t want to do anything about it?

SQUIRREL:  My therapist says this is my “new normal” and I need to deal with my body differently because I’m older.

I’m going through that with my therapist, too. Here’s my“new normal.”  I try really hard to eat healthy foods and stay at a reasonable weight.  But every time I eat the slightest thing that’s junky, I put on weight.  I never used to be that way.  I guess it is what it is.

SQUIRREL:  That’s tough.

It is what it is.

SQUIRREL:  You said that already.

Oh yeah.  I forgot.

SQUIRREL: At least I remembered something.

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