How do Life Changes Affect Your Progress?

Confession time: I have not been very motivated this week to do much of anything. I did have a good week at the day job – I had a software release, which went well, addressed a couple of bugs quickly (which weren’t noticeable until it went into real-world use). I also had a good writing week – motivation’s not been bad there, either. But otherwise, just not happenin’.

Let's hear it for new beginnings!

Let’s hear it for new beginnings!

We took our daughter to college on Wednesday. Since she’s an only child, this is a big life change for my husband and me. Oh, she’ll be back for six weeks over winter break, and probably will come home for summer too – and since her boyfriend is a few months younger than her and still in high school, I suspect she’ll be back for a weekend before long, if for nothing else than to see him and do laundry. πŸ™‚

Still, the house feels very empty. When I got home from work, I would usually go and talk to my daughter for 15-20 minutes right after I walked in the door. Now I go into her computer room and talk to the turtle (I did this before, too, but after talking to her first :)). It’s definitely weird.

Child Leaving Home is about halfway down on the Holmes and Rahe Stress Scale, with a life-change value of 29. I can think of a lot of factors that would make this more or less stressful. It would be less of a change for those who still have other children at home. More stressful if one knew the child was going into a potentially more dangerous situation – traveling abroad, especially to a dangerous area, beginning military service (and my thanks to those who do!), or – yikes! – going to prison. The thing to note about the Life Changes scale is that both good and bad events can be stressful and throw us a curve ball.

I have it pretty good – this is what’s supposed to happen, I know my daughter will do well at school and is no doubt making plenty of new friends, and will enjoy herself. DH and I are focusing on our own interests, and on spending more time with our friends, both old and new. It will just take time for me to get settled into this “new normal.”

ROW80Logo175Here’s how my new normal has gone so far:

  • 3000 words on new ms – Yes!
  • 4 workouts – Partial. Got two times in on the treadmill, and probably made a dozen trips up and down three flights of stairs moving DD in to her dorm. Does that count?
  • One chapter in estate planning book – No
  • Spend 15 minutes decluttering something, anything! – Partial – I ended up going through some stuff in DD’ s computer room so I could sit on the couch next to the turtle tank, but I don’t think it was 15 minutes’ worth

I don’t have a lot of extras going on this week, and I really need to get going on Β those last two items, so the list will stay the same this week, except I’m going to bump the writing up:

  • 4000 words on new ms
  • 4 workouts
  • One chapter in estate planning book
  • Spend 15 minutes decluttering

What about you – have you had any life changes recently? I hope they were good ones! Whether good or bad, recent or otherwise, how did they affect your progress toward your goals, if any? Please share – I’d love to hear from you!

Jennette Marie Powell writes stories about ordinary people in ordinary places, who do extraordinary things and learn that those ordinary places are anything but. In her Saturn Society novels, unwilling time travelers do what they must to make things right... and change more than they expect. You can find her books at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, Kobo, iTunes, and more.

13 Responses to \

  1. Ah. yes, Jennette, I can completely sympathize! My daughter moved to the States this summer, and it really tore me up, since I know it will probably be for good. Before that, she lived next door and we saw each other regularly. πŸ™ Ah, well.

    Congrats on getting so much done anyway, despite Huge Changes! *hugs*

  2. She looks all settled!! I’m sure that makes it a teeny bit easier. I know it helped that my daughter didn’t seem nervous when we left. And right now I’m so glad she didn’t pick the other school she was considering–6,000 miles away and overseas. That’s much less stress for me. πŸ™‚

  3. Yes, moving counts as exercise. Got sore muscles? Then you used them!

    Great job on the writing count. Good luck on uping it this week.

    No life changes for me at this time. Just busy traveling. Going down to Dragon*Con on Wednesday, so I probably won’t be getting a lot of writing done. I’d just like to get Bite Me to my editor before I leave! Then I’ll be too busy to stress! πŸ™‚

  4. AJ is living at home during college, but this year is a huge change. He’s going with some buddies to Anapolis sans parents this year for drum corps finals. I think he’s ready for it, but Nita’s a bit nervous. But now, he’s also started work for Kroger working nights. So it’s almost like he’s moving out. I suspect that’s coming in a year or two.

    For me, I had a scare with a night class I was taking when it looked like it would require far more homework than school policy suggests. Fortunately, it didn’t, but I was up late writing out review questions ahead of time so I only had to write the answers when it came time. Turns out the syllabus was wrong.

    So, how long before Jackie meets two blues snobs from Cleveland like her mom did?

  5. Ruth, give me a couple years – I expect my daughter will go to Germany for a semester to study abroad, and that will be a tough one! Wouldn’t be surprised if she ended up there in a teaching job.

    Coleen – I’m sooo with you! She was looking at a school in Chicago – even that is farther than I’d like!

    Stacy, thanks! Have fun at the con, and good luck with the edits!

    Jim, I hope she meets a couple of guys like that soon, because friends like that were what made it soooo much better! And LOL about your class – glad you figured it out now and not later!

  6. Congrats on those 3000 words in the midst of all this change, Jennette. And yes, the stairs count! Thank you so much for commenting over at my place recently. Although I lost a friend recently, it has only inspired me even more to live the creative life.

  7. I can imagine having an only child go off to college as being a pretty drastic life change. I have two kids, but college is still a few years away. I know the house won’t be the same when they’re not in it, sigh…

    I haven’t had any big life changes. School is back in session and both kids are at the same one this year. That’s a positive change that’s made life easier!

  8. Debra, thanks! I think a death in the family (or friends) is the hardest life change to write around. When it’s happened in mine, it stopped me for a good while.

    Maria, lucky you! School is great – having them around enough to be with them, but gone enough to get your writing time in! πŸ™‚

  9. You’ve got a lot going these days, Jennette. Hold together a bit longer… the sore muscles will settle, the words will come, and your daughter will be home soon to visit you, her boyfriend and the turtle. Things will find a new balance, and you’ll be there standing proudly.

    Warmest thoughts.

  10. I think being so close to your daughter has made this change even harder. And at least you know she’s in a good place, making her way in the world, so it’s a positive change, but still hard. I’m adjusting to baby caregiver boot camp. Baby M will be 3 months this Wed. She needs a bottle every 2 hours, and each feeding takes about an hour because she has a sensitive tummy. She’s in my arms more than 50% of the day. Grasshopper turned two last week. What a pistol. Never ceases to crack me up, but what a bundle of energy and quite a chatterbox. I’m so thankful it’s a 3-day weekend because I need tons of sleep to make it through the coming week! Yay for you making such great progress with the writing. Woot!

  11. Eden, thanks!

    Oh wow, Lynn – caring for a newborn is a huuuuuge change! Good luck to you with that, though I know how much of a blessing it is, too!

  12. Oh Jennette, where have I been? Don’t ask. lol.

    Seriously, your daughter leaving home for school is a stressor. Yep, it’s up there. You know it’s going to happen, but it’s a HUGE change. And we’re moms. Mothering is what we do. Now, how to you shut that button off? I rest my case. I had two boys, sixteen months apart. Do they leave the house one at a time. Nooo. They decide to move out together. I just about had a heart attack. So I get this empty nest thing. It’s so great that you and hubby can do things together. Like riding in a Camaro! I’m sending you a big hug! Take care my friend! πŸ™‚