Maybe Sundays are the most emblematic of the empty nest change of life.
Look at my Sunday (which is only half over as I write). I woke up late. That in itself is a major achievement and something I never thought could happen to me again. (big win!) But when I looked at my phone I realized I had only half an hour to get up, feed/walk the dogs, ride my bike to church, find a seat and be ready for service to begin. My good friend Larry Watchorn was to preach for the very first time. No time to make coffee.
Larry’s sermon was spot-on for what I needed to hear today. He used himself as an example. Like many of my friends just past 50, Larry is hearing his calling more clearly than ever before and has decided to become an ordained minister. He said he feels like Scrooge waking up and realizing there is still time!!! Those words gave me goose bumps. There is still time! It is a reminder we all need to hear. He talked about seeing signs recently (actual ones) saying “Do What You Love.” It was a sermon for all of us to live our truth. Larry has a wonderful professional career and is a seasoned marathon runner. With all the awards in his trophy case, I am certain his mother was never more proud than she was today. She ran to the alter to give Larry a huge tearful hug after his sermon (and while service was still going!) and then proceeded to hug half of the congregation on the way back to her seat. I was weeping as I witnessed.
After the service, I spoke with Joel Ogburn, the music director for Joy Metropolitan Community Church. He told me he recently left his successful career/business as a hair dresser to work for the church full time. I was looking at a man who looked 10 years younger than he had a month ago. His joy was all I needed to see to understand. Joel’s enthusiasm during the service had me raising my hand to purchase two pet calendars for 25 dollars when 1 pet calendar costs only 5 dollars. That’s what enthusiasm will do for you!
Two minutes later I phoned a girlfriend who is finding herself again after turning 50 and after divorce. I shared Larry’s sermon. Life is like that: good things have a ripple effect that never end.
I rode my bike home and pressed a quick pot of coffee (a girl can only hold out so long), and then jumped back on my bike to go to Yoga in the Park, a popular and well attended Sunday tradition here in Orlando where a group of great yoga instructors teach a donation based class. People bring their kids and dogs to their practice while drinking in the gorgeous blue skies, the aroma of flowers and the views of swans swimming in the reflective Lake Eola.
I thought about Larry’s words as I practiced today and wondered what I will do with my own realization “there is still time!” That brought me to think about Patricia Arquette’s character in “Boyhood.” I could write volumes praising Ms. Arquette’s performance, which is precisely how I can focus on the character of Olivia as if she were a real person! Olivia breaks down emotionally when her nest empties. She had made a life of providing for her children. Her life is suddenly as empty as her nest. I want the movie to go on a little longer. I want Olivia to understand “There is Still Time!” and then I want her to “Do What You Love!”
I ate lunch – you guessed it – at Tijuana Flats! That makes the day pretty perfect, and played right into today’s theme. I can do whatever I want!! I’ll head to the bike store this afternoon to add a few accessories on my bikes. I may also do some yard work. I’ll leave work work for tomorrow and enjoy this single empty nest Sunday doing what I love. (Camera in hand!)