I seemed to have reached a few of these recently.
The end of my novel; and with it that magical time when you can dream about what it might be, rather than what it is.
The end of my husband’s holiday; no more lazy days, long lie-ins and rambles across the field to the pub for supper and a pint, or a cheeky Pimms in the garden at four o’clock.
The end of the Olympics; and with it, the feel good stories in the press about how good it is to be British (though teachers still got a bashing, I note).
And for me, the end of an era, one, which at times, I fervently wished would end. Then before you know it, and before you are ready, it does. Just like that.
Yes, my daughter has left home*. When I go to bed at night, no longer are my family safely tucked up under one roof. No longer am I the first person she will talk to in the morning, or turn to when she is upset about school work, or ecstatic about exam results. I have been relegated. Left at home with her teddy, who, not so many years ago, she wouldn’t go anywhere without. I am cut adrift. Floundering; wanting to return to the middle, to the happy chaos of knowing what I was doing and why I was doing it, even if I never had the time.
When she got on the plane to San Pedro Sula last Sunday, she took a big chunk of who I have become with her. Instead of feeling joy in having a clean bathroom and all my clothes in my wardrobe (not hers), I am engulfed in a melancholic sense of everything coming to an end, which, of course, everything does.
Or does it? Do things ever end or just transform into new beginnings? Or more eloquently put:
“Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.” Seneca
If I am too busy mourning the end, might I miss the beginning of something else? Something just as good, but wholly different to what I have known before?
The end of the novel, heralds the beginning of the next one, which will come out the way I see it in my head – this time.
The end of the Olympics, heralds the beginning of the Para Olympics and the legacy of 2012.
And the end of my daughter’s childhood, heralds the start of a new and exciting beginning as she explores Central America and learns who she really is (and how to do her own washing).
And me, well, today I am going to mourn, shed a few tears while walking the dog in the woods. Endings are hard, even if they are beginnings in disguise.
But tomorrow, I will embrace the beginning of a life with grown up children and the opportunities that affords me. My daughter’s life is just beginning, not ending. And, when she comes home next August, the same but different, we can begin our relationship anew, with, I live in hope, a mutual appreciation for keeping a clean and tidy bathroom.
As for the end of holidays – never a good thing, but there is always the beginning of the next one to look forward to.
What endings have you reached? Can you see the beginning, yet? I would love to hear from you.
*My daughter is volunteering in Honduras, teaching English. You can find her eloquently titled (not) blog here.