I always had an idea in my mind that when the children had grown and left home, I'd have plenty of time to go out and about and DO things - potter round local gardens and stately homes, nip off to the seaside without a moment's notice, take extra long summer holidays, that kind of thing.
But oddly I'm finding it doesn't work like that at all, and it's one empty nest problem I'd never anticipated.
Throughout the children's years at school our holidays were obviously planned around term-times - we'd go away for a day or two at Easter, a week at Spring Bank holiday, a fortnight in summer, and another couple of days at Autumn half-term holidays. Now, of course, all that has changed. We could go away anytime we choose - so why don't we?
Now, in part, there's a problem with my parents' health, so I wouldn't want to be away from home for long - but I could still dart away for a night or two, and certainly there's nothing to stop me going out for the day. All I need to do is decide WHEN, and, with nothing steering me towards those traditional holiday times, when it's go away or go without, I just talk about taking some time out but always find a reason for it to not be right now.
Yes, there always seems something to be done - the lawn to cut, ironing pile to tackle, a bathroom to refit - but a greater problem seems to be that nothing is compelling us to go away on certain dates. Easter has come and gone with us thinking we'll go somewhere when the weather's nicer, or when there are less crowds (after all everyone's busy flocking to the seaside at Easter). Soon it will be May Day (same logic applies), then, at the end of the month, Spring Bank Holiday (such crowds rushing to the coast!), and before you know it schools' summer holidays, then September and getting a bit chilly.
It actually seems that having time on our hands means we do nothing with it. So it's time to seize the day, get out there and do things!
For starters, this next week or so I intend to be out and about looking at bluebells. It's only a minor achievement because really my decision's being forced on me again - due to their short flowering period, if I don't go now, I'll miss them. After that I think it's time to stop prevaricating, maybe take a pin and stick in the calendar if I can't decide any other way, and organise a holiday!