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Future Tense

Be on the alert to recognize your prime at whatever time of your life it may occur. ~Muriel Spark

I’m restless and a little bored. Feeling like a change is needed. A kick-start.

Is this a mid-life crisis? If so, it’s kind of lame. I have no desire to buy a fancy car or get a newer model husband. But I do feel as if I need to do something. I wonder, am I too late to make a big splash?

Fifty is toying with me. Out there in the semi-near distance; so close at times I swear I can feel its breath on my neck, warm and slightly revolting. It makes me shiver.

Melancholy. Maybe that’s what I’m feeling.

Both kids are in high school and their paths are starting to emerge. They all lead away from home. That’s not what’s bothering me. I’m proud and happy of the people they are becoming but I’m starting to see the holes that will be left in my life when they go off in pursuit of their own goals and dreams. Their futures hold so much promise.

But what to do about my future? My impending empty nest? How do I fill the holes?

Right now, my life really revolves around their schedules. Where do they have to be? Which one of us needs to get them there? How much? When’s the deadline? Is there a try-out? An audition? Oh, forgot to go to the grocery store. Guess I’ll stop on my way to work. Did you make the eye appointment?

Parenting is hectic. Not that I’m not complaining, I’m not. I like it. More than I thought I would, honestly.

But I can’t help but start to wonder: What do I do when it’s gone? When it’s just the two of us again. When they are organizing and running their own lives. What do I fill that time with? 

I feel, occasionally, as if I’ve missed something in my life and that time is running out for me to figure out what it is. Something major. Something defining.

I think I may have finally figured out what I want to be when I grow up.

February 1, 2011 was the date my first column here at Plymouth Patch. That’s almost two years of weekly columns (with a brief stint at bi-weekly). I think it’s about 80 columns. My column length is supposed to be 500 words, give or take. Generally it’s slightly more. That’s 40,000 words. Not including my blog posts.

40,000 words.

That’s the threshold amount of words for a novel.

So I'm going to try it for real. Writing fiction is a lot harder than giving my opinion, but I'm going to give it a go. I’ll keep my day-job (for now) and Plymouth Patch (for as long as they’ll have me) but I’m chasing this idea as far as I can.

For the past few months, I've been running across this saying: “If your dreams don’t scare you, they’re not big enough.”

Well, right now, I’m terrified.

Barbara Mulvey-Welsh is a mother, writer and blogger raising kids and a husband in Plymouth. Check out her blog at "Did I Say That Out Loud?"  Use caution when reading around the family, there is some strong language.

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